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Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Monica, Las Vegas (Part 2)

sunny 10 °C
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Greetings from New Zealand!

Hello all, arrived today in Auckland, New Zealand after a pretty decent 13 hour flight from Los Angeles. Managed to get checked straight in to our hostel and also booked ourselves on the Kiwi Experience bus for Monday. First impressions of New Zealand are good, its nice to see the Queen on currency again!

So since our last blog we visited a few more places in California before we flew out here. We spent three nights in Santa Cruz where the weather was awful. As it was out of season a lot of the town was closed down as well which was dissapointing as we were hoping it would still be warm enough to spend some time on the beach. We spent most of our time there in the hostel or looking around the shops in town. Would love to come back here in the summer when I'm sure it would be heaving.


Next up we headed a few miles down the coast to Monterey. In the 1930's Monterey was the "sardine capital of the world" and was made famous by John Stienbecks novel "Cannery Row". In the 60's, when sardine populations fell, all the canneries closed down and Monterey became a tourist town. Most of the old Canneries are still there now and Cannery Row is the main street in town, with loads of shops and cafes ect.... Monterey also has some of the best marine wildlife on the west coast. We saw loads of sea lions but you can also see sea otters, lots of different birds and you can also get on a boat and see whales. We happened to be in Monterey for Thanksgiving and had a nice lunch and a few pints whilst watching the NFL and Macy's Day Parade at a local bar.


After Monterey the original plan was to head down to San Luis Obispo and then Santa Barbara. But because of the weather and how quiet Santa Cruz had been we decided to head straight to LA. During our travels so far we'd heard nothing but bad things about Los Angleles and our minds weren't put at ease when the first thing we saw after leaving the greyhound station was a car on fire in a McDonalds car park! Thankfully Santa Monica (where we were staying) was a lot nicer. Santa Monica is what you'd expect California to be like, huge white beaches, palm trees, and orange sunsets. The place is awesome. A block away from our hostel was 3rd Street Promenade, which was a really nice high street, all lit up for Christmas and full of street performers. We spent 4 nights there, and then, after finding some decent deals on hotels decided to head back to Las Vegas again.


We spent most of our four days in Vegas in our hotel complex. We stayed in the Excalibur hotel which is the giant castle oppostite MGM. We had a room that faced out on to the strip which was amazing. We played a bit more roulette in the Bellagio and MGM and managed to come away even which wasn't so bad. We also managed to look around a couple of the hotels that we missed first time around.


After Vegas we got the Greyhound back to Santa Monica for 4 more nights. On sunday we rented beach cruisers and rode down to Venice Beach. Checked out the skate park and arrived just in time to see a skate boarder take a nasty bail and crack his head open, it wasn't pretty but he was ok in the end. Ash and I thought Venice felt like Camden Town on a beach.


The next day we got the bus into Hollywood to see all the sights. Pretty underwhelming really. We checked out the walk of fame and the Hollywood sign and then left.


So thats America done. Next Sunday marks the half way point of our trip, its flying by!

Posted by ElliotWebb 02:03 Archived in USA

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Ah man, it's a shame you're not going to be in Santa Monica and Venice when I'm there for Christmas in two weeks. Glad to see/hear that you are having fun. As much fun as it is reading your blog, I always walk away feeling depressed and jealous...

by Andrew Miller

Shippers! Love reading the blog dude! Sounds like a proper adventure, hope weather improves for new Zealand for you both.
This cold is upsetting mk2 now, had to jump start her for the first time yesterday morning!
Actually.........il tell you what, you tour new Zealand while I look after your car in the freezing cold on one of the only days that I don't have to go to work!
Keep safe pal, love to you both! Xxx

by Rich

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