Sunday, April 24, 2016

Acton, CA for exploring Los Angeles & Hollywood

We stayed at Soledad Canyon in Acton, CA so that we could explore Los Angeles and Hollywood. Both were a bit of a drive- about an hour-ish. But, the price for the campground was right ("free").
Soledad Canyon Thousand Trails park. Decent place, but AWESOME campsite!
Campsite at Soledad Canyon


The drive from Pahrump to Acton was pretty quiet without a whole lot around. My memory is failing me- we must have gotten out really late and then drove really slowly because, as far as I can see from pictures is that we stopped for lunch about 1:45 for lunch, spent 45 minutes, and then didn't get to the campground until was dark and almost 7pm. That said, our lunch stop at Dumont Dunes was gorgeous. I'd love to stay and play there sometime, but there was absolutely no cell coverage whatsoever. No cell = no work = no stay (sad face).
We stopped at the Dumont Sand Dunes for lunch. I'd love to go back and stay, but there was absolutely no cell service there.
Dumont Dunes

Once we got to the campground, we ended up getting a really great site that was huge and fenced in on 3 sides. However, it's committed the campground party foul with the door being the low side. We needed a good 1-2 blocks on that side. Even with our step stool, it was still quite a jump.

On Roadside America, we had found that we were near a "musical road" in Lancaster, CA where they put grooves in the road and it sings. We decided to drive it at different speeds, to see how the music was affected.

The temperature difference between the campground and actual city of Los Angeles was pretty remarkable. It was forecasted to be in the low 70s at the campground but Venice Beach was supposed to be around 90. We decided that a November swim in the Pacific Ocean was just what the doctor ordered. (A neat side note, I had never seen the Pacific Ocean prior to that. Another first brought to you by this trip.) The water was cold- I'm guessing low 60s. The kids and I swam, we played in the sand, watched a boat catch on fire, and watched the sunset.
Venice Beach, Los Angeles, CA
Paige and I went out into deeper water, but it was impossible to photograph

Venice Beach, Los Angeles, CA
Jumping!

Venice Beach, Los Angeles, CA
She got her feet wet, but THAT'S IT!

Venice Beach, Los Angeles, CA
It was a very "California" experience.

Venice Beach, Los Angeles, CA
And then a boat caught on fire- scary stuff!

Venice Beach, Los Angeles, CA
Playing in the sand & water

Venice Beach, Los Angeles, CA
Sand time! Can you guess what it is?

Venice Beach, Los Angeles, CA
Sand octopus!

Almost 90-degrees at Venice Beach in late November? YES, PLEASE!
The plural for "selfie" is "usie".

Almost 90-degrees at Venice Beach in late November? YES, PLEASE!
A real sunset.

Almost 90-degrees at Venice Beach in late November? YES, PLEASE!
Whatever the ailment, marijuana is the answer!

Next, we opted for a double-decker bus tour of Hollywood. Our tour guide was TERRIBLE. Paige even said she preferred my dad jokes over his commentary. This was pretty neat, though, mostly, I'll never be able to tell you what we saw or where we went.
Hollywood bus tour
Our chariot

Hollywood bus tour
Mr. Terrible.

Hollywood bus tour
Somewhere quasi-famous

Hollywood bus tour
Scientology!

Hollywood City Safari Tour
Chinese Theatre. And here I just thought it was a Disney prop.

Hollywood City Safari Tour
Beverly Hills

Hollywood City Safari Tour
Rodeo Drive


One of our stops was the La Brea Tar Pits. This wasn't quite the bubbling oozing ground like the tourism video led us to believe, but it was still worth a visit to check out. Seeing the actual dig site was pretty cool.
Hollywood City Safari Tour
La Brea Tar Pits

Hollywood City Safari Tour
Yeah, I moved the cone.

Hollywood City Safari Tour
Close up of the tar hole

Hollywood City Safari Tour
Tar site excavation

The "floating rock" was a big fat lie.
Hollywood City Safari Tour
Floating Rock

Hollywood City Safari Tour
I'M SO STRONG!

Then we hit some shops and made our way back home.
Hollywood City Safari Tour
Shops

Hollywood City Safari Tour
I'm so artsy.


