To be honest, the last couple of days have been fairly uneventful. We had a lovely night in Morro Bay, and both really enjoyed the little township. Having settled into our awesome and super affordable motel (high fives all round), we went for a wander and discovered that the heart of Morro Bay is its beautiful harbour chocked full of fishing and day-trip boats, otters and seals and surrounded by top notch seafood restaurants. Morro Rock sits front and centre and only adds to the atmosphere.
We were back in the car bright and early on Tuesday and headed for San Luis Obispo, another cute little town with a few tourist attractions we thought would be worth seeing. We didn’t exactly get off to a flier and got told off by a very unfriendly local approximately a minute after pulling into town. Turns out that in America they don’t use yellow lines to let you know that you can’t park in a spot – you need to look at whether the curb has been painted red instead. We reparked (while the unfriendly local tut-tutted and shook his head at us) and went in search of the town’s famous bubblegum wall. I had hoped/expected that the wall would be something magical, Willy Wonka-esque. In reality, it was fricken gross. Most of the bubblegum is really old and has gone brown or black in the sun. There are videos on Youtube of people running their tongue along this wall. I expect those people will be single for life.
We didn’t hang around for long after that. We were back in the car headed for Santa Barbara. I don’t actually know much about Santa Barbara other than that it is supposedly very swanky, and I used to enjoy watching the soap opera of the same name with my elderly neighbour Dawn after a hard day at kindy. Santa Barbara was nice, but there was something about it that left us feeling a tad underwhelmed – we couldn’t quite shake the feeling that perhaps we hadn’t got to the “good” bit yet. There is a very strong chance that we did miss the boat, given it was such a flying visit.
Today was another big day on the road. Campbell is handling it like a champ, but conditions have become slightly more trying. There seems to be a direct correlation between the numbers of lanes on the highway and how short our fuses are. We were up to 7 lanes each way today and shit got real. The majority of conversations have gone something like – “take a left, oh wait, shit go straight, oh no left again, hang on -can you pull over, are we going north? I think Google is broken . . . etc” Notwithstanding that, we managed to navigate our way to Malibu and then onwards to Venice Beach where we stopped for lunch.
I had wanted to visit Venice Beach and, in particular, the outdoor body building gym for which it is famous. Sadly there was no young Arnie working out there today, but a few middle age menu doing more preening than pumping – pretty funny though. The beach boardwalk is effectively a collection of pizza places, tourist shops and oddballs trying to earn a buck one way or another – on offer was hair braiding, henna tattoo, life advice from a satanist and a variety of arts and crafts of differing quality. It was definitely worth a visit and I got my fill of staring at people for the day.
Tonight we find ourselves in Anaheim. It will be a quiet evening to prepare ourselves for Disneyland tomorrow. There are whole websites dedicated to helping you maximise a day at Disneyland and outwit the other visitors. We will take a brief look at those but, failing that, we’ll be taking the NRL approach of drop the shoulder and go straight up the guts. Those little kids will be back to visit another day, but we’re already bordering on the creepy side of the average visitor age spectrum.
We’ll leave you tonight with a few more observations from our time in America:
- The coffee here is bad. Really bad. New Zealanders do not realise how good we have it.
- With a few exceptions, the people here are ridiculously perky, polite and courteous. People didn’t even toot at us when we swerved and cut them off that time when Google broke and gave us the wrong directions. We have been made to feel incredibly welcome everywhere we have gone.
- The majority of TV commercials are for insurance, or prescription medicines. The medical ads are absolutely hilarious. The first ten seconds sets out the amazing benefits and the likelihood of curing your eczema, depression or DVT. The remaining 40 seconds lists all of the potential side effects and effectively tells you that, while your eczema may be gone, you will be blind and have involuntary muscle spasms and the squirts for the rest of your life. Classic viewing.