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More free hotel waffles for breakfast in San Francsico!

Then, we were out of that town…

And on our way back to LA.

I was pretty excited about that fact – more LA!

I guess I’ve sort of fallen in love with that city. It just seems like something is always happening there.

So knowing that I was going to be able to spend another night there before I headed home, well, let’s just say the 6-hour drive back from San Fran to LA went a little bit faster.

It was a sad drive, though, going back.

Going back.

I don’t like going back! And going back to LA was exciting, but it also marked the first leg of our return journey home.

I wasn’t ready to leave! I didn’t want to go! Say it isn’t so!

Sometimes you have to pull yourself together a little bit, and make sure you’re focusing on the present. Which is what I did, and then I realized that I still had three whole days left of my adventures.

I’m going to skip telling you about the 6-hour drive, which was uneventful, but I do want to describe me attempting to drive up what must have been the steepest road in San Francisco, and possibly in all of California.

My car wouldn’t go! I had to floor the gas in order to get up that hill. And, to make the situation even better – there was a stop sign at the top! So, I had to stop my car once I got there, and then attempt to turn off of the road without rolling backwards and smashing into the car behind me.

Sure, I pulled it off smoothly (with minimum honking from the car behind me), but it was quite a stressful and interesting experience!

And then the whole 6-hour drive thing happened.

And then, we were partying at the Holiday Inn!

Not really. But the room was really nice! I love a good, cheap, quality hotel room! That will make or break your night as a traveler. (Wow, look at me pretending I’m a seasoned traveler now! After a week! Ha!)

Then, we were off! Guess where? To get food. Typical.

As everyone and their mother had told me about In N Out burger, that was our fancy restaurant of choice for our last night in LA.

When we pulled in to In N Out, there must have been 30 cars in the take out line, waiting to order – and that many people inside the building itself, both ordering and waiting for their food. So, I thought, this place must be good!

I ordered a number one – cheeseburger, fries, medium drink.

And, honestly, I didn’t get it.

I still don’t! Why is In N out so popular? Jack in the box is way better! Yet, there was not a mile-long line at Jack in the box. Am I missing something here? I really feel like I am! Sheesh, just when I thought I was beginning to understand LA.

I mean, In N out was good, but not great. It just tasted… well… like a hamburger! Ah! Help, somebody! I’m so confused!

Anyway, then we headed back to the Holiday Inn for the night. I really like saying “Holiday Inn” because it just reminds me of that one song. You know the one.

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I slept in California last night! Right next to the Pacific ocean.

We’re in Huntington Beach, CA, at the moment – and it is wonderful here.

So, yesterday involved a lot of me driving in traffic for four hours on our long journey from Las Vegas to Anywhere-on-the-ocean, CA. That specific place ended up being Huntington Beach, CA, – after an hour of driving, lost, down the coast – and really, there could have been worse places to be lost, dazed, and confused. So we were in good shape.

While we were searching endlessly for a parking spot, I whipped out my phone and again used some magic technology to book us a motel in the city. Thank you, 3G! Now with a sure place to go, we whipped our rented Ford Taurus (Silver!) around and headed to the aptly named “Ocean View” Motel. (With in-room spas! Aka, showers.)

Yes, I slept next to the Pacific ocean last night. In California. Did I mention that yet?

After we parked the car and mangled the room key from the manager’s hand, we piled all of our belongings into our new for-the-night home. It wasn’t bad. There was even a mini-fridge! Now that’s high class living.

Then we were off again to find the (what had to have been) twenty-mile long beach that we had passed on our first run through Huntington Beach.

This is what we had come for! There were people, and dogs, and tents full of stuff to buy, and food, and more food, and oh – more food, and sandy beaches, and, of course, the ocean.

Nicole and I took carefully measured steps as we first approached the roaring waves of the Pacific. Then, once we were covered in smelly, salty ocean water up to our hips after the first wave hit us – well, we were hooked. Yes, we did run down the coastline. How did you know?

It was a really beautiful experience. As we walked toward some pier in the distance (which I’m sure has a name, but I didn’t see one), we stopped for a few minutes to watch the sun sink beneath the mountains. I watched the sunset. In California. Next to the Ocean. Oh, and then the dolphins started leaping out of the water.

Is this starting to sound like a movie or something? I couldn’t believe it.

Dolphins! Yes, I will freak out like a proper tourist from the Midwest and get excited over dolphins. Everyone else on the beach seemed to be properly freaking out, too, as there was quickly a herd of people surrounding the spot on the beach where the dolphins could be seen. Others were snapping photos, and I tried to get a couple, too, but some things simply cannot be captured by technology – sometimes you just have to watch, and remember, and that is the best way to live that moment.

At the pier (which must have been about a mile from the dolphin spot), we wandered down and took in the sights of what was then a dark Huntington Beach. The lights of the city from the pier were beautiful, and yes, I did take pictures of that moment.

It was really everything I expected from a pier over the ocean – lots of people, musicians playing on the benches with their hats out, more stuff to buy, a restaurant, and a pelican. He was sitting on this “fish sink” and having some (what must have been for him) delicious fishy-tasting water. Yum!

To end the night (after a 45 minute walk back to our car), we stopped at a nearby Jack in the box for dinner. Yes, we tried Western fast food. It was pretty good, too. At least to two girls who hadn’t eaten all day.

Ok, now we’re getting to my favorite part. (Not really, but really.) Back at “home”, we spread ourselves out on our beds with our fast food dinner, and watched some Cake Boss.

Now that is a good day.

Now, to L.A. and beyond!

(Oh, and if you’re reading this and you’re from the LA area, or you’ve been there — Where should I go? What should I see? Tell me everything!)