California Trip – Day 6 – 10/21/10

We woke up…early as usual!   We stepped out onto the balcony to see what the marina looked like in daylight.  We were surprised to see several people out rowing!  They must have been out even earlier than when I took this video, because many of the rowers wore little red flashy lights on their persons, so as to be seen!  Also note the annoying creek you hear in the background.  Someone didn’t tie up their boat properly, thus the creekage all….night….long.  Luckily I had my earplugs in!  David, of course, slept through it.  I wish I could sleep that deeply.  🙂

After finishing our morning coffee and watching all of the interesting boats below us, we decided to have some b-fast.  My voucher included breakfast for two at the Ritz restaurant, Jer Ne (pronounced like “Journey”).  We were shown to a table by a maitre d in a 3-piece suit.  He was super-fancy.  We, however, were not.  At least we didn’t get kicked out of the place!  We ended up getting the breakfast buffet.  It was good, but not $75.00 good.  Yeah, $75 smackaroos was our bill.  I thought for sure, we’d have to pay for part of our breakfast!  Oh well.  We just put it on our tab.  We’ll worry about that later.  Back to the room we went and instead of checking out right away, we hung out.  We ended up watching Live with Regis and Kelly and then The Price is Right.  Have y’all watched The Price is Right lately?  Drew Carey is the host now.  I’ll tell you what, it was FUNNY!  There was a gal named Laurie who made it to contestants row.  She had on Drew glasses and she would bid $420 EVERY time she bid on items.  She was making Drew crack up…and us too!  Someone posted a video of it on YouTube if you want to check it out.  She never did win, btw.  Poor Laurie, but she sure did make us laugh!  BTW – if you don’t understand the significance of it click on this:  4:20 .

Ok, we can watch Price is Right anywhere…but we are in California!  Time to head out and explore!  I went to check out while David got the car.  Guess what?  We didn’t own anything on our breakfast!  We were alloted $40 EACH, so we were covered!!!  We didn’t have to pay one red cent for our stay.  Nice!!!  Thanks again, Sage!

We drove around the marinas and explored for a bit, then we drove along the coast and stopped at Redondo Beach Pier.  We walked the pier, window shopped, and also meandered through a neighboring farmer’s market.  We drove a bit further and inadvertently stopped at a place called Robert Ryan Park.  We got out of the car and walked to the edge of the cliff to see the ocean below.  When we got there, David suddenly remembered stopping in the same exact spot 11-12 years ago!  We took a picture of the view, showing Point Vicente Lighthouse, which you see below:


I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but when we got back home to Georgia, David immediately went searching for and found a picture that he took from the same spot 11-12 years earlier. He found it! Here’s a picture…of BOTH pictures, then and now!

We drove further and went through a place called Portuguese Bend. This place is actually something called a translational landslide. It moves slowly…probably 600 feet every 50 years. It’s enough to really screw up the roads, and requires that all piping infrastructure be ABOVE ground. Due to the instability, nothing can be built in this area, which is great because a lot of the flora and fauna remains untouched. I’ll tell you what…this road was a roller coaster ride (wooden).

We continued on to Fort MacArthur in San Pedro.  There were several things to see here…. the first being the Korean Friendship Bell.  Korea gave the US the bell in 1976 to celebrate the US bicentennial, to honor Korean War veterans, and to signify friendship between the US and Korea.  It is housed in a pagoda-style shelter, also built by Koreans, that overlooks the Los Angeles harbor.  It’s beautiful from afar:

and even more gorgeous when you get close up look at both it and its ornate shelter:

Also at Fort MacArthur is Battery Osgood-Farley.  What an interesting place!  David remembers visiting this when he was a kid, and being fascinated by it. The battery was built in the early 1900’s.  It included two HUGE guns to help protect the coast from attacks.    The mongo-guns have long since been removed, but there are many remnants of this once busy military area.  There are underground tunnels and storage areas for the ammunition.  Parts of it has been restored for museum, which David and I both enjoyed learning about on our visit. 

As we were getting ready to leave, we noticed there were several military men doing some work on the battery .  We walked past them and one said, “Be sure to pet the nice kitty on your way out!”  Kitty?  We didn’t know what they were talking about until we noticed what they were talking about….a skunk!!!

We steered clear of the “kitty”, chuckling the whole way and made it back to the car safe and sound. 🙂

Next stop, The Queen Mary!

This once very busy ocean liner from the late 30’s to the late 60’s is now retired and permanently docked at Long Beach.  It is currently utilized as a hotel, with restaurants, meeting rooms, bars and entertaining tours.  We initially planned on having lunch on the boat and taking a tour afterward.  Once again, our nemesis…the rain…foiled our plans.  Apparently all the rain fouled the drinking water(!).  There was an unsafe drinking water advisory, which required all the restaurants on the boat to close until the advisory was lifted.  We went ahead and did a walking tour instead.  The first place we went was the engine room, which David thoroughly enjoyed.  I can’t imagine what it would have been like down there, in the bowels of the ship, when the boat was going full-tilt.  David took quite a bit of footage of the engine room.  I narrowed it down a bit to some of the cooler stuff.


From the engine room, we explored other parts of the ship, including the promenade deck…

and the hallway where the first class cabins are.  You can see more of how the curvature of the boat through both distant views above and below:

I wonder if one of the rooms in this hallway was the one that my grandmother Phraner was in when she travelled on the Queen Mary?  It sure would be neat to stay in the same room that she was in!  I wonder if I could figure that out.  Perhaps one day….

The bar/lounge area was beautifully decorated.

After our walking tour, we disembarked the Queen Mary.  “Parked” just outside the ship, we discovered a submarine!  It was a retired Russian sub, called The Scorpion.  We didn’t tour it, but it was interesting to see it as we headed back to our car.

We were super hungry at this point, and DJ really wanted to go to one of his favorite restaurants, El Pollo Inka in Torrance.  It’s Peruvian food!  David had Lomo Saltado.  I had a lentil dish.  Both were tasty!

After our “linner” we headed to the Marriott Courtyard in downtown Pasadena.  We had some Marriott reward cards that we needed to use up, so we splurged on a “whirlpool” suite.  We had a lovely bath that helped me to get my core temp back to normal and also helped us relax and get a good night’s rest.  Tomorrow is our last day in California…and there is still so much to see and do!

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2 thoughts on “California Trip – Day 6 – 10/21/10

  1. Hey Wendy – we spent the night on the Queen Mary when we did our bike ride down the coast of Southern CA last fall. It was really cool. Everything looks like it did when the ship last sailed.

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