There’s something I never thought I’d be writing. Los Angeles Day Two. Very nice too.
Judy met us at about half ten in her very smart white Chevy. She drove us into the heart of Downtown, because she was determined to show us the Walt Disney Concert Hall. And it is the most beautiful building. It’s a Gehry masterpiece and has, inside, the most technologically accurate acoustics in the world, apparently. We didn’t have time to listen to a concert, but we used the loos, which were also beautiful! The outside is covered with reflective metal tiles, although they are matt, not shiny shiny; it is astonishingly beautiful. The tiles have been removed on one side, however, as the sun’s reflected rays were overheating the sidewalk below and the locals were complaining!
Judy then drove us to the Farmer’s Market, which now has a little open air shopping mall attached to it, called The Grove. We had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory (no queue here). I have never seen such a long menu in my life. It was 20 pages long and it took me so long to read and choose that everyone else had ordered and gone to the loo and back before I was even ready to decide!
I had chicken sliders, which were really cute little mini chicken burgers, four of them. If you’re interested in scale, they were about the circumference of a small, newly-born turtle! Dad and mum shared a small guacamole with a plate of tortilla chips as big as your head and Judy had a Chinese salad – her “usual”. All utterly delicious and with superb service. I could get used to this. Judy’s salad was so large, she split it in half before she started and filled a take home box. She also took a container of dressing separately, so that the crispy noodles wouldn’t get soggy on the way home.
We then pootled around the shops and stalls – Mum bought a hat – and took a trip or two on the little two-stop antique tram, and then sat and watched the koi in the fountain enjoying the sunshine until it was time to head back. The fountains had a display pattern and we tried to watch it all. I think the entire routine took about an hour. Because we are moored in the port, which is miles from anywhere, we had to head back to the car at 3.30 and we still only just made it in time. We boarded at 5.22 for a 5.30 sailing! We don’t normally cut it quite that fine!
The Port of Los Angeles may well be the biggest in the world, by area, if nothing else – everyone we spoke to thinks it is, but no one is quite sure. It takes over twenty minutes on the freeway (at 60mph) to drive over it to the actual water and it is, likewise, nearly twenty minutes on the freeway to drive over the top from side to side (San Pedro to Long Beach). I think that makes it about twenty miles by twenty miles, which would be 400 square miles in area. It is ludicrously huge. All you can see are cranes and containers as far as the eye can see in any direction. It’s an extraordinary sight – ugly, but extraordinary.
And so we sail. We didn’t have time to cry when we said goodbye to Judy, as we were rushing to get on board in time. But it is desperately sad to keep saying goodbye to people. Fran at San Francisco, Stewart and Julie yesterday, Judy today and still more to come in New York and Boston.
The rest of the day was just food and bed. Utterly exhausted. I was in bed by nine.