Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Monday: Leaving home to go home (LAX to YVR)

That's what it feels like !

Already? I just got here!  I wake up at 7 am. Out Out, never miss a sunrise on a beach!

Hard to beat: Royal Palms before breakfast ;-)

Not quite awake German drags himself through the hard-to-walk-through sand to the waterline.

Unshaven, Unshowered, not really awake yet

Everyone sleeps in (yes, this promenade was boiling with people yesterday)
I only realize a couple of days later: this city treats even the homeless with dignity  It almost never rains, so there are camps on the lawn areas between the promenade and the bike path, where groups of ~10 sleep at night, The LAPD patrol cars don't seem to harass them at all but keep them safe!  I just looked it up:  A license or permit for street vending or performance is NOT needed in Los Angeles or in Venice Beach.  No need to beg the city to perform. No need to bend one's pride by asking shelters or perverts for a place to stay.  In Vancouver on the other hand it's a boot kicking down instead of a reaching helping hand (or at least no harassing impediments)  How Civilized and Humane !  And the last place that I expected it. I wish George could have spent his year on living on the streets here instead of  in Concrete-without-pity Vancouver.

This creates a completely different type of atmosphere. None of these tight-lipped people demanding by-laws against squeegee people.  None of that paranoid FEAR running rampant in the streets. Just a lot of people with most of their dignity intact being in a good mood. No wonder there is quite a few signs here "Another day in Paradise!'.    
Since it almost never rains here, the 'shopping carts' are super-sized

Check out time at the hotel is 11 am but when I inquire at 10 am (I fell asleep again ;-), I am granted late check-out at 3 pm, maybe even later, without any surcharge.  This is my first time here and I have not shaved or showered yet.

Any wonder I LIKE it here?

A bit later I head to the post box to mail some postcards.  There is an African American hunk of a man wearing a jungle-speedo standing on a ladder handling two loooong SNAKES.

I also have a second glance at a bike rental place (OK, so the chico renting the bikes was cute). It's been 10 or 11 days since my last, slightly flawed bike ride, AND I'm in Venice Beach, where riding a cruiser along the immaculately paved beach bike route is a MUST.

My ride for 2 hours. No gears and a back-pedal brake

NOTE: There are no tight right-angle turns on this bike path, unlike what some retard designer created along the Vancouver seawall !

This is where I turn around

Santa Monica pier

Jim Morrison with a shadowy protrusion from his pants (OK, so maybe I have an over-active imagination

Muscle beach gym

Wrong Direction

Palms with Moon

Maybe it's due to LAX undergoing renovations, but try to eat before you get here.  I found only two very limited food outlets on the outside of the security cordon (Starbucks-like), and the 3 places I saw between the security check and the gate were horrible.
tower at LAX

Do NOT eat here
If you decide to eat at Ruby's you'll be eating at a place without cutlery, with BIG meat patties without any discernible taste but BIG blobs of cheese stuck to them.  It was so disgusting I left half of it on the paper plate and moved to the wine dispenser at gate 67.

The plane is scheduled for take-off at 8;25 pm, but something electrical goes wrong and we only take off at 9:25 pm, which means grabbing a taxi at YVR airport at midnight.

The next morning I will check Expedia again and see direct return flights to Los Angeles including all fees and taxes for CDN$ 240.  Ooooh, SOO tempting!.

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