So we officially made it coast to coast...
Playing in the Pacific
We have gone as far West as my poor little car could take us. In California we stayed with my cousin Heather and her family who were nice enough to let us take up their space. Especially Jayden who's room we stole... Sorry and thanks!
The night we got to California it actually couldn't be better. We got to my cousin's house around 4 or 5 and went to a pool party at my cousin's husbands coworker's house (that's a mouthful) where we just hung out for the majority of the night. It was a nice change from all the running we had been doing and it was cool to meet everyone.
The next day we went to San Diego to get our coast to coast shots. Of course we had to go play in the water since we had been in the Atlantic a little under two weeks before!
This is really the only place in California we took pictures so hopefully you like them, it's all you're getting!
We parked in this fancy area with nothing but yacht sales. I didn't bring enough cash to buy a souvenir unfortunately. Yachts can be quite pricey and they wouldn't let us test drive one...
Luckily there was plenty of shoreline to play on and lots of boats to look at. It turned out to be a fun adventure. We just walked around the waterfront for a while taking in the sights.
Downtown San Diego
The next day was definitely an adventure to say the least... We said goodbye to my cousin the next morning and headed into the city most dreaded by stick shift drivers... Los Angeles.
I'll give you a short timetable of our trip into LA. All we had to do was check into our hotel for the night and park the car in the long term parking lot that was already reserved. That's it. We left Heather's house around 10:30am and finished parking the car at 6:30pm. It was quite the mess.
Now for the long version...
Traffic sucked (go figure). It took us probably two and a half hours to get to the hotel that was only an hour or so from Heather's house. Once we finally got to the hotel there were three hotels all together that shared a gated parking garage with no outside parking at all. I had to park on the street (maybe illegally) so we could check in and get our bags in. Luckily there was still tons of parking in the garage so I didn't have to fight for that. Once we got situated and consolidated our bags for our trip within a trip we took the extra stuff back to the car and headed out to find the long term parking spot. This is where the fun begins...
It was a mile and a half from the hotel in the not-so-good-looking part of the town. The entry area was a narrow one lane road in front of this hotel with a lane of parking spots on one side and a big wall right next to that so there was no going around if you had to. Well we had to...
All the parking spots were filled and there was a car with its flashers on right in front of the door blocking the exit. I figured he wouldn't be long so I got behind the car and waited. About 10 minutes pass and Rose and I are starting to get frustrated. I'm thinking of backing out and thinking of a plan B for the car. That's when a bus comes in behind us. Now we are stuck in this stupid entry area.
Here's a picture of some pelicans to break up the frustration
So now we are stuck and still waiting. Finally after another 10 minutes the guy comes out of the hotel and gets back in his car. He pulls forward about 10 feet and takes the last empty spot on the side of this little entry way next to the big wall. I need to check my car in but don't have anywhere to park the car in the meantime. Already frustrated by this whole ordeal I pull forward and put my flashers on too so I could run in and check the car in. At least I pulled forward enough to open up the middle exit so the bus and the line of cars that had accumulated in this time to get out around me.
I ran into the hotel to try and make this as quick as possible so we could get back to relaxing at the hotel before our early flight the next morning but that, apparently, was just not in the cards.
There was a whole line of people in the lobby trying to check in as well and only one person behind the counter answering phones and checking people in. It took me 25 more minutes just to get to the counter. Rose was in the car waiting. Later I found out she was looking up other parking lots we could use because this one sucked.
At the counter I filled out a sheet with the usual stuff about my car. I wrote down my reservation number and the date I was returning. Then, between several phone calls, the lady behind the counter asked me for the keys and said they would park it in their lot. I told her that there were no spots outside and I was sitting in the middle of the road with flashers. She said to just leave it there and she would get to it. With the amount of stuff she was doing by herself I didn't entirely believe her but I was so frustrated by this point that I followed her instructions.
Here's another pretty picture for you
I walked outside, turned the car off right where it sat, and went back inside to give her the keys. She didn't check anything in her database, she didn't talk to anyone, she didn't do anything to check if the reservation was there or if I was expected. She just took the keys and that was it. I wasn't feeling too confident that I'd see my car again in the same condition I gave it but figured that if something was messed up they'd be buying me a new car so we left.
The mile and a half walk back to the hotel was awful. It was hot and it was a semi-sketchy neighborhood. It was still daylight though so I wasn't really worried about our own well being, just about my car...
By the time we got back to the hotel it was 6:30pm and we had no interest in doing anything for the rest of the night. We were done with LA and anything that it had to offer. We just ordered a pizza and watched Netflix until bedtime. Things would be better once we got to Hawaii!
Update: it's been a week since the car parking fiasco. I got a call this morning from the mess of a hotel and they wanted to know if I was going to pick the car up. On the sheet and the reservation I gave them it said I would be back on July 6th to pick it up. They said that I was only paid up to the 25th of June and that they were going to charge me the standard hotel rates if I left it there any longer. After talking to 5 different people I told them my reservation number again and reminded them of the dates they seemed to have it all worked out. Seemed to.... I guess we'll see if I still have a car when I get back.
Anyways here's more pretty pictures from San Diego!
He likes pizza.