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Old 27 May 20, 03:07 PM  
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juliab
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The 260 Mile West Coast Wander - August 2019 - Day 17 - Highway to L.A. - Santa Monica

INDEX

Tuesday 20th August

Don’t know if the previous guest had set the alarm but it went off at 4am in the morning! Thankfully it just woke Scott and me up!

It was a very cloudy morning where had the sun gone? It also felt cool, hopefully the sun would make an appearance later.

We all got ready and went down to get some breakfast room to get something to eat, well it was pure bedlam when we arrived.

Talk about busy there weren’t enough tables for the amount of families that were waiting around. I told the kids to get a drink and a bit of food and we would take it back to the room. Just as we’d got a drink a few families left so it freed up a few tables - that was lucky.

I felt sorry for the lady who was replenishing the food as she appeared to be on her own and she had no chance of keeping up with the demand.

We manage to grab some toast and some fruit along with some coffee for us adults and juice for the kids.



It was 10am when we left Pismo Beach – we always knew it was only really going to be a flying visit here so we couldn’t really comment much about this place. It had served it’s purpose as a good overnight stay to break the long journey up.

The drive over to Solvang didn’t take long and we soon arrived in this cute place.



Even better the sun was shining by the time we arrived there!

We parked up on a side road and had a little wander around the town we couldn’t believe how pretty this little town was. The houses were just too cute and everything looked so picturesque.








Of course we couldn’t resist buying some Danish pastries which wasn’t a difficult thing to do. There were plenty of bakeries to tempt us and even though we weren’t hungry at that point we purchased a few delicious pastries to eat later.



After a lovely stroll and browse in the shops we left Solvang and continued with our drive to Mailibu. The road wasn’t as scenic compared with the Big Sur it seemed a little dull in places which makes me sound awful but we'd been spoiled from our previous drives. It was still a lovely drive though and we had fantastic views of the Pacific for most of the way.






Poppy was in need of a restroom break and we located a Walmart I think it was located in Ventura? Whilst we were there we picked up some sandwiches, cookies and salad and we thought we could have these on the beach for our lunch.

We drove a little further along Highway 1 and decided to stop earlier than the pier at Malibu as the kids were getting hungry. Not sure what the beach was called we just stopped as soon as we saw the parking which turned out to be free. There were also restrooms so we made use of those before settling down to our late lunch on the beautiful quiet beach.









It was so warm sat there I could’ve dosed off in the sun! After a hour we set back on our journey to Santa Monica. Not long into the journey we passed Malibu Pier and whilst it looked lovely I think we would’ve struggled a bit with parking so I was glad we’d stopped off where we did.

From then on the traffic got busier and the area became a lot more built up. You weren’t able to see the sea because of the beachside houses.

Soon though we could see Santa Monica Pier, we drove down to the parking lot only to see that it was $15 to park up. Now I don’t mind paying a bit over the odds but as it was mid afternoon we knew we’d only be here too long. Again I had gauged the journey times incorrectly and what with the Walmart stop the day had kind of run away with us a little.

We drove out and I quickly looked on Google maps and noticed a multi storey car park just a couple of blocks away. We arrived there in minutes, parked up then walked down to Santa Monica which took us all of 5 minutes!

I couldn’t believe how busy it was around here! So many people rushing around but then I suppose it is a popular tourist place!





The pier looked like any other seaside place, we had a walk around and we had a look at the funfair but the rides looked a little bit too tame for Hayden and Jamie.






Admiring the view


After another wander around we left the pier. Originally we were going to walk down to Venice beach but it was tea time so we didn’t really have the time to do this as I wanted us to be checked into hotel before dark.

We left the car park and much to our surprise the parking was free for your first 90 minutes so it didn’t cost a penny or cent should I say.

Drove the short distance to Venice Beach but we had no luck at finding any parking. We kept driving round and around but everywhere were full apart from a dodgy looking place! I know I so wanted for us to have a look around here but I was conscious of all our luggage and valuables being in the back of the car I needed to feel we were parking somewhere secure.

Time was getting so we decided to call it a day and drive over to our hotel in Burbank. We checked Google maps and followed the route given for the quickest one as it was 6pm. Of course we knew the traffic would be bad but we were still shocked at how busy it was! I think it’s something you have to see to believe.





It took us a while to move a few miles but eventually we made it over to Burbank and to our hotel Springhill Suites.

