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dmway

"Desert sky, dream beneath the desert sky..."

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Hello all! 😎

Back in late October/early November, I made a trip to across the country to parts of the American Southwest that I had not visited before. A fellow U2 fan and good friend decided to go on vacation to Los Angeles. Las Vegas and San Diego were also mentioned as part of a potential itinerary. Since I had never been to that part of the country as well, we decided to have a collective vacation.

As I thought about the trip and where we might go, San Diego seemed like a bit of an outlier - we didn't really have enough time to go there. We only had 11 days, so vacationing while employing a somewhat circular route was the most efficient way to do things. Since we were U2 fans as well, I had a better idea for a third place to go. I ran the idea by my friend, and it was welcomed enthusiastically.

So, we offer this humble illustrated travelogue 1) to honor the best vacation either one of us have ever had, 2) to give those who may want to do the same kind of trip the catalyst to go themselves, and 3) to honor the band who inspired it all. Since we were in this part of the country, our U2 adventures had a distinctive JT flavor - of course, this is only appropriate during the year where NZ/AUS/(south)eastern parts of Asia got their JT anniversary tour. "In God's Country" really would serve as a good theme song for the whole trip (thus, the title of the thread).

 

Edited by dmway
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Oct. 27-28 - our arrivals in LA

I had never been to California before. I had always wanted to go many times in my life, but I never had a proper reason to go. I also used to joke that, if I were ever to go, I would never want to leave because I would enjoy it too much (this intuition proved to be correct - I loved being in LA; more later on that, of course).

A couple of scenes from the airport; it was cool seeing the structure that is pretty much the symbol of LAX all by itself in person. Nice flight there from Philly. My friend wouldn't be in until tomorrow - a longer trip was involved in this case.

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Edited by dmway
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Oct. 30 (pt. 1) - road trip to Las Vegas

 

You may have noticed the 29th was left out of the date sequence. Well, kind readers, you don't get to know all the details of our trip. (If you are curious, we stayed in and toured around the heart of...Hollywood!😎 Fear not...Hollywood will be commented on later (we went back at the end of the trip too) - there will be text and pictures.)

Interstate 15 is the main road out of Los Angeles to go to Las Vegas - the last bit of it (between LA and Barstow, CA) actually has some of the remnants of the old, legendary "Route 66" (picture of that later in an unexpected place). The scenery, both natural and man-made, was/is spectacular. The three comments we made the most while driving were: "I feel like I'm driving on a different planet", "I feel like I'm driving on the moon", and "I feel like we're in an episode of 'Star Trek'" (which is quite apt - some of the old Star Trek episodes were shot in some of the places we drove through).

Leaving LA, we got to feel first-hand the very real power of the Santa Ana winds. They were/are impressively strong. I could feel the car move as we were driving, almost like it were alive and fighting my control. We saw at least three very large trucks turned over (and in one case, lifted up on its side and smashed onto the cement median in the middle of the road - as bad as that was, the scene revealed that, without the median, it would have been much, much worse: the truck would have ended up in the opposing lanes of traffic).

We finally got past the very windy area and, once we got past Barstow, the road became very straight (but still climbing uphill) towards a microscopic town called Baker. There was a sign that said that 600 people lived there - when I saw it, I asked rhetorically, "Where are they hiding the other 590?" If you every go there, you will see a few gas stations and a convenience store or two, and you will wonder if people actually live there. All the pumps but one didn't work - obviously, they still needed to get their shipment. Once we filled up, we continued our journey to Las Vegas.

BUT, that's when the magic of the place took over...

Once you go past Baker, the most amazing scene will unfold before you (esp. if you are a U2 fan) : more Joshua trees than you ever could have thought existed! It was like a preserve just for Joshua trees. The funny thing is that this area is NOT Joshua Tree National Park (that's further to the south - also, the original Joshua Tree was not in that park either - more later on that). We learned that, in Southern and Eastern California, Joshua trees are not at all rare.

 

 

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Edited by dmway
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Oct. 30 (pt. 2)

 

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Looks like a great adventure. 

