Day 51 – Reaching The West Hills

Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Miles To Date: 
7 614

The second day of our coastal drive began with us heading to San Luis Obispo from Morro Bay. San Luis Obispo would be another average town by the ocean if it weren’t for one main site: the Madonna Inn. Named after Alex Madonna who created it with his wife Phyllis, the inn is famous for having over 100 uniquely designed rooms. Each takes on a theme; from Swiss Alp type lodging to a Caveman room. Unfortunately we couldn’t afford to stay overnight, but we did have a delicious Belgium waffle for breakfast at the hotel’s cafe. Each of the restaurants was in a different style, with one being bright pink and the staff in both wearing Swiss alpine dresses.

Our next stop was around 100 miles down the coast at Santa Barbara. The whole town was flattened by an earthquake in 1925, and was rebuilt with in a Mediterranean style. As a result it had a very European feel to it, and most of the buildings in the centre had red tile roofs. We had lunch along the town’s main shopping street at a restaurant called ‘Ultimate Bagels’. Unsurprisingly we each had bagels, and they were toasted and very tasty. After we had a walk around the shops but didn’t buy anything.

Continuing down the coast brought us to Ventura County and the town of Ventura, where we spent some time at the local beach. There were a number of surfers out in the ocean, and it was interesting to see them all attempting to ride the waves. Some had more luck than others, and we were surprised by some of the tricks they managed to pull off on waves only a few feet high.

The final part of our drive took us from Ventura to West Hills, Los Angeles, where the cousins live. The traffic on the way was the worst we had seen in a while, though we did make the drive during evening rush hour. When we got to West hills we finally got to meet Jan, Randy and Lindsey after all this time planning the trip. They are all really nice and have made us feel very welcome. We also got to meet their pets which include two cats, two dogs and a bird! Soon after we got there Maxine arrived, and it was great to see her again after over a year.

This evening we went out for dinner to the Cheesecake Factory for the first time. The restaurant has a huge menu, and despite the selection we both chose the same dish! Afterwards, Lindsey took us out to some of the local bars in the area known as ‘The Valley’, where I had a few beers, Lauren tried some cocktails, and we all played darts and pool. Tomorrow we are driving into Downtown LA to begin our few days of site seeing.

Photo of the day: a surfer crashing through the waves, and us with the family at the Cheesecake Factory.