12 – Around L.A.

Written By: Globespotter - Sep• 20•12

We had decided to try to limit our driving around L.A. to one day if possible, so in my usual planning fashion, I plotted a circular route that would accomplish our goals without ever going near downtown L.A.

We headed east, but in a southeast circle route, heading down to near Long Beach then pretty much due east to Corona, CA. I probably don’t have to tell any Air Cooled VW fans where we were headed!

The ultimate ACVW heaven – Wolfsburg West.

Wolfsburg West sells pretty much anything and everything you would ever need for your vintage VW. As we pulled up in the parking lot, I admired three vintage Bugs in awesome condition.

The folks at Wolfsburg West are extremely friendly, helpful and efficient. My daughter was in awe of all the parts and memorabilia that adorned the walls. We ended up getting a new windshield and gasket, a steering dampener, front and rear seat pads and covers, a new glove box lock to replace the one I broke, and a spare fan belt. Total cost was less than $400.

We headed back towards L.A. but this time circled round the north of the city, stopping off to see a couple of movie sites – the ‘Martini’ home from “It’s a Wonderful Life” and the ‘Doc Brown’ house from “Back to the Future”.

We then attempted to find the Hollywood Sign.

I know it sounds funny, but it’s not as easy as you think to get to where you get a good view of the sign.

I knew where it was, but around the hills in Hollywood, the streets have a strange way of circling around to nowhere.

I stupidly relied on our GPS, which took us up a road that was clearly not going the right way.

I tried again and this time the GPS took us halfway up a steep hill and promptly said “Turn right”.

I looked to the right and saw what looked like it might have been a road in 1947.

OK, one more try. The GPS lead us up another hill. And up. And up. Twisting and turning we reached the top.

There on a hill across a valley was the sign. Except from our angle it didn’t say HOLLYWOOD – it said HOOOD.

Now, I had seen the sign before, so I didn’t care, but it was my daughter’s first trip to L.A. so I wanted her to have a better view.

“It’s ok Dad, we have seen the sign.” she said.

“Nope” I said, stubborn to the end.

I ditched the GPS (not literally) and said – “Now I follow my nose.”

I┬ámaneuvered┬áthe Bug around and down the hill, took a quick left then a bridge over the highway. I’m not sure how I seem to have the innate ability to find my way anywhere, but even though it had been 32 years since I had last been in L.A. things seemed a bit familiar to me.

I twisted and turned up a hill on the other side of the highway and with my daughter still protesting, pulled up at a turnout near the top, looked back and there was the sign.

It was a bit far away, but it said HOLLYWOOD, not HOOOD. Good enough for me, I thought.

We snapped some photos and then headed towards Hollywood Boulevard.

We passed by the Chinese Theater and headed back to Santa Monica. It had been a long day, and L.A.’s smog had given me a bit of a sinus headache. A little fresh ocean breeze was just the ticket.

Tomorrow was seat recovering day.



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