The pictures from the 31st on aren't showing up. I'll check back later.:JoshuaTree_Tour_Trees:

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11 hours ago, hestia said:

Looks like a great adventure. 

The pictures from the 31st on aren't showing up. I'll check back later.:JoshuaTree_Tour_Trees:

The posts after the 30th are merely placeholders until I have an opportunity to fill them in. They will be filled eventually, I promise!

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Oct. 31 - Las Vegas (baby! 😎) - part 1

What better way to celebrate Larry Mullen, Jr's birthday than in Las Vegas? (OK, I can't be sure he would agree with that if he were asked, but we enjoyed doing so.)

Growing up, I never quite understood the allure of Las Vegas. I didn't understand why people would travel such a long way to lose a lot of money and partake of activities that were not always wholesome (ok, the last part was probably part of the reason, especially for those who didn't love gambling). My vision of Las Vegas was of the one I saw presented in the old James Bond film "Diamonds Are Forever": a bit seedy, tawdry, more obsessed with the surface appearance of beauty than possessing actual beauty. At one time, that is probably the way Las Vegas used to be. It may be that way still behind the scenes. However, I can honestly say that, today, a person can refrain from gambling and the other pleasures (as it were) on offer there and have a truly wonderful time!

We didn't bet a single penny there and absolutely loved it! Instead of the images I used to have of the place, we saw sights of truly beautiful architecture. Sure, some of it was/is over the top. However, I now understand what Las Vegas is now - it is to adults what amusement parks are to kids: a place to let your hair down and have fun, even if that fun only comes from walking around and seeing the sights. Let me give you a sample below; pay particular attention to the middle picture showing The Mirage - what is on the banner at the top features in a future post:

 

 

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Edited by dmway
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Nov. 1 - Las Vegas - part 2

Now, this was one of our most significant days - we did a LOT! The day consisted of three different parts.

During the first part, we continued our "Magical Mystery Tour" of Las Vegas, this time by the natural light of the sun. LV is no less impressive by daylight than it is at night. Did you know that LV is actually a good place to just do some shopping? Yes, seriously, it is! We found a Ross (Dress-For-Less) that had just recently opened (a place that also provided inexpensive parking) and, within minutes, both of us found jackets that both of us really wanted for prices that really couldn't have been bettered elsewhere - these jackets will feature in some shots below. We even found a mall that has what looks like a flying saucer as its symbol. (Proof below, w/ one of the participant of the trip in the foreground.)

The second part brings us to the first U2-related portion of the trip. U2 fans will know that the video of ISHFWILF was filmed in Las Vegas in a portion of the town in and around Fremont Street. We toured that area and, boy, has it undergone a facelift! We were still able to find shots from the video and other scenes reminiscent of the overload of lights that you can see in the video (and on any night in LV, really).

The third part was a bit of destiny. If one were to look at all of the photos we took in LV, there was one repeated "photobomb" in a lot of them. We noticed the sign on The Mirage (which I already discussed above) as we were first driving into the city. Throughout Halloween and during the day on Nov. 1st, it kept appearing in our photos. We decided that we had to see the show - and it had to be that night because we were leaving the next day. First, a prominent picture of the event from Halloween; further pictures a few posts down.

 

 

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Edited by dmway
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Nov. 1 (cont.)

The Fremont Street area of the town is now called the "Fremont Street Experience" - considering that it is very much like what the visual equivalent of Jimi Hendrix' original band might be, I would have to say that it is a very appropriately-named area.

When you enter the area, it has a vaulted ceiling (I think this would more accurately be called a "barrel vault") which is illuminated with quite amazing graphics - pictures can't do them complete justice, but they will have to suffice here. There were street performers here that were breathtakingly good. There are also people who dress as celebrities and walk around the street - you might think that these would simply be leftovers from last night's Halloween, but people do this all the time. I was able to join in the fun a bit in this regard with my "Fly" outfit. I was quite happy to get quite a few knowing looks and pleasant laughs of surprise with the word "Bono" thrown in - my $0.02 contribution to the evening's merriment. There are some extra shots of the casinos that also feature briefly in the ISHFWILF video.

