Or how Dad nearly got us killed on Day 1!!
16.08.2010 - 16.08.2010 27 °C
Day One (Officially), LA:
Ok so Dad’s handed me the ropes for the blog today, probably tired of it already, can’t take the pressure from you guys wanting to know so badly of our travels....or not.
Anyway after a much needed sleep for the both of us we enjoyed a Starbucks coffee in our hotel room and then headed onto the streets of LA in search of breakfast! After wandering down the street aimlessly, we decided to ask a local. Some business dude pointed in the direction of a diner across the road called Denny’s. Risking our lives crossing the huge roads we made it to the diner. Dad made me laugh by saying to the girl at the entrance ‘’We’ve never done this before, do we just go and sit at a table?”, haha brilliant! Now we definitely looked like tourists!
So it was pancakes with strawberries and cream with an ice tea for me and Dad chose pancakes with eggs and sausage, greedy git. Can easily get used to this!!! Although my thighs and hips might beg to differ!! So after full bellies we headed back to the hotel to check out and wait for the campervan guys to come and pick us up and take us to the depot. Whilst waiting I introduced dad to a Chuck Norris and the endless internet sites dedicated to him and we also Skyped Jenna and Lacey. We waited a good three hours almost before we came to the conclusion that the depot guys weren’t coming, we rang them and they confirmed that we’d wasted a sunny arvo waiting on them! Tossers! One of the hotel taxi drivers drove us there instead, in a Lincoln. For all of you lot like me, who don’t know cars, apparently it’s a pretty swish motor.
One $40 taxi ride later and we were finally at the depot. I sat outside soaking up the Californian sun whilst Dad dealt with all the boring paper work. Life got a little more interesting when we started the engine...
Ok so driving on the right seemed a little strange at first. Dad assured me that he was cool with it and that he’d driven plenty of times on the right so I relaxed. I don’t know whether it was the near death train line crossing experience that put the shits up me or constant horn action we received within the first hour of driving the beast. And when I say beast I mean beast, its 30ft long and 12ft high and rattles around like I don’t know what! We knew from there on out this campervan lark wasn’t going to be easy!
So this being the ‘Gump’ tour, the idea is that we visit some places where Forrest went running, one of those places being Santa Monica Pier. What better way to start an epic journey like this than to start at the vintage pier that dates back over 100 years! The guys back then must have built the pier well, as it withstands restaurants, shops, a fairground.... oh yeh and our 30ft camper, we’ve now nicknamed ‘beastie’! That’s right! In an attempt to get to the pier car park we ended up taking a (very) wrong turn onto the actual pier itself, driving Beastie right underneath the piers historical sign! Not good. We got a few laughs from surrounding tourists and to top it off drove up and back down a 1.5ft high kerb. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Dad swear so much.
After the pier drama we finally settled in the right car park. Parking cost $32 for all day. It was past 8pm. Dad not best pleased. So finally set foot (not tyre) onto the pier and took the time out to take photos and soak up the ‘carnival’ like atmosphere. We had our dinner at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Restaurant where we ate, you guessed it, shrimp! Great food and a great atmosphere!
It was late when we finally arrived at our first camp site of the trip. Trust Dad to pick a site right out in the Californian hills, north of LA. Taking on cliff edges in the dark, in a 30ft wagon we were only just adjusting to, was hard going.
Day 1 over....