Blog 8, In LA and exploring the coast

On our 2nd day here at Orange we drove out to Santa Barbara.  We thought this drive would give us a good feel for LA given that we are just south and SB is north.

Passing through downtown LA

Driving along the Freeway through LA is like reading a Michael Connelly ‘Bosch’ book, all the place names are so familiar to me from reading that series.

We also wanted to take a look at the coast.  The drive out there was long, 2 hours but flowed reasonably well.  Typically the driving here is 80 mph on the freeway, that’s about 130km, very fast.  Of course because that’s the average speed, many motorists are going much faster.  It feels like a reckless speed to drive at but you need to keep up with the flow of the traffic.

Santa Barbara was very pleasant.  It is a small place with a big Spanish feel.  It’s just up the road from Montecito where Meagan and Harry live.

The coast is nice but doesn’t compare to NZ.  There was a fog bank out at sea just about all day which occasionally rolled in and made it chilly.  There is a very good cycle lane that runs along the coast which we rode along on our now fixed bikes.

Behind SB are the very picturesque Santa Ynez mountains.  SB is covered in bougainvillea and other tropical plants.  Lots of palms trees and many of our Pohutukawa again.  I can’t get used to seeing them here!

We cycled around the marina and along the shoreline to Butterfly beach and had our lunch, then cycled back to the car via downtown.

We headed back to Orange at about 3ish and found the freeway jammed once we hit central LA.  It ended up taking us 3 hours to get back in very tedious traffic.  Whilst Santa Barbara was very nice, we decided it wasn’t worth the traffic jam getting back.

On Wed we had an invitation to some friends place for Pickleball and then dinner.  They live over on the coast towards the South West.  We left early so we could visit Newport.  I was so excited to see this famous folk music venue.  I’ve seen lots of concerts on youtube from various festivals, I especially enjoy Gillian Welch and David Rawlings concert.  I was telling husband about it.  Of course it’s also famous for the booing Bob D got when he played his electric guitar there back in the 60’s.  After we left there I was told that the folk festivals are held at Newport on Rhode Island so, wrong coast!  Anyway Newport was really nice with interesting quirky houses.  If feels like a place weathy hippies live at.

Further down the coast we went to Laguna Beach-this had a different feel being more rustic then onto Laguna Niguel for Pickleball with some dear friends we have made.  We played at a lovely facility up on the hills behind the coast.

We all played very well and had great fun.

This area had a big fire nearby last month.  200 acres caught on fire, 20 homes were destroyed and 900 homes were evacuated.  I guess this shows the risk of living on a hill top where the land is so dry.

After Pickleball we went to our friends house for a drink in San Clemente.  This is a very nice area with many area’s reminding us of home.  We then went out for a lovely dinner, such a memorable day was had by all.

The drive back to Orange at night time was an experience.  The traffic seemed even faster!