Tuesday, 13 January 2015

DAY 34 - Skirting The Smog And Seeing Sal In San Fernando

Hi all, welcome to day two of our stay in Los Angeles, California the traffic chaos capital of the world.

Today started off with a well-deserved sleep-in following yesterday's busy day. There was only real plan for today, and that was for us to visit our good friend Sal in beautiful San Fernando.

Meet my good friend Sal

The drive over to Sal's home really highlighted how much smog sits around LA and as we crossed the hills around Bel Air into the San Fernando Valley, it was amazing to see what clear air actually looks like. However, Sal did tell me that the San Fernando does get pretty smoggy also from time-to-time.

Looking back towards LA you can see the smog

Getting a little closer makes it even more evident

Whereas downtown San Fernando is nice and clear

This was our fourth visit to Sal over the last five or so years and I never tire of seeing his aircraft model, figurine, tank (and just about anything else) collection. I asked how many pieces Sal has, but honestly, you could never count the amount of items he has. Between Sal's collection and listening to stories of the amazing life he has led, we always find ourselves captivated by him. But we couldn't stay there forever. The good news is that we will be seeing him again on 21 Jan and will also be seeing his lovely wife Carmen. Also, Sal kindly allowed us to leave some of our excess luggage at his home so we can travel a little lighter for the next leg of out journey in a few days.

After visiting Sal, we had plans to head out to a few Museums at Chino Airport to the south west of LA, but decided that we should focus on closer to home as Maureen and Kyle had to get to a Basketball game at night at the Staples Centre in the city of LA. Instead we headed to the Glendale Galleria for lunch and some shopping, before heading back to our Hotel to allow Maureen and Kyle to get ready for the game.

On a side note, I must say that nothing can ever prepare you for the traffic in LA. When you are stuck in a bumper-to-bumper traffic jam on a 14 lane highway, you know you are screwed. Even Bob (our GPS) sounds a little sheepish when announcing which Freeway connect to which Freeway.

After dropping Maureen and Kyle at the game, Schuyler, Joshua and I headed for one of the most famous spotting locations in the World, the In-N-Out Burger at LAX. I decided to try my hand at night aircraft spotting, but the results were pretty average given the ISO level I needed to set the camera to. Here's some shots:

With regard to the NBA match between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat, let's just say that Kyle has been waiting to see a Laker's match since as long as I can remember. The fact that his hero, Kobe Bryant played today was just the icing on the cake. Although the Lakers lost the match, the match was inconsequential in Kyle's eyes.

Kyle, wearing his custom Laker's Team T-Shirt
Maureen and Kyle standing beside their second row seats

The Lakers pre-game practice

The most popular NBA player, Kobe Bryant

Well that's it for another day. It was so great to catch up with Sal and to have a generally relaxed day. Tomorrow, we are heading south west to Chino and perhaps even March Air Force Base which has an awesome Museum.

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