|Posted by arpithicus on June 26, 2009 at 2:17 PM|
We entered California road worn and tattered. The days of this phenomenal trip were all melding together into one large lump in our weary cerebellums. We were all in need of some much deserved rest and relaxation. Good thing, we were in the capital of R&R, the land of the 9:00 P.M. Dinners and absolutely no plans to speak of before 11:00 A.M. every morning in LA LA land.
The first night we were in California was excellent, we had a late dinner that consisted of some of the best Sushi I have ever eaten. We toasted the end of our road trip and the beginning of our California section of the vacation in style at a small restaurant in North Hollywood, called Burning Bonsai, that Tracy, our wonderful California tour guide, recommended.
With our Bellies full of raw fish and Japanese beer we departed from North Hollywood and Kat and I drove No More to the first Hotel that we would spend more than one night in since this journey started. We arrived at The Media Center at the Holiday Inn in Burbank, California. As we pulled up to this hotel we saw our new home for the next three days an immense 18 floor, two tower, hotel that stood among the other hotels in the area. We checked into the Holiday Inn and were given two free drinks courtesy of the Holiday Inn at the bar on site and cashed them in immediately. After our first drink, we were on our way to sleep and dream of our next day in the city of Angels.
Friday, started off slowly with a quick dip in the outdoor pool of our hotel immersed in the beautiful weather of California. After the pool we went to a leisurely lunch at a Brew Pub next door to the hotel called BJ?s Brew Pub and awaited the arrival of my cousin Sam to show us around Hollywood in true tourist fashion. After our meal we headed to the heart of Hollywood to see Grauman?s Chinese Theater, the walk of fame, and the Hollywood Sign. We walked through the city of Hollywood with the thousands of other tourists in the area and took inall that we could in the time that we had. Our next stop was dinner with my family that live in California.
Dinner was great and we were able to catch up with some family members that I have not seen in quite some time due to the thousands of miles that separate us on a daily basis. The conversation was good and the food a plenty while we hung out with some very nice puppies. After quite along night, we retired back to the hotel and awaited Saturday which was to be filled with some outdoor activities including hiking and a Cat House exhibit in the Mojave desert.
We woke up bright and early on Saturday Morning and met Benni and Tracey for a tour of the mythical California Forests. I thought this land of movie stars and 90210 folklore was just full of sand and Star Bucks, but we sure as shit arrivedat an amazing trail that seemed to appear out of nowhere in the hills of L.A. We hiked a rather rough trail up hills, through mountains, and over streams. The trail may have been hard and rather long but the pay off was remarkable. The trek ended at a waterfall, which confused the hell out of me because I was under the assumption that water was kind of scarce in California. We hoofed it back up the hills and back to the car in order to race back to the hotel and take a shower so we could be off to the Mojave Desert to see the exotic cats.
All clean and ready for a drive, we embarked on our mission to see large Cats at the Cat House breeding ground. Tracy had secured us tickets to a special twilight exhibit where the cats are more energetic and are given toys to play with while we watch them. When we arrived, the cats were on display and they were given toys or cardboard boxes, balls,grass flats, and cardboard tubes. These felines were awesome; they frolicked and pounced in their cages while we watched from a short distance. We saw Panthers, Jaguars, Lions, Tigers, and some very exotic cats that I have never seen before. The cat house was a great experience that like all the adventures on this vacation had to end so we left the desert and headed back towards the big city. But first, we had to make a stop at the best burger joint in the west, the old In and Out. This of course was fantastic and made Saturday a complete and enjoyable last day in California.
We got back to the Hotel somewhat early and packed our bags for the morrows early departure to the Airport to leave both California and this wonderful quest behind us. We boarded the plane and took off into the air with a sigh and nap. There were some complications on our connecting flight that included losing power on the run way shortly before take off, that took about an hour to solve before leaving St. Louis and arriving in New York. Our friend J picked us up from the Airport and we drove back to Jersey to complete the full circle of this trip.
During our expedition across the nation, we saw things that few eyes have had the privilege to look at. Our lungs were full of clean air from the untainted landscapes of the forgotten lands of the United States. We ate like kings, on food from the regions that we toured. After all of this, we entered back into Jersey and smelled the sweet stank of the arm pit of this country. We stopped at a Wendy?s for a few burgers and drove home. As we arrived at our small house in Glen Rock holding a bag full of Hamburgers and suitcases, we entered the apartment to find our cats waiting for us. We may have seen the great wonders that this country has to offer but Jersey has all I will ever need; my family, my friends, my bed, my pets, and my life. New Jersey may be seen as a crap hole from the outside but to me and mine it is our home and we were happy to be back in its confines.