Went to check in and thought it was a little strange when I said our name and then the duty manager came out to us. Apparently we didn’t have a room for that night! They had contacted me to enquire whether we still needed the room? I looked at my phone and they had been an email at 11am that morning, I explained that were on our holiday and I don’t check my phone throughout the day as I’m enjoying our family time! I had looked just before we set off at 10.00 that morning but of course it hadn’t been sent then.

I was so annoyed and then he went on to talk about how these things happen especially when booked through third party. I promptly told him that we had booked directly with Marriott and had paid for the hotel in advance!

They did say that they’d booked us into the Courtyard which was close by so at least we did have a room somewhere and tomorrow we’d be able to check into the Springhill Suites. Sounds a bit dramatic I know but I could’ve cried. I felt so tired and I was so annoyed that we’d carted all the blooming cases out of the car only for them all to be carted back! Because of the inconvenience we wouldn’t be charged for the night we would receive a refund. He gave us a map of where the hotel was located and we set back off into the night.

Thankfully it didn’t take long for us to get to the Courtyard. We had a letter with us that we handed when we checked in explaining what had happened and we were soon checked into a room.

We got all our cases and bags out and went to our new room. First thing we noticed the room was for 4 people it only had 2 doubles in, no pull out bed for Poppy. We were clearly a party of 5 and that was stated on our booking. I remarked to Scott that I’d go back to reception and ask for another room but Scott like the rest of us was just tired and he said just leave it I’ll sleep in the chair. I felt so bad for Scott and offered to swap places but he said he’d be fine. I really didn’t have the energy for going back to reception as I knew I’d get emotional.

Anyway we’d not eaten, our duck had been knocked off so to speak and we asked the kids if they wanted to go out for something to eat or have some of the unhealthy snacks that we had and they opted for the unhealthy snacks! I couldn’t be bothered with having anything to eat - I showered then got all our clothes out ready for the morning so that we could set off to Universal Studio’s straight after breakfast.
Everyone else showered and changed and we settled down to sleep.





Today had been a strange one, it’s not that I didn’t enjoy it because we all did I know that if this had been at the start of our holiday I would’ve felt completely different about it all.

Never the less we were all excited about tomorrow as we were going to Universal Studios for the day

Thanks for reading

Steps – 12,208

Edited at 07:11 PM.
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Old 27 May 20, 03:34 PM  
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ely3857
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Bloody hell. Hotels take the mick don’t they!
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Old 27 May 20, 08:28 PM  
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Jessika
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I was really looking forward to visiting Solvang and am really unsure whether my August trip will take place. I feel more positive some days than others. Your beach photos are lovely did you take beach towels with you on your travels? cannot wait to read the next instalment, thanks for sharing.
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Old 28 May 20, 03:52 PM  
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KayLouise
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Another lovely day. That's awful with the hotel though, I'd have been fuming 🤬
Looking forward to reading your Universal day 😊
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Old 28 May 20, 09:04 PM  
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mrsdjh
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Lovely place for lunch.

How poor of the hotel - I’m not surprised you felt upset and annoyed. Looking forward to reading all about Universal Studios.
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Old 29 May 20, 02:55 PM  
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magickate
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Loved reading your report so far & looking forward to what you think of Disneyland.

That was really poor of the hotel, it's the scenario I always imagine whenever we go to check in at a hotel. They should have dealt with it alot better!
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Old 30 May 20, 10:06 PM  
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Another great read Julia, minus the traffic & hotel!
Lovely photos as always.

M x
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Old 2 Jun 20, 02:36 PM  
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juliab
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Originally Posted by ely3857 View Post
Bloody hell. Hotels take the mick don’t they!
I know! I was so annoyed with them.
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Old 2 Jun 20, 02:42 PM  
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juliab
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Originally Posted by Jessika View Post
I was really looking forward to visiting Solvang and am really unsure whether my August trip will take place. I feel more positive some days than others. Your beach photos are lovely did you take beach towels with you on your travels? cannot wait to read the next instalment, thanks for sharing.
It was a lovely little place to visit. I can imagine how you are feeling i really do feel for people who have got trips booked for this year. I do hope you'll be able to visit of if not you'll be able to reschedule for another time.

Yes we took some beach towels away with us to use just incase. They were handy for those days when we were in between hotels so we could use them on the beach.

Thanks for still following along
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Old 2 Jun 20, 02:44 PM  
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Originally Posted by KayLouise View Post
Another lovely day. That's awful with the hotel though, I'd have been fuming 🤬
Looking forward to reading your Universal day 😊
It was all we needed at the end of a day travelling

Thank you
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