From San Francisco To Los Angeles

Los Angeles Travel Blog

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Andrew with Calypso pre-departure
Friday, June 22 – San Fran to Los Angeles

Our day started out late but Mark had been working a lot and needed the sleep, especially since he’d be driving all the way to Los Angeles via the Pacific Coast Highway with all its twists and turns.  The direct route takes 5 or 6 hours but for us it was 11 hours later that we pulled into Los Angeles.  But the start was beautiful with clear sunny skies.  We had gourmet French cheese egg sandwiches on sourdough to get us going and then hit the road.  I was the DJ with my iPod plugged in and Diana suggested tunes while Mark drove.  Our first order was getting to Carmel where we had an appointment with Heller Winery that had been set up before I left Cleveland.  We called just south of Santa Cruz and they said that they were waiting for us.
Russian Hill
  The reception couldn’t have been warmer.  Tom and Mary greeted us with glasses and set out a brie and crackers plate as they poured us tastes of the sparkling Merlot rose and then the Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc.  The flagship Cabernet and then reserve Cabernet followed and we finished with handmade dark chocolates and the wineries ruby port.  What a combination!  Mary recounted for us the history of the winery and I told her about serving and promoting Heller wines at Royal Vine.  I told her that a few months ago I opened the ’95 Durney Cabernet (Heller winery’s former name) that I had been saving for many years and she said that Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas poured that at their wedding.  The winery is completely organic and dry farmed and they are proud of being one of the first in California to have that designation.
Russian Hill
  After a sendoff of a free bottle of wine and warm wishes, we headed for Big Sur and the second half of our trip.

The rest of the way to Los Angeles was magnificent.  Big Sur is breathtaking with high bluffs, crashing waves and magnificent vistas at every turn and switchback.  When we got further south the terrain leveled off and it was smooth highway driving after that.  I passed many wineries that I had heard of or sold in the past such as Cambria and Sisquoc (Hi 55 Degrees!) and then passed Paso Robles before finally arriving in Santa Barbara.  With the help of coffee we made it into Los Angeles at 10 pm and arranged to meet our friend Roxana near Hollywood.  It was hard to find the meeting point but after some false turns we finally made it.  She took us north on Cienega to Sunset Blvd but the Friday evening beautiful people in their Lotuses, Ferraris, BMW’s and Mercedes’ valeting for $25 wasn’t our kind of crowd so we got off the boulevard and headed to a quieter area where we had some beers and empanadas at a nice Argentinian place.  The waitress from Costa Rica had no LA attitude at all and was friendlier than most Clevelanders so that helped ease our travel-weary bodies.  Last stop, our motel in Pasadena.

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Andrew with Calypso pre-departure
Andrew with Calypso pre-departure
Russian Hill
Russian Hill
Russian Hill
Russian Hill
Russian Hill
Russian Hill
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
Diana acting goofy
Diana acting goofy
Heading South
Heading South
Heading South
Heading South
Heading South
Heading South
Tom, Diana & Mark
Tom, Diana & Mark
Mary, Andrew & Tom
Mary, Andrew & Tom
Diana
Diana
Mark, Diana & Andrew Under Heller …
Mark, Diana & Andrew Under Heller…
Andrew at Big Sur
Andrew at Big Sur
Big Sur
Big Sur
Diana at Big Sur
Diana at Big Sur
Diana
Diana
Roxana, Attila, Diana & Mark
Roxana, Attila, Diana & Mark
Roxana
Roxana