We’re on the move again…Leaving Los Angeles…Heading to Mesquite, Nevada…

Marisol Cocina Mexicana is a Baja-style cantina at the west end of Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California. It serves authentic Mexican food, including tacos, fajitas, and margaritas, and has views of the Pacific Coastline and Los Angeles. Marisol also has outdoor dining, live music, and rooftop seating.

We are sorry for today’s late post. I decided to write the text on my phone while on the road trip toward Utah and upload photos once we arrived at the Hotel in Mesquite, Nevada, this afternoon.

At the Hotel, I will be better able to post photos using my laptop and upload the entire post at that time. We are glad we planned two days for the road trip to Utah, which is over 700 miles. We didn’t want to make the long drive in one day.

We can only imagine the value of the properties along the beach.

Also, we stopped every few hours to get out of the vehicle and walk. I am wearing compression stockings, a priority with my current heart condition.

We were thrilled to see the Santa Monica Pier. I hadn’t been here since I was a teenager.

Unfortunately, we have to drive back through Las Vegas to access the best roads to Utah. We’ll soon enter Nevada as we make our way to Mesquite, Nevada, where, as mentioned, we will stay tonight.

Palm trees line the boulevard by the Santa Monica Pier, a popular tourist attraction.

We had a great time in LA hanging out with my sister Julie. We laughed, we cried, and we reminisced. Tom kept busy in the hotel room for a few hours each day, enabling Julie and I to catch up. When the three of us were together for meals, the conversation was lively and animated.

Famous buildings line the boulevard, including the famous Georgian Hotel.

At one point, Julie and I went through many of our posts and our busy YouTube channel. It was such fun sharing everything with her in person. She loves animals like I do, making it all the more enjoyable.

Seeing the cousins at yesterday’s lunch at Katella Deli was delightful. Sure, we all looked older but familiar after decades apart. The conversations flowed with ease. The food, ambiance, and service were impeccable. Hopefully, we will see everyone again in the future.

Tom, standing next to a cannon.

However, I don’t know when we’ll return to California. It’s crowded with outrageous traffic, and this morning, we paid $6.50 a gallon for the lowest-priced fuel option. This is the most we have ever paid for fuel anywhere in the world.

Maybe next time, we will meet up with Julie somewhere in the world. Only time will tell.

That’s it for today, dear readers. We will stay in touch along the way.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, May 3, 2014:

We wrote about losing our friend Lane, who passed away the prior day. Here is a photo of Lane and Peggy and their beloved dog. For the story, please click here.

Sightseeing in California…

Wen didn’t realize until last night that Julie lives in Brentwood, a famous and popular area of Los Angeles. We noticed these bottle brush plants in the garden in front of her building, where small two-bedroom apartments are valued at over $1,000,000. Wow!

We have to leave to pick up Julie in about 50 minutes, so I will be rushing through today’s post to be able to walk out the door on time. Once we pick her up, we’ll head to a famous deli in Los Alamitos restaurant for the reunion lunch with my cousins whom I haven’t seen in 60 years. There will be eight of us.

On our way to sightseeing in Santa Monica, we noticed this sign for one of the oldest and longest streets in Los Angeles.

Tomorrow, I will report back, hopefully, with photos of the group, keeping in mind that some do not want their photo posted online. I always respect such a request.

After lunch, we’ll head back another 45 minutes to Julie’s place, where we’ll spend the evening. If we get hungry, we’ll order carry-out food to be delivered, have dinner, and do a load of laundry at Julie’s house. With that, we’ll be ready to embark on the next leg of our journey.

One can only imagine the cost of this narrow vacant lot in the expensive area. It appears that construction has begun, or perhaps it has been sitting this way for a while due to the pandemic.

I spoke to Marylin and Gary this morning, and they are looking forward to seeing us in Salt Lake City on May 5 for dinner. We will drive toward their area and find a hotel near the restaurant so that on May 6, we can commence the balance and longest portion of our road trip. It’s odd, but we must return to Las Vegas to drive to Salt Lake City. There is no easier or quicker means of getting there. It feels funny that we’ll be heading back there but will only stay one night before we continue on to Utah the following day.

