Nick Negato and Betsy Goodwill
What’s Wrong with This Vacation and How to Fix It
Nick Negato, here…
I’m the type of guy who wants to know what’s the worst that can happen before going anywhere – and I wanna know about any kinda surprises that might happen. So with my recent West Coast Vacation behind me, here’s some problems that most travel agents won’t tell you about.
I’m in LaLaland. You see it all the time in the movies and on TV and I’ll tell you one thing – it’s too damn big, especially for a city. And there ain’t no way to get around it. I know you’re gonna say that all you need is a car and I’m gonna say: when I need it, say from 7am to 8pm it stays parked – on the I-405 or I-15 or Hwy-56 – in other words any freeway that’s got to get me to where I want to be.
Then if you want to stay around where you want to visit like Beverly Hills, West Hollywood Area or near the beach or downtown, a nice room’s gonna cost you.
But say you’re lucky enough to get a room around Rodeo Drive at a decent hotel for less than a hundred bucks – GUESSE WHAT HAPPENS when you try to get to Disneyland or out to Malibu – your stuck on 405 or the Santa Monica Freeway.
And when you get there, you worry about getting back in time to beat the traffic which is impossibility for most Angelinos let alone a tourist. So you say take surface streets – get serious everything is thirty to sixty miles away.
Here are a few of my adventures in the SoCal.
• You make it to someplace like Universal Studios or whatever they call it. After an hour or so, anyone with more than a pea brain is gonna know it’s nothing but hype for their movies and stuff – and to get this hype you got to stand in line plus pay admission that ain’t cheap.
• So you say there’s plenty of shopping along Rodeo Drive where the shops are unique and offer all kinds of high fashion… And high very high prices. Forget it. So you go to where it’s affordable and different from home like Fashion Island in Orange County. No way Jose, that’s a two hour expedition on I-405 (one way) or say you go to Venice Beach that’s closer to your hotel; hey, that could be an hour stop and go jaunt on the Santa Monica Parking Lot, I mean Freeway. Or maybe you want to see Hollywood and Vine – get real we have faded run-down neighborhoods back home.
• Well you decide to take in some culture. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art seems like a good idea but my wife says lets try the Getty, it’s free and nearby. Well it’s on 405, and though it’s only about 15 miles away, it still takes almost a hour to get there and you still got to wait in line to give a guy five bucks so you can drive around in circles looking for a space to park… Then wait in line for the tram… Get lost in a maze of art galleries… Eat an expensive lunch and turn my wife lose in the gift shop. Listen up Bozo – there is no free lunch at the Getty.
This is Nick Negato signing off. MAYBE NEXT TIME I’LL TRY SAN FRANCISCO
Nick, stop whining and don’t be afraid to spend a little for time and money to enjoy your self. And here’s a news flash Nick, hotels in Los Angeles and Orange County are a lot less than they where two years ago so why not stay for a night or two at three or four different locations? You‘re on the web so go to: http://www.aaccessmaps.com and http://www.aaamaps.com and see what hotels are close to where you want to be. If you have any doubts try http://www.travelnow.com or http://www.hoteldiscount.com or call the hotel directly.
Let’s say you made a reservation at three different hotels. Here are some problems you may face when checking in.
• Check in early. Even if your room is not ready, the hotel will hold your bags so you can get out and about. Also when checking in early, you stand a better chance of getting a room more to your liking because hotels have a better inventories of rooms earlier in the day. Remember ask for a room that is on the upper floors – they tend to be quieter and may have a pleasant view.
• Be super critical. If it’s a non-smoking room make sure it looks and smells like it is; also make sure it’s a good distance from the elevator and before you tip him ask the bellman as he shows you the room if it is quiet or if a better room is available.
• Location Location Location. This is more important in Southern California than most any other large city. Being on the wrong side of L.A. isn’t like being on the Upper West Side of NYC as opposed to Midtown. When making plans remember that Los Angeles and Orange County (Disneyland/Newport Beach) are larger some countries. In Southern California you might as well be in Mexico when you’re in Anaheim and you want to get to Malibu for afternoon siesta on the beach.
About getting around in Los Angeles. If you plan ahead and your choices are right you may be able to take a short cab ride or perhaps walk to where you want to go. Many hotels have shuttles to Disneyland, Downtown L.A., the airport and other locations. There are some great hotels in the beach towns and near most other attractions that are a fair distance from downtown or West L.A.
And Nick, at least for your wife’s sake try spending some of the money you socked away in the Nineties. Enjoy the incredible variety of restaurants in West LA., downtown or along the coast but if you are on a tight budget, ask the desk clerk or concierge for an Asian or Mexican restaurant, a local deli or try the Farmers Market at Fairfax and Third.
Visiting the Getty Center could be a great experiece. SEE: Is it a Mall? Is it Hearst Castle? Is it a Museum? No it’s Super Getty! CLICK HERE