But, enough of this - let's give you some pictures to imagine the scene (w/ a word of regret - due to what we think is a glitch in iOS, some pictures, when reduced, are being rotated by 90 degrees completely at random when attempts are made to post them here. This is leading to many shots I would prefer to include (e.g., the famous neon cowboy, with an additional shot of your humble narrator in full Fly regalia - that jacket I found at Ross completed the look) being left out for now - when that problem rectifies itself, more shots will be added. My deepest apologies.) :

 

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Edited by dmway
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Nov. 1 (cont. again)

The Beatles/Cirque du Soleil show “Love”. I heard about it when it first came out, but I never would have thought I would see it. I never saw myself ever being in Las Vegas; thus, seeing it would be impossible because it is exclusive to The Mirage casino in LV. Well, let me tell you something about the show: “Love” is so good that it is worth going to LV just to see it - yes, seriously. If I were ever to go to LV again, I would stay long enough to see it at least twice, possibly three more times. It’s just that stellar a show.

Now, how the hand of destiny was involved in our seeing the show. We knew that tonight was our last night in Vegas - we had two things to do ideally before leaving: see Fremont Street (for the reasons set out above) and/or see “Love”, preferably both. If forced to choose, Fremont Street prevails over “Love” (we love The Beatles too, but we’re U2 fans, first and foremost).

Those who have been reading regularly on the site may know that I wrote a Mother’s Day thread back in 2017. Back then, it was the first one after my Mom passed from leukemia in October 2016. I wrote the thread then as a tribute to her - she loved Bono and, believe it or not, we ended up, as if by fate, seeing the Pittsburgh “Vertigo” show together. In any case, since her passing, I have felt her presence in my life on a few occasions, with some feeling like she had exerted her will from beyond to bring things about in a good way for me. I felt her presence that night, and, in my humble estimation, she assisted us in going to Fremont Street and see “Love” (can you already guess that she adored The Beatles as well?).

We missed the 7 pm show to go to Fremont Street. That left only the 9:30 pm show. At 9:05, we were still in our hotel room and hadn’t settled on going yet. Finally, we decided to try to make it. We drove to the casino next door (Treasure Island - I had remembered seeing that they had free parking there when we had shopped at Ross earlier in the day) and hoped we could walk over to The Mirage in time to see the show. Unbeknownst to us (but very gratefully received), Treasure Island has a tram that runs regularly to The Mirage. We waited no more than a minute for a tram to arrive. We were inside The Mirage by 9:20, but now where do we go? We choose a direction, but it turns out to be the wrong way. I get a very strong intuitive impression to turn around. We turn around and eventually find the theater where “Love” is being performed. (Did you know that The Mirage built their theater specifically to host the “Love” show? They did.) We are behind only one person at 9:26. They finish their purchase, we race up to make ours (asking for their least expensive tickets), we get the tickets, walk speedily to the ticket-taker, and proceed swiftly to our seats just in time for the show to begin. If we didn’t have some kind of intervention on our side, we wouldn’t have made it - there were so many reasons not to make it on time.

Oh, and what a show! There isn’t a bad seat in the place. The seating is in the round, and it affords you sights such as these below. Of course, outstanding music accompanies the jaw-dropping gymnastics of Cirque du Soleil.

 

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Edited by dmway
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Nov. 2 - from LV to DV

"DV", of course, stands for Death Valley.

We began our day saying farewell to Las Vegas - I can safely say that we are both great fans of LV and will be back to visit, possibly more than once. It is a genuinely fun place, even without gambling and other assorted pleasures involving money. Of course, the U2 connection with the ISHFWILF video will always make it special.

Our drive to Death Valley allowed us to revisit some of our recent statements (e.g., driving on another planet/the moon/scenes from "Star Trek" - see previous posts above for those). The scenery leaving LV was as stunning as it was arriving there. Deserts are stark places, of course; that doesn't mean that they can't be awe-inspiringly beautiful as well.

