- Lyndell Daniel
After a year of planning and patiently waiting for this trip, the anticipation and excitement was building as we left the Gold Coast at 4am for our early morning flight to Los Angeles.
We were about to embark on a road trip from Las Vegas through to Phoenix, stopping at the national parks and then moving on to Polar Bear country in Hudson Bay, Churchill. After spending a week with the polar bears we would fly back to San Francisco and make our way to Los Angeles via the coastal highway. Check out my other blogs on this trip, as the scenery was breathtaking, the polar bears indescribable and we were also faced with a few problems having to change our trip, due to the devastating fires in California.
I like Brisbane airport early in the morning - parking is easy at the long term car park; the crowds are at a minimum, check-in is quick (except for this time, as I had a separate booking for our return flights which caused some drama); customs was a breeze (which is a rarity for me - I must have that 'look') and we always have time for a great breakfast before the flight.
After leaving Brisbane Airport at 10am, we arrived in LA at 6am to a fairly warm, hazy day. We stay at the Crown Plaza International Airport Hotel, which is a great location near the airport, has a free shuttle service and is always comfortable. This time, we hired a car from the airport through Alamo for $40AUD a day, fantastic value and decided to spend the rest of the day and night seeing some sights.
Strolling along the beach is always fun, a spot of volleyball and immersing yourself in the cooler (at this time of year) waters around Venice Beach.
It's such a pleasant stroll along the beachfront boardwalk, from Venice Beach to Santa Monica Pier.
Later in the afternoon we wanted to hire a Lime scooter (a story for another time and the involvement of a policeman) which ended up in us hiring two bikes instead. We cruised along the boardwalk and returned back in Santa Monica for a late dinner.
You can't cruise the boardwalk however, without stopping along the way for drinks and an afternoon snack.
Dinner at the pier is always fun, but this time we opted for dinner along the street with views overlooking the beautiful ocean.