Welcome to the Hotel California

04 Nov

(Yes, yes, I know the title’s a bit obvious, but it had to be done. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of other cheesy song references to come in the next four weeks.)

After a couple of slightly delayed flights, we made it to California, picked up a car, and drove to the hotel. It seems that the admin staff had done a good job of the bookings, because there were none of the slightly-anticipated extra charges that we thought we might get with the car, although we did get asked if a mid-sized car would be big enough for the two of us. We didn’t realise that the American definition of “mid-size” means a Dodge Avengeralthough there’s plenty of space, it’s not as beefy as it looks. It must just have the two-litre petrol engine, because the automatic gearbox drops down a gear on a slight incline on the freeway, and drops down two if you actually want to accelerate. You just need a bit of a lack of mechanical sympathy, and it seems to go OK.

It felt a bit unwieldy getting out of the car park, and getting to the main road was a bit unnerving due to the poor road markings and lack of decent lighting, but we made it to the hotel without hitting anything, which is always a good start. We were offered a choice of first floor (i.e. ground floor, really) or sixth (fifth) for our rooms, and went for the top floor for the peace and quiet. The drawback of this is the world’s slowest elevator… of course, this being America, the stairs are a bit of an afterthought for emergencies only, so we’ll just have to be patient.

The room/suite isn’t too bad, despite it looking like it’s time-travelled from the 80’s, even though the hotel was only built in 2002.

You enter the suite via the study. Desk, chair, lamp, phone. What else would you expect?


Next is the kitchen, with a decent-sized fridge-freezer, two ring hob, sink, dishwasher, coffee maker, table and chairs, and a 1400W microwave oven! I don’t suppose I can use it to cook pizza, which is a shame, but I can produce industrial quantities of popcorn…


The lounge has a two-seater sofa-bed, armchair, coffee table, and the first of two big LCD TVs. You can probably see from the carpet and the suite why it looks like it’s left over from 1980-something.




The bedroom has a very soft double bed, with far too many pillows. Not a brilliant night’s sleep last night, but I suspect a lot of that was due to my internal body-clock being completed confused.


Just off the bedroom is the washbasin and wardrobe, with a separate door to the bath and toilet. The thing that looks like another door on the far right of the picture is just the reflection of the bathroom door in the mirror-fronted wardrobe.


The view’s not too bad, although this panorama doesn’t really do it justice as I had to shoot through the glass of the bedroom windows, slightly towards the sun, and the haze is obscuring the nice view of Mission Hills in the distance.

I had a nice pre-breakfast run this morning, down to Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge and back. A bit of a change from Tyne Riverside Country Park!

Now it’s about time we went out to explore the local area and find some lunch… more later…

… or there would be, if we hadn’t spelt all afternoon driving around all afternoon for the sake of saving the company 10 or 20 dollars on a mobile hotspot. More another day, I think…

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Posted by on Sunday 4 November 2012 in California


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