We drove out of LV, passing thriving metropolises like Pahrump and other curiously-named towns. Our quest was to find the road that would take us to California Highway 190, the main road through the famous Death Valley. Our place to stay for the night was/is located right on Hwy. 190; that place in and of itself also turned out to be an additional delight - more on that later. Taking the road to 190 feels like you are driving in the middle of nowhere - this is because you are driving in the middle of nowhere. When you cross the state line from Nevada to California, if you blinked at the wrong time, you would miss the microscopic sign indicating the crossing of the threshold. You certainly couldn't tell from the terrain: it is identical on both sides of the border: gorgeous desolation.

After driving for what seems like an eternity of unchanging landscape, you finally see signs announcing that you are in the heart of Death Valley. We stop to take some pictures of ourselves on the moon in Death Valley. We had been on the road for a few hours, so, even when we see the sign for Zabriskie Point, we continue onward to our hotel, which is only another mile down the road. (We didn't feel the need to go back to Zabriskie Point later; we already knew what it looked like - so do you. Just look at the landscape behind the band on your copy of "The Joshua Tree" - that's Zabriskie Point.)

We arrived at our hotel and were absolutely spellbound by the beauty of the place, both of the hotel and the panoramic scenery all around it. (Note of importance: I splurged on the hotel - I figured if we were staying in Death Valley and were exerting all the effort to go to/from there, we were going to stay someplace nice. And, boy, did we. How nice was it? I'll tell you how nice: the day after we left, since they had a bye week in their football season, the San Francisco 49ers were staying there for a few days for "team bonding" sessions. It must have worked; they're doing quite well this year.)

I wish I could tell you how mystifyingly beautiful the colors and contours of the whole place were - I guess I'll have to let the pictures do the talking:

 

 

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Nov. 3 - from DV to a site just beyond the boundaries of the national park, then to a place often seen but not often visited, then back to LA for round 2

This was another day full of activity - it featured a lot of driving, but also a lot of sights, the last one a more familiar one, but from a new direction.

We set out from our beautiful hotel in the beautiful valley with the ironic doleful name to look for a specific member of the local flora off of Hwy. 190 just outside of Death Valley National Park. More accurately, we were looking for the place it once lived.

If some here perhaps didn't already know, the Joshua Tree that became the symbol for the album "The Joshua Tree" fell down in a wind storm in the year 2000. So, the days of seeing/visiting the actual tree have been gone for almost two decades. However, as you may have seen on other pictures here on the site and elsewhere, there is a fan tribute near/at the site where the tree used to be. There is even a tree that has seemingly grown out of the remains of the old one. (I mentioned it before, but, at the end of this travelogue (when I eventually finish it, that is), I will give source articles for the U2 sights we explored together.)

I do have to give you some words of advice/caution if you decide that you might want to venture out to this part of the world on your own JT pilgrimage. This location really is in the middle of nowhere. The band themselves chose the original tree because, if you noticed from our photographs posted earlier, Joshua Trees tend to grow in large bunches together (this is why further south in southern California there is a whole National Park for them) - the one they chose to photograph was a loner. They did a very good job of picking a desolate location for their tree. If you set out for it, remember a few things: fill up with gas completely before you start (this may seem to be an obvious statement, but, if you don't fuel up while you are still in Nevada (using the route that we did, that is), you're not going to find another station in California until well after the plain where the tree once lived); also, be mindful of three words: dehydration, hypoxia, and albedo. The first word everyone knows well, but you'll experience it during your trip. Death Valley and the area around it is a desert - have more water than you think you could possibly drink, and drink as much water as you feel the need to (and just a little more). You will feel the pervasive lack of moisture in multiple ways. Enough said.

Hypoxia - lack of oxygen. Death Valley is below sea level in many areas; the areas that make it a valley are not - no valleys without hills/mountains attached to them. Death Valley is no exception. Going into and out of DV, you will reach heights 4/5 of a mile high in elevation. In these heights, there is less oxygen and, if you have prolonged time at this height, you will feel it. If you are the driver going to the JT site, be sure your companion takes pictures (also be sure to have a companion in the first place; you could do the trip on your own, I suppose, but that would certainly have added elements of risk) - the drive out of DV to the JT area is breathtakingly beautiful. Drive very carefully. There are a lot of hairpin turns with precipitous falls if you don't execute them properly. Let your companion photograph the scenic beauty. (You can also stop at the few lookouts along the road - just budget your time well.)

