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Venice Beach + Road trippin to San Francisco

Road trip via Yosemite and San Jose...

sunny 15 °C

Back from the cruise and in LA for a few days before our road trip to San Fran.
We decide to check out Hollywood and head down to Venice Beach for the afternoon. We drove the car into Hollywood and walked the streets of Hollywood Blvd past the Walk of Fame and the "Walk of weirdos"
We saw one guy, homeless, walking the streets barefoot [black feet as anything] no hands [amputated] and pointing a toy gun at the cars whilst yelling at the sky. He also decided it would be cool to walk along the street flashing people.... Worst thing I have ever seen.
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We saw a Pig and Whistle Restaurant and Bar like the one in Queenstown & Brisbane. We did a bit of shopping and after telling a million people we werent interested in doing a organised bus tour we got bored and decided to head to Venice for lunch.

We got to Venice and went in search of a place recommended to us, Jody Maronis. It was a big hotdog place that had all types of hotdog combinations. Bryan didnt rate it. Then we walked along the streets a bit, found out we could apply for a medical Marijuana card to buy it legally for $35.
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We then found Muscle Beach, and Bryan decided to have a play.....

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Afterward we took a bunch of photos on the beach and headed down towards the skate park.

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From this point, Bryan spotted a slackline from a mile away, literally... Though he was so excited he neglected to tell me what he had spotted until about 30 secs after... Way to keep me in suspense...

We went over and made friends with the girl who had just purchased the slackline and was still learning.
Bryan showed her a few tricks and gave her incentive to keep at it!

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Slacklining down Venice beach at sunset was truly beautiful.

I had a few turns too!

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Then it started getting late so we headed back up the beach towards the car & stopped in an Op shop/ Thrift store which we had spotted on the way in. We picked up Chinese takeout for dinner and called it a day.

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Pick up car from LAX at 1pm sexy little beast of a thing haha KIA SOUL it is this little baby got soul. It was going to cost an extra $50 per day to have me drive because I was under 25 so alanas name went on the list and the terrifying drive with Alana at the wheel began, all she had to do was drive it out around the corner so I could get in the drivers seat.

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Then about half an hour into our drive we managed to get pulled over buy a cop who thought we had been drinking and we just said no were from Australia and were still getting use to the driving... he laughed and let us on our way.

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Still driving towards Yosemite we stopped to get fuel at some random servo at night in the middle on nowhere, no idea where we were or where the next town was. so we both decided to have a skanky burrito from the servo for dinner and buy a 1.5L bottle of red wine for $6 mmmm tasty...

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only to drive 10mins up the road and find a town called Oakhurst with heaps of restaurants, supermarkets and everything.
To save money on a hotel we slept in the car put all the seats down in the back and drank our bottle of red and talked and laughed to keep our selfs warm... Only to wake up at midnight absolutely freezing pulling the snow gear out of the board bag in an attempt to warm up, I think its quite possible to say that it was the worst sleep in history...

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Wake up 6am turn the car on and find out it droped to 0*c last night… no wonder, slight head ache from the wine… or lack of sleep not sure on that one but it was straight to starbucks for a double shot coffee.

Then to a nice little diner type place called Katie's where Alana ordered a Belgian waffle with bacon and maple syrup, and I got a massive omelette with what I think was an entire block of cheese melted over the top… not the healthiest breakfast to start the day..

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And we are off ½ an hour to the gate of Yosemite national park and about and another 1/2 an hour to the center, as we were driving up it started getting colder and snow started appearing on the sides of the road. The excitement was building as we passed a sign saying we were 4000ft above sea level more snow is showing 5000ft, 6000ft is the height of the road at the top of the range before we start heading down into the valley.
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Snowball fight.... hehe!
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We head through a long tunnel to see the most amazing site of the monolithic. El Capitan, Half dome, and Bridalvale falls. OMG all I could say, pictures and movies can not do it justice, it is beyond massive!!!

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Alana was less than impressed. Haha Just joking... She decided to have a sunbake, in trackies.... Haha
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First we stopped off at Bridalvale Falls. which was less impressive due to the fact it was winter all the water had frozen and the water fall had almost but stopped.

