I’ve landed in the two primary airports, Los Angeles and San Francisco as well as traveled up and down the coast on several occasions and California looks like a great place to spend time. The two airports have been absolutely mobbed with people and despite this I managed to make all flights and clear the inspection areas without a hitch. International flights can be a bit of a challenge as I’ve discovered as the ratio of customs agents to passengers wasn’t what it should be and it took several hours to clear. This must be a common occurrence as I managed to make my all my international flights. On my trip to Thailand I managed to hit both airports on either end of my trip and made my connecting flights without a hitch. But, both flights routed me through late at night which perhaps was a mitigating factor.
I came in to LAX one time, rented a car and drove up highway one which is amazing. The whole way winds along the coast with the Pacific ocean on one side and multi-million dollar houses built on the mountains and cliffs on the other. When I landed in Los Angeles I headed out onto the freeway and was utterly amazed at the amount of traffic. I had apparently arrived during rush hour and despite the highway being four or five lanes wide, the traffic was bumper to bumper as far as I could see. I managed after several hours to make my way to the coast and enjoyed the drive the remainder of the way.
I visited several cities during my several trips including Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura, Port Hueneme as well as Cannery Row and the surrounding area. I also drove through the farming areas and saw enormous amounts of vegetable farms probably run or contracted by Dole.
Cannery Row was fascinating not only due to the history and tourist attractions but as I recall several movies have been made about the place. I stopped in and spent several hours searching for a souvenir and visiting a museum, the aquarium and surrounding points of interest. I probably don’t need to add that the place was mobbed with tourists. The area is quite nice and being on the bay makes the entire area quite an enjoyable trip. I just love the ocean, the smell and the coast and visit whenever I have the chance (any ocean actually).
Although I stayed at a variety of places during my trips the two hotels I managed to snap some photos of are the ones I stayed at while transiting LAX and SFO. Both were high end or at least they seemed so to me and were quite comfortable. Incidentally I was put up both times due to missing my connecting flights, not the international ones, the times I was on my way to Hawaii. The airlines gave everyone a certificate and a ride to one of the local hotels situated basically on the airport grounds. The beds were plush, the rooms well decorated and I recall restaurants were on the first floor.
Back to California though. I mentioned earlier the time I rented a car and headed out into what was the rush hour and in an attempt to avoid it, I descended into Los Angeles. This was a few years ago but as I recall, I could barely read the signs due to the film on them caused by the smog. Los Angeles is busy and I mean busy. I drove through it in an attempt to find a short cut to Highway one or at least avoid the traffic on the highways but this turned out to be futile. Every road I turned onto was jammed with cars so I sort of empathize with the locals as they try to fight their way home. It did appear as if there is plenty to do in LA but I don’t need to tell anyone that now do I? I didn’t visit the city but merely attempted to drive through it. It took several hours but I managed to make my way to the coast and one of my several destinations.
Generally speaking, I enjoyed my times in California and as most places if I have the time I intend to return and explore it in more detail.
Here are some pictures of the Hotels I stayed in