Leaving Las Vegas


Before leaving Las Vegas (not the way Nicholas Cage did it) we wanted to take a dip in the hotel pool. It was a bit disappointing though, very shallow and not yet warm, so we made it a rather short one. Since we skipped Grand Canyon on the way to Vegas we thought we would head over there on the way back. But after checking the GPS again we found out that it was still that far away (who would’ve thought?). After some deliberation we decided to skip Grand Canyon this time and see it some other time.

So instead we headed off to LA again to find the elusive Watts Towers (it turned out that I’d keyed in east 7th street before when it was supposed to be west 7th street). But first there was some 5 hours of desert driving on the schedule.

As we are about to enter California there is this Agricultural Inspection post you have to go through. We roll down the window and the guy asks whether we have any fruits and vegetables with us. Since we had bought a trunk-full of celery in Vegas, Jonna slams the accelerator and we drive off in a cloud of tire smoke. The well trained border police rips up his gun and puts two well aimed bullets in our rear tire, sending us crashing into the railing… Well, maybe it wasn’t quite that dramatic, but Jonna did get a compliment for her necklace before driving off.

Not much interesting stuff goes on in the desert, the most interesting was passing Zzyzx road. We also stopped for a little snack at a Del Taco joint. Highly unrecommended.

Once in LA we drove around in the rather run down neighborhood Watts (home to the infamous Crips gang) for a while before finding the towers. The towers were actually just as cool as I’d hoped they’d be. They are actually made out of steel rods wrapped in wire mesh and covered with clay and are really huge! Simon Rodia started out in 1921 and built in his spare time for 33 years out of stuff he found. I recommend it highly, but use a GPS, otherwise you probably won’t find them.

As we were leaving LA we found it baffling how much time you can save by driving in the carpool lane. It seems like 98% of all cars in LA have only one person in them (to drive in the carpool lane you have to be two or more people in the car). And since you’re bound to stand still at one point or another whichever time of day you enter the freeway it’s really a wonder that people can stand it.

We got back to the coast in this place called Newport Beach. The guide book described it as posh and after driving by the third yatch club (with a valet guy and all) we were inclined to believe it. It was really nice though and we took a few pictures while dodging joggers before driving the rest of the way to San Diego.

We passed through Laguna Beach, an artists colony that seemed really cozy on the way, but made no further stops until San Diego. We found a motel in a part of town called ‘Little Italy‘.

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