Albedo - the scientific term for reflected sunlight. Albedo is why skiers get nice suntans on their faces in the dead of winter. In addition, the higher elevations of this journey add yet another risk factor: exposure to higher amounts of UV light. The combination of the two have to be factored in - you may need sunscreen even during times of the year when it normally wouldn't even cross your mind that you might need it. My companion asked me to think about wearing some; I decided not to have any. I only live to tell the tale without a bout of sunburn because we went in early November; had we gone any earlier in the year, even just a couple of weeks earlier, I'm sure my obstinacy would have led to a very red face (literally, as well as metaphorically). As I was driving, I could definitely feel the sunlight hit my face both off the surface of the road and even off the hood of the car (albedo at work in its full glory) - as I already said, only the time of year saved me from a painful burn. Have sunscreen with you on the trip.

We used photographs from the source article we had to locate the reborn tree. We offered our silent tribute to what felt and still feels like a sacred site to fellow U2 fans. We took a few photographs of the area and left - we didn't linger too long because our buddies dehydration, hypoxia, and albedo were ganging up on us and were starting to negatively affect our moods (all three will, esp. hypoxia - dehydration is good at it too). A word to the wise...

We took the scenic route back to LA instead of I-15. We were both glad we did - new sites to see because of that decision. Without knowing it, we drove by Ridgecrest, CA, the epicenter for the earthquakes in California in 2019 (no, we didn't see any damage from the July 4th quake nor did we feel any tremors during our whole stay there) - it was just an interesting detail we found out after the fact. We also drove through the town of Mojave, CA. This town has a very famous sight to see, one you may have seen on TV and/or the movies - a very large wind farm.

After leaving Mojave, we hightailed it back to LA, this time using I-5 from the north. The last part of the trip was about to begin. Pictures:

 

 

 

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Edited by dmway
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Nov. 4 - back in LA (pt. 1)

We had been in LA for the first part of the trip and now we were having the conclusion of our trip here too. We even stayed in the same hotel because it had worked out so well for us for the first part of the trip; it was perfectly located for all of our expeditions.

Our next outing took us to one of the lovely beaches of LA, of which there are very many. We did some research online and were finally attracted by one beach in particular. Since we are fans of the same music, we let our fandom decide which beach to go to: Venice Beach.

Venice Beach is the place where Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek first met - this meeting eventually led, of course, to the founding of The Doors. As an additional side note, it also was the second location of the famous "Muscle Beach" (the original location was at Santa Monica Beach, just to the north; later it moved south to Venice) where people like Arnold Schwarzenegger got their start in bodybuilding. (We didn't actually go up to see Muscle Beach, but it is there if you ever feel like visiting it.)

We had a really wonderful time there - I/we would highly recommend it. It had a place where we had a one of the greatest lunches of our trip (a gluten-free turkey burger and fish tacos were eagerly consumed there by us - if those sound like odd dietary choices, just remember that it was/is California, and our diets are very far from many people's standard diet; I had always wanted to try fish tacos, and they were as delicious as I had hoped - I'd have them again in a heartbeat). The beachfront is full of quirky shops to browse through. Lots of clothing shops, both fashionable and novelty-styled (it is the beach after all). In addition to those and the many restaurants were many art-oriented places. Some were more traditional; others were more made on the spot by some very talented local artists. You could tell that many of them made their living just from their artwork.

Of course, the main attraction was/is the beach itself. I had only been to the Pacific Ocean once before in my life, so this was a very welcome return. We saw the most lovely sites on the beach, the best was the sunset. By sheer coincidence, since the time had just changed a day or two before back to Standard Time, the sunset was earlier than usual. It was just stunning seeing the sun set in the Pacific. Again, let's let the pictures do the talking:

 

 

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Edited by dmway
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3 hours ago, padawanbeck84 said:

I'm really enjoying reading these posts and seeing the photos of your journey. 

