Holiday to Pacific West Coast in Jun 2012: Day 3 – Los Angeles to Palm Springs
Arrived into LAX at a touch before midnight – some right funny buggers on the flight. People who clearly don’t rate United for food. One guy brought a pizza on board, one had a pot of pineapple chunks.
Risk no 36 was realised when we turned up at National Car Rental to pick up our Mustang – wot no Mustang? Not one to be seen – 5 Chrysler Sebrings though – a pitiful excuse for a car. Did what I could and the agent checked in the cars that were waiting to be brought on to the selection floor but nothing doing.
Good approach though – confirm all your details, then you get directed to the aisle that contains the type of car you have paid for, then take your choice. The keys are in the ignition and you confirm you have the right car at the point on exit.
Will head back in a little later this morning and will hang around to see whether we get lucky with the Mustang.
Wowser – top stuff – we got a Mustang convertible! After a bit of discussion we were told we could exchange cars with Alamo cars as well, and what was sat twiddling its thumbs on the front was a gorgeous black Stang vert – only 2500 miles old (1 previous hirer) – new 2013 V6 model. The National rep told me to go negotiate with the Alamo manager and 5 mins later the deal was done. We are well happy road trippers now.
A quick mention to our hotel at LAX – Hilton Garden Inn – El Segundo. Managed to get a room in the University Wing (not sure why they call it that), where they (apparently) experiment with different customer facilities to learn which work and which don’t prior to rolling them out.
The room was brilliant with some innovative features, like automatic lights built into the bedside units at floor level, so that in the night if you get up you can see where you are going, but due to their position not bright enough to alarm your partner on the other side of the bed. Dimming lights were really nice feature too, and the bathroom was great – really big shower/wet room. Amazing to think that the price was about the same as the Doubletree dump at JFK.
Anyway after our amazing success at National/Alamo with the Mustang, we headed off on our road trip. We both had smiles on our faces – nothing more to worry about and our holiday was really starting at this point. As we had seen on previous occasions, the road for the first 80 miles around LA on the way to Palm Springs was buzzing. At times it felt like 64 lanes full of gas guzzling cars all undertaking/overtaking, and all we were doing was trying to keep our nose clean.
Managed to find the same Starbucks at Banning as we stopped at a few years back and the change in scenery is amazing – note Vick forgot our challenge. Also dropped into Subway and shared a foot long sub to keep the wolf from the door.
Thereafter the traffic started to calm down as we headed away from LA.
Starting to get seriously hot now. We have driven from a temperature of 60f in LA to 97f in Palm Springs. It’s like being in a massive hairdrier on full heat. Checked into our hotel Hilton Garden Inn at Rancho Mirage, got an upgrade and had a dip to cool off. Plan to head to the Cheesecake Factory later on to remind ourselves how good the food is.
Stats for Day 3: 140 miles.
Planning to go to Joshua Tree National Park tomorrow morning.
Follow the whole story here: Holiday to Pacific West Coast in Jun 2012