North America · 7 Days · 40 Moments · February 2018

Dennis' & Lyn's tour near Santa Clarita, CA

27 February 2018

Going into Phoenix clouds were beginning to form. By the time we boarded for the Detroit flight, there was a light rain shower in Phoenix. This is so common place for us, but living in the desert, the locals must find it a topic of conversation. On the departure climb out, the pilot levelled off at a low altitude to avoid some storm cells before climbing to altitude. Even at that, it was bumpy for quite awhile. Detroit was a welcome sight as it was late after a long day. Home about midnight to be greeted by Porter and Dyson. Good trip, but always nice to be home.
LAX is a busy airport, so we were glad to be through security then boarded on our flight to Phoenix. Our plane was in the queue of planes to depart, then the pilot announced that they weren't yet ready to sequence us into Phoenix. Our plane left the queue and taxied all the way around our runway only to return to the original location for take-off. Never experienced that before on an airliner. The pilot announced that we had a 105 knot tailwind so we arrived in good time. The land that we crossed is desolate. It was sunny, but clouds were forming. It was never explained, but when we were on a short final approach almost touching down, the engines roared back to life and the landing was aborted. The second approach was successful. Never experienced that before on an airliner. Interesting trip.
Tuesday morning appeared to be on track. I was glad to have the freeway drive from Santa Clarita to the Burbank (Bob Hope) Airport over with. The car was returned to Avis with no glitches. The American Airlines app continued to show that all was well. All that we had left was to give them our bags and clear security for the flight to Phoenix. "Oh, we're sorry, but your flight has been cancelled. There won't be another one leaving until 4:30."🤤😲 They gave us a taxi voucher (No, not to drive to Detroit.") to drive for an hour and a half to LAX. We had the trip in a Prius with Robert from Iran and Armenia.
We couldn't find out what was being shot, but the elevator in the hotel was used for moving sets.

26 February 2018

We topped off the day wandering next to the market through 'The Grove' a pedestrian only area which is something of a cross between New York & Paris. The cool but clear night was perfect. This is a 'must see' in Hollywood. Bill unfortunately had to deal with the slow heavy traffic in the dark out of Hollywood through Laurel Canyon to get home. I'm tired and I wasn't doing any of the driving today. Bill and Judy must be wiped. What a wonderful, gracious couple they are. We said our goodbyes, thankful for the time we had together & for so many new experiences, but sorry to part.
The last stop was the old Farmers' Market. It's a maze of all kinds of vendors. Lyn = fudge!
Judy relieved Bill on the driving from Santa Barbara, past Santa Clarita south to Hollywood. The round Capital Records building, Hollywood & Vine, Sunset Blvd., the CBS studios, residential styles from the 1920s & 30s.
After lunch, we returned south past the hills and citrus groves, but also areas that had been on fire and burned in January and February.
There are quite a number of drilling rigs offshore. Plenty of palms onshore then a late lunch.
Northern destination was Santa Barbara. Michael Jackson's 'Neverland'. Oprah Winfrey's home.
Bill drove west to the ocean then north. In this arid climate, crops require irrigation. Citrus groves galore.
Lyn and Judy sitting on the step!!
Started the day at Judy's and Bill's house. The two cousins in front of the house just like old times.

