Santa Monica & LA

Monday, Oct 10, 2011 at 04:21

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Trip Day 27
Saturday 1st October, 2011

Today was the beginning of what was to become a long series of lucky moments for our family. David knew that I really was keen to at least see the outside of Hearst castle even if we couldn't all afford to go inside so we turned up to the visitors centre which is the end of the road right on opening hours. It appeared to just be another overly commercial operation fulll of souvenir and food shops and a few museum items but the lovely lady gave us some tickets from under her desk to let us go into the IMAX theatre (a saving of $40). It was a great movie and we learned all about the history and the man W. J. Hearst. Feeling satisfied we then left the area and continued the coastal drive south to Santa Monica.

We are both getting so desperate for real coffee but cannot seem to find it easily. Americans typically drink the drippilator stuff that is rather awful and not worth it and the hotels we are in seem to be getting worse for facilitiies as we near the big A.

In my opinion, the guide books over glorify this part of California so Malibu etc was all a bit of a non-event. In Santa Monica, the pier is the main attraction but so too is a shopping block called Third, so we headed there after dumping off our gear at the hotel.

As we approached the pier, the girls we selected by a busker to be part of a bird show - it was simply incredible so we tipped him well and felt that was worth the visit alone! Leah and David were getting revved up about the upcoming rollercoaster fest they had envisioned but found kiddie kids so were a bit dejected but we all did some rides anyway and I thoroughly loved the sunset ride on the ferris wheel!

Finding only fast food rubbish on the pier we had to walk up to Third for dinner but found mostly fashion shops. It was the weekend though so lots of very good street performers were out which was entertaining. We got pretty desperate for food and finally found a thai restaurant (with a wait line).



Trip Day 28
Sunday 2nd October, 2011

This morning we were all just thinking of getting to Disneyland but David reminded us that we should at least drive-by Hollywood so as it was early Sunday we had no traffic issues and simply stayed in the car as we cruised along Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills etc (yawn - what is all the fuss about? Lots of brand names that mean nothing to me - I know, I'm an odd female but I can't afford to even care about this stuff!) so we drove up to Hollywood Boulevard and found dirty streets, old housing and nothing much thst even resembled anything we'd call stylish. But, we parked the car, got out and did the walk of fame, found a takeout coffee that passed but had no cafe atmosphere (they just don't get it here) and then felt as if we were in a poorer, older, seadier version of Vegas on Hollywood Boulevard with street hawkers trying to sell tours of stars houses and junk souvenior shops. We let ourselves go into the Guiness Book of Records walkthrough museum (all out of date and old and some of it broken) and then we couldn't get out of there fast enough!



Disneyland here we come!

It didn't take long to wizz along the massive freeways to Anaheim and find our hotel so we checked in early, did some washing, swam in the pool, did some shopping, and planned our Disney visit. That night we watched the massive fireworks from Disneyland from our hotel.

David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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