Farewell L.A. and hello Pismo Beach

Trip Start Aug 22, 2008
Trip End Sep 21, 2008

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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, September 15, 2008

Today was going to be a lottery of sorts. 

Leaving L.A. was always going to be a good thing as it is a place that everyone likes to leave.  Some say it is the entertainment capitol of the world as they flock there to get a crack at stardom but those simply visiting it really is nothing to write home about.  There are simply too many people, cars and way to much smog.  If it wasn't for Hollywood and the airport (being the major arrival point) we really feel that LA would be forgotten.

Heading up the Pacific Coast Highway we didn't know what to expect.  Suburbs like Santa Monica and Malibu were great to see.  The smog cleared, the sun came out and along with the sun the surfers and cyclists were doing what they do.  It was amazing to see the number of people playing on a workday.  The hills of Malibu were full of many mansions with a view of the coast that would obviously cost a fortune. 

Sandie slept most of the way along the coast.  Stopping in LA for two days (or anywhere for two days) you start to unwind a little and you get out of the constant grind of a new hotel each day.  When you start to unwind you really do unwind hence Sandie headbutting my shoulder and and the seat in front of her.

The further north we went the nicer the scenery.  The further north we went we noticed the cost of petrol and coffee dropped.  Cheaper coffee is a good thing.  Pity the taste didn't improve.

We arrived in Santa Barbara for a small scenic drive (bus driver got lost) through the town before a quick photo/toilet stop at the first misson set up many years ago.  We were then dropped off half way between the pier/beach area and he centre of town.  Given the beaches and coasts in Australia are far more attractive than here we opted for a quick lunch at Subway before walking the streets in the town.  Santa Barbara certainly is a beautiful (expensive) area.  All of the houses are of a similar style with a italian/mexican feel and colour.  Michael Jackson had his trial here a few years back so that shows the status of the town.  Also helps understand the prices for everything to.

Back on the bus we travelled what seemed a short distance (maybe David slpet too?) to Pismo Beach.  We didn;t know at the time but the tour company had never used this hotel before so they were a little nervous.  No need to worry as it was so clean, very modern with spacious rooms and grounds and close to amenities.  We were all given vouchers for a free drink at the bar for that evening and for a free full breakfast in the morning.  We quickly go changed and walked over the supermarket for a few needed items to then come back and grab a drink before dinner.  We were the only ones in the bar so naturally started a conversation with the barman.  The american football was on the BIG screen and it was hard not to get drawn into it. 

The barman recommended the Japanese restaurant across the road.  He also slyly handed our drink vouchers back 'just in case' they were ours and we may have wanted another drink.  Glad he did as we had a fantastic meal that was fresh and cheap (given the declining Aussie dollar).  We ran back to the hotel for a nightcap with ghalf of our bus. 

All in all a good night considering it would be the last night on the bus trip. 
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