05 Sep 2016

California & Nevada Road Trip! by em7070


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Today has been a site seeing day in a hot and sunny LA. It's a huge place and I completely underestimated just how spaced out the different areas of LA are, I thought we'd be able to walk from our hotel in Beverly Hills to Hollywood and to Santa Monica but they're over 5 miles away! There are tour buses around but we found it much easier to get around by Uber taxis. It's my first time using Uber and it's brilliant and so easy. We left the hotel this morning and headed on foot to nearby Rodeo Drive for some window shopping. Jack enjoyed watching the Lamborghini, Rolls Royce and Bentley cars driving past while I hummed Pretty woman and kept annoying Jack by quoting the film! The shops are very impressive along here anyway and after that we grabbed a quick Starbucks before taking our first Uber journey from Wilshire Blvd to Santa Monica Pier. We had the most lovely Uber driver called Frederick and he's lived in LA for over 50 years and was very happy to point lots out to us as we made our way to Santa Monica.
We walked the length of Santa Monica Pier and got lots of photos, watched some performers and browsed the street art. Santa Monica beach was packed as its Labor Day here in USA so the last day of summer vacation to Americans before they return to school/work. We then walked along the oceanfront promenade and spent a while watching crazy people doing exercises in the blazing heat at Muscle Beach before continuing along to Venice Beach. I loved Venice beach, it was so busy, full of so many different 'characters' and the street art people were selling was very interesting and clever. We even watched the 5-0 (police) arresting some people, it all happens there!
We then went to Hollywood again to see it in the daylight, did some browsing in the souvenir shops and saw the Hollywood sign on the distant hills before going back to Beverly Hills, having a quick freshen up in the hotel and then heading out for an early dinner locally. We found a posh French bistro just off of Rodeo Drive and they had a table for us so we enjoyed some nice French food which was a welcome break from the American food which can be a bit overwhelming after a while. We both had French onion soup to start followed by steak frites. I had a lovely Sauvignon Blanc too and this time didn't feel tipsy, just nice! We wandered back along the rich streets. I really like Beverly Hills and it's so much cleaner than Hollywood which I'm afraid to say is a great tourist place to visit but I'm glad my brother told us not to stay in a hotel near there! Tonight we are checking off things on the itinerary and are pleased to report that we've managed to do just about everything that we wanted to do in each place which is good (and probably why we feel quite weary even though we're having so much fun - averaging 25,000 steps a day even on the days were driving!). Tomorrow we leave LA pretty early to get on the road for the longest drive of the whole road trip as we make the 250+ mile journey through the Nevada desert to Las Vegas. We plan on a couple of pit stops along the way to refuel our tummies and the car, the main stop planned being Barstow. We've got about 5 hours of driving to do tomorrow, but it will be worth it and that's the final drive of the holiday done. Night xxx