GNABRT Day 12 – You can’t get there from here

001Hokay, today was a combo day.  First on the docket was a trip down to Torrance to get my car its first ever regular service (just over 6,000 miles).

Based on the time estimates by both Yahoo maps and the desk clerk, it looked to be about a half-hour drive.  I allotted an hour.

Remember that whole traffic jam riff I did yesterday?  Well, gee willikers if there wasn’t more of the same today.  I haven’t tried wee hours of the morning yet, but it appears that any daylight hours the roads around LA are just a series of traffic jams.

The trip did take me right past TMS (Toyota Motor Services) headquarters, ironic, considering my current car and previous 20 years of Toyota vehicles.  I also was afforded one unique and tasty benefit as the car was finished around lunch time, allowing me to make my first stop at an In-N-Out.  They make one mean strawberry shake (burger was excellent, too).

The latter part of the day was the ballgame, which we move immediately to…

The Game:  Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks.  Yes, those same Diamondbacks that were the home team for my last GNABRT stop.

The Dodgers are in first place of the division that also holds Arizona, clinging to a slim lead over the arch-rival San Francisco Giants after getting beaten up by the Cardinals.

The night was cool, by DPWL standards (Daniels Permissible Warmth Levels), but the Dodgers bats were hot.  This game was the first blowout of my GNABRT, featuring two three-run homers for the Dodgers.

My record for home teams now stands at a perfect 4-0.  San Diego can hardly wait the three days before I get there.

Miscellany of Day 12:

– The free shuttle bus to the Dodgers game was too good to be true.  It was simply the Dodger Stadium shuttle.  I would have had to walk a half-mile in the opposite direction to get to the bus.  I chose to walk the roughly 1 mile to the stadium instead.

– The above choice gave me some concerns about my upcoming ventures into Glacier and Yosemite national parks.  The walk to the stadium was all uphill, much at a significant incline.  Dressed as I was for the later predicted cool weather, I was puffing and perspiring by journey’s end.

– After first chatting with an Aunt who brought three nephews/niece from Albuquerque, I moved down to my excellent seat.  Shortly I was joined by two New Zealand lads, one of whom was a rugby player and then shortly after that two young ladies from London.  Quite the accents nearby.  I got to spend much of the game explaining the intricacies of baseball to a rapt audience.

– My first almost souvenir.  One of the Dodger home runs came up about 5 rows short of where I was sitting.  Sadly, the boy with the glove flubbed the ball, which then fell into the Arizona bullpen.  Eventually, an Arizona player tossed the ball back up into the stands.

– Upon the ending of the game, I attempted to find my way back to the hotel.  Here’s the thing, though…I was sitting on the whole other side of the stadium, it was dark outside and my iPhone didn’t do me any favors with GPS pinpointing.

I stopped by some police and they said I was on the wrong side of the stadium (this, after I walked all the way around).  Ultimately I went to the shuttle bus and asked after my hotel.  The person on the ground said I should get off at a stop that would put me a block from the hotel.  That was cool.

The bus was boisterous, filled with loud (probably drunk), happy fans.  I was in a standing room only spot and spent the entire time bracing my feet and gripping a pole with one hand.  That was actually fun.

Finding out the bus did not stop where the ground person said, was not as much fun.  Fortunately, getting off near a cab station allowed me to ask directions.  Unfortunately, those directions were not quite accurate.

Several stops and questions from strangers later, I finally saw the two golden dragons over the street.  I remembered these from when I came in two days ago.  I had a vague idea where to walk from there and ultimately made it back to the hotel.

That was a lot of time, walking alone on the streets of L.A. in darkness.  There was not even the hint of threat during my extended travels.

The Tab:  Ticket, $30; Hot dog, $5.50; Soda, $6; Total, $41

It’s now late, even by PST standards.  Fortunately, I have no specific plans for tomorrow.  I was thinking of walking up to Hollywood area (about 5 miles), but after tonight, I may consider public transportation…if I decide to leave the room at all!

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