Santa Monica State Beach is a 3.5-mile-long beach in Los Angeles, California, known for its soft sand, bike trails, and many activities. The beach is located on the edge of Los Angeles and overlooks the Pacific Ocean.

We had fun seeing the Santa Monica Pier, which I hadn’t seen since I lived in California 55 years ago. I was brought up in Long Beach, about an hour from Los Angeles, and I had no desire to return there when it was so long ago, and we don’t have any family or friends there.

We had no interest in embarking on the long walk on the pier since Julie has a severe ankle injury and my walking, well, as you know, isn’t that good. Instead, we took several photos, people watched and reveled in the exciting area. I had a vision of gorgeous people in skimpy clothes on skateboards, as shown in commercials for this area.

Santa Monica State Beach is a 3.5-mile-long beach in Los Angeles, California, known for its soft sand, bike trails, and many activities. The beach is located on the edge of Los Angeles and overlooks the Pacific Ocean.

Ha! That is not the case. They were just like us, ordinary folks in casual well-covered clothing without skateboards; since many tourists were our age, it’s unlikely they’d be on skateboards in bikinis. Nonetheless, the people and the dog watching were exceptional, and I couldn’t help but squeal with delight over everything we saw.

After sightseeing ended, we returned to Brentwood for another fantastic dinner we all thoroughly enjoyed. We dropped Julie off at about 9:00 pm and returned to our nearby hotel. I awoke during the night and had trouble going back to sleep. I try not to think unpleasant thoughts at night, so I watch a few funny videos to pull me back to sleep an hour later.

The best path to the Pier from Downtown is to walk under the historic Santa Monica Pier and Yacht Harbor sign at Ocean and Colorado and down the Pier bridge. If you are on Main Street or coming from hotels and other destinations along Pico, head towards the beach and take Ocean Front Walk.

I awoke this morning well-rested but later than I should have, and thus, I must rush to get today’s post uploaded before we need to leave. Our lunch is scheduled for 11:30, which will require driving in traffic. We’ll see how it goes.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, May 3, 2014:

A broken egg that I found yesterday in Marrakesh outside the door to our bedroom, most likely a bird egg that fell from the top of a door or a decorative item on the wall. For more photos, please click here.

We are on the move… California or bust…

Soon, I will replace my phone since the camera isn’t working well.

This morning, shortly after 8, the RAV 4 rental vehicle was loaded with our belongings, and we headed out the door. We were thrilled we got the roomy SUV for our road trip over the next several days with a 3-night stop in California to see my sister Julie. The rental contract for which we paid $1800 continues in Minnesota until May 30, when we will book another car.

We looked at old posts to recall how long it had been since we saw her. It was in November 2019 when she visited Minnesota while we were there.

So much has transpired since then. No doubt we will have plenty of catching up to do. We’ve occasionally chatted on the phone but nothing compares to talking in person.

After a short drive, we stopped for breakfast this morning at a Denny’s. The food was fresh and tasty and quickly we were back on the road.

As of now, on I10, we have 300 more miles to go until we reach our hotel in Santa Monica, a short distance from Julie’s house. We will get settled in our hotel, freshen up, and pick her up for our 6:30 dinner reservation.

We’ve yet to cross the Arizona/California border. We haven’t been on this road since 2013, on our way to San Diego to board our first cruise on Celebrity Century through the Panama Canal. It ended in Florida when we boarded another cruise after staying a few nights with my friend Carol.

That cruise took us to Belize, where we stayed for two and a half months. It was truly in the beginning of our exciting worldwide travels. We had no idea of the adventures that lie ahead of us.

Last evening, we had a lovely dinner at JJ Madison with Colleen and Margie. Afterward, we returned to our place, packed a few more items, streamed a few shows, and headed to bed by 11.

As we travel on this long highway to California we don’t see any exciting photo ops. We are in the Sonoran and soon-to-be Mohave deserts, a barren and mostly uninhabited area of the Southwest.

I continue to scan our surroundings for photo ops and will post anything worthy of posting. We will be back with more tomorrow.

We just entered California with 234 more miles to go.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, May 1, 2014:

These dried fruits and nuts create an eye-appealing display. Most of the nuts are unsalted. On the right is a tray of essential oils, quality undetermined. For more photos, please click here.