Friday, December 30, 2011

California Dreaming Is Becoming A Reality

January 29
Los Angeles and Woodland Hills
We are on our way to experience the Tournament of Roses Parade live and in living color, broadly and deeply, behind the scenes and in the bleachers.  But first, we will add an installment to our Presidential Library tour sequel with a stop at the Ronald Reagan Library.  Then, after all the Parade festivities are over, we will drive up the coast for another week of California adventures.
Our flights from Savannah to LAX were unremarkable, save for the dramatic contrast between our quiet, sleepy, empty intimate-sized airport and the crowded confusing hectic impersonal urban transport jungles of Atlanta and Los Angeles.    

As if to emphasize the point that Los Angeles is operating in a different universe from  sweet Savannah, we spotted this building straight out of "The Jetsons" as our shuttle drove us toward the rental car outpost.  (Amazing that I got this picture through the tinted window of the shuttle while it was moving, eh?) We almost expected to see George Jetson land his hovercraft on the roof.   

A little online research revealed that this place, known as the “Theme Building,” was completed in 1961 as part of a Los Angeles Jet Age Terminal Project, and is now designated a City Cultural and Historical Monument.  Those 135 foot high parabolic arches supporting the structure were a big design first in their day.  The building houses a restaurant now.   

On the way to our hotel in Woodland Hills, we passed another notable example of curvilinear architecture that caught our eye, due to the 32 foot diameter donut on its roof.  (The photo is from Randy's website--I couldn't snap it from the rapidly moving car.)  This architectural gem dates back to 1953 .  We were so intent on getting to our hotel after hours on the plane that we didn’t even exit the freeway to sample a donut.  That is just so unlike us! 

Chalk it up to freeway madness.  I know I got my share of cardio fitness today through all my heart palpitations experienced as Dick masterfully drove and dodged in the densely packed quickly moving herds of cars dashing home during rush hour.  The need to concentrate was so intense that we could not adequately ogle the many expensive cars zooming about us—a couple Ferraris, assorted Porsches, lots of big black Cadillac Escalades, and so on.  

Nonetheless, we made it to our hotel, got the car parked safely, were assigned a fabulous room with a panoramic view of the mountains, and were off to dinner without incident.  

Our notable discovery of the evening was that there must be some law here requiring restaurants with fixed menus to divulge the calorie content of their offerings.  This information is very disconcerting.  After seeing how many calories were in stuff I would normally order, I navigated to the less exciting (and very small) section of the menu featuring meals under 600 calories.  We came here to learn about the Rose Parade, and I fear I may get some unwanted nutrition lessons in the bargain.

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