Summer in Los Angeles! ‘Tis the Season for Hot Pursuits & Car Chases!

Summer in Los Angeles! ‘Tis the Season for Hot Pursuits & Car Chases!

Yesterday there were two car chases involving the Los Angeles Police Department within an hour. The first was only broadcast for a little while, but was KRAZY out of control.  He was driving like a madman and had a couple of collisions along the way, almost hitting a pedestrian or two, until the suspect lost control making a turn on a surface street and crashed head-on into a telephone pole and steel fence.

Suspect in Custody:

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Tiene un accidente!

And the second one was over before the helicopter arrived, with the suspect surrendering after running from the San Fernando Valley to Central LA.

Suspect in Custody:

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Over before it began….

Two hot pursuits on TV in a hour is a good chase day, and there were also televised pursuits on Monday night and Tuesday night too.

BIG THANKS to the news and the helicopter pilots and reporters!
BIG THANKS to the LAPD for their hard work!

NOTE: The Police have helicopters and radios in addition to guns and a gang of armed uniformed (and undercover) soldiers. Chances are good you will go to jail if you attempt to run from them. However, everyday people still take their chances and for that we thank them for the entertainment.

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“West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl!

“West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl!

And we are back! We went to the Hollywood Bowl last week and it was good fun! We’re having a heatwave again in Los Angeles and it’s been 90 degrees+ and into the 100s on some days. So, it has stayed warm at night and it was really perfect weather for an outdoor concert.

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“West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl

Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra performing “West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl on a Tuesday evening in July!

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“West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl

We were invited to the Bowl again. Well, there was a “small” brush fire on the mountain across the 101 freeway at Cahuenga Blvd from the venue at 4pm and we watched on the television as the Los Angeles Fire Department responded and made quick work of it!

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Fire on the Mountain! (That yellow dot is three firefighters)

By 5:30pm the fire was out, they were handling the hot spots and traffic was f*cked. So we left the San Fernando Valley for Hollywood at about 6pm. After some miles of “stop and go” traffic, the Highland exit ramp jam and Lot B parking ($20 cash) we were walking past the crowd of picnickers that occupy any convenient spot they can find out front at 7pm.

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Picnickers Out Front at the Hollywood Bowl for “West Side Story”

NOTE: It wasn’t as crowded as usual! It was a Tuesday night and a lot of people must have stayed home to watch the Republican National Convention night #2 from Cleveland, Ohio. Of course, that meant more people arrived around 8pm as the performance was starting…

We decided to go directly to our seats (Super Seats! not benches) behind the light and sound booth and have our dinner there instead of going to one of the picnic areas. And picnicking at the Hollywood Bowl in the super seats or bench seating is even more of a challenge than dining in one of the boxes because you have no table and very limited space.

Picnic time! On the Menu: Roast beef sandwich, veggie chips, dill pickle, bottled water and 1/4 of a chocolate tart from Sweet Lady Jane. We remembered to take a pic just before finishing the sandwich, but didn’t take one of the sides and desserts. We also brought red and white wine, a bottle of bubbly water, carrots, cole slaw, a rice dish and a berry cobbler.

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Roast Beef Sandwich and Veggie Chips

Show time! The orchestra took the stage  a little after 8pm, just as the sun was setting. They always begin with the “Star Spangled Banner” (note the flags flying at half mast).

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“West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl

Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing under a full moon on a warm summer evening in Southern California, no complaints here.

“West Side Story”

The musical “West Side Story” has special meaning for us.  We participated in building and and presenting a production on the Performing Arts MainStage at UC Santa Cruz in Spring of 1986.

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Directed by Michael Edwards
I was a Set Builder, Costumer and then Wardrobe Master for the run of show.
I also did the hair/makeup and hand inked tattoos for the actors.

The Jets were “Glam Punks” circa early 1980’s in ripped denim and studded leather.
The Sharks were 1970’s “Cholos” complete with bandanas, pleated flannels, pressed white t-shirts and tan khakis. The Shark girls were hot!

