wonderfully made: travel diaries : California day four

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

travel diaries : California day four

edit: be sure to come back tomorrow for my 6 budget travel tips! Bring a snack or something to drink because it's PACKED with lots of insider info! :)

Catch the recaps of our other days in California here:

Our last day in California was pretty much a travel day. We got up and finished packing and headed downstairs for breakfast. We were trying to catch a 2pm flight and had to make the long drive to Los Angeles plus turn in the car and catch the shuttle back to the terminal. Mark hadn't seen much of inland California, so we decided to take some long detours and drive around killing time on our way back to the airport. It was too chilly to really enjoy the beach or the pool, anyway.

We left the hotel around 9am and drove towards Malibu. Right before we hit the town, I had Mark take a sharp left and go up a mountain, which eventually led to Thousand Oaks. It was CURVY and steep and we couldn't imagine doing it in a bigger car, and ours was just a mid-size! We had to take it at about 15 mph so it took us a good 30 minutes to get up the mountain and over. It was such a cool drive, though, with awesome views! At one point we passed a Porsche and BMW clearly taking test drives down this curvy road. Mark got all flustered, I think his man card was pitter-pattering. 

Anyway, we came over the hill and drove through Thousand Oaks and Agoura Hills. Mark kept commenting on how he recognized the names, all from TV and movies. We kept going and ended up driving down 405 (I think?) and exited at Sunset Blvd. Immediately we were in Bel Air, so of course I sang the entire intro to Fresh Prince, which was on point. From there, we took a right into UCLA and spent a good 20 minutes driving around. The campus was pretty and I'd say it totally passes up Texas State as far as hilly campuses go. Phew!

So we came out of UCLA and continued into Beverly Hills. That's when I started taking pictures out the car window (excuse the quality). Here's what we saw:

No housewives were spotted, unfortunately.

From Beverly Hills, we headed up to Hollywood to see the sights there. We turned down Hollywood Blvd (?) just in time to see the Chinese and Kodak theaters. It was crazy busy!

We saw Hollywood and Highland, etc etc, and then we spotted the Hollywood sign. We had taken quite a bit of time at this point so we ended up heading toward the airport, but I got a better view of the sign when we were on the freeway. Everything in Hollywood was cool to see, but we are glad that we didn't make a trip out of just that part! We are way more low key than that...

We barely made our plane and came back to the great state of Texas. It was so good to be back!

I did want to talk more about our hotel, the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach in Oxnard. We REALLY enjoyed it and I will recommend it to anyone wanting a beach vacation or a getaway to California. It was 30 minutes from Santa Barbara and Malibu and tucked away in the quiet town of Oxnard. It was literally ON the beach, and it was a way better price than any other hotel I found with premium views and beach access. It was a great deal and included breakfast and happy hour every day. Every room is a suite, you guys!

I'm breaking down the finances in my next post about budget travel, but check out the images below. I highly recommend the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach! 

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