Fog in LA: Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip Day 4
Day 4 of our Californian road trip took us from Pismo Beach to LA and we were looking forward to seeing some more seaside towns and the flash, out-of-our-price-range-forever houses of Malibu. Unfortunately the weather had other ideas.
Our damned travel luck
There has been quite a few times in our travels where we’ve had great luck and got to see some awesome stuff but, on the other hand, we also get our fair share of flops.
Just a couple of examples off the top of my head…
- The first time I saw the Grand Canyon, it was completely covered behind fog. Like, you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face let alone the grand canyon.
- We’ve been to the Blue Mountains near Sydney but we’ve never seen them (again, they were hidden behind fog)
- Dayna went Dolphin watching in New Zealand and saw…water, lots and lots of water.
- We usually only see the barest glimpses of wildlife/whales on any of these types of things and settle for stories from the group before or after us of the amazing things they saw (our last whale watching trip in Monterey proved we don’t always have bad luck though).
Add to this list the drive along the section of the Pacific Coast Highway from Pismo Beach to LA.
As we drove south towards Ventura, Santa Barbara and Malibu on the way to our destination of Venice Beach the weather got more and more peculiar.
A huge chunk of fog drifted in until by the time we got to Malibu and our stop for lunch, we couldn’t even see the water that sounded like it was only a couple of metres away. The fact that it kind of smelled a bit as well meant we were pretty underwhelmed with Malibu. Maybe a seaside Malibu mansion won’t be on our shortlist when we’re millionaires one day.
Arriving into Venice Beach the fog had truly settled in and our hopes of watching a nice sunset over the water had been dashed.
When life gives you lemon’s, go eat some Mexican food. At least that’s what we did as we continued our stint of existing primarily off Tacos, Burritos and Quesadillas which, by the way, I think should be mandatory when in Southern California.
We had also splurged on a suite at Hotel Erwin that was awesome to have for a couple of nights. Staying in smaller rooms the last couple of nights meant the extra space was appreciated so much more. It’s the small things that give you joy when you’re on the road full time!
Exploring Venice Beach and Santa Monica
Hotel Erwin was also in a great spot that let us explore Venice Beach and Santa Monica nearby on foot.
I started with a visit to Gold’s Gym (complimentary with our hotel stay at Hotel Erwin but they cost about $20 otherwise). This gym is the bodybuilding mecca that Arnold Schwarzenegger made famous years ago (it was where he trained back in his Mr Universe days).
The place was HUGE and I felt both chubby and puny next to some of the giants in there. That said, there were some quirky characters in there as well like the old dude in sweat bands who looked about 90 but was going hard on the bench press.
I was also hoping to pretend to be a bit of a paparazzi as famous people do go to this gym but there is a strict no photo policy and I settled for convincing myself one dude looked like Bob Saget (very likely not).
We have never been to Venice and wandered the canals there but we have now at least been to the Venice Beach version and wandered the little string of houses along the water.
Nearby us we also had the famous muscle beach outdoor workout area which was completely empty when we went. Given my effort at Gold’s earlier in the day we weren’t tempted to have a workout there (and it looked pretty grim anyway).
We wandered the boardwalk from Venice Beach to Santa Monica, walking past the skate bowls and finally arriving at the Santa Monica Pier. The walk itself is pretty fun as you walk past street performers, skaters & all sorts of quirky characters. As you get closer to Santa Monica, you get more of the polished, chubby, polo shirt wearing crowd (I think of Santa Monica as like the more successful, polished, polite but slightly boring older brother to Venice Beach, being the younger, cool, slightly weird and dirty younger bro).
The clouds came in so we quickly realised we were again not going to get a sunset and instead settled for an early dinner at PF Changs in Santa Monica (a chain Dayna had wanted to go to for their popular lettuce wraps…which were a bit sad and disappointing).
We were close to Tasti De lite, one of the more popular Frozen Yoghurt places in California so of course we had to continue our (un)healthy obsession and get dessert. These places are so good though!
We braved the bus on the way back (buses attract some weird characters in America) and took some time to catch up on admin stuff and relax in our sweet suite (hah!) before the final day of driving on our Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip: LA to San Diego.
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