LOS ANGELES, Calif. - On the flight in, there it was, the famous Hollywood sign up on the hill, not far, it turns out, from our suite on the 16th Floor of the Wilshire Grand Hotel in downtown LA.
But I can't see the sign because our room faces the ocean. Not a bad trade-off, I suppose, but I would like to see the sign from the room. The foul weather and rain has kept the air so clean you can hardly believe it's Los Angeles. At least until you try to cross the street and nearly get run over by traffic.
The admiral and I came down from the provincial capital of California to attend a journalism convention. She has to give an award at an evening dinner soiree. I get to play 'the spouse' and sit around sipping margaritas while watching the 400 or so college coeds at the convention diving into the heated pool.
It all sounds good, except heated pool or not, it's too cold for anyone to really venture out, unless they are members of the Polar Bear Club.
But who cares how cold it is when you have a margarita nearby? Cowabunga!
Other trips to LA I've always stayed over on the ocean, Huntington Beach or Redondo Beach. So being downtown is a real change after constantly looking at surf.
But I've driven by this hotel dozens of times in trips in and around LA and wondered what it was like inside. It does have all the modern perks: wireless internet, a gazillion channels of TV, a room-service menu to die for (mostly when you get your credit car bill after ordering food and drink).
During a normal business week, it can be a bear to get to with snarled downtown traffic and construction. But today our cab from the airport slid around the corner of Figueroa to arrive without a hitch.
The only journalism convention session I'm likely to attend is tomorrow: Podcasting, put on by some Apple computer geeks. I already have a podcasting & video website lined up, so as soon as I get some technical knowledge I may be able to make it all happen.
Then From Where I Sit can make the jump from just print to audio and video files. What great possibilities.
More on that after the presentation manana, amigos.