NaBloPoMoHo (Holiday) beginnnnnnnnsss….. NOW! (Click on the photos for larger image.)
Friday 26 June 2009 – Los Angeles, CA, to Palm Springs, CA. 162 miles.
We left Brisbane on Friday 26th June at 11am without incident. It was also the start of a very long Pigtail Friday! We flew V Australia and I would not hesitate in flying with them again. They had all the trimmings and the 12 hour flight really wasn’t so bad. We arrived at LAX at 11pm “home time” which was 7am LA time. So we had to start our day all over again. We felt a bit zonked but very excited! (I tried the “red-eye removal” on the photo editor, but it didn’t work! Tee hee!)
We took the shuttle to the car hire place and they said we had a choice of a Chrysler Sebring (which is what I booked) or, and this was said very nonchalantly, “I think there’s a Mustang out there too.”
Say what?… Oh yes pleeeeeeeeese!
So we jump into the very new, very red Mustang and take note of the odometer reading – a mere 316 miles a-thank-ya-very-much! And we’re on our way! Now bear in mind that it’s technically 1am for us at 9am in LA so we’re a little tired but in good spirits. Hubs is in the driver’s seat and I’m navigating. We start cruising around and our first impression is that LA is very dirty and a little scary (my impression). After getting slightly lost, we find ourselves again and decide that we should head out to the water, just to say we’ve been there. On the map it really didn’t look very far, but I didn’t quite get the hang of the scale and it was actually about 25 miles away. Oopsies!
We stopped off at a El Pollo Loco (I think) and had our first greasy meal. It was okay, but I found it amusing that Hubs was most excited about the mac-cheese that came with it!!
Then, from a distance, we spotted the HOLLYWOOD sign,
(gosh can you even see it?? It was SO smoggy) then we got a small glimpse of the beach and the Santa Monica Pier and turned around to head to Palm Springs on the I-10.
I’m not exactly sure what time it is at this stage – maybe 1:30pm or so? As we are heading out of LA, we come across a heck of a lot of traffic coming in. I’m so glad we were going in the opposite direction, but apparently if we’d left after 3pm it would have taken us 2 hours to get out of LA alone.
And now for our first experience at WALMART!! We love Walmart. We think it totally rocks. We managed to pick up camping gear (everything but a tent) for a total of $30USD (2 camp mats, sheets, pillows, a sleeping bag and a tent peg hammer) and a few other bits and pieces for the trip. And we’re on our way again! We put the top down (now that we’re out of scary LA) and turn the music up and start singing – mainly to keep us awake!
Hubs is still driving at this stage and is getting pretty sleepy so we pull over and I take over the driving. We don’t have much further to go, so I’m not too scared. Yet. Once in the driver’s seat however, I’m not so comfortable. I keep telling myself “keep right keep right keep right” and even though we’re on the freeway, everything about this feels so wrong. I can honestly say that I experienced the scariest 5 minutes of my life. I had the biggest cars I’ve EVER seen zooming past me, I’m struggling to keep in my lane (Hubs is very politely and helpfully gesturing for me to move to the left) and don’t even get me STARTED on the condition of the road. Hubs very kindly puts on Cindy Lauper for me to calm my nerves and keep me focused and I do believe that helped! Thanks Cindy!
After a little while we take a smaller highway towards Palm Springs and I’m much more comfortable now. The scenery around us is breathtaking and it starts sinking how much of an adventure this is going to be and how much fun and good times lay before us.
We arrive at Palm Springs at about 5pm and our hotel (Travelodge) is lovely. There was a pool and since it was over 30 degrees we thought we’d have a swim. This was a perfect start to our holiday. The hotel really was the best we stayed in for the whole trip which was a nice way to start.
After our swim we “had a little nap. Not entirely unexpectedly, this “nap” lasted 14 hours. We woke up at 8am the next morning and felt completely refreshed and ready to go. It was amazing!