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Old 24 Jul 23, 08:14 PM  
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#11
babbymint
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Join Date: May 11
Location: Sunny South Coast
4 aug Redwoods

Drive to Monterey
We made our way today to Monterey. It was a good drive. Chas wanted to stop and see some big trees so we headed for Henry Cowell state park. Just before we stopped to get some sandwiches to take in. It’s really noticeable that prices have rocketed - from a local supermarket we bought two basic sandwiches and a salad tray plus some orange juice and it came to $28.

We walked round a couple of trails and saw squirrels and deer. The Freemont tree you can walk inside - hollowed out by fire that was once used as a resort honeymoon room.
The tallest tree is nearly 300 feet and 1500 years old.
I think this was one of my favourite things so far. It was so tranquil there and the trees so old and beautiful.


We then drove on to Monterey- we were staying In pacific grove. It was quite late by the time we arrived so we grabbed a pizza from 7-11 and ate it in our room.

Edited at 07:10 AM.
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Old 24 Jul 23, 08:14 PM  
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Join Date: May 11
Location: Sunny South Coast
5 Aug Monterey

It was our day to watch whales today - we booked with a charter called Chris’ Fishing and Whale Watching.
The tour lasted about three hours and none of us were hungry beforehand so we just joined the 10am departure.
We did see a number of humpbacks- very difficult to photograph as I was worried about dropping my phone in the swaying boat.

The boat goes out fast for about 40 minutes until it spots something then slows/stops to observe. It is then that I started to feel very sick! They had told us in the pre departure talk that if you felt ill to go to the back of the boat where the swaying is less and you can feed the fish over the back of the boat. I made my way there and didn’t feed the fish but there were a few others there that did. I didn’t feel better until I was back on dry land…
We then had a wander around Fisherman’s Wharf, watched the sea lions for ages - there wasn’t very many in San Francisco but there were loads here and they are so fun to watch

We bought some souvenirs and had a sandwich lunch.

At this point I noticed that Tom looked really red and I worried for a minute as he has lots of health issues. Then I felt my own face…Chas had put on sun cream - he has no hair so he always does it- because it was dull and overcast I didn’t think about it - big mistake- huge. Tom and I now both look like beetroots.
Anyhow, we then walked to Cannery Row, more shopping and a quick walk along the shore.
Monterey is a lovely little seaside town, full of tourists but well worth a look.
Two lessons learned:
1. I get seasick
2. The sun burns through cloud in California

Edited at 05:36 AM.
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Old 24 Jul 23, 08:15 PM  
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Join Date: May 11
Location: Sunny South Coast
6 Aug San Luis Obisbo

First thing today we did the 17 mile drive around Pebble Beach. Unfortunately the weather was very overcast and some of the sights were not as good as they could have been.

Then we drove to San Luis Obispo to break up the journey to LA. I had booked one night at the Madonna Inn and I’m so glad I did. What a wonderful hotel this is - so unique and quirky. It’s not cheap but I’d managed to get a night for £172 (+resort fee) using the defence discount card.
If you’re in the area it’s definitely worth a stay - I did think it would have been nice to do two nights…
Our room was the Imperial family- each room has a different theme- one super king and a double a divided off room.


There’s a lovely pool and cakes in the bakery are to die for - forgot a picture so nabbed one online.


Tom was tired so Chas and I went to the town for a wander. We saw the famous “Bubblegum Alley” which is probably the most revolting thing I’ve seen in a while (couldn’t help pulling a face!)but had scores of tourists buzzing around!


