Friday, 27 November 2015

The Garland, North Hollywood

 Our daughter had stayed at The Garland and suggested we stay there too. It was called The Beverly Garland then. Friends had also stayed there and recommended it. So we booked it for four nights. We had a room in the Eldorado wing with views of the highway.
The room was spacious and comfortable, and we liked the 60's feel of the room and the hotel. One could not hear the traffic noise when the balcony door was shut.
 As Jonnie relies on the internet, the only place where it worked well enough for him was the balcony. 
I don't mind it slow, so it didn't worry me.
 The hotel is on Vineland Avenue, North Hollywood
-Valley of the Stars-
 There is an outside courtyard for relaxing and having a casual meal.
 A wonderful pool area that has an open fire in the evenings, even though it was July.
We enjoyed evening drinks there every night, and one can watch kids movies in the pool. I must admit the screen was a little hard to see as it was light until after 9pm, but the kids liked it. We had two dinners around the pool and the food was great. We chose something different each night.
 We had one dinner in The Front Yard. The staff were great but there were not many people there, and we  were surprised. The food was reasonably priced but very slow to arrive. It did taste good though.
Of all the hotels we stayed at this trip, The Garland was the most interesting. The Lobby Bar overlooked the pool, and had a lounge area adjoining the bar and the lobby.
The lobby had a fireplace, and chairs for guests while waiting for buses, etc.
 The only thing that spoilt our stay was the last day when we were sitting in the Courtyard with a few hours to wait for our transfers to LAX. All the staff in all areas had been very friendly and helpful,but on the last day a staff member (maybe from The Front Yard) was walking around with a sour look on her face glaring at all the guests sitting in the courtyard, and there were a few as there was a wedding in the function centre. She came up to us and told us we couldn't be there because we had outside food - we had a can of coke from the vending machine, and some left over cheese and crackers! We also had a beer and cocktail from the lobby bar, and were waiting on potato fries. She went and 'dobbed' to the manager, came back, stared at us and walked away. Not a staff member that suited this hotel.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Road Trip Day 3 - to Los Angeles

I can't believe it's been three weeks since I last posted. 

Sometimes the 'now' is more important. Anyway, back to our trip. Day three saw us travelling from Pismo Beach to Studio City, Los Angeles. Although, not as spectacular as the last two days, the drive had many points of interest. Santa Barbara, like much of the coastal road is very much influenced by the Spanish with it's house designs and flavours of the cafes and restaurants.
Ventura was originally known as Buenaventura.
We didn't spend a lot of time here, but in hindsight we should have. There is a lot to see and we only skimmed past most of it.
We were intrigued by these signs which appeared at the ocean end of many of the streets. Yes, we do like to go down random streets, especially if heading towards the beach.
One on the many interesting homes in the Ventura area.
As we were driving out of Ventura on the South Oxnard Boulevard we passed some aircraft in a park. We got all the way to the coast before deciding to turn around and go back to have a look. It was very interesting. The Point Mugu Missile Park has on display some old missiles. It was developed in the 1940's and is a worthwhile stop, that won't take up too much time. We had a late morning tea there.
Back on the Pacific Coast Highway we again had great views of the ocean.
We saw a few caravan parks right on the beach like this. Not very protected we thought.
Malibu has many movie and TV starts homes, but we didn't know which was which. They all looked wonderful, and the views were spectacular. 
We saw some interesting sights along the way, including this 'library'. 
We left the Pacific Coast Highway at Santa Monica, just before the pier to head towards Studio City. The traffic was very busy and it was stop start the whole way to our hotel.

During our three day road trip we saw many remote coastal villages, as well as popular spots we have only seen in movies and on TV. We were told the road was built over a 100 years ago. It was a great trip, one we would do again if we had time. We took three days and I don't know how one could do it in a shorter time. My suggestion would be to take 5-7 days, to be able to sit and enjoy the many little bays and beaches. We stopped for photos, but would have liked the opportunity to spend more time trying the many different eateries along the way.