Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Dad and Dave's US Adventure, Part 3

I remember waking up slowly to the sound of birds and water trickling and thinking 'where the fuck am I?', as I rolled over, I could feel the effects of a big night, I felt foggy, I dared to open my eyes and I notice that the blinds are open, and so is the balcony door, the warm LA breeze negating the need for anything heavier than a sheet. Aaron is awake and rummaging through his shit, "what the fuck are you looking for? What time is it?" I ask. "I can't find my lighter.. it's 10" he replies. "Is dad awake?.. fuck, what time did we get home?" I ask as I stumble out of bed and make the stagger to the dunny.
Dad has an adjoining room, so I knock and call his name, no response, he's obviously catching up on sleep so I leave him be and head out to the balcony to check out where we are. Top floor, overlooking the pool is where we are... funny, I don't remember even coming back to the room. I'm sure I'm not alone there.

Some 20 minutes later dad opens the door, he's showered and looking refreshed, 'bastard' I think to myself.. Best I get myself moving, for what I'm not entirely sure, but we have a stunning day outside, it's day two or this epic trip and I wanna get out there. Little did I know what this day had in store for us.

We decide we're gunna hit Malibu to see how the other half lives, but first we have to get to Ralphs across the road. That's a supermarket, I need water, and fuckin lots of it.

We get into our shit box Chrysler 200, plug in the ipod, and make our way west along Ventura Blvd, then onto Ventura fwy. Dad is sitting in the back, Aaron is driving, and I'm up front loving life. Dad on the other hand, is hating it. With the top down, his ears are getting buffeted by wind, he's gettin shit in his eyes, and he's whinging like a bitch. He hates it. Not exactly what I wanted for him.

We get off the freeway at Topanga Canyon rd and decide it's best to cruise up and over to Malibu, a much more sedate and picturesque way to go. If you get the chance, do the drive, it's bloody nice.

Soon enough we find ourselves on the coast and head north to Malibu. Stunning scenery, and you know you're in a ritzy part of California pretty quick, as BMW's, Porsche's, Mercedes, and other exotics adorn the driveways of the seaside joints.
We're looking for something to eat, and have no idea what we want, so after a quick look around, we decide to head back toward Santa Monica Pier, we'll find something on the way.

We stop on the side of the road to be tourists, take some pics and check it out. It's a bloody beautiful part of the world.

Aaron recognises a joint and suggest we pull in for lunch. I would tell you the name of it, but I'm fucked if can remember. Bloody top joint though, right on the water, we get a booth, hell of a view, order beers and lunch. The cocunut shrimp was UNBELIEVABLY GOOD. When I find out the name, I'll let you know.

Fed and watered, we make our way to Santa Monica Pier. We swing into the enormous car park to the right  of the pier, find a spot, it's a glorious day, time to people watch, take some pics and wander around.

I hit the switch for the roof (we're in the convertible) and this is where the fun began..

The Chrysler 200 convertible has a hard lid that pops up and the soft top then extends from under that and latches onto the windscreen, fully automated, it's pretty impressive. Until the hard lid stops half way open, as it it did this day. (see pic below)
We checked fuses, tried it a dozen times, but this thing was stuck halfway. So there we are, so close to the Santa Monica Pier, yet so far away. "You gotta be kidding me.. what a piece of shit' I say, I find the rental agreement with the 1800 number and I remember the agent at the rental joint saying 'here's the number, not that you'll need it, if anything happens". I should have known.. famous last words.

I call and get through to a lovely lady on the other end, all the while, my old man and Aaron are making small talk about how much of a piece of shit this car is. "fuckin gutless, slow, bits falling off it, now this" says dad. We're all being philosophical about it, as much as we're pissed off, we could be stuck in a worse place than Santa Monica on a beautiful day.

'We want a bigger and better car than this, I don't want another one of these" I say, "That could take a while, can you bring it back here?" the agent asks.. "ahh, no, it's a bit dangerous to drive like this, it's like a bloody sail". "Well, it could take a couple of hours to get one out to you" Shit.

We sit around for a while before Aaron suggests dad and I at least get up to the pier and look around, he'll stay with the car and his phone, we agree and go for a wander, just a quick walk to the end, snap some pics, grab slurpees and head back to the car. Aaron gets a call, it's an automated call telling us how long the car will be, it's been dispatched and should be there within the hour.

His phone rings a little while later, it's another automated call, the car is 20 minutes away..

