Los Angeles
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Los Angeles

A city in southern California.

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  • May 24, 2000
  • by

Cons: The baloney sandwich box lunch on the bus ... lol

Travel or editorial? I am sure some epinion police are going to nail me on this one! Going to Los Angeles was gonna be enough fun but throw in the Rose Parade, Rose Bowl and a trip sponsored by my local radio station - pretty much gonna be a trip from Hell! I won the trip for one thing just by answering a sports trivia question. All expenses, except car, for two, to L.A. with a New Years party and all the other freebies. Because I am such a loving mom, I haul along my oldest son, mainly because he lives and breathes sports, especially Ohio State University.

OK - between Christmas and New Year - worse traveling time known to man or God but everything was so well organized by the travel agent. We had an entire plane load of fans going out so the ride was rocking (by the way, this is a hard rock station). Flight into L.A. was fantastic and little breathtaking looking at that ocean below and the sky above.

Met at the airport by a bus service we were taken to our hotels. My first trip to California - jaw agape! Our group was so large we were booked into two hotels. I was in the hotel with the DJ's from the station - party time all the time. After the arrival get-together, our next two days were free so out to rent a car I went.

Driving in L.A. is quite a different experience from old Columbus, Ohio. First trip of course, the HOLLYWOOD sign high in the hills. What a view. The drive up through the hills on (I know I will spell it wrong) Mulholland Drive is breathtaking. Homes perched on the edge of nothing, flowers in outrageous colors and swimming pools, swimming pools - everywhere! Next stop, Beverly Hills and the Beverly Hills Hotel (I feel like such a tourist) for a snack.

Viewing these homes through the steel bars of the fences and gates is something that cannot be described. How can these people live like this? Incredible! Our little trip into the Beverly Hills Hotel was sinfully expensive but we were treated like royalty, and you know I checked out that bathroom....wow! I had iced tea and strawberry shortcake (the real kind not those styrofoam cakes) and my son had a soft drink and something known as the Chocolate Devil, it looked evil. Total price, less tip, $52.00 <gasp> but considering the trip was free.......

Next the Santa Monica freeway, we are heading to Highway 1 and the ocean. Now as many times as I have been on the Atlantic shore I have never seen waves like this. Surfers everywhere, mostly getting swamped. We followed Highway 1 for about 200 miles then decided we better get back to population and the evening meal. After dinner at a local greasy spoon (and a parking ticket), another get together with our partners in crime at the hotel in a private room - more great food and free drinks.

Day two - New Years Eve - we took the car to Pasadena just to get an idea of what we were in for. A beautiful and peaceful college town, under normal circumstances, now trashed with the onslaught of party people. It is 9 am on the day before the parade and already the parade route is lined with people. Areas are roped off and staked out. Grills, sleeping bags and coolers. Tents and porta-potties. Hot dog stands and first aid stations. What had I gotten myself into?

That evening we began our New Years celebration in the ballroom of our hotel. All the members of our group were there, over 200 people. It was being broadcast live back in good old Ohio and relayed through Chicago. You know what that means - we celebrated midnight three times. By the time midnight finally hit California, we were pretty trashed, with a 5 am wake up call the next morning. Grudgingly, like sheep to slaughter, we shuffled on the bus the next AM, facing an hour ride from our hotels to the parade stand.

Our seats were directly under the NBC broadcast booth, half way up, affording a perfect view. In the background were the majestic mountains covered with snow, clouds hovering at their tops. If you have never experienced a live parade I urge you to do it. Not the guy that goes through your town, though they are good, but a professional production like Macy's or the Rose Parade. The sights, sounds, colors and crowd interaction are awe inspiring.

The magnificent USC Trojans (sorry Californians, but BOO) band in full uniform, some on horseback, the floats with their heady floral scent, the delightful high school bands full of enthusiasm. Seeing this parade for years on TV does not compare to real life. The colors and details are more vibrant, there are no commercials or the mindless announcers chattering in the background.

Seven rolls of film later, we trudge back to the bus, ready to go to our hotel rooms, BUT NOOOO - off to the Rose Bowl and the glorious game. Frankly, I am not a football fan, although I play all fantasy sports on CBS Sportsline (plug), but arriving at that stadium left me speechless (ME?). There is nothing more beautiful than that stadium with that large red rose engraved over the entry portal. Walking into the seating area I was left breathless - it was so huge, overpowering. We had wonderful seats, but unfortunately they were on the opponents side. Little conspicuous in all our scarlet and gray - ha, ha, ha.

Watching a game in that stadium was an experience I will never forget (nor my son), everyone was so hyped up and out of control. The rose emblazoned in the middle of the field, the teams fighting for the championship, the half time show (which we never see on TV) and the hmmmm....friendly rivalry between the fans. Unfortunately, we lost.

Back to the hotel, pack the bags and get a good nights sleep. Again, 5am, off to the airport aboard that bus and a disgruntled and hung-over crowd snuggle into their seats. Arriving back in good old Columbus, with all our own luggage, we make the nightly TV news - 1) because we were such a rowdy group (some distinction!), 2) because we were stupid enough to travel on New Years Day and 3) because it was The Buckeyes!

Oh yea, the Eddie Murphy thing ... the hotel we stayed in is the one they filmed 48 Hours in. All beautiful marble, sweeping stairways, gilded mirrors and those great fluffy robes!


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Susi Dawson ()
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Los Angeles is home to just under 4 million people, making it the 2nd largest city in the United States. It was founded in 1781 and its surrounding metro area is home to people from hundreds of ethnic groups. Today, Los Angeles is home to some of the richest and poorest people in the country and continues to attract thousands of new residents every year.
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