American road trip 2011 D14 LA

Just a quick explanation: in the summer of 2011, my parents decided to take all six of us (four children between 22 and 16 and two parents) on a roadtrip through -mostly- the West Coast of the USA. This was written as a diary at the time, so keep in mind that this was written by a 22-year-old who was blogging to keep family and friends updated on our whereabouts. Enjoy! – Camille

Our last day and did we ever end our journey in style…

The morning started ever so early (I still maintain that I heard “we’re leaving at 7″ and not “we wake up at 7″) and one two-hour drive later we arrived in Santa Barbara. Apparently, this saint doesn’t exist but she does get an entire village and a monastery named after her (and some schools, streets, … You know, the usual “I’m a saint, name things after me!”-hype). One small wiki-search later and I found out that she did exist, probably in Nicodemia and was the daughter of a heathen (who beheaded her when he found out she’d converted to christianity and was struck by lightning for his deeds). Oh well, at least now we know. Thank God for the internet!

So, Santa Barbara. A very Spanish-like village (which was the intention of the villagers, apparently. Good on them, because they succeeded brilliantly), which claims the aforementioned monastery with a very beautiful garden, El Presidio (something fort-like but which didn’t seem all that defendable) and El Paseo, a… mall. You see, to attract tourists and other interested folks, they’ve got Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap, American Eagle Outfitters and lots of other shops there. We like! Another attraction was the polo club: apparently, Prince William and his Kate were visiting at the exact same time we were, only they were at another side of the town. We didn’t notice a thing.

In the afternoon we tended to the ill (my sister has been ill for a couple of days now and my brother got a rather bad sunburn) and went shopping in Santa Monica (which is named after Saint Monica, apparently Augustin of Hippo’s mother). There we found the very chique brands, but also the more recognisable (Esprit, again Abercrombie & Fitch, Guess etc.). Our last shopping trip ended happily and on we went to dinner.

Which was at the Cheesecake Factory! I’d gone ahead to queue for a table for six, only to be told that it would take either 45 minutes or an hour and a half to be seated. I resigned myself to the wait and made myself comfortable, only to hear fifteen minutes later that they were ready for us. Some great waiters, wonderful food and a gorgeous view later we ended our last day in America.

What did I notice during these fourteen days?

* The Americans are incredibly friendly, except those who live and work in the Grand Canyon area.

*The American weather is not all that different from our European weather (or Belgian weather, come to that).

* We crossed four different states and saw many more different landscapes. It is astonishing how different the view could be, just a couple minutes after the last look out of the window.

* Our trip was great: thank you Mum for organising everything and taking care of the hotels, flights, car and God knows what else!

* Life is expensive.

Tomorrow our plane leaves the ground around 9AM in Los Angeles, lands in Atlanta, sees us running to catch our second flight and makes sure we arrive around 8AM the following day. No blogs possible then, so I’ll just say goodbye now. Thanks for following me on this journey and I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have!

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