I didn’t think that Los Angeles would be our thing, and sometimes when you lower your expectations, you come to be pleasantly surprised. And surprised I was. Our main reason for stopping here was to catch up with the gorgeous Ceri, a friend of ours who we went to Aberystwyth University with back in the day. It was great to see her, hear all her news and reminisce about the good old alcohol fuelled & care free days; she’s loving life in the States and it really seems to suit her well.
Our RV site in LA was on Dockweiler Beach. I was a little apprehensive at first – it’s right next to the airport (the boys weren’t bothered by the noise at all thankfully) and the LA Sanitation Plant is just behind it! Wonderful. You don’t really notice or smell anything though and all you can see in front of you is sparkling white sand and hear the waves lazily whooshing away. It was perfect and this friendly little fellow came up to us to say hi as we got on the beach.
There was also a bike trail going right along the beach – a ready made scooter road just for Arthur!
Having some family time by the sea was exactly what we needed and to be able to step out from our RV straight onto the deserted beach – who could want anything else? Well a back massage would be nice if anyone’s offering as the beds in the RV aren’t that comfy…. not that i’m complaining…I’ll shut up now!
From our experience so far of trying to park the RV along the Pacific Coast Highway (a bit of an ordeal), we decided to hire a small SUV… this is what they gave us!
The Americans don’t do small apparently.
Bloody brilliant hey? And it meant we could drive right through LA. Ceri suggested that we meet around La Brea Tar Pits… we are serious geeks and couldn’t believe that this fascinating natural history museum is right in LA. The Tar Pits are natural tar/asphalt sites which have preserved fossils from the Ice Age. They’re still uncovering more and more there – mammoths, saber-tooth cats, Dire Wolfs…. loads! This was the first place where I just wished I could exterminate the children for an hour, as the last thing they wanted to do was read all of the information. Arthur couldn’t even have cared less that there was a fishbowl of palaeontologists working right in front of us.
We also got chatting to an incredibly interesting and eccentric tour guide, who was quite possibly Jeff Goldblum’s great-grandfather, and I’m pretty sure he was as old as some of the fossils there. I wished so much that we could have chatted to him for longer (and that I’d taken a photograph of him).
From LA, we drove up the coast towards Santa Barbara, stopping for lunch in Malibu. Thankfully, there’s loads of street parking here. Malibu is where wealth meets water in perfect agreement. The people are stunning and the beaches aren’t bad either.
We went for lunch at Malibu Farm, an organic/local produce restaurant on the peer. It was pretty pricey, but was so, so delicious.
It also happened to be the second occasion in 24 hours when we wanted to teleport the kids away somewhere, just so we could savour our food and take in the scene around us. As usual, we had the normal battles of Teddy (aka Houdini) climbing out of the highchair and nearly jumping headfirst into the water below the peer and Arthur moaning about not wanting the scrumptious albeit rather posh cheese toastie we’d ordered for him! Oh the joys of traveling with children.