Santa Monica, CA / Las Vegas, NV – Tuesday 22 October
Pacific Coast Highway, Day 4 – Santa Barbara to LA
And so my PCH drive finished up on the beach in Santa Monica. The final stretch of the PCH didn’t measure up to Carmel->SLO, but it was mostly costal and mostly very pretty. Malibu is now a place to me, not just a name on a drinks bottle, and I’ve visited the Santa Monica Pier (and a pizza joint just behind it).
Since I’m dropping the rental car off at LAX anyway, I decided to fly over to Las Vegas for 48 hours before returning to spend time in LA. The 45 minutes it took for me to drive eight miles from the beach to the airport rather cemented in my mind the decision I’ve made to do without a car during my time in LA. Yes, the car is king here, but they have the bones of a light rail system – plus, factoring in the cost of parking, car rental and gas, I can afford a few Ubers and not have to worry about drinking beer with my lunch.
Incidentally, based on a sample of three, all bartenders in the USA think I’m under 21*, and only two thirds of them are willing to accept a UK driving licence as proof of age. If in doubt, carry your passport around (or take a break from the sauce).
I flew Southwest Airlines over to Vegas, and today finished up in my hotel (the Golden Nugget Casino) just after 10pm.
*The author was 31 years old in 2019, but will admit he looks quite boyish when clean-shaven.