Santa Monica Boulevard

Odometer:  479,118

Twelve hours in the car for an hour long visit with friends and then a brief visit to the beach?  Yes, please.  Most rational people wouldn’t dream of driving all the way from Phoenix to Los Angeles and back in a day, but then again, perhaps I’m a little crazy anyway.  Yesterday’s day trip was one of the most easiest routes I’ve had to navigate.  I can hop on I-10 just a few miles from my home and stay on the same interstate all the way until the 4th Street exit in Santa Monica which is within walking distance of the beach & the pier.  Who needs air travel!

My A/C blower motor is officially toast, so this was a windows & moonroof-down trip for me.  Aside from a headache caused by the wind buffeting and some warm temps on the way home tonight, it wasn’t all that uncomfortable.  At least the weather in southern California was 70’s and perfect as usual.

I’ve done the trip to LA so many times that I have my “standard” stops along the way.  I’ll usually fuel up at 339th Avenue which is just west of the PHX metro area near Tonopah, then again at the Washington Street exit in Indio.  Easy on, easy off.  I should also mention that there are two things I pick up at the convenience store during each and every road trip:  A vanilla flavored Starbucks bottled drink, and a blue packaged Rice Krispy Treat.  Gotta have ’em.

First stop in Santa Monica was a Legend meet where I rendezvoused with some good friends for car talk.

After lunch and a visit to the beach, I headed eastbound.  This leg took longer because of typical southern California traffic.  Here’s a shot of the gridlock on I-10 just prior to the 405 junction.  Messy!  I ended up taking the 10 to the 5 north to the 143 to the 210 to the 57 and down to the 10 again.  In the end, my return trip still only took me a little over 6 hours even after the delays.

Two more pictures from the drive home.  The first captures one of my favorite features on the 91-95 Acura Legend coupe:  operational rear windows.  Backseat riders always get a kick out of the fact that the little windows go down.  Handy for air circulation!  This picture was also taken during my absolute favorite time of the day to drive, just before dark.  Dusk in the desert is one of the most serene, beautiful settings.

And a shot at the rest area about 60 miles east of Quartzsite.  I was the only person there.  Great sunset.

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