Thank you for sharing them with us.

Thank you very much for saying so! 😊

As I said at the beginning, we wanted to share the memories of the trip with everyone in the hope that, if there were some here wanting to do something similar, we could show that you could go to all these U2-related places with not too much effort (if you plan the route right - there was only one part of the trip that was trying; that’s the part of the trip I’ll be writing about next.)

I’ll also share the info that we received in advance of the trip at the end of the thread.

 

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On 12/16/2019 at 9:47 PM, dmway said:

Hello all! 😎

Back in late October/early November, I made a trip to across the country to parts of the American Southwest that I had not visited before. A fellow U2 fan and good friend decided to go on vacation to Los Angeles. Las Vegas and San Diego were also mentioned as part of a potential itinerary. Since I had never been to that part of the country as well, we decided to have a collective vacation.

As I thought about the trip and where we might go, San Diego seemed like a bit of an outlier - we didn't really have enough time to go there. We only had 11 days, so vacationing while employing a somewhat circular route was the most efficient way to do things. Since we were U2 fans as well, I had a better idea for a third place to go. I ran the idea by my friend, and it was welcomed enthusiastically.

So, we offer this humble illustrated travelogue 1) to honor the best vacation either one of us have ever had, 2) to give those who may want to do the same kind of trip the catalyst to go themselves, and 3) to honor the band who inspired it all. Since we were in this part of the country, our U2 adventures had a distinctive JT flavor - of course, this is only appropriate during the year where NZ/AUS/(south)eastern parts of Asia got their JT anniversary tour. "In God's Country" really would serve as a good theme song for the whole trip (thus, the title of the thread).

 

(N.B. - there will be some placeholder posts below for me to fill in later when I have the time to complete them.)

 

I hear you 

As an east coast Canadian, desert motifs were largely accessed thru pics. 

But as life would direct, i found my way to the Mohave several dozen times , hiked, ran and biked in some unbelievable spots. 

I love the desert and hope when it’s my turn , a third of my ashes get left there to find a home. Native spirits willing. 

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10 hours ago, economicformula said:

I hear you 

As an east coast Canadian, desert motifs were largely accessed thru pics. 

But as life would direct, i found my way to the Mohave several dozen times , hiked, ran and biked in some unbelievable spots. 

I love the desert and hope when it’s my turn , a third of my ashes get left there to find a home. Native spirits willing. 

It is a lovely place. I hope you get your wish.

I never thought I would say that I would love to return there as well, but I would love to return. Let’s hope that happens.

 

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Nov. 4 (pt. 2) - more pictures from Venice Beach

(I would be interested see the reaction of @Max Tsukino to one of these pictures - he and you will know the one I mean; I thought it was especially poignant in today's US political climate. Again, apologies for the 90 degree rotation - that bug hasn't been worked out yet.)

 

 

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This also was there too - there must have been other countries there as well:

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Back at the hotel, we also saw the set-ups for many movie previews (did I mention that we had stayed in Hollywood?). In addition to "Ford v. Ferrari", we saw the previews be setup for the latest Terminator film, and "Frozen II" was being set up as we were leaving.)

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Edited by dmway
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On 12/31/2019 at 7:26 AM, dmway said:

Nov. 4 (pt. 2) - more pictures from Venice Beach

(I would be interested see the reaction of @Max Tsukino to one of these pictures - he and you will know the one I mean; I thought it was especially poignant in today's US political climate. Again, apologies for the 90 degree rotation - that bug hasn't been worked out yet.)

 

 

63F15EBF-D220-4E00-8612-E864787FFC61.jpeg

 

rumor indicates that's the portal to the land of tacos and tequila... =P

eh... despite politics, we are everywhere... >=)

cool photos, man!!!! thanks for posting them... 😃

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Max Tsukino said:

rumor indicates that's the portal to the land of tacos and tequila... =P

eh... despite politics, we are everywhere... >=)

cool photos, man!!!! thanks for posting them... 😃

You're welcome for all the photos! 😊 Some of the best ones are yet to come - our final day (before leaving day, that is) in LA was very U2-oriented.

