Friday 8 August 2008

Time to plan the route

TODAY is the last day at the beach house so this morning I started to plan the big journey from Las Vegas, where we head tomorrow, to New York, where we need to arrive by August 25.

I'm hopeful that next week we can take in the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and parts of old Route 66. I'm grateful to TomTom in the UK for its loan of a satnav with US mapping (and loads of features including phone Bluetooth and mp3 playing via the car radio).

An excellent Rand McNally road atlas provides the back-up.

The Olympics started today, but despite at least 100 TV channels, nothing appears in America until 7.30 tonight, as far as I can see. That's odd, isn't it?

Thursday 7 August 2008

Here's where it gets a little bit weird...

I'VE been a fan of The Rockford Files for years. If you don't know, it's an American detective series, made in the 1970s starring James Garner.

When swimming, sunbathing and reading started to get a little bit boring today, I jumped into our rented Ford Edge and drove up to Malibu to the location where much of The Rockford Files was filmed.

The place was barely recognisable after over 30 years and there's a toilet block where Rockford's trailer home stood. But enough remains for me to get that strange deja vu feeling.

On the way back to Orange County I took a drive up Coral Canyon Road and saw some pretty amazing houses over-looking the sea.

Newport Beach to Paradise Cove round trip (+ canyon detour) = 150 miles.

Monday 4 August 2008

Catch a wave and you'll be sitting on top of your head

KATY got a ‘boogieboard’ – a cheap surfboard for those of us who can’t surf – and it’s fantastic.
Time it right and a wave will pick you up and throw you right out of the sea and give you a mouthful of beach.

Joined Bill on his afternoon constitutional, which isn’t as weird as it sounds. We went for a walk and he showed me the nice marina he’d discovered, together with posh restaurants and a lovely art deco cinema for when it gets too hot and I miss Yorkshire (it’s showing Brideshead Revisited).

Just got back off the breakwater where I was pretending not to be gazing at the beautiful girls (click for song) in the sea. I run between the two breakwaters before my morning swim. This morning I did it without stopping and I wasn’t sick once.

Sunday 3 August 2008

Day one in the beach boardwalk house and the housemates don't know what time or day it is

IT’S 11.15am and the sun has started to burn off the clouds that have sat over the ocean since we got up. At 5.30am.

We managed to stay up until about 9.30 last night after the 11-hour flight. We bumped into an old colleague and his family on the flight to LA. I replaced Phil Thomas at Practical Photography magazine in 1988 and he now heads up a huge business to business festival for the advertising industry. He has headed north to San Francisco and east to Montana. We’ve come south to Newport Beach, Orange County.

The beach house is great, with only the concrete ‘boardwalk’ separating us from the sand.

I was first in the sea at about 7am, followed by Katy after breakfast and a game of beach volleyball. Father-in-law Bill walked about a mile to the pier and didn’t think eight o’clock was too early for a beer to get change for a Los Angeles Times.

I’ve split my shorts and Katy can’t keep her bikini bottoms on in the surf, so we’re going to the mall for replacements before we get arrested.