Stay Tuned For My Blogs From The West Coast …..

June 10, 2010 |

I’m headed on vacation – a working vacation, of sorts ….

Tomorrow morning, I’ll be heading out west to show the family a part of our country they’ve never seen and to enjoy a week away from Orioles baseball.

We’re making a roadtrip of it – while spending a few days in different cities and absorbing the local feel of each place.

Our first stop will be the “City Of Angels.” We’ll be arriving in Los Angeles just in time for lunch on the beach. And, of course, with some prior experience and knowledge of the area, I want to show my family the most unique spot, RIGHT AWAY.

Indeed, we’re dropping off our bags and headed directly to Venice Beach. If you were a pro rasslin’ fan in the 80′s, you might recall Hulk Hogan was always introduced as “hailing from Venice Beach, California.” That was a LIE. However, Venice Beach is the quirkiest spot I’ve ever encountered …. with some truly bizarre sights ….
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Venice Beach’s boardwalk (which is concrete) is littered with shameless self promoters and freaks of nature. I can recall my trip to the area, nearly 20 years ago. I saw a kid “selling jokes for a quarter.” I saw a guy advertising “kick me in the ass for $1″. And, I saw that swami, guitar playing rollerblading dude, above.

However, I also saw some of the area’s more beautiful sights, as well. Indeed, they were creatures who would gain 110% of Glenn Clark’s attention. Kinda like this ….
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Over the weekend, we’ll hit some of L.A’s trendier areas, as well as some more unique tourist traps. I’m traveling with my wife and teenage daughter, so lots of compromise is in order. Of course, shopping trips will unavoidable.

That said, I’m not DADDY BIG BUCKS. While I’m certain we’ll end up HERE, it will most likely be to “window shop” and ask the occasional celebrity if they’ve ever listened to the REX & RAY SHOW ….
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Is there a tradeoff? You’re damn right. We’re headed to Chavez Ravine tomorrow night for some inter-league baseball ….
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We are united in wanting to enjoy a few things, like IN & OUT BURGER, Sunset Strip, Hollywood, Malibu and a day at the beach.

Indeed, I’ll be flexing my 14 inch pythons on Manhattan Beach, this coming Sunday. And, that reminds me …. NASCAR is in Michigan, this weekend. Do you think I’ll be able to walk into any Southern California joint at 10am, on Sunday morning and say “ya’ll got the race on ???”

I doubt it.

I’m also hoping to fill out my weekend with some additional “unique” experiences ….

I wanna visit some of my favorite actors and actresses ….
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I wanna see the John Belushi’s “Hotel California” ….
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I wanna see George Michael Memorial Park – Ray has requested a photo of the bathroom ….
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What’s a trip to L.A. without doing one of the sightseeing tours, right? I wanna see where the Clampett’s ended up after striking it rich, while shooting at some food.

Ray Bachmann tells me to simply show up at Mann’s Chinese Theatre and I’ll have my pick of guides to see the HOMES OF THE STARS. “Where does Tatu from Fantasy Island live” is the first question I’ll be asking my guide.

As we’re making our way through Beverly Hills and Belair, I’ll be sure to be on the lookout ofr Ferarri’s, Lambourgini’s and Free The Birds shirts.

Do I have a checklist of celebs I’m hoping to bump into? You bet ….


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I would ask him to call Ray and say “hello”
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On Monday, we’re going to visit Universal Studios Theme park, along with the Universal Studios Stage Tour. I’m pretty sure we’re we’ll get a glimpse of some movie sets, as well as a few TV stages.

After several pnone interviews with the skippers at Ocean City Fishing Center, I’m ready to see the JAWS backstage set.

We’ll also visit Warner Brothers and Paramount Studios.

On Tuesday, we’re packin’ up our Enterprise Yugo Sport and headed nearly 300 miles across the desert to SIN CITY. This is probably my most anticipated part of the trip. We’ve seen this route so many times in movies, and I want to experience it firsthand.

I’ve been told to stop and PEE in Barstow, even if I don’t feel the need to do so. After all, who wants to stop here for a quick leak …..
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Maybe, I’ve seen way too many movies, but I’ll be on the lookout for the rogue tractor trailer being driven by an axe-wielding murderer. And, yes, I will be packing …..

You want excitement? Well, 200 miles into the trip and in the middle of ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE, the town of Baker, California, will supposedly pop up. While I’m looking forward to seeing how “Desert Hillbillies” live, I’m especially anticipating the breathtaking view of the WORLD’S LARGEST THERMOMETER ….
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Repeat after me …. OOH, AHH, OOH, AHH !!!!

As soon as I BLOW past Baker and it’s totem-pole HOT sign, I’ll be on the lookout, cuz the Oasis will be just 75 miles away.

Forget the tumbleweeds, cactus and bodies of dead gangsters, I’m gonna be on the lookout for something much more meaningful ….
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Yep, that will be the first indicator that we’re ending up here ….
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No doubt, I’ll be certain to keep my excitement tempered. After all, you can only have so much FUN, in Vegas …. when you’ve got a 14 year old daughter in tow.

Casino ??? Probably not.

Nightclubs ??? Nope.

Stripclubs ??? Maybe while the family is sleeping – are they open at 7am ???

That’s cool, we’ll still have a good time. We’re staying at one of the nicest joints on the strip ….
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Entertainment ??? You bet. But, remember it’s a family vacation …. so I’ve gotta compromise on things. We’re gonna hit the Beatles show and David Copperfield. And, yes, we’ll be going to a concert, too ….
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Oops, sorry …. wrong picture.

Let’s try this, again ….

We’re going to a concert, too ….
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Be assured, I’ve got ZERO DESIRE to see Cher. But, I’m getting good with a family venture. Lucky me ….

That said, there some hopeful Vegas highlights I’m looking forward to ….

Aside from lounging at Mandalay Bay’s beach and cabanas, I will venture down to see a few of my favorite TV stars ….
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I’m also planning on hitting Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a few laps in Richard Petty’s Racing School, as well as driving to some small desert towns for a feel of the area.

I’ve got one FIRM rule during the Vegas trip …..

I absolutely, positively will NOT visit the “DAMN DAM”. I made that mistake more than a decade ago, when my wife and I got hitched.

The Hoover Dam SUCKS. It’s a chunk of concrete, period. In fact, it’s so bad, I’m not going to post a picture of it.

Before leaving Vegas, we’ll show our daughter the joint where we said our vows. And, yes, an Elvis impersonator was my BEST MAN ….
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Well, that’s about it. After a few days, we’ll load up and drive back to L.A. for the flight home.

Stay tuned, I’ll have some material over the next week …..

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