June 24th & 25th

June 24th

What’s the deal with Southern California weather in June??? We awoke to rain showers and cold cloudy skies. I could have stayed in Chicago if I wanted this type of weather!! Judi and I decided to “camp” in and have breakfast at the hotel, $5 for a cup of coffee and $4 for a piece of toast, not bad for a guy on a fixed retirement income. Once the rain subsided, we ventured out onto Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) towards Laguna Beach. The weather, as predicted, was in the 60’s, which is quite comfortable when you’re wearing all the motorcycle gear. We rode up and down PCH 1 in search of a “cute” place to have lunch. I was passed by two squads of eight California Highway Patrol (CHIPS) motorcycle police officers. Talk about intimidation! They weren’t screwing around and were traveling at a very aggressive speed, I decided to let them pass me. As we rode up PCH 1 we quickly found out why they were riding so fast…they were going to lunch. All sixteen bikes were parked on the main street of Laguna Beach perpendicular to the curb, one right next to the other. Fairly impressive. I wanted to park my bike next to theirs, but I had images of my bike tipping over and watching sixteen police bikes go down like dominos, one at a time. As Judi and I were wrapping up our lunch, the police had finished theirs and they all took off together, pulling a U-turn in the middle of the street. Obviously, all of the cars stopped and the drivers let the CHIP officers perform flawless U-turns, one right after the other. As a long time motorcyclist, it was pretty “neat” to see them execute a difficult maneuver without a hitch. Interestingly, each bike had a large long barrel gun locked onto their bike, just like the old time cowboy movies where the rifle is tied onto the saddle.

In the evening we connected with Judi’s old grammar school friend, Karen and her husband Jack. Lots of fun catching up and hearing about how LA has changed over the years.

June 25th

Now for the trek up the coast. But before we can get going we have people to see and maintenance to perform on the bike. We met up with Judi’s college roommate, Carol Riggio, for breakfast. Carol has been out in LA for the past 25 years and by coincidence lives less than a mile from our hotel in Irvine.

Again, the weather was overcast, but not raining, thank goodness. We had to drive to Anaheim to get a new, taller windshield for my bike. It just so happened that the manufacturer was located just minutes from where we were staying. We hopped on one of the many freeways in LA and the replacement was installed within the hour. The company is called AeroFlow, which is a high end aftermarket windshield distributor. The owner and his wife run the company out of a small warehouse/office location. He formerly lived in Cleveland and moved out here in 1988. I don’t think I have met anyone in California who was actually born here, amazing.

We then headed towards the Getty Museum which is located in Brentwood, CA. John Paul Getty, a wealthy oilman and art collector, built this museum to house and display his personal art collection for the general public. From time to time they will also have visiting exhibits that will be displayed at the museum. If you have never been there, it is truly an amazing complex. I call it a complex because it has 5-6 buildings, all built out of Jerusalem stone, gardens and a tram that takes you from the parking lot up the mountain to the museum. Admission is free, but parking is $15. However, when I pulled up, the attendant told me to pull over to the side and he put me in a private parking spot. When we went to leave he told me to “drive around” the gate, so I didn’t need to pay. I must have looked broke after the $5 coffee!

We booked a hotel room in Marina del Rey and drove west along Wilshire Blvd. til we ran into PCH 1. At PCH we turned left to get to our hotel, passing by Venice Beach. We walked to dinner along the pier where I took the picture of the Mercedes parked in front of the marina, with his dog perched in the front seat! Gotta love Southern California.

Jack, Karen, Judi and I


Getty Museum Pictures




Mercedes at the marina


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