Bonaire to Los Angeles

October 21st, 2007 at 6:12 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

Day 1 of our Pacific Journey – Bonaire to Los Angeles

As the post prior to this one indicates, we started our journey from Bonaire yesterday morning on time. Our visiting friends Martin and Angela saw us off (they are staying at our house for the next week), and we flew with another long time friend, Darlene.

We checked eight pieces of checked luggage for this trip (three of those are stuffed with dive gear for the four of us), and also have the full load of eight carry-ons – four wheeled carry-ons, and four shoulder bags or back-packs. That’s a lot of stuff.

But check-in was no problem on Bonaire. It never has been if you show up early enough.

We had a very tight connection in San Juan due to a schedule change, but thanks to our frequent flyer status and business class upgrades we got to go into the express security line in San Juan and we just barely made our flight. Amazingly, our bags made it to Los Angeles with us, although problems with the baggage delivery system delayed us a bit as well.

We had prearranged with Prime Limousine Service to pick us up in a large SUV to accommodate all the luggage we had, and our driver Gennady managed to just barely squeeze us and our bags into the Escalade he brought to the airport for us. Gennady, an immigrant from Ukraine, was a nice chatty fellow, and curious about Bonaire and living in the Caribbean.

Our Hotel

We arrived at the Farmer’s Daughter Hotel in early evening, and got settled into our two rooms – the kids in one, and the adults in the adjacent one. Things work better that way, we’ve found.

The hotel is located a few minute walk from the famous Farmers Market in Los Angeles, and thus also near The Grove shopping area, and we’ve been told that it’s the preferred hotel for contestants on the TV game show, The Price is Right, which is taped at the CBS Studios right across the street.

The Farmer’s Daughter hotel is a bit funky and kitschy, and features an interesting looking restaurant/bar called Tart (we’ll have dinner there tonight). The rooms are comfortable, but spartan. And as we discovered, even though we had reservations for connecting rooms, there were no such rooms at the hotel at all. But we did manage to get adjacent rooms. The front desk staff was friendly, but there was no bell staff to speak of, so we had a lot of luggage moving to do ourselves once we found a luggage cart. Not a problem, but it did delay our getting to our rooms a bit.

After settling in and opening the FedEx boxes waiting for us (one was a color proof of the forthcoming 2008 Richter Art Calendar and the others for Linda’s new Sony Reader – more on the latter later), we headed out to explore dinner options.

Dining Out – Japanese Cusine

We settled on a place called Kado, which offered regular dining on one side and a conveyor belt sushi delivery system on the other. We opted for the conveyor belt sushi side, as we could get fed more quickly that way, and because the other side was loud and noisy with various actors and Hollywood types (Bas saw an actor he recognized from one of the shows he watches) at some sort of shindig.

The food at Kado was quite good, but service was a bit sketchy – many of the waiters and waitresses seemed a bit distracted by the gathering at the other side of the restaurant in the lounge.

Winding Down

After dinner we wandered over to the party supply store across the way to scout out Halloween gear for use on Halloween aboard the cruise ship. We actually have no idea if there will be anything remotely like Halloween celebrated on the cruise, though. We did not buy anything last night, but did study the options, and ended up buying costumes and accessories today.

After a quick stop for soft serve ice cream in Farmers Market, we retired to our rooms for the night and watched a couple of episodes of Smallville, Season 1 with the kids off the DVDs we had brought with us to distract them with. It should be noted that the rooms here at the Farmer’s Daughter Hotel are equipped with good sized flat screens and DVD players – an added bonus as far as we’re concerned, since watching such movies on the small 8″ portable DVD player is a challenge for four people.

That ends Day 1 of our journey.

Photos documenting the day’s travels and explorations can be found here in our Photo Gallery.


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One Response to “Bonaire to Los Angeles”

  1. Darlene Says:

    Hi guys!!!!
    I am so glad to here that you made your flight in San Juan!!!! I saw you in the express line but still weren’t sure if it was fast enough.
    Thanks so much for letting me join you the morning of our departure! It sure beat sitting in the airport and I enjoyed visiting with you all. I am still chuckling over the time for us all to leave for the airport! It soooooo reminded me of the movie “Home Alone!!!!” I must say that you have it down pat and no one was left home alone!!! 🙂 I am sure that Yana and Bas are happy about that! 🙂
    Have a great time on your wonderful and exciting excursion and I look forward to reading all about it.
    Big Hugs, Darlene