A truly professional production with a live band, great singing and dancing and a truly amazing set design! The program cover above is one of the design sketches, but the freeway was left unfinished with exposed rebar extending out over the audience and then we added chain link fencing, lots of graffiti and debris for texture.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

Very proud of this production and the work we did. Also of note is the level of talent and the future professional career paths of some of the participants.

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“West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl

 

 

Downtown Los Angeles 2013

Well, I just found a draft of a Downtown Los Angeles Blog from 2013 and the pictures were all laid out with captions. So I thought for the third year anniversary I would work it up a little and publish it for your entertainment.

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Los Angeles Times Travel Show (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

I was invited down to L.A. Live in DTLA for lunch and a private tour of the Grammy Museum courtesy of AEG. I was working a deal to package their events with travel and destination specific tours. At the time when this was written I was a newbie travel advisor and set this deal with AEG up for the agency immediately. This lunch meeting was to discuss all the details and I’ll write more on the outcome later in this Blog.

The day included freeway traffic in both directions from the San Fernando Valley, driving around DTLA, parking at Staples Center and L.A. Live, a nice lunch at Rock’N’Fish and a private tour of the Grammy Museum and the AEG offices.

Here’s the Blog and please note the pics were shot with a Blackberry camera.

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There was traffic on the 101 Freeway heading Downtown (as usual).

101 Freeway Traffic - Downtown in the Distance (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

101 Freeway Traffic – Downtown in the Distance (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Downtown - This is where once got a flat tire at Midnight (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

101 – 110 Freeway South Exchange – Downtown, Los Angeles – This shoulder is where I once got a flat tire at Midnight (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

110 Freeway south - Downtown, Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

110 Freeway south – Downtown, Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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110 Freeway South

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110 Freeway South

Convention Center or Staples Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Convention Center or Staples Center?  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Los Angeles Convention Center

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L.A. Convention Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

L.A. Convention Center

L.A. Convention Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

L.A. Convention Center

L.A. Convention Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center

Up the Escalator - L.A. LIVE (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Up the Escalator – L.A. LIVE (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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L.A.'s Finest at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

L.A.’s Finest at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Ritz-Carlton and J.W. Marriott Hotels at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Ritz-Carlton and J.W. Marriott Hotels at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Staples Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center - Chick Hearn Plaza

Staples Center – Chick Hearn Plaza (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center - Chick Hearn Plaza

Staples Center – Chick Hearn Plaza (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

L.A. Live

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L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lunch at Rock'N'Fish - L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lunch at Rock’N’Fish – L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lunch at Rock’N’Fish!  We shared a Calamari appetizer (no pic, but it was good), then I had the 1/2 rack of Baby Back Ribs with fries and a salad, and Creme Brulee for dessert.  The food was excellent!  The calamari and ribs were tasty and cooked perfectly, and the creme brulee was delicious too.

Luxe Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Luxe Hotel Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live – Would you like a private tour?

Grammy Museum at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Grammy Museum at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

In the Lobby of the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Janis Joplin’s Porsche 356 in the Lobby of the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Photographs are not allowed inside the museum., but I was able to take a picture of the Janis car in the Lobby before taking a private tour. It’s a great space and the permanent and visiting exhibits were pretty spectacular!

NOTE: Dec. 10, 2015 – A 1964 Porsche 356 that once belonged to the rock singer Janis Joplin sold at auction for $1.76 million. The car had been expected to sell for between $400,000 and $600,000. The sale price includes a 10% commission for Sotheby’s auction house.

The Plaza at L.A. Live

The Plaza at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Plaza - L.A. Live

The Plaza – L.A. Live

The Plaza at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Plaza at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

J.W. Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

J.W. Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Downtown Los Angeles

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717 Condo – Downtown Los Angeles

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Westin Bonaventure Hotel

Westin Bonaventure Hotel and the Wells Fargo Towers

Wedbush Building - Downtown Los Angeles

Wedbush Building – Downtown Los Angeles

Four Level Freeway - Downtown Los Angeles

Four Level Freeway – Downtown Los Angeles

Under the Freeway - Downtown

Under the Freeway – Downtown Los Angeles

Under the Freeway

Under the Freeway – Downtown Los Angeles

 

NOTE: As you can see, there was a lot of the Blog laid out but never finished.

