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West Coast trip

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by Gomar, Jan 15, 2014.

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  1. Gomar

    Gomar Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    I was on a 10 day trip on the West Coast, and heeeres my report:
    CA:
    In-N-Out. First report is of the (in)famous burger joint, which we dont have in NYC. I convinced the driver to take the group there instead of the same old boring buffet.
    Ok. Well, hated it. The lettuce was cold, portion was small, beef was undercooked, fries were boring, and the price too high. For the same price I'd rather go with Five-Guys' cajun fries and x2 beef patty instead.
    Grade: C-

    The Crystal Cathedral is closed. Too bad, as I was there during the 90% empty ceremony by Rev.Schuller.

    San Diego - Interesting place. Been there 5 years ago, saw nothing new now. Too bad the Coronado Hotel is closed to tourists. Old Town is all the same shops, eateries; it's like a huge LA Olvera street with better decor and costumed Mexicans.
    Balboa Park - too busy, too much stuff, and many goings on, all piled on next to each other, etc.
    Compared to Central Park, it's just too touristy. Atleast in CP anyone could find a silent private bench or patch of grass to sit on and relax. In Balboa you just cant get away from it all or anyone.
    Grade: B+

    LA - Hollyweird: some tourists were attacked in the ladies room; others got cursed at for taking photos by pushy costumed idiots. Really not much to see besides prints in cement but you cant shoot them as people walk all over.
    Met a vendor who worked Central Park, he gave a bag for free. What was the point of that huge bed?
    Lots of Museums, we went to Getty, too late for Fall foliage.
    Venice Beach: saw the snake-man, did not see the black guy with guitar. Possibly the coolest
    beach in the world. Will be back.
    Grade: A-

    SF - full of homeless all over. The tram ride down to Lombard st. was the most dangerous I had ever taken in my life, and wont be doing it again. I was hit twice in the head by the operator's elbow, when
    someone got on he blocked my view, but he was almost hit by a double parked car, a lady lost her wallet but someone threw it back to her. The ticket agent did not ask me to pay, so I didnt.
    City Hall had homeless sleeping upfront. The bus driver said tour buses get windows smashed and luggage stolen so they dont park in the center of town any more.
    Did not visit Alcatraz, drove by the place where gays gather saw a naked old man.
    Grade: B

    La Jolla - fine nature watching. Good calm educated folks live there. As well as Monterey are fine places to visit, will be back.
    Grade: A

    Then we went to see Bryce and Zion canyons. Bryce was impressive, loved it with the snow cover. Took lots of photos. I recommend it over Grand Canyon, unless you are hiking through it. The GC looks like a huge hole
    in the ground, with some color, and a few cool spots to shoot.
    Zion did not impress and I took no shots as we drove thru it without stopping. The security guard checks for banned tourists, and there is a risk of boulders falling.
    Grade: Bryce: A Zion: C GC: B+

    We also went to some so-called 'Ghost Town' called Calico.
    Only some 8 people live there from a high of 1200 in 1881. Sheriff's office was closed, as was the jail, and some other homes and safes which would really show tourists what life was like back then. The place is run down, dirty, bad food, and is just not worth the admission nor the time.
    Grade: C+

    We visited The Rusty Bolt souvenir shop in Arizona on Route66 that had old classic cars with mannequins all over. Fun place, good stuff for sale, a good photo opportunity. But it looked like a wax museum, or some cheap
    madame toussea with over-priced clothing and gifts.
    Grade: B
     
  2. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    You did all that in 10 days?

    I'm tired just thinking about it.
     
  3. Bommen

    Bommen High-Roller

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    Agreed! This sound crazy, even though you are visiting so many places u dont really get to experience any. Also In and Out is what it is, this is a frugal board and if you are expecting a gourmet burger you will be truly disappointed. Also it wont impress an New Yorker having Shack Shack in your own city(probably the best fast food burger in the world).
     
  4. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    I agree Bryce Canyon is amazing. If you were able to take a few trips / hikes inside Zion NP, you may have appreciated it more (not sure if you had the time with your tight schedule). I liked Bryce more, but I'm glad I covered all three (GC NR and SR).

