We made a reservation online thru Enterprise’s website a long time ago for pick up around 10 for a intermediate car. When we arrive Joe (he actually introduced himself and shook our hands) took down all the necessary info. We are the second people here but soon the shuttle from the ship arrives and at least three different groups arrive.
One couple that arrives has a woman who is fuming! Apparently she had been waiting at the pier forever waiting for the shuttle. She thinks that screaming in the office will get results, when actually her husband is covering in the corner (don’t blame him) and the staff are just trying to calm her down but she doesn’t want to listen. Oh and now when she finds out that we have to wait a bit for cars to return she is fuming… threatening the staff with her loyal business (somehow that may be a positive for the company). She storms out on her phone, now screaming to someone on the phone about the problem.
We are told that they are waiting for cars to return and for some cars to be delivered from another location. There are six different couples waiting for a car, we are number in two in the queue. I sit there and chat with two other couples there and after about 40 minutes I ask the manager what they can do to compensate us because of the unexpected delay. He says I will discount your daily fee by $10 and will give you free gas credit (so we don’t have to fill up the car upon return). I confirm that he will do it for all of us, he agrees (thankfully the screaming woman was not there, plus I think they are going somewhere else). I pass the message on to the other people waiting.
Sure it was an annoyance but they handled it the best they could. It is not too much of an inconvenience for us as we don’t have any set plans. But for others who need to get somewhere it could be an issue. Unfortunately the Enterprise office (which is located at the Crowne Plaza in San Pedro) is the only car rental agency in the area, so you are kind of limited unless you go to Long Beach.
So we are in our car – GPS is hooked up and we are heading North to Santa Monica. You see Bernie and I are huge foodies, we love the Food Network and all the cooking shows. One of our favorites is Master Chef and we absolutely love Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken who have both been on Master Chef, as well as many other cooking shows. We decided when we had some time in LA we would make a point of visiting one of their local restaurants called Border Grill. They have one in Santa Monica so that is where we are heading.
We arrive (all in once piece, boy LA traffic is crazy and everyone uses their phones while driving) about 40 minutes later and park at the mall. Gee even that parkade is impressive…. Lights overhead identify where a free parking spot is with a green light. There are cameras on every car and so if you can’t remember where you are parked just enter your license plate and it will tell you. And it wasn’t even that expensive, we were gone three hours and it cost only $2.50!
We arrive at the restaurant around 1 pm and we are sat right away. Oh we are excited to be here, and I start with a special margarita a jalapeno cucumber margarita… apparently they infuse the tequila in a jalapeno and cucumbers for over a week. It is spicy but pickly/sweet too – too hard to describe.
Amelia our server senses our excitement, ahhh who am I kidding we tell her how excited we are to be there. She brings over a complimentary appetizer of grilled corn tamales and even though tamales are not one of our favorites usually because they are too dry for our liking, these are moist, flavourful and to die for.
I ordered these tacos that were filled with a mashed potato and aioli – the flavors burst in my mouth. OMG even the two types of rice and the beans are amazing. Bernie ordered a pork mole with pomegranates…. Again is too hard to describe… the spicy/sweet sensation with the burst of juice from the pomegranates.
We are getting full but I can’t resist trying some dessert…. Heck I am coming down for a cruise I can find room. Bernie orders a souffléd key lime cheesecake and I order and a special coffee. Again we are not disappointed - oh I wish I lived closer so I could here more often.
I ask Amelia if we can get the Mary Sue and Susan’s Cookbook City Cuisine, but she says they don’t have anymore… oh well my first disappointment and I will survive, maybe I can find it online. But a few minutes she comes by and hands me one! It is like Christmas! And it is signed by both chefs! Happy Happy!
We waddle out of the restaurant – we definitely don’t need dinner tonight.
We decide to head down to the Santa Monica Pier for a stroll and to see the sights. The weather is lovely and there are so many people, even considering it is a Wednesday. We head down the beach a bit and then back up to get the car.
We head South down to Venice Beach…. Now I have seen Venice Beach on shows/movies etc but I think it may have changed. Sure there are some sights/people that sure are interesting but really I don’t need any of the stuff they are selling. It was cool to see the Muscle Beach and the other sports happening along the beach.
We decide to start to make our way back to the car and then the hotel. Traffic is heavy and it takes almost twice as long to get back to the hotel as it did earlier.
It has been a fun day, but we are tired, full and excited about getting on the Golden tomorrow.