USA & Canada 2007

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Los Angeles

We originally planned to drive the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles. However, after examining the map, it appeared that this would be a very long and slow drive. Therefore, we took Route #5 down the San Jaoquin Valley (the Bread Basket of America). This is a trip that every American needs to take once in a lifetime. The amount of farming is amazing. For three hundred miles down the highway, and as far as the eye could see off the road, there were irrigated farms. In the few vacant spaces without agriculture, it was obvious that this was pure desert with very little rain. Once the Colorado River and Lake Meade dry up, there will be big problems. (I assume that is where the water comes from). In case you have not been to Hoover Dam recently, (we were there two years ago) the water level at the dam is very low and it looks as though ''someone pulled the plug on the bath tub''.

As an example of the massive farming, pictured below is a section where trees has been removed and replanted. These rows of trees go on for miles. Everything is carefully irrigated. They do not just spray water all over. Rather, they have in-ground pipes that feed measured amounts of water to the plants and not to the spaces between the plants.

It just happened to be ''tomato season''. As we drove down the highway, we saw many loaded trucks. While stopped at a gas station, I asked one of the drivers how he could pile tomatoes five feet deep and not smash the ones on the bottom. His answer was that they do get smashed, but since they were all destined for the catsups factory, it did not matter.

On To Los Angeles

It was late in the day and the the surf was not up.

For you ''want-a-be tough guys'' here it is, Muscle Beach. It actually does exist. Again, as we arrived late in the day it was vacant. However, I have passed by here on previous trips.  It is usually very active with people ''pumping iron''.

The Muscle Beach facility

The walkway along Venice Beach

Next Stop - Beverly Hills

We only spent one night in the Los Angeles area before heading off to Phoenix, AZ.

The above two photos are from the internet as it was too late in the day for me to get any pictures.

So, with one night in town, we went to the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel. It is a ''sideshow''. We felt very out of place as we did not arrive in a Mercedes or Rolls Royce.

Prior to retirement, I took many business trips to Beverly Hills and I often took clients to the Polo Lounge. The dress code in the Polo Lounge never ceases to amaze me.

The women are always dressed extremely well. The men on the other hand are NOT. Their favorite attire is a black t-shirt and either black pants or blue jeans. Some of the men were so poorly dressed that they came in looking as though they were dish washers are part of the maintenance staff. However, they were not, and they were all on a first name bases with the Maitre d'. I guess that this the way they do things in Hollywood. It was very crowded. So that I would not look out of place, I orders a glass of champagne instead of my usual favorite - a cold Budweiser.

The next day we drove to Phoenix. Traffic around LA was very heavy as most people from Los Angeles spend much of their life traveling the Freeways. I don't just mean on ''the 405''. It is bumper to bumper traffic for 50 miles in every direction out of downtown LA.