I drove the rest of the way down into LA today, and went to the Getty Center before heading to the airport. It sits in a spectacular location with views over the entire LA basin and out to Catalina Island – and as you can see from the above (click on the picture to enlarge), I managed to catch it on a very clear day – which is another way of saying there’s a strong cold wind blowing today.Bryan and I had discussed going there last week, but it was closed both times we went past. Well, not today. A truly spectacular place and a great way to end my trip. A photography exhibition, impressionist paintings (including Monet and Van Gogh), a massive view over the LA basin, and fantastic architecture for me to make abstract photos, all with a sunny day and clear blue sky to give good backgrounds and interesting contrasts with the white buildings and all the shadows. And both Ruth and Bryan keeping me company via email. It doesn’t get much better than that!
I hung around so long that it got a bit late – my flight was at 8pm, and I wanted to be at the airport in plenty of time, but didn’t leave the Getty till after 4pm. And then, of course, I had to deal with LA peak hour traffic, and there was an accident on the interstate which slowed everything down to a crawl. I got to the airport – and then had to work out where the petrol station was! Well, Google’s been great but it let me down on that one. Wherever it thought that Chevron station was, I couldn’t find it. I did THREE laps of the airport, before finally venturing further out, finding a different one, and returning the car to Avis and heading to the check in.
VAustralia feels a bit like they’re camping out here, but their service is great, all very friendly staff, and they let me gate-check Bertha, which means I had her with me all the way to the door of the plane – and they returned her to me at the plane door at the Sydney end. The alternative is checking her with the suitcases, and one of their staff wheelchairs me to the gate, and from the gate to baggage claim, which is what happened coming over. That’s all good and well, but if you’re waiting for a flight for a couple of hours, it’s much better to be independently mobile and be able to wander around, have something to eat, etc, without inconveniencing someone else.