Headed East for the Day

Sara and I were really due for a road trip. We picked the direction of East. Sara found hot springs and an art exhibit. I had seen rumblings about a house Al Capone once lived in that is on the way. We also thought we could fit some time in Joshua Tree National Park.

So, naturally, we went on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. We picked a good day, because it wasn’t too busy. It was hot as the devil’s ass outside, though. I had heard of it but was just never able to go on it. I didn’t know what to expect, but assumed it went in a horizontal direction across Palm Springs, even though I had never actually seen it go across the town.

The tram is one of those random ideas some rich guy had in the 1930s and was finally completed in 1963. “The mountains are amazing, but, ugh, that walk UP!” Something like that. I hate walking uphill so cheers to Francis Crocker! Trams on every mountain!!!

You drive uphill for a short while to get to the parking lot. Since it was a light tourist day, we got to park in the lot right next to the entrance. There are shuttles to take you up to the station from the other lots, though, so don’t be scared. And good thing because that is a steep-ass walk. The tram was $25.95 per adult human. The ride takes about 10 minutes each way. Bring your camera!!!

The tram goes up the side of a mountain, but is on cables so you are traveling in the sky, pretty much.

USE 3 Us omg Sep 04, 2 22 27 PM
That little black blob is our tram. aiiii

Sometimes, I get irrationally terrified of heights, but never freaked out in either direction. The floor on the tram circulates so everyone gets all of the views. On the way up, some people could not comprehend that the floor moves, so they kept moving in the opposite direction of the floor, so those of us that understood this crazy concept kept being pushed a bit. On the way down, however, everyone remembered that it moves and I had no problems. I was wearing thong shoes and felt a little stress on my feet going down, but not bad.

Something that Sara and I didn’t even think about until it was too late was that the temperature on top would be vastly different than the firey hell the basin was experiencing. Now, on the day we went, it was in the mid to upper 60s up top so we were fine, but it can get cold, so make sure you check their site to make sure you have the proper clothing.

There are restaurants, a museum and a gift shop at the top. There are a lot of hiking trails on San Jacinto, including one that is really easy and flat. However, you do have to climb down some stairs to get to the easy hike, which, of course, means that you will have to climb back up. The easy hike does not require a permit, but the wilderness hikes do and you can acquire a permit at the ranger’s station.

You can also camp up in the mountains. You will also need a permit for that.

The tram does run in the winter and their site suggests cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Their Adventure Center rents gear, so you don’t have to schlepp anything to Palm Springs if you don’t want to.

Sara and I just wanted to go up and down. We didn’t read about the things to do and didn’t even think about the fact that we could have made a day of it. So, we kind of just went up, hiked for 30 minutes, peed, then went back down. It was still worth it, though.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
1 Tram Way Palm Springs, CA 92262
Phone: (888) 515-8726
Email: pstramway@pstramway.com

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It gets a little bumpy around these things!

 

-jenn

Grand Central Air Terminal

Grand Central Air Terminal, Glendale, California

Photo Nov 19, 11 08 09 AM

I work on the production side of commercials. Sometimes, the shoots are on stages that have been used in famous and beloved television shows and movies, often with commemorative plaques hung on the wall outside the door. Sometimes, the location is a beach, a house, or a museum. Sometimes, the location is a piece of history.

Though I am not religious, I lose my mind over Christmas and Santa. A few years ago, I even started a tradition of getting my photo with Santa. I have stood in line with children at malls, Union Station in Los Angeles and Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. The adults don’t always get that I am actually in line to get a photo with Santa and ME and have walked in front of me to get photos of their kids. Last December, I worked on a shoot with Santa Claus in an industrial area in Glendale, California.

As soon as I arrived at work, I was tasked with wrapping gifts for kids, which I gladly did while donning my personal Santa hat. The art department built and created an amazing and festive room with crafts, snacks and decorations. When I finally needed a bathroom break, I walked to another part of the building and discovered that I was in an air travel museum! Grand Central Air Terminal was a major airport long ago, attracting the rich and famous. It was the premier airport around Los Angeles before that title was bestowed upon LAX.

Air travel was starting to catch on in the late 1920s in the United States. In 1926, the Feds started to regulate air travel to ensure safety, which would then encourage people to take seriously the idea of flying in lieu of slower modes of transportation. Moving forward into the future of transportation was actually inspired by delivering mail. It had been decided that private businesses should get into mail delivery via plane. Combined with the enthusiasm created by Charles Lindbergh and his solo Atlantic flight, the US got excited about this newer form of getting around.

An airline called Transcontinental Air Transport had a Los Angeles – New York route that began at Grand Central. Lindbergh was hired by the airline and even flew the first leg of the first flight to New York (along with some celebrities.) Without night travel capability, the trips still included connections using trains and took nearly two days. When the DC-3 was introduced, the flights times were reduced, with a few stops for fuel. (The ads for the DC-3 included women so everyone would know that even WE can handle flying.)

When the USA joined World War II, the use of Grand Central was no longer for private citizens. It was used by the US Government to train pilots. Though the runway was extended during wartime, it was reduced when the airport was returned to use by civilians. The airport was unable to survive with said smaller runway due to the larger commercial airplanes that had emerged. The air terminal closed in 1959.

Eventually, Disney took over the building. It was restored and is open for free tours but you must make a reservation here.

Grand Central Air Terminal

1310 Air Way

Glendale, CA 91201

grand.central.air.terminal@disney.com

 

-jenn