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We found some cool looking bridges and some big trees and a big field of snow. Alana made a snow angel and we saw some deer prints in the snow...

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Nothing was a comparison to the mighty El Cap

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It was more of a tease than anything being there with no climbing gear... save that for next trip

there was awesome bouldering to be had... but had to warm up the hands first!

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found heaps of good problems already brushed and marked with chalk.

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didn't see any one else bouldering though.

even managed to find a pay phone in camp 4 at the bottom of El Cap to call Tomic, to let him know exactly where we were while he was on his way to work... hahah

we also went for a walk up to Yosemite falls which wasn't flowing either because it was winter.

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but the highlight of my day was seeing Tommy caldwell and Kevin Jorgenson (two professional climbers) half way up there multiple day attempt of the dawn wall project, Hardest route in the valley.

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they are the two tiny specks in the middle... ( trust me they are there!)

I am already thinking about the next trip back to Yosemite purely climbing big walls!

but by then it was starting to get dark so we left the national park and found a nice spot to camp for the night.. Take ll... Hahaha we were a little more prepared this time round and bought these emergency blankets for like $5 each which reflect body heat. Instead of putting the back seats down, we put the front ones down and reclined them as far as they would go. All in all, still a shit night but definately better than the 1st!
We awoke to overlooking a field that had some deer in it, which was really nice. We found somewhere to grab a quick bite and decided that we would start the drive to San Jose to stay with my Aunt Susan& Henry for a couple of days...

We arrived and luckily Brian (my cousin) and Mandy (his wife) and the kids were there. So we got to visit with them all for a bit.

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Then in the afternoon we went shopping at a place called Santana Row; a very European looking shopping area where we found a bar called the yard house which had 135 beers on tap!

The next day we went wine tasting to a few, of the many hundreds of wineries around the northern California area. Bryan now thinks he's a wine expert, lol ;)

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The next day we went to Emily (my cousin) place and we had an early Thanksgiving dinner at her new place. She bought with her husband a really nice acreage which has stables and potential to grow their own vegetables. Really nice place.

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We then left San Jose for San Francisco which is a beautiful city and stayed a couple of nights at her cousin Gregs place.

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I found a climbing gym which was huge! As the weather was a bit crappy and I couldnt get outside anywhere. We went for a few hours then afterward made our way into the city,

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wandered the streets, did a bit of shopping then headed down to Pier 39/Fishermans Wharf for a bit of a look.

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We had the famous Chilli Bread bowls

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and wandered around, had the best icecream ever. We saw heaps of sea lions and some amazing street artists doing their work and gathering big crowds.

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the bottom right photo was all done with spray paint nothing else.... wow

It was quite cold so we finally started to make our journey home on the trams and buses to get back to Gregs.

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The next morning we made pretzels from scratch and they were the best ones we have had all trip. (They are big over here...)

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Alana decided she wanted to have a big shopping day so I went to the climbing gym again and worked out while she spent 6 hours in the same shop..... "It was an amazing shop though..!! It was called Loehmanns and it had all designer brands, Valentino, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta just to name a few. In my defence the store is massive, over 3 levels and you really have to search every single rack to find the best buys. I bought a few things and I was very happy to say the least.

Tonight we went out to dinner with Greg and Ashley, and went to a bar first for some cocktails.

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Then went to this Thai restaurant for dinner. We all ordered a few dishes and shared. It was really nice food.

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Then went a to few other pubs, lounge bars and had a few more drinks then headed home.

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We then began the journey back down the coast.

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Stopped at my other cousin Matts place, with his family.

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They live in Santa Maria. This was lots of fun. We spent actual Thanksgiving with them. We went to the park in the morning and learnt how to play Disk Golf and played in the park with his girls then came home to play some Bochee in the backyard.

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It was loads of fun and then cooked up a big Mexican Feast! Bryan was in heaven. We both agreed the best Mexican we have had here, including even in Mexico.

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We had to pack and get ready to get up at 4am to make it back to LA for our flight. LA was 2hrs south of where we were.
Matt got up and made us some massive travel mugs of coffee, which we were very grateful for...! And waved us off!! Off to Phoenix we go!

Posted by alanaandbryan 16:50 Archived in USA

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