Judy and Peter US and Cuba 2017 travel blog

Up early this morning, partly because I went to sleep so early and also because we are off to Los Angeles today to catch our flight home. We arrived at the Budget office a bit early and collected our car, a black Ford Focus. The plan was to have a leisurely drive down the coast road, stopping for a nice lunch and then arriving at LAX about 7:00pm. We received directions from the Budget staff on how to get to Highway 101 and off we went. The directions were spot on so we were soon on our way.

We stopped in Morgan Hill along our way to buy a cup of coffee. We pulled into the shopping centre car park and parked right outside the door of the Australian Tan shop...how's that for a coincidence? We had a Starbucks coffee as there didn't seem to be much else open. The traffic up until now had been reasonably heavy although heavier for those commuters heading towards San Francisco. I was. Pleased we were going in the other direction. The soil along the way looks really rich and there were many roadside stands selling cherries and strawberries. Heaps of workers out in the fields picking or planting. We also saw a number of plastic hot houses so this looks like a major food producing area.

We stopped at Monterey for a walk on the old fishermen's wharf. The weather was beautiful...the sun shining and the sea looked beautiful. Having said that, the fog was sitting on the horizon...it's quite eerie enjoying such a pretty day while the fog hovers over things not far away. It had been foggy on and off along the way from San Francisco and there was still fog around when we drove through the Carmel Highlands area at 11:25am.

Our drive down the coast continued until we reached Big Sur. The coast froad was closed from there on and there were no detours. Our only option was to go back to Monterey or Salinas. Oops, that didn't go down too well however we didn't have any choice. Back we went and had another look at the sights. We took a slightly different route from the one suggested by the National Parks people at Big Sur thanks to Google Maps and saw some pretty countryside where assorted crops and vines were growing.

Our leisurely trip went out the window with the detour. We had arranged to return the hire car by 7:00pm so that meant we had to drive on the inland road and didn't have much time for sightseeing or lunching. Oh well, that's how it goes and it's more important to catch the plane than have lunch at the beach. We passed through a lot of farming land where a huge variety of crops were being grown in a valley between two ranges of hills.

Up until now, the traffic had been reasonably light so we were quite happy about that, particularly as the traffic headi out of LA was backed up for about 10 miles. What a nightmare. I had my fingers crossed that we wouldn't have the same problem as it would have been very stressful. As we drove closer to the city, the traffic built up quite a lot however it still kept moving so that was encouraging. We arrived at Budget to return the car about 15 minutes before schedule. Three cheers! I was very grateful for Google Maps as there's no way we would have found our way without it.

We caught the Budget shuttle to the terminal, checked in, waLked to another terminal to go through security and immigration and then on to the boarding gate. It's hard to believe it's 4 weeks since we left home. We've had a great holiday; one extreme to another with the countries we've visited however all of the places we visited were interesting in their own way.

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