The meeting was a great success! I had a terrific lunch and a private tour of the Grammy Museum. I was gifted a couple of FREE tickets to return another time on my own. I wasn’t able to tour the Staples Center because Rihanna was rehearsing for her concert that night (if I remember right, and we would get a private tour of Staples Center on my next visit). It was a good day downtown and they did comp my parking!

The deal included access to the Grammy Museum and the 200 seat performance space, AEG events at L.A. Live and Staples Center including the Kings, Clippers, and Stars games; the BET Experience and other concerts (including corporate CLUB BOXES) and the L.A. Galaxy soccer (fútbol) games. It was a major score! But, the best laid plans….la la la.

All photos copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel

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Here are a couple more recent picture of DTLA from the Echo Park Blog:

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US District Court Building & Los Angeles City Hall

 

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Echo Park – Downtown Los Angeles, California


“Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city
Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty
How can you lose?
The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares and go
Downtown, things’ll be great when you’re
Downtown, no finer place for sure,
Downtown, everything’s waiting for you
Downtown!”

Downtown Los Angeles is the central area of the Los Angeles metropolitan area and features many of the city’s major arts institutions and sports facilities, sightseeing opportunities, a variety of skyscrapers and associated large multinational corporations, and an array of public art and unique shopping opportunities. Downtown Los Angeles is the hub of the city’s freeway network and Metro rapid transit system.

Staples Center, opened in 1999, has contributed immensely to the revitalization of Downtown, adding 250 events and nearly 4 million visitors per year to the neighborhood.  Since the opening of the Staples Center, the adjacent L.A. Live complex was completed, which includes the Nokia Theater, the Regency Theaters and the Grammy Museum.

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Downtown Los Angeles from up high 2014 (taken from WP24)!

405 Freeway south at Mulholland Drive

Another day on the 405 freeway south at Mulholland Drive….

405 Freeway south at Mulholland Drive

405 Freeway south at Mulholland Drive (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

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19-JUL-13: San Francisco from the Bay Bridge

San Francisco from the Bay Bridge

San Francisco from the Bay Bridge

San Francisco from the Bay Bridge (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Freeway Journey

6:30am – Good morning!  Road trip to the City of Industry.

101 east

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134 east

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210 east

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605 south

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4:15pm – And the return trip!

10 west

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101 north

Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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5 north ahead

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“Do you know the way to San Jose?” – The Reunion Roadtrip!

NOTE: This Blog was originally written as a virtual “Road Trip” to San Jose! There are many pictures of the journey north from Los Angeles to the Bay Area in California. We tried to capture the essence of the drive along with some good images. Please enjoy this Blog! Updated 20 May 2016

“Do you know the way to San Jose?”

Take a little trip with me at 70+ mph from L.A. to San Jose!

The Office – Friday 1:45pm

Ready? Had a few errands to run and then had to stop by the office in Studio City.

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Full tank of gas (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Go!…Friday afternoon traffic leaving L.A. at 2pm.

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Friday Traffic on the 101 Freeway north (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Open Road at the Camarillo Grade

Camarillo Grade (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Camarillo Grade (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The invitation came via facebook:  Annie (belated) Birthday Party and a Reunion of Old College (UCSC) Friends at Ber’s House in San Jose.  Okay then, ROADTRIP!

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Oxnard (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

It’s about the same distance from Los Angeles to San Jose on the 5 or the 101 freeway, but the 101 is much nicer during the day if you can time it right and avoid the traffic.  I was tied up at the office for about an hour, and got a later start than I wanted.  There was some afternoon traffic leaving the valley, but once I was passed the Camarillo grade it was a smooth ride and an absolutely beautiful day for a long drive.

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Ventura (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Great ocean views and blue skies from Ventura to Lompoc!

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101 north to San Francisco (Ventura, CA)

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Ventura (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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It’s a beautiful day for a drive up the coast.