A short while later, his phone rings, its the truck driver asking where we are exactly, Aaron explains "we're in the huge car park to the right of the pier... no I don't know what street it's on, we're not from here... just go down the hill to the car park and come in.. there'll be a guy near the traffic cones.. just tell em why you're here, we've seen a couple of Triple A cars in here, so you won't have to pay... great... thanks"

It's been an hour and thirty minutes since the first phone call I made.. could be worse I guess.

The phone rings again.. it's our truck driver.. Aaron talks to him "no.. dude, we're in the big car park to the right of the pier, you can't miss it, it's massive, where are you?... I don't know where Colorado street is, have you come through the ticket box yet?" Aaron is getting agravated.. rightly so, this shouldn't be that hard, the truck driver is from LA, you'd think he's know where the fuckin carpark at the Santa Monica Pier is, but ooooohh no.. we're dealing with a brain dead fucktard.. but this brain dead fucktard has our replacement car so I'm urging Double A to play it cool. He doesn't.

For the next half an hour the phone calls continue and our truck driver has NO idea where we are, dad goes for a walk to see if he can find this arse wipe with our replacement car. In the meantime.. "listen dude, you stay where you are, we'll find you". "What?.. mate we can't drive this bloody thing like this" "Well fuck, this guys is a complete dumb cunt.. I know it's like a catchers mitt, but what the fuck"

Meantime, dad is AWOL.. he's out looking for this guy too, so we've got no idea where he is, we drive around the car park looking for dad, we find him, he gets in and we hit the highway and do a lap up to where we think he is.. he's no where to be seen. Fuck.. we take a wrong turn and end up back in the car park FUUUUCK! Back out onto the highway (hey it's a big car park, fuck off) and just before we turn down a street, we spy this bonehead truck driver parked at an intersection, our car facing the wrong way into traffic. This guy really is a dickhead.

We pull up, "see I'm at Colorado near the car park he he he" (Yeah mate, we can see that) "Dude, see that HUGE fucking car park? That's where you're supposed to be" Aaron says.

We clear our gear our of the shit box, (I still have the spare key to the Chrysler) grab the keys of this arse clown to our replacement car, a red Mustang convertible (finally!) and head back to the car park for the third time, park, lock up, and head off into the sun.. surely nothing else could go wrong today.. surely..

To be continued...

Monday, 29 October 2012

Dad and Daves US Adventure, Part 2

After a quick soap up of this glorious body of mine, the old man, Aaron and I decide it's time to look around.
I tell em that I want to hit up the Rainbow in West Hollywood, because, like a star struck tourist,I want to see if God aka Lemmy, will be at his usual spot at the bar playing his pokie machine.

We bowl in there and grab a spot outside and settle in with some beers, I hit up the jukebox, which has an incredible amount of everything in it, so choosing what to play wasn't going to be easy. I settle on some Alice in Chains, Pantera, and Queen which seemed to go over pretty well, no complaints from the regulars and visitors alike.

The girl behind the bar is an absolute stunner, I would go there just to see her, forget Lemmy, she is gorgeous, I hope she is there when I go back.

"Is that him" says my old man, who has NO idea who Lemmy is, but sure as shit, there he was. No one batted an eyelid, friendly guy, going about his business. I was fucking loving it. Night 1 in LA and I've already spoken to Mark Margolis and before my very eyes, a legend.. Lemmy. This trip rocks.

We move inside and beers are consumed exceedingly quickly. I'm not sure how it happened, but we start talking to two girls, Alyssa and... shit I forget her name, anyway, they're locals, as in they live in Hollywood, and they seem really nice. We joke and drink and chat and drink.. boy do we drink.

The old man decides he's had enough and he'll leave Aaron and I to our own devices. So we make sure he gets into a cab, and he knows where he is going.. he seems happy enough to call it a day, to be fair, we'd now been up for close to 48 hours.

Aaron and I kick on with the girls.. I'll leave this part empty.. all you need to know is, we wished them a goodnight and went our separate ways.

Knackers and I decided to go exploring some more, and I can't tell you the name of the bar we went to, all I can tell you is, the HUGE margaritas cost $16 each, when I say huge, I mean they were fucking huge. Novelty factor huge. (SEE PIC BELOW) I don't even like Margaritas that much.  We sat down at a small bar and were approached by a young couple, clearly visitors from out of town and who were amazed that we would buy such ridiculous drinks. I don't know their names, but I know that we're on their facebook somewhere.

We bail out of big arse margaritaville and walk up and down Hollywood Blvd looking at the stars on the footpath, wondering who half of them were.. Who the fuck is Neil Hamilton? Georges brother? Ya know, the bloke that has skin like a suitcase and played Zorro once. Anyway, back to the blvd.

