The Ultimate Road Trip travel blog

Whiskey A Go Go

The Comedy Store

Beverly HIlls

Santa Monica Pier

Western End of USA

Hollywood Boulevard

Traffic is really becoming a drag here in CA. I carved out 3 days for LA but didn’t really have anything planned. Been here a couple of times before and felt like I’ve done most of the touristy stuff. However, felt I should do something so planned on going up to Hollywood and taking a city sightseeing tour. Looked at the GPS around 8:30 to get an idea of traffic and it was saying an hour to go the 15 miles. Wasn’t sure if I was up to that. Did some things over the next hour or so and checked a couple more times but at 9:30 it was still an hour. Decided I shouldn’t just waste the day and reluctantly hit the road. Took a bit more than an hour to get to Hollywood and Highland but the good news was I was able to get into a parking lot on Highland a half block south of Hollywood for $20 (beats San Francisco!). Bought a ticket for the same kind of open top bus I’d taken in Seattle and San Fran. This one was a bit different in that it included multiple routes. I took the red (Hollywood) route to the point it connected to the yellow (Beverly Hills and Santa Monica) route which I took to the Santa Monica Pier where it connected w/ the green (Venice Beach and Marina del Ray) route. After walking out on the Santa Monica Pier and having lunch, I took the full loop on the green route. I connected back up w/ the yellow route at the Pier. Things had gone fairly smoothly up to this point but this is where it began to go downhill. On previous legs the seat beside me had always been empty. However, this bus was packed and I ended sandwiched between some guy on the aisle seat and the wall of the bus. Then the traffic was horrendous on Wilshire Boulevard. It took us an hour and a half to go the 8.5 miles from the Pier to the connecting stop for the red route. A 20-minute wait for the red route bus and we were on our way. We hit some traffic, but not like on the previous yellow leg, however this was still the longer section of the red route and it took another hour plus to get back to Hollywood. But at least I did have both seats to myself. From the time I left Santa Monica Pier at 4 until we got back to Hollywood at 7, what should have been a fun and entertaining experience became simply an exercise in trying to get back to the car so I could go home. But the adventure wasn’t over yet. I plugged the hotel into the GPS and after several miles on surface streets I was becoming a bit uneasy because I felt it should have put me up on an interstate by now. At a traffic light, I took a look at the map on the GPS and realized it was going to keep me on surface streets the entire way. Knowing Hollywood is north of downtown and the hotel was south of the airport, that seemed to mean I would be traveling right through south-central LA. I thought “No way!”. I saw from the map I-10 was coming up so I jumped on that and it was fairly clear but when I hit I-405 things came to a grinding halt. Finally got back about 8:30. Looking at a map later I realized I may have skirted west of south-central on the surface streets and that in fact the hotel is only a few miles directly west of Compton.

Steps 7620/514566

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