We had a quick dip and then a cheap dinner in IHOP just next door - we’re easy to please and it was pretty good for the money.
I bought a sneaky bottle of rum in town and had a couple or rum n lemons in the room…

Edited at 05:13 AM.
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Old 24 Jul 23, 08:15 PM  
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Join Date: May 11
Location: Sunny South Coast
7 aug Los Angeles

Today we left San Luis Obispo and made our way south to Los Angeles. Chas was a bit nervous about this drive, especially within the city as we know how busy it is. We stopped at a McDonald’s about 2/3 of the way there, it was actually rather good, and cheapest meal yet at $30 for all three of us. Fortunately the hotel I chose, the Adler, was almost directly of the south one oh one, and it actually turned out to be very simple.
When we got to the hotel, we were greeted by an exceptionally friendly member of staff, who had the news for us that our room, although newly renovated, was lacking some furnishings which had been late being delivered! He assured us that we had all the basics and was giving us a 25% reduction and a free breakfast in the adjoining diner. Being the budget travellers we are, we accepted this. I was a bit nervous as we entered the room, but actually it was fine. Very spacious and literally brand-new no one had ever been in it before. Big 60 inch TV with movie channels, massive bathroom, and lots of space. However, it was lacking drawer space and closet space. this didn’t really bother us as we are quite used to living out of suitcases anyway and the reduction means our food will be largely free now in LA.

We unpacked, and then made our way to Hollywood Boulevard, about 5–10 minute walk. The hotel staff told us that the area was relatively safe as there are plenty of bars and restaurants around meaning lots of people. We did pass some homeless tents on the way in an underpass, but couldn’t see any activity there. We are right by the Capital Records building and Hollywood Towers that looks like a model for the Tower of Terror!

We walked up Hollywood Boulevard until our feet got sore and then walked back down the other side, taking pictures of the stars on the pavement when we found ones we liked! They’re all rather dirty though and need a good polish!

Following the McDonald’s, we weren’t very hungry so we stopped in a CVS to get some Chips and dips, and then I might have got some more juice to go with my rum. We were all pretty tired by then so we relaxed with a movie in the room.

Edited at 06:40 PM.
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Old 24 Jul 23, 08:16 PM  
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Join Date: May 11
Location: Sunny South Coast
8 aug LA

We started our day by having our complimentary breakfast at Clarks Diner which is attached to the Adler. Bacon, eggs, hash browns and fluffy pancakes. A good start to the day.
We had decided to take an Uber to the Griffith Observatory rather than drive, is was only $12 and therefore a round trip not much more than the parking fee of $15 without the stress of driving.

It was quite busy there (no entry fee) but we went the opposite way to the crowds arriving and it was much quieter. There is a planetarium there which is $10 which we didn’t bother with. If you’re into astronomy this is the place to go, fascinating.
If you’re not into astronomy it’s still worth a visit- great building and views from the top of the whole of LA including the Hollywood sign.

If you go later in the dark they show a live telescope image of the moon.
We did a bit of shopping and then a swim in the hotel pool plus I did all the washing (again!)

We had ticket’s booked at the Pantages theatre for the evening. We nipped down the Boulevard and found a cute little Chinese bistro, I had a beef and cabbage stewpot (much nicer than it sounds), Chas had kung po chicken and Tom had shrimp noodles. Plus a tray of dumplings.
We all thought it was really good. Bill was $72 plus tip.
Then onto the theatre to see Les Miserables. I surprised Tom with this, and I think it’s safe to say he won’t rush back to see it again. It was brilliant though, great cast especially the kids in it.

Edited at 06:42 PM.
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Old 24 Jul 23, 08:16 PM  
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Join Date: May 11
Location: Sunny South Coast
9 aug LA

We had a slow start today and a cheap lunch at Taco Bell- two value boxes and two chicken burritos with drinks came to $21.
Yesterday I booked a discounted tour of Hollywood over Groupon for $24 each. Wasn’t really sure what to expect but it was surprisingly fun. There were about 9 of us in a transit sized bus. The tour began on Hollywood boulevard and took us from Mulholland Drive, up the hills, around Beverley hills and Rodeo Drive. We had lots of celebrity houses pointed out and general trivia.
It was a full two hours so I thought for the price paid it was good value. Also saw lots of mad driving by racers in very expensive cars!
We didn’t do much else today other than a swim and movie night.