In order to avoid offending the more politically-sensitive, I'll send one extra-good photo to you in a message - it's like the pre-"Exit" video from the JT anniversary tour in one still photo. 😎

The portal of tacos and tequila sounds like a good portal - I hope it is that.

 

Edited by dmway

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On 12/19/2019 at 9:36 PM, dmway said:

We didn't bet a single penny there and absolutely loved it!

I had to bet ten bucks when I was in Las Vegas.  I did it so a friend would be quiet about me not gambling.  I was pissed because I could've bought a cd.  We did a circular route on that trip.  I'd never been.  Driving through the desert, at night, between Las Vegas and Califonia is an amazing experience.  One can see the moon forever.  Add U2 on several prerecorded mix tapes.  I was driving and my trip companion was sleeping so no talking turned it into something very special.  I'm glad you had a great trip. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Manohlive said:

I had to bet ten bucks when I was in Las Vegas.  I did it so a friend would be quiet about me not gambling.  I was pissed because I could've bought a cd.  We did a circular route on that trip.  I'd never been.  Driving through the desert, at night, between Las Vegas and Califonia is an amazing experience.  One can see the moon forever.  Add U2 on several prerecorded mix tapes.  I was driving and my trip companion was sleeping so no talking turned it into something very special.  I'm glad you had a great trip. 

That’s a great story of your own! Yes, the scenery there is indescribably awesome (it’s nice to use that word properly and not in a jokey OTT 80’s way).

There are two more days to be recounted - as I told Max, the 6th is especially U2-ey. 😎

 

Edited by dmway

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14 hours ago, dmway said:

There are two more days to be recounted

Oh gosh.  I'm sorry.  I got confused.  I thought you were finished.  Duh.  I would not have added what I did, had I known you were still telling your tale. My memory/comment was inspired by it-not a need of mine.  Eeegads.   Please pardon me and do continue. 

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6 hours ago, Manohlive said:

Oh gosh.  I'm sorry.  I got confused.  I thought you were finished.  Duh.  I would not have added what I did, had I known you were still telling your tale. My memory/comment was inspired by it-not a need of mine.  Eeegads.   Please pardon me and do continue. 

No problem - other people responded mid-tale as well. All comments welcome at any time. 
 

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Posted (edited)

Nov. 5 - Beverly Hills, the "Hollywood" sign, and the Sunset Strip (and surrounding areas)

As you can tell from the title, this was another very active day, the 2nd-to-last full day of our vacation.

I had never wanted to see Beverly Hills when I was younger. It just struck me as a place where very rich people went/lived to spoil themselves with their idle whims and desires for overpriced possessions. Now, to a degree, there is at least a little truth to that - if you want to satisfy such an aim, Beverly Hills is the perfect place to do so. However, you know what? It is also a very lovely place with nice people in it too. We saw really amazing things there - for example, a tree that could have come directly from one of Tolkien's books, lovely public artwork, and gaudy (and yet stunning) storefronts.

The Hollywood sign. If you want to see it for yourself up close, be ready to do some walking. The locals passed very restrictive parking regulations anywhere close to the sign. So, if you want to avoid a parking ticket, park a good distance away and walk (it's all steeply uphill too - be sure you are in half-decent shape first). If you want to drive right to it (you can't park at the park near the sign itself anymore - the park itself is closed), just type "The Hollywood Sign" into your sat nav, and you will be guided straight there (yes, seriously - that's how we go there).

The Sunset Strip. If you want to find the famous music clubs The Rainbow, The Roxy, and The Whisky-a-Go-Go, they are all pretty close together on Sunset. (U2 played at Palladium on the October tour; otherwise, they always played in an arena there even in the early days). Doug Weston's Troubadour (as featured in the movie "Rocketman"; it's the venue where Elton John got his American debut) is just up the street and almost back in Beverly Hills again. We even got a look at old Route 66 signs - a lot of LA's current streets were once part of the old Route 66. The famous Chateau Marmont hotel is also on Sunset (many famous acts stayed there - Led Zeppelin had several notorious stays there). Pictures:

 

 

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Edited by dmway
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