Stumbling along we see 4 low riders parked, stereos blaring.  The Bonnet was up on one them, so I stick my head under hoping to see some high performance gear, but I'm met with a stock standard looking old V8 that won't start.

"What's wrong with it mate?" I ask.. "Flat Battery my man, gotta get a jump, you got a car?" He says, clearly no picking up on my accent and that fact that I wouldn't have a car, mainly coz I was pissed to the eyeballs.

We start to ask around and soon enough we've scored him some jumper leads and his home boy brings his old Lincoln with 24 inch rims and jump starts the car. It was at this point that I notice his baby, fast asleep in the baby seat in back. Homie jumps in, missus beside him, first thing he does is crank the stereo, baby doesn't flinch, then he hits the switches and makes the car dance on it's hydraulic suspension and that baby fair dinkum shit it's pants right there and then.

Ya know when you wake up a mate who's in a deep sleep and they freak out look around bewildered at what's happening? That's what this kid looked like.. ha ha, it was bloody unreal.

I'd like to tell you after this we got a cab back to the hotel, but we didn't, we got a slice of pizza, something we didn't remember until the next day, but what transpired after that slice.. .well... there may have been some  'standing on the seat of the convertible as we drove down the freeway'.. there 'may have'.

To be continued.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Dad and Dave's US adventure, part 1

It's Sunday night, 7:24, I'm sipping on a Bookers bourbon over ice with my feet up, the past two weeks have been amazing.

The idea for a trip to the states came about a few months ago, in fact it was before June because Dad and I had already booked our trip to Bali, and there we were planning our next trip. Not sure why, I think he said "I want to see the Grand Canyon". Funnily enough it turned out to be a bit of a let down for him, but more of that later, fussy prick.

We took off at midday on Saturday the 13th of October, and landed in LA at 8:30am on Saturday the 13th of October. That enough was enough to fuck with dads mind.
We found the courtesy bus to get to the car rental company, we got all the sorted, I had booked a Mustang Convertible, I wanted to be a clichéd as possible you see. I was told 'second row to the right, keys are in it.'
So I take a right down the second aisle and look for my Mustang.. hmm.. I don't see any.. I see 3 Chrysler 200 convertibles.. then I realise, I'm not getting my clichéd Mustang. Meh, no big deal, I'm on holidays.

Let me tell you something for free, the Chrysler 200 convertible is a piece of shit. Underpowered with no room in it. It's rubbish. Don't ever hire one.

I call my mate Aaron, he lives in Portland, Oregon, a place that we'll end up in soon, and who's agreed to come on the trip with my dad and I. This is not our first adventure together, we met in Bali in 1998 and have stayed mates since, we've met up in Bali, Thailand, the US and here before. So he'll feature in this story quite a bit.
He'd flown down the day before, and was staying a cheap joint on Hollywood, from there we'd head out to Studio City for a couple of nights, that's out near Universal Studios, north of the airport.
We check into our hotel, it's a retro joint called Sportsmans Lodge. Very basic, but full of old world charm and a bit of history going by the pics adorning the walls. We dump our gear and get down to the pool for a few drinks. Dad and I have been up for for around 22 hours at this stage, and with adrenalin flowing, we're doing just fine.

We move to a table in the shade as the sun was bearing down with some vitriol and I didn't want the old man to cook up to the point of ruining his first day. It was at that point Aaron motions to another table in the shade and says, 'isn't that the guy from Breaking Bad?.. what's his name?' I turn to see a familiar face, but the name escapes me, we both reel off movies and TV shows he's been in, "Wasn't he the landlord in Ace Ventura Pet Detective?" I say.

We google those shows and find Mark Margolis. He plays Hector in Breaking Bad for those that watch it.

Dunno what he was doing there, but it was kinda cool that no one blinked an eye at the fact that he was there, doing whatever he was doing by the pool. Did he live at the hotel? Was he waiting for someone? We never did figure it out. Although I did speak to him briefly as I passed him in the hall, He noted my accent and asked if I was Australian, "I've just been working with an Australian, do you know Russell Crowe?". I said I did know of Russell, although I've never met him personally. "We've been doing a movie, he's not actually Australian, he was born in New Zealand", yes I'm aware of that "He's a really nice guy, some people say he's a bit abrupt, but ya know he just doesn't suffer fools gladly that's all"

Someone else introduces themselves to him, a real gusher fan, so I excuse myself and head back to the table where dad and Aaron are. We move on to bourbons, a bottle of Bullet that Aaron had brought along, not sure if we were supposed to be pouring our own by the pool, but we did. We anarchists can not be told what to do in the city of the angels. We're rock stars. Isn't every one in LA?

to be continued..