Day 5 Up the Coast…Karen and Dom US road trip

Today we leave L.A and travel up the coast towards San Simeon. It’s the first day of our road trip proper so we hired a convertible and drove up the coast (at this point in the blog, Karen has to edit out all of Dominic’s gags about getting Sally’s top off). Venice beach was busy (again), Santa Monica passed us by, Malibu seemed like a cool surfers’ paradise, but it was Santa Barbara that really seemed like a good stop-off point for lunch. This was where the sun really did meet the sea with palm trees galore and a fairly quiet vibe.

Karen driving Sally (the Mustang)...sorry...we know that is naff!
Karen driving Sally (the Mustang)…sorry…we know that is naff!

Along the coast-line, the mist comes and goes. It can be sunny for a while and then the scenery changes…

"play misty for me" (oh dear!)
“play misty for me” (oh dear!)
cliff top roads along coastal road.
cliff top roads along coastal road.
Barren farmland along the Pacific Coast.
Barren farmland along the Pacific Coast.
We stopped for a wee (oh, and some food) at Santa Barbara. Nice palms!
We stopped for a wee (oh, and some food) at Santa Barbara. Nice palms!
More palms.
More palms.

We also found a very exclusive little holiday resort. Very pretty, and very expensive…so we just took a picture or two and moved on.

Come back Seagull...
Come back Seagull…

Just inland is the strange and rather twee Danish town of Solvang (or is it a village?). By now the sun was out so it looked spectacular in a legoland sort of way.

So, this is a strange Danish, chocolate box style village. It felt like we were visiting a theme park (but it is very pretty).
So, this is a strange Danish, chocolate box style village. It felt like we were visiting a theme park (but it is very pretty).
Strangely the bells were playing an "English Country Garden"...not sure why.
Strangely the bells were playing an “English Country Garden”…not sure why.

Finally we stopped for the night in San Simeon, at a real roadside motel in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere. The mist was right in and the temperature was down to about 15 degrees, which felt really cold. A long way from the heat of LA we left this morning. San Simeon Lodge is a great stop-off point to stay. The staff here are really nice, and we had a very comfortable night. It’s a stone’s throw to the beach (although you do need to cross the fast road – so little people need to be super careful). Tomorrow we continue up the coast heading towards the Big Sur and a stop off in Monterey.

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