Friday 14th June.
We left those dear P's early Friday morning. It was time for our road trip, where we hired a car and drove up the coast along Highway One from the LA area to San Fransisco. We gave ourselves 5 days to make the drive with a few nights in Venice Beach and San Simeon along the way. Leslie dropped us off at a Hertz car rental where we had hired the cheapest 'compact car' on their list and then proceeded to pinch ourselves all the way to San Fransisco as we drove away in a very sleek black 2013 Mercedes C250!!! We felt so very blessed by this upgrade which was given to us because the car we had hired didn't have a GPS like we requested.
Mr A, my fearless warrior, was the first to tackle driving on wrong side of the road. And oh man did it feel strange! It's hard to describe the feeling to anyone who hasn't experienced it. We kept looking the wrong way for our revision mirror (M's brain finally convincing himself that he just didn't have one) and bashing our hand into the door each time we stopped and tried to put it into park. At the start, I felt like one of those bobble heads people put on their car dash, as I wasn't sure which way to look - where my controls were or what was around me! We found that following traffic was actually the easiest and I, in particular, found empty roads or carparks the hardest as I really had to think about which way I was turning and what side of the road I was veering towards. Making perhaps one wrong turn onto the highway (luckily deserted late at night in San Simeon and quickly corrected by Morgan) - ooops! It was such a fun part of our trip, even though our very first turn onto the highway we went the wrong way and started heading south instead of north :)!
Leslie and Nick live inland a little bit so we drove up and over the windy mountain and across to Laguna Beach area where we Stopped for Coffee and morning tea. We strolled along the beach, peeked into the cute shops and watched the crazy expensive cars driving past (feeling like we fit right in in our Mercedes!) We headed along the coast through Laguna, Newport, Huntington, Long Beach and to Venice Beach where we had hired this cute place a few streets back from the beach. We booked all our accommodation except one night in San Simeon through airbnb and I would recommend it in a heartbeat. It was so fun to stay like locals in some of the most amazing cities in the world exploring small parts that most tourists don't and there are some really amazing properties available for hire!
Once we arrived in Venice we went for a walk along the boardwalk picking up fresh cold juices, stopping to look at the stalls of handmade goodies and artwork, looking in the shops and watching the interesting people in costumes busking and walking by. If you love to people watch, I would recommend Venice in a heartbeat. I feel like you could sit there all day long just watching the people go by and not grow bored at all. What a weird and fascinating place! With just a few 'funky' smells!
For dinner we headed to our local whole foods (we LOVE this place!!) and picked up a few breakfast and road trip snack supplies. We also both came away with a pair of Toms which I have been wanting forever but the shipping to Aus was too expensive. Those shoes are some of the comfiest I own and were perfect to wear for all our touristy wandering around each city.
That night, we drove back to the Venice sign to snap some pictures of it in all it's illuminated glory, then we drove into Santa Monica to explore and had delicious thai for dinner. After dinner we walked down to the pier (which I explored back in 2010 with my cousin Sarah.) It was so much fun to show Morgan a place I had been and loved before). We loved the late night carnival feel of the place, M taking some great shots of the park lit up at night and stopping for a little fun in one of their photo booths. I think we arrived back at our place around midnight after a long and fun filled day.