Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lancaster and LA

We relocated to the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds in Lancaster, CA on Thursday the 14th of June. Lancaster is hot and very windy this time of year. The only benefit is that it is only 45 miles from the San Fernando valley, and it is inexpensive. Just try finding an inexpensive RV site anywhere in the Los Angeles area.

Until yesterday we had not been doing too much. We made a trip in to Santa Clarita to meet Marie on Friday. She had a few hours to kill there while waiting for a family get together, so we kept her company at Costco and Starbucks. Sunday we went to church in San Fernando, then over to Don and Betty's for lunch and a fun afternoon of visiting. Don grilled some great marinated chicken breasts.

Tuesday I installed a new rear tire on the scooter. I installed a car tire instead of a motorcycle tire. There is a big debate in the scooter world about doing that. Many purists warn of handling problems but those who have done so say there are no issues. Since a scooter tire only lasts about 7500 miles and costs around $200 installed, I decided I would try the car tire. There are only a few that are the right size and I had one shipped to Don's where I picked it up Sunday. I removed the wheel from the bike and took it to a local tire shop for installation. Motorcycle dealers refuse to install them, citing insurance reasons. I'm convinced the real reason is they love to sell $135 tires and charge $65 to install them every 7,500 miles. I paid $59 for the tire, $20 for shipping and $20 to have it installed. For $99 I have a tire that will last at least 40,000 to 50,000 miles.

As for all the warnings about doom and gloom, let's just say I can hardly tell any difference. It's about as different as a worn out tire and a new tire. My impressions mirror that of all the other scooter owners who have gone this route, and there are hundreds, if not thousands, of us who have done so.

Yesterday we made a trip to LA. A couple years ago I was watching some food show where they were reviewing special restaurants around the country. One restaurant was Philippes in Los Angeles. Their thing is French Dip. We rode the Metrolink from Lancaster to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. Philippes is just a couple blocks from there. We enjoyed the sandwiches. They were very good and it was a fun experience. I'm not sure I would drive 100 miles to get one again, but if we are in the area it would be a good place to have lunch.

Olvera street is a couple blocks away. It is the oldest street in Los Angeles and has the oldest house that has been restored and is available for touring. Mostly is it a street with tiny shoppes selling Mexican trinkets to tourists, and several Mexican restaurants. It is the cultural center of historic Mexican involvement in Los Angeles. It's always a fun place to visit.

Nearby was the first fire station in Los Angeles with its display of antique fire fighting equipment. We found some of the equipment fascinating.

We then walked a few blocks to Chinatown. Nothing compares to Chinatown in San Francisco, but this is a very active and busy place. We wandered through some of the shops and marveled at many of the foods. They were selling shark fin for $999 per pound! Who buys that stuff?

After a quick stop to gaze at the murals in the Post Office Annex, we returned to Union Station where we boarded the train back toward Lancaster. We got off in Santa Clarita where we had arranged to meet Julie for dinner at a restaurant the family used to enjoy. We had a nice dinner and she took us back to the train station where we caught the next train to Lancaster, arriving at 9:40. We were finally home before 10.

We plan to be here until Monday and have things planned to keep us busy. Check back next week and we'll tell you all about it.


  1. Sounds like some great tooling around. It's fun to visit the restaurants you hear about on Food Network. That's how Glenda and I found the lobster rolls in Maine.

    One request: I wish you would post your pictures a bit larger instead of thumbnails so they can be seen without having to click and enlarge them. If you insert them the middle size, they fit nicely in the text, and readers can still click to enlarge if they want to study the wrinkles around the eyes, but we don't have to if we just want to see the scenery and smiles.

  2. Donna, that comes from all my years with satellite internet connectivity. Opening a post with several pictures can take a long time if I don't use the thumbnails. It can take several minutes if I click on Alaska for example, as it loads all the posts, even with thumbnails.

    We are now using 3G or 4G where available and have not made the mental switch to faster service. I'll edit this post and try your suggestion.


    So I tried it. I don't have a middle size option. I only have thumbnail or full size. Maybe you have a newer version of WordPress. Full size is way too big.

  3. Ah, that explains it and that makes sense now that I remember it from a few years ago. Yes, I probably have a newer version of WP. Not only can I load pictures in 3 different sizes, I can also shrink or grow them (click and drag a corner) once inserted, if I want them a bit different size or to place 2 or 3 in a row. Maybe it's time for you to upgrade?

  4. It is quite easy to upgrade as long as you're using a relatively new version. I think you can go from 2 to 3 without any hassle.

  5. OK, Donna. I am now on the latest version. There have been so many changes that I have to learn how to use it all over again!

  6. It's much better now especially at uploading and working with photos. But yes, it is a lot different from the old version.

  7. I will have to upgrade too, as I'm using a very old version.

    Regarding the pictures, though, I reduce them to 500 pixels width before I upload them, so they fit in the column without resizing.

  8. Sounds like you don't need to change picture size before uploading in the new WP. As Donna mentioned you can do it inside of the editor.

  9. It took me a little while to find my way around the new version, but I like it now.