A Travellerspoint blog

Madrid to Santa Monica Pier

A Gastronomic Treat, or two

sunny 21 °C

It seems like several thousand miles ago since we were in Madrid. Hang on it was.

So here was Bob in the Iberia lounge in the Satellite terminal of Madrid airport. And we had more than 2 hours more in that lounge, down to the delay of the incoming flight which was diverted to the Azores when a passenger was taken ill. We got off about 2.5 hours late.


But the excellent crew on our American Airlines 767 made up for it with really excellent service and food.


John had the beef...
and Bob had the chicken...

On these smaller planes, they hand out Samsung tablet PCs along with the usual Bose noise-cancelling headphones to access the entertainment system. Not allowed to keep them though.

During the afternoon, we were forced to eat a pizza each.

Despite the threat of tropical storms, these were further up the coast and we had a clear view of Miami beach.

When we made our reservations, there was an offer to try a new service offered by the airline. Called 5 Star service, you're met off the plane by an airline rep who puts you on a cart, where a nice young Hispanic is waiting to....
... drive you to Immigration. There the rep whisks you through the shortest queue then on to baggage claim, through customs and out to your hotel courtesy bus. For Miami, which is renowned for being chaotic, this was a dream (come true). The driver was not allowed to go all the way.... but he went as far as he dare (yep, we had to walk a little).

We had a bit of a wait for the bus, but, pretty soon, we were settling in to a nice room at our Miami airport hotel.

Next morning, when the 5 star service continued, our driver was a different shape, size.... and gender
but very helpful, nevertheless.

Onboard the 777 to Los Angeles, there was breakfast to come

John's skillet

and Bob's cereal
Very good!

It was cloudy as we went up the Gulf coast but cleared in time for a great view of the Grand Canyon.

No hassle picking up our rental car, a big red Nissan Pathfinder. At the gate, the attendant was very happy to take my International Drivers Permit. (Those in the know about John losing his Driving Licence will wish to note). Pulling out into the swirling LA traffic was pretty nerve-racking but we soon calmed down and began to enjoy being part of the tide of cars that flows round this massive metropolis.


Found our hotel in Santa Monica but had to wait an hour or so before our room was ready. It was rather like the previous day, waiting for our flight but this time, no free food and drinks!


As mentioned, soon after we go into our room, there was a knock at the door and two huge slices of chocolate cake appeared and under them, a small Hispanic waiter. It had leaked out that it was someone's birthday sometime this year!
It's only a 10 minutes stroll down to the Pacific Ocean and Santa Monica pier, full of America's finest.

The pier also marks the end of that most famous of all American roads (a section of whcih we will be travelling later in this trip).

Incidentally, apart from the traffic, it just like being at home, if only because most people both here in LA and even more so in Miami, are speaking Spanish!

More soon, amigos.

Posted by Johnash 20:37 Archived in USA

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I just love, love, love reading all about your journey! I feel like I am a part of it! The food looks amazing even though mainly plane meals! Just saw Bubba Shrimp Co, that made me smile! Life is like a box of chocolates!
Take care,
Emma xx

by Emma

Me thinks that you both might be buying new trousers soon so much food and not been on holiday very long and I noticed you never mentioned cream with the cake.xx

by vivienne

Great food makes me feel hungry. Nice Hispanic boy
shame he didnt go all the way. I agree with vivienne you will need to kit yourselves out with much larger clothes. Just think the holiday has only just begun. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! j&d

by jean and dave

We´re keeping up with your journey, and Meals (which clearly deserve a capital M) It was really nice of you to get me that lovely choccy cake for my birthday today - it hasn´t arrived yet, Fedex isn´t as good as Pony Express! But thanks for your card! Sophi gave us all a super present - she decided at 6 am today that we aren´t bad after all, and has been in and out chatting incessantly several times! She´s FINE!
Bye for now pardners!

by Lin, Norma, Bren and Sophi

Lovely views from uphigh. We got lost in Miani airport even our luggage was being wheeled by a redcap. Interesting to see Collins Avenue from the air, we stayed at the far end many years ago.

by Brien

Are you sure you're not on commission from the various airlines & hotels?? I see no mention of Arthur in this latest update, He hasn't found himself a new playmate on the way has he??
Hope Bob found the sugar for his cereal this time X

by Sarah, Rich, girls, Puddin & Bed Ted

Emma, Bubba Shrimp:- Ate there last night. What a show they put on. It cost just the tip. Had applied for a "loyalty" card from Landry's who own it. You have to buy the card but then they put $25 dollars on when it's your birthday. Guess what? It's just been my birthday!

Hope you had a great birthday Lin. We'll get back to see Miami one day, Brien! Our luggage was off the belt and by the wall. Not sure we'd have spotted it and there would have been panic for sure.

And yes, Sarah and Viv, what's that line from Lily the Pink about being pushed round on wheels?

Trust Dancing Jean to lower the tone. You surely misread my comments about our driver!!

Sony Studio Tour was a TREAT! Watch this space.

Foggy/Smoggy this morning.

Hello Sofi!

by Johnash

Wow so many comments already...must pull my finger out. The highly "enhanced" dining service menu forgot to mention that black bits are the copyright of a certain person who shall remain nameless ;) I would have gone for the beef too John.......... (just pulling into Paddington further comments to follow)

by Paul

OMG boys all this food looks so good, especially the yummy choc cake. This time next week you might have to upgrade your trousers for a tent but who cares you're on holiday. I'll take you to Zumba when you get back!
Can't believe Miami airport hotel still looks the same.
Loving it all so far & get pic of the huge wagon you're driving xx

by Antonia

Hola girls and boys.

Yes, a tent maybe needed Antonia! BUT did loads of walking today and only had a chicken salad, albeit with honeyed pecans, today. Slightly spoiled by the New Yoik Cheescake to follow!

Hi Paul. Good to hear from you. Have a fab weekend in Lowestoft. At least you don't have to drive on the Santa Monica Freeway!

by Johnash

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