25 February 2018

To save money we bought a few things to eat in our room. We got, wine, milk, blueberries, cereal among other edibles, at the. 99¢ store only a short drive away.  Great prices... What a great tip from cousin, Bill... 😄 
The trip to Narco and back had some beautiful scenery. Unfortunately, most of the trip was not quite as it appears in these pictures, but was heavy, bumper to bumper traffic up to eight lanes wide (going one way). Because of that Lyn didn't take a lot of pictures as it took both of us to drive and navigate. One person could do it, but that extra pair of eyes made life better. Refer back to the scenes of solid red brake lights. 75 miles per hour then suddenly all brake lights. It's all quite doable,. All it requires is constant alertness and attentiveness. I do need to mention, California drivers are very assertive and exploit opportunities, but they are not crazy and bullying like Ontario drivers.
Spent a lovely afternoon with Lyn's uncle Jack Pierce and his wife Roberta. Family connections. Their backyard is arid & unusual to us with the close proximity of the neighbours horses.
You know that you're in horse country when ... - the crosswalk button at an intersection is way up on a tall post so that horseback riders can reach it. - the sidewalks are all dirt covered with rail fences separating them from the traffic.
The 76 gas station put us into the Lewis and Clark mode. We travelled 2 hrs to Narco CA. It is Horse Town USA. Hundreds of miles of horse trails in the area as in the second picture.
Miscellaneous Pixs from Lyn - Update: 1. My favourite spot to update Journi. 2. Lyn at Griffith Observatory. 3. The wine selection at the '99¢ Only Store'. (Don't forget your I. D.) 4. Annie Oakley at the Autrey Museum. 5. Lyn had me locked up at the Autrey Museum. 6. Wm S Hart plaque.
The explorers are getting ready to set out soon to another relative of Lyn's. Jack Pierce is the nephew of Lyn's grandmother on her mother's side. Don't know what to call that connection. (UPDATE FROM JESSA: Jack is Lyn's cousin once removed. Thanks Jessa.) We have GPS (which has failed us in these hills, don't know why), mobiles with Google Maps and MapsMe. When all else fails, we have a marked paper map. Lewis and Clark would have been jealous. Mind you they didn't have the challenge of LA district freeways. I much more enjoyed canyon hiking.

24 February 2018

He lived there entertaining guests such as Will Rogers, Barbara Stanwyck, Mary Pickford and Amelia Earhardt. Most of all, he loved his animals. His movie horse Fritz topped the list. This unexpected visit has turned out to be a surprise highlight of the trip. *Trivia: Mary Pickford played the parts of children, but she was an adult when she played those parts. She was petite and 4' 7" with long curls.
On the way back, we stopped at the 1926 home of Wm. S. Hart. It's situated way up on a hill with beautiful outlooks. He was a huge star of the silent film era around the time that my parents were born. He went on to be a director and producer. He didn't like Hollywood scene, but preferred a remote ranch location.
These river beds become a raging torrent whenever there is heavy rain. The hills are barren enough that there isn't anything to slow the water down. Finally we found a slow trickle of water from some underground source.
Climbing rocks, up and down trails then onto a dry river bed into a canyon.
Short drive to the Placerita Canyon. It's so very different from environments we're familiar with. Temperature reached 15 & in the sun was short sleeve weather for walking.

23 February 2018

Eight lanes of madness and brake lights.
The man himself with some masked stranger.
Meals on wheels.
Some of the cowboys of old.
Guess where we went next? Ah, memories of youth.
The Tesla Coil was only one of many exhibits. One could spend many fascinating hours here without boredom. They were so engrossing that I didn't take more pictures. A wonderful place.
The forty foot pendulum attracts a lot of attention and demonstrates the rotation of the earth. A beautiful building.
The observatory is a beautiful structure built in the 1930s with clear Art Deco influences. Off in the distance is the LA skyline.
Bill and Judy took us to the Griffith Observatory. We parked part way up then had to walk the rest of the way. Looking back, we could see the famous HOLLYWOOD sign. In the other direction was the outline of the tall buildings of downtown LA. Finally the observatory itself.
Yesterday (Thursday) was spent at Lyn's cousin Judy's house... all talking and catching up. Her husband Bill Vergona and I spent the day in his home office. He's a techy for his livelihood and passion so it was fun and interesting.
This morning we started the day at the 99¢ Store! We're living on the high side since the store had "Brand New Premium Wines". None of that old stuff. These are brand new, probably from last Monday. At the checkout, I was 'carded'!!!! I had to show proof of my age to buy a bottle of wine. MADE MY DAY! 😁

22 February 2018

Views from the hotel in the centre of Santa Clarita. High temp of 10 today & it gets near freezing at night, but at least it's sunny!

21 February 2018

Lyn and I have just arrived at the Burbank airport. Visiting her relatives. Rented a car, driving down the freeway with everyone driving at a gazillion mph and surrounded by trucks in a speed race to find our hotel a half hour away and my GPS registered "Fatal Error". 🤤 Wasn't sure if this was something wrong with the GPS or a sign from above. 😱 Long story, but we arrived alive. 😲 Ha, ha, ha. 
Welcome to Phoenix! 🌵Supposed to have a one hour wait, but it's going to be more than two. That's okay because the sun is shining instead of the rain in Windsor and we're in no rush. ☀️
Up at 4 for a 7:15 departure from Detroit Metro airport. Our friend Ross drove us. We've cleared security and now we have a little over an hour to wait. Rain, rain, rain.