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LA - 6th April

The Hit Men
The Hit Men

We went out to Temecula for a look see. Very nice out there and of couse a quilt shop for Rayls. We actually did 3 quilt shops and saw 7 Walmart trucks, so things are moving along.

Tonight we went to the Cerritos Theatre for Performing Arts to see The Hit Men, a group of amazing performers. The Hit Men are hit makers of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s… performing and recording members of mega-star acts including Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, Tommy James & The Shondells, The Critters, Carly Simon, Jim Croce, Cat Stevens, Barry Manilow, Elton John & Kiki Dee. This brotherhood of musicians have a friendship that dates back over 50 years. They have reunited to go out on tour again, to relive the magic they created on stages around the world and in recording studios years ago. Two former members of the Hit Men were members of the Four Seasons in the seventies. Lee Shapiro and Gerry Polci. Lee became one of Frankie Valli’s celebrated Four Seasons as both an arranger and on keys. He toured the world with the band, performing classic hits and acting as the musical director and arranger on others including “Oh, What A Night” and “Who Loves You.” Gerry became one of the Four Seasons in 1973. His recordings with the group became worldwide hits, most notably “Who Loves You,” “Silver Star,” and “Oh, What A Night,” on which he sang lead. We were lucky enough to meet both Lee and Gerry after the show and they remembered Perth and performing there in 1977 - that was a great show!

LA - 5th April


Another good nights sleep.

We did have tickets for a taping of the sitcom Hot in Cleveland tonight but they sent an email advising that there was an unusually high guest list (of invites from the production office) that will most likely leave far fewer seats than they usually have available at this show for ticket holders. It meant that we would have to get to the studios very early and then not be assured of a seat and so we gave it a miss.

So we headed off for the first of three quilt shops at 10:00am. Aiming to beat the Burger King 10:30am breakfast deadline we stopped at a restaurant and at 10:27am asked for breakfast. "Breakfast is finished", I was told by the server. "What time does it finish", I asked and was told "10:30am" to which we both looked at the clock on the wall which said 10:27am. Awkward pause from the server and we got breakfast.

Then to the first quilt shop in a town called Placentia (and I thought Fawnskin was funny). The shop was called The Calico House which comes highly rate from Rayls - "nearly as good, if not better than, Keepsake Quilting". High praise indeed.

Whilst at Calico I wandered over to a nearby supermarket and spent 5 minutes choosing a healthy cereal after which I spent 30 seconds picking out some chocoalte bars!

From Placentia we headed to Tuskin and the Flying Geese quilt shop. Tuskin turned out to be a nice town, country feel with some very colourful trees.

Next was the Quilters Garden in Anaheim.

We got back to the hotel just before 4:00pm and rested for a bit before heading to the AMC 20 theatre in nearby Fullerton to see the movie Olympus Has Fallen - Disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning finds himself trapped inside the White House in the wake of a terrorist attack; using his inside knowledge, Banning works with national security to rescue the President from his kidnappers. We both enjoyed the movie.

Movie finished at 8:20pm and we checked out a WalMart for supplies before heading to Garden Grove and a visit with our friend Lidia who works at the Dennys there. Nice dinner and a pleasant chat.

Home around 10:30pm

LA - 4th April

Ha. Jet lag, I have you beat. Good nights sleep for both of us.

A pleasant enough day! We went out to Long Beach, Sew and Vac, where Rayls bought some bobbins for her friend Theresa back home, she wanted 40 bobbins but Rayls could only get 25 and has ordered the rest which should be ready to be picked up before we head home. Sew and Vac has a lot of quilting material and so it counts as another quilt shop visited.

We also went to Orange and checked out Orange Quilt Bee and the Now and Then Thrift shop, which is run, by Jarrod and Brandi from the TV show Storage Wars. The Orange Quilt Bee was a winner - it had a man chair and a Tattoo Parlour next door.

Lunch was from Arbys which we ate in our room.

At 4:00pm we headed towards downtown LA, the GPS said it was 45K's and would take 34 minutes. It took an hour and 10 minutes. Traffic was very slow at times but we got to the Staples Centre OK and were parked and at the stadium by 5:30pm. They had a 50% off all Kings Championship stuff in the store so we did OK there.

The game was good; LA Kings scored a couple of very early goals and ended up with a 3-0 win over the Minnesota Wild.

It was a 30-minute drive back to the hotel, all good.

Big Bear to LA - 3rd April

So much for the Gripgo
So much for the Gripgo

Another poor nights sleep but had set the alarm for 9:00am so we were up and out of our room by 10:00am. There was a fair amount of noise from the room next to ours last night - that and the very poor internet were the only down sides of the Black Forrest Lodge.

As I checked out I commented to the lady how nice Big Bear was - I asked if the weather was always as great as it has been. She said it snowed about 8 days each year and for the other 360 days the sun shined. Strange years they have here but it really is a perfect location and just a 2-hour drive from the hustle and bustle of LA.

Due to the poor Internet connection yesterday's update was done courtesy of the McDonalds Wi-Fi. Today we had breakfast there so we could eat but also use the Wi-Fi to book our hotel for the next few days. I ordered a bacon and egg McMuffin and she asked me if I wanted bacon or Canadian bacon - what's the difference, I mean apart from the country the pig came from. Apparently Canadian bacon is actually ham - so why not call it ham? Weird. Anyway I booked the hotel for the next 5 nights and ended up at the same Days Inn that we stayed in back in November. This place is right on the interstate and the traffic noise is unbelievable but the price was just too good and I asked for the top floor in a quiet location.

We filled up with fuel - $50 for 12.3 gallons. That is the equivalent of 93 cents a litre and boy do they grumble about the cost of fuel here.

The GPS is working well now, I bought one of those Gripgo thingos that are advertised on Foxtel.  Set it up on the windscreen and found that GPS soon fell off - things is useless but now with the aide of two elastic bands, it works fine.


Then we headed back towards LA. In the words of Paul McCartney (or maybe it was John Lennon - or both) it is a long and winding road. Tougher going down that it was up. It is a 7000+ foot drop over a 20 K winding drive, hair pin bends, etc.

Half way down we went through the town of Arrowhead - the main feature there seemed to be the Deer Lick car wash.

Once we had managed to hit the ground again we stopped for a Michaels and I checked out Kohl’s and a Barnes and Noble.

Another hours drive, with 2 Wal-Mart truck sightings, got us to Buena Park and out hotel. The price is good and we are facing Target so there is basically no noise, very pleased. The Internet seems good also.

After an afternoon rest we headed to Applebees for dinner and then to a Walmart for supplies.  Saw an old school bus, a real clunker - reminded me of some of the buses at work!