Killing 24 Hours In Los Angeles.
First, I’ll admit I feel some anxiety every time I’m in Los Angeles. I’ve experienced two mild earthquakes here during past visits and we sometimes get shaken in Hawaii. Two days ago, the authorities here announced there would be an increased possibility of a severe earthquake for the next few days. It seems there has been some seismic activity along parts of the San Andreas Fault, which apparently runs right underneath us. Swell.
I arrived on Virgin America last night at 10:00, and I’m departing on Amtrak’s Sunset Limited tonight at 10:00, so I have literally 24 hours to kill here. No problem. My plan is to take the hotel shuttle back to the airport and connect with the FlyAway bus. It will take me directly to Los Angeles Union Station for eight bucks. (A cab ride would cost over $50, plus tip.) There is a Metropolitan Lounge in the station now, so I’ll be able to stash my bags there and relax whenever the need arises.
The station itself is magnificent–right out of the 30’s and 40’s. Hang around the front of the building and you expect to see Carol Lombard or Douglas Fairbanks come out, just having returned from Chicago on the Super Chief. They’re smiling and waving as photographers blaze away with their Speed Graphics.
Figueroa Street, famous for shops and street vendors offering Mexican food and souvenirs, is within walking distance from the station and so is the Museum of Contemporary Art. It will be close to noon by the time I’ve checked in at the Metropolitan Lounge, so the first item of business will be lunch: Mexican Food somewhere along Figueroa Street. Next some sightseeing there followed by a visit to the art museum.
Back at the station, the Southwest Chief will depart at 6:00, so this could be the day I’ll finally meet a woman–the cousin of an email friend of mine–who runs the dining car on that train.
There’s a nice restaurant called Traxx in the station and that’s where I’ll have dinner. The Sunset Limited doesn’t depart until 10:00 p.m., but I expect they’ll let us board well before then, settle in, and get to bed early. Tomorrow morning I’ll probably be having breakfast as we go through Tucson.
And people don’t understand why I enjoy train travel!