“Well, it took me 17 years to get 3,000 hits in baseball, and I did it in one afternoon on the golf course.” — Hank Aaron
We got up and left our room in Anaheim (Orange) at the HoJo. We really enjoyed this hotel. Big room, updated, clean, nice pool, close to the stadium, and relatively cheap – couldn’t ask for more. We were determined to finish our Route 66 trip so we aimed to get back on the route.
We joined up with the route at the Fair Oakes Pharmacy and Soda Fountain with the goal of taking it the rest of the way. This, evidently takes you into Hollywood. Once there, we got out to see all the typical touristy things on Hollywood Blvd. Keke has been trying to stalk the Big Bang Theory cast, which included trying to find their (made up) address in Pasadena (that was not a fun drive).
Today’s stop was to find their recently completed hand prints at the Chinese Theater. Evidently, they take their sweet time putting the the hand prints into the sidewalk, and sometimes don’t install them there at all, so, even though they recently held the ceremony to do the hand prints, we didn’t get to see them; Marilyn Monroe would have to do for the day.
We parked in the Dolby Theatre ramp, and although the sign outside said it was $3 we paid $8, never found out why. Still, I’d recommend that ramp if you plan on doing the Hollywoody things. We walked around taking in all that we could.
I was very generously given a CD of hip hop songs by the artist who had made it. I thanked him. He then asked if I could leave a good review online for him. I like to help, so I agreed to do so. Then, after striking up a rapport with me he asked for a “tip.” I kindly gave him his CD back and went on. It’s always fun to learn about a new scam.
After getting our fill of Hollywood Blvd, we made our way for the end of the route. The end of Route 66 is currently at Santa Monica Pier, although the original route ended a half a mile away. We got a pic of the original end and then proceeded to the pier.
We parked about 6 blocks away from the pier at a meter on the street. We saw a couple of guys just hanging out on the street there, which looked mildly suspicious. We then walked a block and noticed a couple going through a suitcase in an alley. This made me even more suspicious of the area and I circled back to our car to see if anything was going on (we had all of our luggage in the car). All was well, but when I went buy the couple again, they were digging even deeper into the suitcase.
I caught up to the rest of the crew and we proceeded to the pier. We had been there three years ago, and while it was a fun place to be, it was also busy. This timed proved no different, and after taking a picture of the end of Route 66, we got off the pier and hung out on the beach for a bit.
Walking back to our car, we passed the alley where the couple had been going through the suitcase. We all had a bad feeling about them when we saw them going through the suitcase earlier, but thought maybe it was theirs and that they were looking for something. Where they were was in fairly plain sight, so it gave us enough doubt that something bad was not happening. As we walked past the alley again, the suitcase was still there, but the cover had been ripped off and all of the contents were gone. We should have called the police.
There were too many people on the pier, and I was getting tired of the traffic, both auto and pedestrian, so we headed out of town to our next stop; San Diego (okay Poway, but close enough). The drive from Santa Monica to San Diego was long and somewhat confusing. It was Friday afternoon and California traffic is legendary already, let along on a Friday rush hour. Our Honda Fit started to overheat, but shutting off the AC and turning on the heat for a bit took care of that. We stopped in Laguna Niguel for some much needed out of the car time as well as some even more needed In N Out (our first in three years). After that brief stop, we were back on the road, and ultimately arrived at our hotel – Hampton Inn in Poway, CA.
The Hampton Inn is a solid hotel chain if your willing to spend a bit. Since we were going to be here for a few days we wanted to make sure we were comfortable. We were there for the next stop on the Great Baseball Ride with the Padres, but also to see our friends Chris and Mario as well as Chris’ family that were in town. Chris is a friend or ours from Minnesota who moved to Poway years ago. Keke, Soren, and I went to see Chris and his family, and ultimately came back to the hotel for some much needed rest. It was good to see our friend, and we were looking forward to our time with him.