Thanksgiving rolled around and we found ourselves having a good time. First was a family game night on Thanksgiving Eve. Followed by Mandie baking a most bodaciously off kilter pan of brownies (the rack was in the oven wrong somehow). And for the actual turkey day, I "cooked" dinner with Paige's help.
Thanksgiving dinner cooked by Paige and Dad
Crock pot ham

Thanksgiving dinner cooked by Paige and Dad
Paige chopped onions

Thanksgiving dinner cooked by Paige and Dad
Look, she's happy about it!

Thanksgiving dinner cooked by Paige and Dad
And now she's sad!

Thanksgiving dinner cooked by Paige and Dad
Filling Balls (like stuffing, not stuffed in the turkey!)

Thanksgiving dinner cooked by Paige and Dad
Dinner is served!

Thanksgiving dinner cooked by Paige and Dad
Hells to the yes, Paige and I made that.

Other than that, we did some home repairs and updates- fixed some picture frames and hung a few things- cup holder, pictures, coat hook, and over the door hooks on the bedroom closets. And the coup de grĂ¢ce was converting a drawer under our dinette to be our printer cubby.

Camper updates.
Added a cup holder

Camper updates.
Now you see it,

Camper updates.
Now you don't!

Camper updates.
Here's what our printer drawer started as - just a drawer

Camper updates.
Took it all out

Camper updates.
"Measuring" it out

Camper updates.
Clamps, a guide, and a jigsaw

Camper updates.
It fits!

Camper updates.
Hinged on the bottom

Camper updates.
It's perfect except where it's not...

Camper updates.
Toothbrush hanger

Moving right along, we played tourist in Hollywood again. This time we went into Madame Tussauds wax museum. We were pretty impressed at the realism of the wax figures. Logan danced his little booty off and then promptly kissed Taylor Swift's - we still don't know why.
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Hollywood.
Posed with Shrek!

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Hollywood.
Taylor Swift, moments before Logan kissed her butt

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Hollywood.
Mandie cozied up to JT (I won't lie, I decked him for making googly eyes at her)

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Hollywood.
She had the best eyes

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Hollywood.
We selfied with Elvis

We walked the strip a bit and looked at the stars. Logan was enthralled by Iron Man (and I'll admit, his costume was pretty brilliant).
Hollywood sight-seeing.
Walt's Star

Hollywood sight-seeing.
Neat video production RV

On the news, I had read about a road nearby that was buckling. Vasquez Canyon Road went from drive-able to not in about a week. In another week, it was completely destroyed. We finally got out to see it during it's "completely destroyed" phase and were pretty surprised at how bad it was.

Vasquez Canyon Road rose up and was destroyed within 1-2 weeks.
Do not cross construction signs... we totally crossed.

Vasquez Canyon Road rose up and was destroyed within 1-2 weeks.
A little bit of scale

Vasquez Canyon Road rose up and was destroyed within 1-2 weeks.
Broken road

Vasquez Canyon Road rose up and was destroyed within 1-2 weeks.
Us

Visting Vasquez Canyon Road was just a detour on our way to Santa Barbara. We took a trolley tour around town. It was a very pretty beach town.
Santa Barbara sight-seeing.
Trolley Tour!

Santa Barbara sight-seeing.
Offshore rigs

Santa Barbara sight-seeing.
Statue

Santa Barbara sight-seeing.
I love this tree

Santa Barbara sight-seeing.
Daww, siblings.

Santa Barbara sight-seeing.
I forget its name, the Monk Palace or something

Santa Barbara sight-seeing.
The Burger Bus

Santa Barbara sight-seeing.
Pier

Santa Barbara sight-seeing.
Artsy Bike

Santa Barbara sight-seeing.
Sunset in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara sight-seeing.
Artsy Fisherman

Such confusion.
The back of the bathroom door is confusing!

And that about wraps up the majority of our time in Acton. Again 2 weeks didn't feel like nearly enough time for everything around. But, we had an appointment at a camper repair shop to get some new steps and a few other things done. We headed to their place and started in on a visit to Disneyland, but I'll cover all of that in another post.
Well, that's pretty crappy.
A torn sewer hose is pretty crappy



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