July 23rd - 24th
Hillside view from Louise Leyton Park overlooking Doheny State Beach and Dana Point
Huntington Beach Pier
John & Sissy posing at the entrance to Marina del Rey City Park
Venice Beach street entertainer
Venice Beach landscaping
We headed out of San Diego at about 0930 heading northbound on I5 toward Los Angeles. The weather was perfect and the traffic was just as good. We needed fuel so John decided to drive a little bit and get out of the city before stopping. Well, rest areas and fuel stops were few and far between in this part of the country, and we traveled all the way to San Clemente before stopping. We screwed up again ... the place where we purchased fuel was higher in price than in the big city of San Diego. Diesel was $185.9 per gallon, and that about killed John.
The damage was done and off we were again. After riding on I5 for a while, John decided to get off and head up Route 1 (the coast highway) for a while. It was absolutely gorgeous! We pulled off into a hillside park (Louise Leyton Park) which overlooked Doheny State Beach and Dana Point. We actually found the park by accident because we took a wrong turn into a residential area, but we decided to make the best of it and eat lunch while there. The view was tremendous and the cool breeze off the ocean was enjoyable. After lunch, it was back on Route 1 through Laguna Beach and then back onto I5 toward Los Angeles. We did that because traffic was getting congested and the streets were just wide enough for our rig.
We arrived in Anaheim about 1330 after completely missing the first exit (the highways weren´t marked very well). We stopped in Anaheim Ice (where the Anaheim Mighty Ducks play) and gave Richard (our friend from Las Vegas) a call. He gave us directions to his home and off we went. After a short time socializing and using the telephone to call a campground, we headed out again to the Anaheim Destiny RV Resort just down the street a bit. Checking in was a breeze but getting settled into our campsite was not. The sites in the resort were small and we had to unhook the truck (John didn´t want to). But, having that done, it was time for a nap before dinner. We both crashed for about 3 hours, and then it was time for Richard to pick us up for dinner.
Dinner was great at the Omega Family Restaurant - Richard opted for the baked chicken - Sissy had the seafood platter - and John had his favorite liver/onions special. John even offered Sissy and Richard some of his, but they wanted no parts of it - oooo yuck! After dinner it was back to the campground for some quick chat and then to sleep for the night.
We were up bright and early for the next full day of activities. First, it was to the beaches on the bike down Beach Boulevard and into Huntington Beach. The 6/8 lane boulevard was a very flat and smooth ride (recently re-paved), but the stop lights were a killer. Go, stop, go, stop we went all the way for about 12 miles. But then, it was on the beach near the Huntington Beach Pier where we stopped for pics in several different places. Let me tell you, Huntington Beach has it´s stuff together. There was a City Park and a State Park right on the ocean with parking for miles. There were bathrooms, showers, fire pits, trash cans, a concrete boardwalk and many hundreds of yards of sand before the ocean. Everywhere we looked there were amenities for the beach people and tourists. The parks were clean and very well maintained, and they were designed for the citizen/tourist in mind. All commercial businesses were on the land side of the beach highway (6 lanes) and it was great. You could actually see the ocean and not hotels and small shops - hello Virginia Beach!!!
We also stopped at the Huntington Beach Pier where Sissy took a pic of a surfer´s butt! The locals were practicing their surfing and skateboarding skills for the upcoming U.S. Open Surfing Championship being held the following week. The city crews were also busy erecting the bleachers and skateboard ramp on the beach adjacent to the pier. After about an hour on the strip, we headed back to the campground for showers and a call to Richard. He´d planned to take us to Venice Beach, Marina del Rey, Beverly Hills, Hollywood and Rodeo Drive for the remainder of the day.
First, it was to Marina del Ray and the million dollar boats in the marina. Concerned about parking at this exclusive area of Los Angeles, we were pleasantly surprised to see a City Park right in the middle with FREE (I said FREE) parking. The park was beautiful and many elderly folk were having the time of their lives enjoying lunch, listening to music, playing bingo and dominos while inside the picnic area. Everything in the park was FREE - I said FREE!!!
We walked around the park for a while enjoying the scenery and taking pics. Then, it was back into Richard´s car for a short drive to Venice Beach. John wanted Sissy to see what Californian´s were really like. John also didn´t want to walk very far, so we opted to park right on the beach in the pay parking lot. Then it was on foot through Venice and Muscle Beaches (Sissy really like the muscle part). We saw all kinds of people there: muscle dudes working out, muscle gals walking about, tourists enjoying the sites, street entertainers, surfers, beach goers, homeless and just plain local Californians going about their business. After taking a break for lunch at a local Chinese restaurant, we headed out again for some more sights and sounds of Los Angeles.
Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive were next after an interstate ride across town. Richard drove us up into the hills where we saw some very expensive and beautiful homes and then back down into the city on Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard. We even cruised Sunset Boulevard for a while trying to get our bearings. Then, it was back to the campground for an afternoon swim in the pool and a trip to the campground modem hookup for uploading the web site and checking email before dinner. Sissy cooked smothered hamburger, mashed potatoes and green beans for dinner and then it was time for some television and nighty-night.
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