Getting there Alive
by Richard Schwartz
Hewlett-Packard Handheld Conference
Radisson Hotel Newport Beach
Orange County, California
This page last updated on 22 July 2003
Welcome to Los Angeles Airport
With a little preparation and a lot of money, you can avoid death and get to the HHC 2003 conference
It is easy to travel the 46 miles (80km) from Los Angeles airport to the Newport Radisson. Consider the possiblities, and prepare.
What to bring
- Programmable Calculator: play with this during the long flight.
- Cell Phone: this can be used for emergency by dialing 911
- Handheld Ham Radio: can get you friendly directions and helpful advice when you are lost. (Mine worked well in London last year, and the Brits were just as friendly as Californians.)
- Chargers for the above two items.
- WARNING! Communication is forbidden until you have cleared customs and immigration. Obey the posted signs.
When to ArriveThe highways of southern California become gridlocked with traffic after 2:00PM. Your trip to the conference location will take one to two hours, so you should try to get a flight that arrives at Los Angeles before noon.
|Other Points of Interest|
Where the tour guide$ won't take you
|Page Museum:this is in west Los Angeles, known as the "La Brea tar pit". There you will see remains of California megafauna: giant wolves, giant cats, elephants, etc. You will be glad you weren't here 50,000 years ago. |
| Mount Wilson Observatory: about 45 minutes from central Los Angeles, drive through beautiful forest to the place where Sir Edwin Hubble discovered the shape of the universe. Marvel at 19th century telescope technology. A solar telescope is working during the day, and you can view the Hooker 100" telescope from a visitor's gallery. |
|El Mar Pacifico: This large body of water was discovered by Balboa during Spain's 16th century drive to global empire. Its coastline is known for its surfing qualities and fine eye-candy |
Hotel or Other Shuttle:This is the best way to travel because you will not be paying for a car rental during the days of the conference when you will not be driving.
After you clear customs and immigration at the Bradley international terminal, you will enter a large waiting area where you might meet your American contact. Look to the right, and you will see on the far wall an illuminated panel with advertisements and direct telephones to hotels, shuttle vans, and taxi services. In dealing with those services, tell them your destination is near John Wayne Airport in Orange County. There are blue shuttles, orange shuttles, and yellow taxis. All are possible transports to the Conference. There are no regular schedules; you must ask drivers where they are going or make reservations on-line.
- A good way to get transportation is to go outside the terminal building to the curb. Ask any of the numerous baggage handlers or security guards the best way go to John Wayne airport. Ask any of the shuttle or taxi drivers. (It is OK to converse with strangers in Los Angeles; We are not New York.) You should not have to spend more than $30 or wait more than an hour at the airport.
- The Radisson Newport Hotel operates a shuttle van to Los Angeles Airport. You must schedule your ride in advance. The fee is $25 one way. Information for contacting the hotel is elsewhere in this web site, or you can contact one of the other hotels of the Radisson chain; two of them are listed in the display panels.
- Numerous other shuttles are available for about $30 one-way to the conference location. There are several shuttle operators. Expect to share the shuttle with others whose destination is near yours.
- Taxi: The taxi ride from Los Angeles airport to Newport Beach will cost about $80. In talking with the taxi driver, you should expect language shock (the driver I spoke with was Russian). If three share a taxi, and if the driver does not take the shortcut through Hollywood and Las Vegas, it may be as affordable and convenient as the larger shuttle vans.
- Rent a Car If you are accustomed to driving in the United States or Europe, consider renting a car. This gives you maximum freedom. This option is best if you are traveling with others who can share the cost, or if you have plenty of money and want to spend a few extra days to see places a tour guide will never take you (or places on Richard's attraction list).
| Note: the map will show Sepulveda Blvd. crossing the Los Angeles airport runway. Even we are not that stupid; there IS A TUNNEL! |
The main exit from Los Angeles airport will send you east on Century boulevard. Continue east on Century until you find Interstate Highway 405, and take it south about 40 miles. (The actual direction is south-east.) WARNING: Do NOT get on interstate highway 105, which runs east from Los Angeles airport. From I-405 take the MacArthur Blvd Exit. Turn Left at off ramp. Go 6 Blocks to Birch. The Hotel is on the Corner of Birch and MacArthur Blvd. It is strongly recommeded that you visit the mapquest web site to see where you will be going.
Here is what to expect when driving in southern California:
This highway leads to the conference. Your travel time will vary from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the time of day.
This highway passes through rap video land. If you get on this one the only safe exit is another interstate highway.
- Bad Traffic: Expect very heavy traffic from after 2:00PM. It will cause you to miss your flight home. Traffic announcements on local radio stations are mostly lies.
- Languages: more than half of Californians speak Spanish as their first or second language. Visitors from Spain and South America will be comfortable here. (Long ago, we were a colonial possession of Spain.)
- UK residents: We drive on the right side of the road; you do not. Adjust or die.
- You must use a road map. Well-meaning strangers you ask will be polite and friendly, but will give you wrong directions. Get your map from www.mapquest.com. Enter the street location Century and Sepulveda, Los Angles, California, and with a bit of zooming and center-shiftying you will have what you need. Be sure to select the "large" map format.
- Bad neighborhoods: You do not want to enact a scene from a gangstah rap video. Do NOT get on Interstate Highway 105.
- Cheap Car Rental: there are low cost car rental agencies. Due to the political power of the big rental companies, the low cost suppliers are barred from access to Los Angeles airport. To mention Rent-A-Wreck at the airport is a thought crime that will subject you to imprisonment at a secret location and re-education under the new American Patriot Anti-Terrorism act. You can probably find other bargain rental cars, but you MUST have reservations, or you will be paying for an expensive large car. RESERVE YOUR RENTAL CAR NOW!
Call RichardMy home phone number is 978-2730 (same area code as LAX). If you have a vhf/uhf ham radio, you reach me through the TRW repeater, 145.320, input .600 down, P/L 114.8 (do not use the initial tone burst as in UK). Anybody there will give friendly advice if you are lost. Sorry, I smashed my cellulite phone in a fit of rage.
Truck, Bus or Freight TrainThis is not an option in California. The network of hobo camps needed to support such transportation modes has vanished in the dustpan of history.