USA series: Citadel Outlet Shopping, Los Angeles

Downtown LA close but so far away

Downtown LA close but so far away

Today’s forecast is mid 20’s and Alex and I are set to do some retail therapy at the Citadel Outlet.

Alex and I are near the end of our USA holiday, finishing our trip with a 4 night stay in Venice Beach in sunny California.

Sure enough, we wake to a sparkling blue sky as we look from our window on the 4th floor of the Cadillac Hotel.

Important Los Angeles landmarks according to Wikipedia:

Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Angels Flight, the Kodak Theatre, the Griffith Observatory, the Getty Center, the Getty Villa, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood Sign, the Bradbury Building, Hollywood Boulevard, the Capitol Records Building, Los Angeles City Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the Theme Building, BattleshipUSS Iowa, the Watts Towers, the Staples Center, Dodger Stadium, La Placita Olvera/Olvera Street and the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Sunset Bridge.

And yes Wikipedia, that’s fine to know what the famous landmarks are, unfortunately in LA, actually getting to them is the challenge – take our day getting to and from the Citadel Outlet shopping centre for example….

We begin our day’s adventure to do our Citadel Outlet Shopping on LA’s public transport by walking the couple of blocks to Main Street and locate the nearest bus stop. We catch the Big Blue bus orange line 1 along Main Street. We get off at the intersection of Broadway and Main in Santa Monica in order to find our next bus stop.

Where's the bus stop?

Where’s the bus stop?

At the next bus stop we wait for the Big Blue Bus “Rapid 10”. This will take about 40 minutes to downtown LA where we get off at Union Station train station.

Our next transfer is at the train station but in order to get onto another bus. This time it is the courtesy bus run by the Citadel Outlet Shopping centre which will take us direct to the Citadel Shopping Outlet store.

After a mere 4 hours of total travel time, we arrive at Citadel Shopping outlet store. Alex, this so better be worth it!!

Tick, tick, tick…like all shopping centre time warp experiences…fast forward to 3 hours later and we discover we have just missed the free shuttle back to Union Station. The next shuttle is 1.5 hours away…. bugger!

We go back into the service desk of the Citadel Outlet Shopping centre to ask what we can do, given we have missed the shuttle bus.

He directs us to get the 720 Rapid to Santa Monica. To get the 720 Rapid we need to take a taxi from the Citadel to the corner of Whittier and Goodrich Streets as it is too far to walk. We pay the minimum taxi fare of USD$10 for the 5 minute ride.

We are now on the 720 Rapid bus which will take a non-rapid 1.5 hours to Santa Monica. The good news it will cost USD$1.50 each. A taxi would be USD$100.

We pass near downtown (5th and Wall Street) which appears to be full of homeless and basically looked like something out of a movie set. Downtown looks soulless and empty of character or charm…just saying.

So, as with other bus rides today, this bus ride also seems to be another bus ride with another crazy person.  This time it’s a lady yelling at someone – no wait, she is yelling at no-one.  Alex and I try not to make eye contact.

Finally….. we reach Third Street Promenade (shopping/restaurant strip) in Santa Monica after the longest USD$1.50 bus ride ever.

Dinner at an Italian restaurant before a taxi ride home to Dudley Street and the pink Cadillac Hotel.

So today Alex and I spent over 6 hours on a bus, for about 3 hours actual shopping time. Crazzzy!

Tomorrow is going to be one of the best days of Alex’s life because I will be taking him on his own personal Doors tour of Venice.  As excited as you might be Alex, try and get some sleep.

For previous USA series post see Venice Beach and Santa Monica Beach, Los Angeles
For next USA series post stay tuned…