This is the 2nd of a series of posts dealing with my fourth trip to South California. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of a ¾ year later or to add further clarification. These are indicated by “NOW”. After I booked the trip I unexpectedly had to move and during that had an Eastern Canada trip that didn’t go that great, so I was already pretty tired before the trip began.
A few things from yesterday I forgot: Earle's had an electronic coaster that buzzed when your order is ready. Packed a smaller pack which is a good thing because one of the straps on the backpack I bought this month is about to snap off. One of the tires on my suitcase got squished so now I have to make sure I carry it because the edge of the case where the tires are is about to tear.
New: turned in really early (about 7 pm) because I was very tired. Sleep of past few days catching up. Some sort of festivities at night with rock music. Not sure if from the hostel or nearby. Someone's cell phone alarm went off around 4:30 am, which I'm a bit used to, only he kept hitting snooze so my body eventually reached the point where it wasn't going to go back to sleep. He finally got up but then a car alarm went off. Still, do seem more rested than yesterday. Probably won't get back to sleep now so will head out soon. Today's a low key day anyway. At least unless I pack more stuff in.
[NOW: The above was written in the morning at Orange Mango Hostel. The rest was written in the evening.]
In short order I left Orange Mango Hostel in Santa Ana, walked east along Garden Grove and Memory Lane (in Garden Grove municipality then Orange), north along Bristol (for the rest of the time in Orange I was on a futile search for an official map book), La Veta heading east, north on Main, west on Chapman to McDonad's, then east passing the Orange Metrolink Station. I thought I could visit the next town over, but even flying blind I realized that was a bad idea at last and returned west. I took a 54 bus (Orange Country Transportation Authority/OCTA), using a day of the 5-use pass and buying a schedule for $1. I got off at Orange Metrolink Station and got a weekend daypass.
[NOW: between Santa Ana and Garden Grove there is another section where I was in Orange. I should have bought a multi-day pass this day instead of the weekend pass because of how the timing worked out.]
I took the Orange County Line Metrolink train to LA Union Station. It was a comfortable doubledecker train though the view can be politely described as industrial for the most part. Despite being late and having to stop at one point for rail traffic to clear it actually made it to its terminus early. I got off at Union Station and took a Red Line subway train to Wilshire/Vermont (all LA Metro subway/buses included in Metrolink fare; all transit between Metrolink trips LA Metro).
[NOW: LA Union Station of course is in Los Angeles. For some reason the subway electronic readers didn’t like my daypass.]
I took a westbound 720 bus. It took a couple of stops before I could sit down. The ride was bumpy and the bus was tilting right at times, thus making it a thrill ride in of itself. I somehow survived the bus trip and got off near 3rd Street Promenade at Santa Monica. I visited an art & architecture book store called Hennessy & Ingalls before returning to the promenade, which is a pedestrian street with shops and street performers. There were plant dinosaurs with fountains, though only the most northern fountains were on. Since the dinosaurs had metal heads and water came out of their mouths they looked like Godzilla foes. I visited Barnes & Noble and McDonald's. I passed through a mall on the south end before heading to Santa Monica Pier. At the entrance there were also parrot family birds including a cockatiel. Part of the pier is Pacific Park, an amusement park that is free to walk thorough; pay by ride. Didn't go on any rides. A couple of people were dressed as Mickey and Minnie. Definitely unauthorized: they spoke and I think they had a place for money.
[NOW: The mall is Santa Monica Place.]
I walked along Santa Monica Beach to the south end then visited Angel City Books and Records. Crossing from Santa Monica to Venice I saw the exterior of a building shaped like binoculars (looking down). I walked to Venice Beach and continued south, most but not all the time sticking to the Boardwalk, which has permanent buildings on the west of the boardwalk and temporary displays on the west (art dealers et ). I saw a weightlifting area called Muscle Beach where Arnold Schwarzenegger was discovered. I left Vince Beach and visited part of the Venice Canals (It's Venice; of course there's canals).
[NOW: Venice is a section of Los Angeles.]
I took a 733 bus to downtown Los Angeles. I walked to the Toy District. Guide books shouldn't even mention it: no toys, just a bunch of mostly closed down buildings. Very run down. I walked through Little Tokyo and saw the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and oddly shaped building not unlike Seattle's EMP Museum.
I was starting to cut it close so went to Civic Center Station to enter the subway. Both this time and the previous time security had to help as the turnstiles didn't recognizer my pass. Ironically the security woman who helped me this time turned out to be there to check people's fare. I took a Purple (I think; maybe Red) train to LA Union Station and then dashed to the Orange County Line Metrolink train.
A woman said to another guard on her radio not to let a guy on because he cussed and otherwise rude to her. The lesson here is twofold: don't cuss at the Metrolink people and especially don't do so if it's the last train of the day.
On the train a guy dropped off pens at people who didn't seem focussed elsewhere like I was with photos and then soon returned to collect donations or the pens back. I got off at Orange Station and took a 56 bus west to The City Dr just north of The Outlets at Orange. Not at the mall proper but in part of the parking lot was a Carl’s Jr. where I had a really nice burger. I then returned to the hostel a lot more tanned than when I started out today.
[NOW: The 56 bus was OCTA. Again, Orange Mango is in Santa Ana.]