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Roadtripping California (with Kids). Santa Barbara to LA

Heading south from San Francisco, we made for Santa Barbara. We’d been along the Big Sur route before, so this time we headed straight down. Our target – the beach!

In Vancouver we live in a beautiful city, and we even have quite pretty beaches, but throughout the year the ocean temperature ranges anywhere from freezing to almost bearable.

Santa Barbara has some great beaches, and we bought a boogie board and headed straight for the surf. The kids took to the water immediately – and refused to come out.

Santa Barbara is a very touristy town, but it’s very expensive as well. We stayed a couple of nights and then it was time to move on.  We drove through Malibu, looked for a parking place at the beach and couldn’t find one, and continued to LA.

I have never had any interest in visiting LA, but Gal, who is now 15, has been yearning to go. The fact is, there is tons to keep kids of all ages very busy.

We did the obvious things – like checking out the stars on the sidewalk at the Chinese Theater and going as close as we could to the Hollywood sign. We also got scammed by Spiderman and someone out of Star Wars, who very kindly posed with the kids and then demanded a big fat tip! We decided to save money by buying a map of the stars’ homes, and then got so lost that we couldn’t figure out where anyone lived.  We hit the beaches – busy Santa Monica as well as seedy Venice beach. We visited the fabulous Getty Museum  – well, the kids needed to be spurred on by gory background details as to what happened to Marie Antoinette in order to appreciate her furniture, and we went to the La Brea Tar Pits and the Automobile Museum – the latter two just great for kids. La Brea is all about extinct mammals, and the Auto Museum is all about…every car you can imagine.

Actually we saw the best car outside the museum, a Bugatti on Rodeo Drive, that apparently everyone knows about. It’s car that costs more than $1 million! House or car, house or car…now lets see what’s more important in life. It was good lesson for the kids to see.

We also spent a great evening at the Hollywood Bowl. I told the kids we were going to see Tchaikovsky, but they were a bit upset when he didnt’ appear personally.

When all was said and done, LA proved to be a big hit, but with the terrible traffic, and the heat, I was glad to move on.