September 28, 2018

Neon Nights Double-Decker L.A. City Tour

Retirement Practice # 58 was last Saturday and I was riding the bus with DayTripper Tours Tour Manager Mark and driver Tino. We headed north to Glendale, Hollywood and Los Angeles, departing from my pickup point at noon! Why so late you ask? Well, because it was the first ever “L.A. Neon Nights Double-Decker Bus City Tour!” And it was amazing!!!

First up was MONA, the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale. Here we had a docent led tour of some real old neon light signs and she shared the history of them. One in particular came from an exterminator company. The guys hand pointed to some mice and the words read, “My Patients ALL DIE.” Can you imagine driving by and seeing that sign? Sure hope folks saw the little mice scamper across as the lights flashed and moved across the screen.

There was a huge Chinese dragon sign with different colors that pretty much took up one wall of that room. All the lights were pretty as each sign flashed their bright bold colors. Next up was the electric and kinetic (relating to motion) fine art. Here we saw some interactive displays and we all had fun pushing the buttons or turning the cranks. We even had a mini class on how they made neon light tubes. Thanks to Daytripper Tours for getting us into the museum because they weren’t even open to the public yet. They were in fact setting up tables because the grand opening was that very night. We had the place to ourselves. How cool was that?

Next on the schedule was dinner on our own at the Hollywood & Highland shopping complex. Tino dropped us off at the bus stop in the back and we all took off in search of something to eat. I’ve been there before and really wanted to get back to the main street so I hurried through the mall, down the stairs to the sidewalk. Passing by some of the “stars” on the ground, I walked diagonally across the street (I like to do that, so much quicker and it is legal there) and down a side street to Mel’s Drive Inn (diner). It is a cute blast from the past and the food was really good. My first time, but not my last time there.

After dinner I headed back to the bus stop at the mall. Soon our double-decker bus arrived. And guess what? We were the only folks on it! We all got to sit up top! Score another one for DayTripper Tours. Wahoo! We were soon joined by our docent and we took off. By this time it was night and the neon lights / signs on the buildings lit up the sky. The docent pointed out a lot of signs and told quick stories about them. He also pointed out different architecture styles. Having grown up in the L.A. area, he was very familiar with the city. His passion was infectious and we were turning our heads left and right trying to take it all in. Los Angeles and Hollywood are very pretty at night.

We passed by the Peterson Automotive Museum. Daytripper Tours has a day tour to the museum, keep an eye out for it in the catalogue. Did you know that it is bright red at night? Very cool. Across the street is LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Here he pointed out the 202 street lamps called “Urban Lights”. Daytripper Tours also has tours to LACMA so be sure to check out the lamps. I’ve seen them before but not at night. Very bright! As we drove along I could see the Griffith Observatory way up on the hill. I tried to get a picture, but in a moving bus, it didn’t come out so well. I know that we had a night time tour to the Observatory that same night. Wonder if they could see us as we saw them? We made a couple of pit stops to stretch our legs and at the second stop I ventured across the street and FINALLY took a little ride on Angels Flight. This is a 298 foot funicular railway which runs along a steep slope in the residential district of Bunker Hill. It is known as the “shortest railway in the world”. Think ascending and descending cable cars counterbalanced from San Francisco but much shorter ride. It was quick and fun. All the times I’ve seen it and passed by and I can now say I was on it!

Eventually we had to make our way down from the top level of the double-decker bus. Tino was waiting for us with waters and snacks and we settled back into our comfortable seats for the drive home. I’ve been to Los Angeles and Hollywood many times now but I never get tired of it. I see and experience something new every time. I’m loving all the trips that Daytripper Tours have to offer and look forward to my next Retirement Practice. See you on the bus!

~ DayTripper Traveler Donna Grover
Tour: Neon Nights L.A. City Tour
Date: September 22, 2018


Categories: Blog