USA – California Road Trip

Days 1 – 4 Los Angeles

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THE FLIGHT – We flew American Airlines Auckland to Los Angeles and the flight was 11 1/2 hours and was one of the better airlines that we have flown with so far. The food and service was great and the flight was early so we arrived 30minutes before we were scheduled to. Our one bug bare would have to be the seats as they were tiny and there was very little leg room, which equals ZERO sleep. However we picked up our airfare for $549 NZD pp which was quite reasonable and would definitely recommend them to anyone flying this route.

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Just arrived in LA waiting for our shuttle to pick us up and take us to our rental car…very tired and jet lagged but excited to explore.

THE RENTAL CAR – We hired a car for 12 days from Dollar rentals and had originally picked a Nissan Sentra for $546.65 NZD which advertised that it had room for…., however on arrival the lady at the desk informed us that there is absolutely no way that we would fit in and that we would need to upgrade to the larger car for $436.16 NZD extra. This was SUPER frustrating and I am absolutely guttered that I made such a stupid mistake (I still secretly think that we could have fitted in). She also tried to sell us multiple other add ons to which I replied very quickly NO thank you. Well I have learnt a very valuable $$$ lesson, over estimate the size not under estimate because if I had of ordered the larger car to begin with it would have costed much less.

This car turned out to be a bit of a dud, the oil needed changing pretty much on Day 2 of our road trip and we had to put air in the tyres everyday, which we found that if you are not purchasing gas at the same time the air costs $1 USD. So we didn’t feel very safe driving it around but we had already gone too far to turn back and get a replacement.

THE LODGINGS – We spent 3 days in Los Angeles staying in Tarzana at the Tarzana Inn, this was a very affordable Motel (around $512 NZD for 3 nights) that included breakfast, a pool, and has very clean rooms. The Motel is also very close to Hollywood and downtown LA, we hired a car but if you didn’t have one it wouldn’t be an issue as there is buses running right by the Motel. The breakfast consists of pastries, fruit, cereal, toast with jam, bagels with cream cheese and coffee juice etc. There is also a deli next door and takeaway shops within walking distance and In and Out is 1km down the road. We were very happy with our stay here.


This was very hard for us as getting to sights seemed impossible! First day we were too jet lagged and then second day there was a Storm with flash flood warnings. However we found our feet on Day 3 and managed to tick off a lot of the sights that we had wanted to see.

Hollywood Sign

Griffith Observatory

The Griffith Observatory is a must visit, it is very educational and you can spend half a day here easy. Unfortunately we only paid for an hour parking and our car was parked quite far away as this is a very popular spot to visit, so we only got to scratch the surface. The kids favourite was the satellite, it was the first one to be sent into space.

Hollywood Hill walk

We initially set out on this walk to find the Hollywood sign because the nav directions directed us to roads that were blocked with mud, but instead we decided to walk as far as we could (for as long as we could handle the moaning).

Hollywood walk of fame

Kids were excited when they saw this STAR, they love his movies.

Shopping – Citadel Outlets

This was a day that was raining heavily so we thought we should spend it having a look around the shops, this photo was on our lunch break at Ruby’s Diner.

Venice Beach

In N Out Burger

We were very impressed with the burgers and they are well worth the hype, not so impressed with the fries.

We also stumbled upon The Lego Movie 2 Space Hollywood interactive zone as part of the launch of the movie. This place was FREE and amazing, the kids had an absolute ball. There was dancing pads, Emmets house, photo booths, Lego play and freebies.

The kids have had an absolute ball in LA, we will need to come back again as we have not even scratched the surface of seeing the City.