Edited at 06:32 AM.
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Old 24 Jul 23, 08:16 PM  
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Join Date: May 11
Location: Sunny South Coast
10 aug

Our last day in LA.
We had an earlier start and did the Warner Studios tour - we ubered there and it only took around 10 minutes.
It’s worth doing if you’ve never done it before- it’s about 2.5-3 hours in total.
The tour guide we had was good and his film knowledge was excellent. The tour starts in a vehicle and you visit lots of sets where tv shows and movies have been made. Our guide told us a lot about the tricks used in filmmaking- it was really interesting. Lots of shows made there - Big Bang, Young Sheldon, Friends


When that part of the tour is over, you get to look around a sound set and then a showcase of DC and Harry Potter memorabilia. Plus of course the obligatory gift shop!


We ubered back to Hollywood Boulevard and lunched in the Hard Rock Cafe. I’d promised Tom we’d try to see Oppenheimer - so we splashed out and saw it in the IMAX screen in the Chinese Theatre. We all enjoyed the film (all three hours of it!) and the IMAX experience was excellent.

Edited at 06:47 AM.
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Old 24 Jul 23, 08:16 PM  
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Join Date: Apr 19
Location: Essex
Originally Posted by babbymint View Post
And we’re off!

The cast
Babby, DH Chas and DS2 Tom, 17.
Freddie is nearly 19, staying at home to feed the cats!

The plot
Today - travel to Gatwick
25 July fly to LA then connect to Las Vegas
30 July- South Rim
31 July - 4 Aug San Francisco
4-6 Aug - Pacific Grove nr Monterey
6-7 Aug - San Luis Obispo
7-11 Aug - Los Angeles
11-17 Aug - San Diego

Going to copy CFB and do a page for each stay.
Will also add spends - we will not be doing high end eating.
Awww have a FAB holiday, I’m looking forward to SF 😊
Safe flight tomorrow 🇺🇸❤️
__________________
All my trip reports

https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho... php?t=1266923

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Old 24 Jul 23, 08:18 PM  
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Join Date: May 11
Location: Sunny South Coast
11 Aug - drive to Dan Diego

Drove to San Diego today. I knew it was a way through LA but wow - a constant 5-7 lanes of traffic- all busy!

However it did keep moving- a few slower bits but not too bad. We stopped for a quick bite on the way of good old Denny’s and the whole journey took about 3.5 hours including the stop.

We didn’t really do much after that other than take a journey to Walmart and Dollar Tree to stock up on some essentials and some Secret Deoderant! Now we have a kitchen we’ll do a bit of self catering.
On the menu tonight was king prawn noodle soup, which was rather nice even if I do say so myself!

Edited at 04:56 AM.
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Old 24 Jul 23, 08:19 PM  
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Join Date: May 11
Location: Sunny South Coast
12 Aug

We had a lazy start today with Tom enjoying his first bowl of Reeces Puffs.
We’re staying in ocean beach and I have bought 4 experience GoCity passes. We don’t want to do Seaworld but will do the zoo later on this week - I thought as it’s the weekend it might be busier there.
We decided to take the local bus to the old town - downloaded the Pronto bus app - it’s $6 max per day, or $2.50 a journey. Each bus stop is uniquely numbered and the app gives everything in real time - very easy to use.
Old town is the very first town of California- now it has lots of replica buildings including a courthouse and school.


We then used our GoCity to get a 2 day Hop on hop off bus - part of go city- 2 day ticket. This was on the whole pretty good- we got off at Seaport - lovely wateredge shopping and restaurants,

looked around a bit, then back on and went over the bridge to Coronado - millionaire homes and gorgeous beach.

Unfortunately a birthday party got on and traveled with us for this part - they were rather drunk and loud. I could have ignored this but their language was very blue and there were quite a few little kids on the bus. The driver tried to calm them but failed - not sure what else he could have done without stopping the tour completely. They even brought drinks on with them saying they were apple juice! Anyhow, the whole bus was glad to see the back of them.
We stayed on and got off at Bilbao Park - a huge park with dozens of museums, Japanese gardens, outdoor arena.
The boys had a sandwich there and then we boarded again, going through Little Italy on the way back - full of great restaurants including an Italian style piazza.
Very tired after all this and I was hungry as I’d not eaten all day, so we came home and had soft tacos. Plus some homemade rum cocktails

Edited at 05:21 AM.
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