Wow, somewhere along the way I missed a post or two for this trip. I actually had a huge amount of trouble trying to mass-upload images to the Gallery so I’ve resorted to uploading everything to Facebook for now (kinda killing several birds with one stone).
Ok, here’s the synopsis of what we’ve been doing since last Wednesday (actually Thursday morning…):
- We planned on getting up early, finding a cool Seattle coffee shop and then leisurely making out way to the Train station for 9am. We ended up getting up at about 8:10am, scrambling to pack up and check out quickly and then grabbed a taxi to the train station….no coffee.
- We boarded the train about 9:30am and embarked on the Train trip portion without further incident. The train ride was really neat, very small and wobbly but fun. We met some interesting people (including the Grandmother of a former Raptor’s player – Yogi Stewart I think?). The scenery was really great in spots, the food was so-so but the trip was really fun. We had a roomette which is basically 2 seats facing eachother with a door about a half-foot away for privacy. There was a shelf that pulled down up top into a bunk for the night (Sally had the pleasure of sleeping up there) and the bottom seats folded into another small bunk. We had a large window beside us but spent a good portion of time in the Lounge Car (comfy chairs and larger windows) and Dining Car (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and a Wine-tasting in the afternoon were included).
- 34 hours later (about 7pm Friday) we arrived in Oxnard (just North of L.A.) which is close to where our friends Rob and Claire live in Thousand Oaks. Rob picked us up and we had a few beers on their patio before crashing for the night.
- We decided to check out Universal City and Universal Studios (theme park/working studio) for the day. It was really a neat place set right into the side of the valley. It was divided into two tiers (upper and lower) with several hundred feet of escalators between them. Not much else to say here, pretty neat theme park area with a long studio tour on site as well….didn’t see any stars.
- That night we ate at the local Chilis and then beers on the patio.
- We went on a wine tour into the Santa Enis (spelling might be incorrect there) valley which is just North East of Santa Barbara in beautiful Oak shapparall land formations (bit of an inside joke) . We toured about 6 locations and had a great time. It was much less pretentious then I thought it was going to be and I actually really enjoyed the whole experience (not to mention tasted some really great Californian wines). Funny note, we actually went to a winery owned by Fess Parker who was the original Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett on T.V. (and movies?). The place was rustic and fairly touristy with little coon-skin caps on the wine bottles (no joke).
- Back to Rob and Claire’s for the evening and had BBQ steak with a bottle of Merlot from one of the wineries.
We were actually going to go down to Hollywood today and check out the tourist traps down there but one of us ended up feeling a little under the weather likely due to a little overindulgence in the wine department (not mentioning names but her name rhymes with Alley).
- We layed low for the day which was actually really nice. Hung out on the patio, napped and just mellowed out for a day.
- Today we went down to Hollywood and it really is a tourist trap. It was neat to go down there but there is much less to see or do than you might think. We didn’t go to any of the show tapings (Jimmy Kimmel’s show was setting up a big stage outside for his show tonight) but we did see Hollywood and Vine, the Hollywood sign and Gaumman’s Chinese Theatre (with all of the hand/foot prints of the stars). Took some photos of any that we liked and laughed at a few others (It’s pretty funny to see Bob Hope only a few feet away from Steven Seagal…they aren’t even in the same league…).
- Tonight we are going to the local Pub where Rob and Claire actually have their own mugs and apparently everybody knows their names.