Let the Road Trip Begin: Los Angeles & World Class Tennis in the Desert

Nothing beats a road trip and this happened to be something I have always wanted to do specifically in the U.S. A favorite route is Highway 1 that lets you experience the beauty of California’s coast. 

IMG_2973.jpg

Since my man came stateside a few weeks ago, I took a week off from work to go up to San Francisco with him, having planned several stops along the way. We were very excited. Making new memories with Mr. T. has always been one of my favorite things to do for the past 4 years. 

On Friday morning, roughly 2 weeks ago, we grabbed our stuff, threw it in the little car we had rented and hit the road, heading up North. First destination: LA.

I went to the City of (broken) Angels again, but it’s simply too big to cover all ground during one visit and since this is also Mr. T’s first U.S. experience, Los Angeles naturally had to be on the list.   

The backdrop of all that? Well, I’ll keep it short: It was raining so hard that we couldn’t even see and the traffic was out of this world (certainly in a negative way). Welcome to LA. 

Thus, we basically spent the afternoon in the car, trying to make our way through the city and find a Starbucks for Internet. We still needed to book accommodation for the night. So, the first day of being on the road wasn’t all that glamorous, but it could only get better. 

We found ourselves a Starbucks (withOUT a bathroom!!), somewhere in Hollywood that is, without a doubt, not all glitzy and spent a good one and a half hours on finding an affordable motel. We eventually booked a room at the Bokai Inn in Rosemead, a rather run-down place (no, that’s not fair, a little shabby maybe, but what do you expect from a motel in LA on the weekend paying less than 80 bucks?) run by a Chinese family it seemed. 

After having been awake several times during the night - people do party, apparently -, we woke up to the sun greeting us warmheartedly. FINALLY! Now Mr. T. got the right impression and we were comparatively awake, comparatively early, all ready to bounce. 

We took advantage of the fabulous weather and went up the Griffith Observatory, already my favorite place in LA for a great view on this gigantic city. 

Naturally, we had to snap a few pictures. 

I was kind of amazed how many people had made their way up there that early on a Saturday morning, already. Well, I cannot blame them; the weather was fantastic. 

It was the very first time since Mr. T’s arrival in the states that I heard him say ‘Wow’

Mission accomplished. 

Besides a little bit of smog, we had a pretty clear view on LA. 

Someone wanted to have a better perspective and opted for the close-up. 

After an hour or so, we hopped back in the car and hit Mulholland Drive for a more scenic view (and a stomach that started to feel weird again - whoops). 

Another attraction we had to squeeze in?

Venice Beach!! 

Of course, this is the beach everyone knows even if not having been to the U.S. before and so we made our way over there to do a round of people watching (what else?). 

It was my second time passing Muscles Beach and I have to giggle every time. Man, those wanna-be bodybuilders…or the ones having taken too many steroids.

After lunch and a round of grilled cheese under the sun - at the Candle Cafe - it was time to head towards our next destination and basically just accommodation for the night: Motel 6 in Riverside, about an hour from LA and closer to Indian Wells - which should be our destination for Sunday. 

Well rested and with breakfast and coffee on the go (playing it American and doing everything in the car), we were on the road again. 

I had not been driven further towards the desert at that point but soon came to realize that the scenery can be stunning. 

The mountains. 

The wide streets. 

And somehow I was completely stunned by the fact that there was snow on top of the mountains! Only in Cali do you have the beach, mountains and desert within such easy reach. It sure makes for a good quality of life and allows for so many things to do, especially for those feeling a little (or a little more) active. 

Since it’s so flat, it can get very windy in the desert. Wind power is thus obviously a thing here. 

After a little over an hour, around 10 am, we arrived in Indian Wells. It. Was. WARM! Hello desert. 

It’s a city in Riverside county, which is on the edge of Palm Desert, and it is home to one of the biggest tennis tournaments in the world. Since my man has been playing this game for basically his whole life and a friend of his, Dominic Thiem, currently #13 in the world if I am not completely off here, made sure we got free tickets, we could not miss this little detour. 

Jackpot!

A day on the tennis courts it should be. 

I have to be honest and say I am not extremely crazy about tennis but having a pro by my side, not having to pay a penny to enter, and watching the real famous people such as Serena Williams and Novac Djokovic play was really something. I like watching it every once in a while, with the right company. 

And of course, the setting was breathtaking. Lush green tournament ground (I don’t even wanna know how much water they need to make it look like such an oasis), surrounded by the desert and mountains. 

What a pretty, unusual scenery. 

After spending over 7 hours in the heat, eating our way through the food stalls and paying a ridiculous amount of money for ice-cream, we were off again. 

Next stop: Santa Barbara. 

Fueled with Starbucks and a burger - whoops -, we drove through the night, closer to LA until we came closer to the coast again and went up North. 

We should soon be arriving at the cutest motel we stayed at during our road trip.