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Carpinteria (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Isla Vista, Goleta, Santa Barbara (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Airstream! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Gaviota 3:45pm

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Rest Area in Lompoc (it was full and there was no parking available so I didn’t stop)

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Turning inland and driving through the Lompoc tunnel.  Speedtrap ahead!  Watch out for the CHP and Buellton Police as you travel downhill!

Lompoc Tunnel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lompoc Tunnel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lompoc Tunnel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lompoc Tunnel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Vandenburg Airforce Base, Lompoc (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Buellton Speedtrap! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Road Construction – one lane ahead (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Keep Right!  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lompoc, Buellton, Solvang and Chumash Reservation (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lompoc, Buellton, Solvang and Chumash Reservation (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Keep an eye out for the CHP!  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Wine Country (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Wine Country (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pismo Beach (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pismo Beach (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pismo Beach 4:45pm

Pismo Beach (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pismo Beach (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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San Luis Obispo (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Madonna Inn (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Cuesta Pass (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Atascadero (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Just a perfect day for a drive.

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Cambria (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Rest Stop (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Rest Stop 5:45pm

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Rest Stop (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Rest Stop (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Rest Stop (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Rest Stop – 101 Adjacent (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Rest Stop (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

On the road again…

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Horses (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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California River Aqueduct (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Los Lobos! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Wine Country (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Moving! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Moving! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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San Lucas and King City (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Getting some nice vistas as the sun begins to go down!

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Speed Limit 70mph (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Wild Horse! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

“I can’t drive 55!” (and I don’t have to)

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70+ Miles Per Hour (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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King City (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Greenfield  Speedtrap! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Soledad (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Taco Bell – Soledad, California 6:45pm

Normally I don’t eat “fast food”, but i didn’t have lunch so I was starving.  Stopped and got a combo burrito, a bean and cheese burrito, and a Dr. Pepper then back on the road.  Watch out for the local police “speedtrap” and “stop sign” taxing the tourists on your way back to the freeway!

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101 North (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunburst! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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It got cloudy along the way for almost 5 minutes near Laguna Seca…

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Laguna Seca (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The way to San Jose!

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101 north – Monterey turnoff (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Oversized Load! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Oversized Load! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Castroville, Monterey, Watsonville and Santa Cruz (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Car dealership along the 101 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Crazy Horse! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Nice vista, but the camera didn’t get it… (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Gilroy (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Watsonville turnoff (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Gilroy (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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San Jose! 7:45pm

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San Jose city limit (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunset skies in San Jose (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunset in San Jose (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Enough with the driving already!  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Enough with the driving already! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Power station (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunset in San Jose (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Next Exit: 101 – 280 – 680 junction (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Final approach (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Fill’er Up!  Valero Gas Station in San Jose (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunset in San Jose (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

San Jose! Friday 7:30pm – You have arrived.  397 miles.  6 hours later.

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You have arrived!  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Let’s Eat! – Dinner at IHOP in San Jose:

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Chicken & Waffles w/country gravy & maple syrup (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Saturday – Ann’s Belated Birthday and Reunion Party with old college friends at Ber’s House in San Jose.  Afternoon BBQ and festivities into the night!

Annie's Birthday Cake! Santa Cruz Gang Reunion Party!

Annie’s Birthday Cake! Santa Cruz Gang Reunion Party!

Santa Cruz Gang Reunion 2013

Santa Cruz Gang Reunion 2013

Sunday – Woke up early and drove to Santa Cruz, my phone’s battery drained and the car charger didn’t work to recharge it.  It was another beautiful day and I drove back through Monterey to the 101 and home to Los Angeles.  I saw some amazing things but unfortunately there are no pics.

Highway 17 to Santa Cruz! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Highway 17 to Santa Cruz! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I hope you enjoyed the ride!  It was a fun weekend.  I haven’t done a real roadtrip like this one in a long time, and there were no problems once I got past the traffic leaving Los Angeles on Friday afternoon.  Only paid for gas and food, because lodging was staying with friends, so it was relatively inexpensive.  I can’t say I would want to do it every week, but once in awhile when the weather’s nice, it’s a great California vacation!

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