As we continued closer to California, there began to be almost an urgency to get there. It didn’t matter that we were days ahead of schedule, every stop was carefully weighed to determine if it was worth a delay in our arrival. We passed up many roadside attractions (The London Bridge), drove past many national parks I’d hoped to stop at (Joshua Tree), only stopping when nature called. Stepping foot in California had become a mission to my kids’ and NOTHING could distract them.
Excitement in the car began to build as we neared the LA smog that hovered on the horizon. We had nearly made our destination in record time, and yet my mind was blown by all we’d been able to see during the past three days. I found myself wondering why we had never attempted a road trip like this before and then, day two crept back into my mind.
The traffic in LA was crazy. I think we spent more time sitting along the freeway than we did enjoying the city. I’m sure locals would know what roads to avoid at certain times, but we tourists didn’t have that luxury. We inched our way to the Hollywood Wax Museum on Hollywood Blvd.
My daughter had three things on her list that she wanted to do in Hollywood.
1) Walk to the Hollywood Sign. My daughter decided against walking straight up a hillside in the warmer- than- anticipated- 80- degree- temperatures to see something that she could see from below, without sweating and instead snapped a photo of the Hollywood Sign.
2) See the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
3) Visit Venice Beach for which the warm temperatures were perfect.
My oldest son wanted to see the Chinese Theater, but we couldn’t get near it because they were preparing for a red carpet event. My other son was simply along for the ride.
We made a horrible mistake by trying to leave the city during rush hour and once again limped along the freeway, making our way to Santa Barbara where we decided we would stay for the night.
Exhausted, we fell into bed and slept in the next morning. We took our time getting ready and eating the continental breakfast the motel provided before we pulled from the parking lot. The only agenda, to experience more of the shoreline. We didn’t drive long before El Capitan State Beach beckoned.
The tide was out so we could walk the beach for miles. My intent was to beachcomb, but we encountered a surprise- dolphins in the water a short distance from shore! This was the first time we had seen dolphins outside captivity and we were fascinated. Of course I had hoped to snap the perfect photo but…well…you see.
My kids’ ran along the shore, jumping and laughing and I realized how grateful I was to have the opportunity to spend this time with my family. And when my son told me that this had been a really good trip, all those rough moments that we’d encountered during our road trip slipped away.
We decided to continue up the 101 and using my road trip guidebook, noticed that California boasted an Alpine Village similar to Helen, Georgia. We decided to stop for a closer look.
After grabbing lunch at the local grocery store and finding a souvenir at the thrift store, we were back on the road. Turning towards home onto CA-166 to drive through Los Padres National Park towards Bakersfield, rewarded with more incredible views.
We pulled in to the hotel early that evening, allowing us to relax and rest up for the return trip and to try a local pizza.
Need to catch up?
Day Four Expenses:
Gas/Toll Charges/Parking Fees: $78.00
Lodging: $120.44 (We were actually charged twice for this- make sure you always double check your credit card statements)
Entertainment: $2.28 (Tickets to the Hollywood Wax Museum were provided for my family in order to review the property)
Miles traveled for the day: 445
Total miles traveled for our trip so far: 2586
Day Five Expenses:
Gas/Toll Charges/Parking Fees: $30.00
Food: $66.60 (Saved $10 off the price of our pizza with a gift certificate from Restaurant.com)
Lodging: $99.56 (Saved with hotel discount book)
Miles traveled for the day: 211
Total miles traveled for our trip so far: 2797
This post is linked to Inspire Me Wednesday with Mama Buzz.