Roadtrip 10: Joshua Tree NP & Los Angeles

Today we would be taking our last leg of our continental US roadtrip: driving to LA via Joshua Tree National Park. The day started off well with a gas leak scare (which turned out to be the gas level meter flipping out). We reached Joshua Tree park uneventfully after that. As the park lies both in the Colorado desert and the Mojave desert, you have different types of desert vegetation. The landscape slowly changes from sandy to weird rock formations with Joshua trees. It’s hard to imagine that a couple thousand years ago, this was a river landscape and people lived here.

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Looks like a cactus, but isn’t; the Ocotillo plant
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Cholla cactus. Look at the woven pattern of the dead part of the cactus!
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Rare Cholla cactus patch
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Joshua trees!
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Beautiful to drive through here

We exited the park, we drove through quaint desert villages towards the urban area of LA. And that is huge. Well before you are in LA, you are in traffic jams. Or more truthfully, LA is traffic jams (frequently).

Anyway, we reached LA, and decided to go see the Observatory first and score us a view over the city. Unfortunately, everyone else had the same idea, and we were not able to park there at all.

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Supposedly, there’s great views from the Observatory. We’ll never know as it was smoggy and there was no way to park.

So we googled a view point on the Hollywood sign and the city, and went there instead.

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You see the Hollywood sign? It’s there!
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Downtown LA

From there, it was onwards to our hotel in Koreatown via Sunset boulevard (which we rode through at sunset. Nice!). We went out for dinner in Koreatown, and had the best ramen in a long time:)

The next day, we went down town to discover the city by foot.

We started at the walk of fame. It was fun walking around and spotting well-known names.

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Enjoying the stars while ignoring the touts selling celebrity house tours…

You also walk by the Chinese theater, where famous people have put their hands and feet in cement with an accompanying text. Some were really old!

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I’ll be back!

From there, we got back in our car, and via the old Route 66 we drove through Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive to Santa Monica beach.

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Santa Monica Pier

At Santa Monica beach they have several large playgrounds where you can work out or have some fun. And fun we had! We loved this part of LA and wished we could stay longer.

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Monkey
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Monkeying

From Santa Monica, we walked to Venice beach. It had a totally different vibe, with hippie and skaters.

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Awesome hush puppy wall art

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As the sun went down, we walked back to Santa Monica for a swim and to watch the sun set.

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The Santa Monica shoreline is full of shells
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Setting sun at Santa Monica beach

Tomorrow, we’ll fly to the Hawaiian Islands already! Can’t believe how time flies. It felt weird to unpack our car, as it had become some sort of home for the last weeks.

Let’s see how Maui, our first stop in Hawaii, looks like after Hurricane Lane…

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