Thursday, April 1, 2010

Highway 1, CA: Pacific Coast Adventure

Alex and I took a springtime road trip down Highway 1, destination Los Angeles. We almost didn't make it after spending the eve of our trip/St. Patrick's Day in the ER with a 104 degree fever on account of viral bronchitis. I got my hands on some of that outlawed meth Sudafed and we hit the road!

Alex graciously took the wheel for the drive south. We stopped at Nepenthe for lunch in Big Sur (indeed, it's all about the vista). This was my first coastal drive. It was littorally amazing! We pulled over at one spot just north of San Simeon and caught a glimpse of a group of fat seals hanging out on the shore. You can only imagine the impression this left on two Manhattanites! We tried to get to Hearst Castle but it had already closed for the day (eh-hem somebody had to see Luc Tuymans that morning). However, we were able to make it to Cambria to see the "folk art" site Nit Wit Ridge. It's always a struggle with Alex: he's all highbrow and I am way way low. But my itinerary prevailed and it was worth it. We spent Thursday night at the Breakers Motel in Morro Bay. I had selected the lodging because I really loved its retro sign. In hindsight, this wasn't the best criterion. Absence of mildew should have trumped font preference.

We woke up early on Friday morning and drove to the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo for breakfast. This was a real highlight for me! The place is incredible! I felt like someone took my spirit and pasted hot-pink flocked wallpaper on it. Fantastic! I regret not staying longer. Alex was less enthused but was a pretty good sport about taking a zillion pictures of me at mecca. After breakfast we continued southward, stopping only for an obligatory shake at In-N-Out. Once in the city we went straight to LACMA for a glass of wine for me and many paintings for Alex. I was please to finally touch a Richard Serra installation. By nightfall we checked into the Shelter Hotel in K-town. The place was not too shabby considering the dirt cheap rate but it was clear that the brand new hotel was still getting its sea legs. We had a cocktail at the Library downtown while waiting to be seated at Samantha's favorite restaurant, Bottega Louie (yum).

On Saturday AM we gave the LA metro our best NYC effort on the way to MOCA. The subway system itself is pretty straight forward and manageable. It's clean, the cars aren't crowded, and you actually don't even have to pay to ride (!?). That said, we soon learned firsthand that downtown LA isn't quite cut out for pedestrian life. We got off one stop too late (note: I was not navigating!) and ended up spending an hour and a half walking through tunnels to finally get to the museum. MOCA was my favorite of the museums we visited on the trip. It's well edited, obviously stimulating, and it doesn't require a ton of time. After MOCA we went to Venice for lunch at James' Beach, saw some famous people, almost bought some magic crystals, and ate ice cream. Next it was off to the Getty for more art. It was of course beautiful at sunset. Haggard from the day's activities, we dragged ourselves trusty Local in Silverlake for a delicious and nutritious homegrown dinner.

Despite the LA Marathon's best efforts to prevent us, we met Alex (L) and his lovely Hannah for coffee at the Bourgeois Pig in Hollywood on Sunday morning. There wasn't time to be wooed at the Cliffs brunch because it was soon time to head to LAX! I dropped Alex off at his terminal then drove my sorry ass back home on Highway 5.

The Great Highway

Big Sur views; seals! omg!!!

Nit Wit Ridge, Cambria, CA

Breakers at Moro Bay; Morro Palms

Madonna Inn

Madonna Inn

Gimme Shelter

3 hour tour to MOCA in downtown LA

MOCA; love this Pollock shot

zee Getty!


Ruby Fuerza AKA Lucille Brawl said...


Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Great stuff, followed a lead from a Google image search of the Madonna Inn. Good times. I might have to lurk Nitt Wit ridge.