Road Trip Update: Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Venice

Click to expand. Day 2 to Day 11
I'm currently on a 6,000 kilometre road trip from Vancouver, BC down the Pacific Coast, into California, sideways to Nevada, and then up again through Utah, Idaho, and Washington State. I'm joined by my dad as copilot, and we'll be gone for two weeks. The car we've chosen for the adventure is my Speed Yellow 2000 Porsche 911 GT3 Aerokit Cup.

Today's blog will continue with the new format. I am now covering the trip place by place, as opposed to day by day. I just couldn't keep track, and I'm usually blogging either into the wee hours of the night or super early in the morning. This makes it easier for me to think back to everything that's happened when my brain is half asleep. Today's blog will also be picture-heavy. I'm not really in the mood to write much because I'm in Utah, Salt Lake City to be exact, and it is a really weird place. More on that in a future blog when I wrap up the California and Nevada bits. 

Santa Barbara Pier. 
Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, and Venice Beach: We woke up in Morro Bay and immediately decided to leave. Early morning empty roads meant I could pin the throttle. Mom, don't do the math, but we got to SB in only a couple of hours. We decided to plead for forgiveness regarding our sinning behind the wheel by heading up to the Santa Barbara Mission. It was interesting to learn about all of the cultures that had collided there but always offered each other peace, shelter, and compassion. I'm glad we trekked up there. We had lunch downtown. Some Italian joint on the corner of State and Haley named Bucatini. I had the Quattro Stagioni za. Is this too much detail? This is too much detail. We walked the SB pier and were impressed when we looked back at the shoreline (see selfie ^) and could of sworn we were in the South of France. Conclusion: SB is nice, but nothing crazy. Perhaps I need a better tour (JB -737, you reading this?).
Flying down Topanga Canyon in to Santa Monica. 

"We need a new plague." - Dwight Schrute
After lunch we drove down from Santa Barbara to Santa Monica. Now we knew this was going to be trouble. It was a scorcher out, and we were about to hit rush hour traffic. The Porsche was not happy, and when we hit a traffic jam near Calabasas, I made the (in hindsight) brilliant decision to have my dad steer for the hills in search for cooler temperatures to appease the flat-six. We dove into Topanga Canyon which took us the long windy way down into Santa Monica. Initially we were both skeptical that this was a good plan, but as we saw the temperature drop, one 0.5 degree Celsius at a time, we were literally screaming for joy. The canyon was nice too. I was actually hoping we would wind up in Laurel Canyon, since Jerry Seinfeld once told me during an AMA that he used to race Larry through Laurel Canyon in his 911, Larry in his Saab (with a  head start) after each day of filming Seinfeld. 
Santa Monica Pier - Great from far, far from great. 

Venice Beach - Didn't find Hank Moody
We arrived in Santa Monica and, to be frank, didn't like what we saw. It was all very… touristy. Which I guess is hypocritical of us to raise our nose at, given that we were very obviously tourists, but I don't know.  It didn't feel special at all. Neither did the pier. It was just thousands of trashy people getting drunk and a few fishermen at back. We decided to walk to Venice Beach, which lies perpendicular (South) to the Santa Monica Pier. Venice is known to be quite liberal. Anything goes in Venice kind of thing. Which means that maybe my dad didn't enjoy it, but at the very least it felt real. Not as touristy. Just a bunch of crazy people doing their thing, with the random rooftop frat party thrown in. I didn't mind it. And when we skipped in behind the Venice seawall, we actually discovered the real Venice. Places similar to the Moody's condo in Californication. It was a nice area. Venice is a neat town. Very much alive and crazy,  but civil enough to maybe call home for a few years. 

Next up is Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Vegas (some wicked things went down) and some canyons on route to Utah. But as I said at the start of today's blog, I'm aching to get out of Utah and into Idaho towards Canada. 6 AM wakeup to try and make it to Vancouver by Saturday night, Sunday afternoon latest. Talk soon. 
An atmosphere straight out of an Agatha Christie novel.