    Areas I have covered during my three trips to Zion (pics from the internet). The first is a view from a hiking trail in a far northern section of the park accessible via I15, the other three can be viewed via hiking trails assessible from the main park road (not the thru road, but the road going north into the park accessible from the thru road.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Gomar

    Gomar Low-Roller

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    I agree, too many places, too little time. Plus we were in Laughlin 1 night, and Vegas 2 nights.

    I could live without Colico, Laughlin, etc. and spend more time in SF, LA.
    Next time in CA will go see Hearst Castle for sure.
     
  6. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Wow, I'm even more dazed and confused with that admission. lol

    We've had this chat quite a few times here over the years: More is less travel vs. less is more travel. Sometimes you're just going from A to Z, no other way about it, and in those times hopefully a few memorable, meaningful glances can be had. But the older I get and the more I travel, our days are increasing and our hops, skips and jumps are decreasing. I'd just rather spend several days sitting in the Yosemite high country or in and around Angels Camp, for instance, than sprinting from Fishermen's Wharf to Great America to a camera-shot stop along Big Sur and the Queen Mary. Last time we were in NYC, in five days we never got any farther north from Columbus Circle than the natural history museum, and never off the island except for seeing Lady Liberty and Ellis. Just how we run.

    I'm not a religious person, but I feel a lot of spirit in Zion, and as a kid my dad and I took so many memorable camping trips there and to magical Bryce and the Canyon, notably the North Rim. And Canyonlands. And Capitol Reef. And and and. Aaaaaaah. I like the bus-through-the-park thing for relieving congestion, but it's just another sorry and pervasive example of what Edward Abbey so knowingly lamented quite long ago, the American approach to travel best known as industrial tourism. Wow, Calico. More memories. That was such a cool spot as kids in the '60s but would never recommend it as a must-see desert stop. Now Mitchell Caverns, I would.

    I'm a native California and westerner, and a travel nut. Next time you're out I would love to give you some thoughts on slowing down and really seeing and tasting and experiencing this great huge state and our majestic region, if interested.
     
  7. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    In the defense of Americans, the average American gets far less vacation time than their European or Australian counterparts, and sadder still, many do not use the limited time off they earn (and spend time checking work on the phone when they do take time off).

    If people bought less crap, they could save money and use it to create memories (trips/time with family and friends) or time by retiring earlier and take advantage of the freedom to do what they love, be it travel or other passions. Better still is finding a job that allows one to work and live their passion. Congratulations for your good fortune.

    My job allows 5 weeks off, and I'm able to take advantage of longer stays at one or two locations over 2 weeks. Vegas, Zion/Bryce, Northern California. Perhaps a road trip and decent stay at the destination. Looking forward to my permanent vacation and extended overseas trips, currently slated for October 2026.

    [YOUTUBE]dx-6furNdvU[/YOUTUBE]
     
  8. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    I thought our indomitable work ethic made us superior to those effete Euros and drunken Australians? :thumbsup:

    Travel is expensive, no doubt. And time can be scarce. But we control how we choose to use that time. I think if a person dies or leaves a job with 0.01 hours of leave on the books, he or she done good. Yet I know plenty of business owners or managers or even workers who look at people who use what they've earned -- earned -- and think them slackards or not dedicated to the big picture.

    That's just plain unadulterated BS.

    As a larger group -- not speaking to any individual here -- Americans travel ugly, or not well, at least. We're inflexible, demanding and lemming-ish (I want Denny's!! Where is the damn Applebee's?!? Why don't you speak English Mr. Hungarian taxi driver!?!)

    Anyway, thanks for those great pics and thanks to the OP for letting us know what he experienced and saw out on the American road.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  9. Gomar

    Gomar Low-Roller

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    You didnt miss much. Most action is below 82st.
     
  10. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Nothing of note in NYC outside of midtown Manhattan down? Hmmm.

    My point was we prefer focused travel vs. "experiencing" stuff by virtue of seeing it through the window of a moving vehicle.
     
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