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We had another flight that arrived late at night, so we just picked up our rental car (first time we had some minor issues with Hertz, I bet because I praised it in the previous post – usually Hertz Gold works like this: there is your name on a board and the slot number where you will find your car ready for you. So we went there: no car! But they solved the problem super quick and we got an upgrade to a nice SUV) and then drove directly to the hotel, to get some sleep. We had to use up some hotel reward points and so we booked the Four Points Sheraton Westside, which was not too far from the airport and also close to our friends who live in Culver City (we switched to the Crown Place after 2 days).
The next morning we met our friends at the beach in Santa Monica, we had some nice breakfast in the sand and spent some time at the beach, in the water, the girls got transformed into mermaids and we finally saw Dolphins!!! We then went for a stroll to the pier, had some ice cream, but the girls where still so tired, that we decided to get back to the hotel and get some rest. We met our friends again for a bbq at their house at the evening, we got all the things for the bbq at Trader Joes (one of my favorite supermarkets, whole foods and organic, if you are in California, make sure to shop there ;-). We also went to see the sunset at a place near their house in Culver City.
The next morning we met again for breakfast in a super nice street in Venice, it’s called Abott Kinney Road and has lots of hip and healthy restaurants, cafes and some really nice stores (even though most of them are also a bit expensive). It was totally my kind of place and we had some super yummy Acai Bowls at Kreation, we then went to stroll the whole street, did some shopping and went back to a place called The Butchers Daughter for some delicious Coconut Cardamom Chai Latte, I would have loved to try their food as well, but we where still full from breakfast. Later that day we went to the Grove, a really nice outdoor shopping mall, with restaurants, shops and a cinema, where we watched “Finding Dory” – such a cute movie, the girls loved it.
On Thursday we want to Malibu, had breakfast at the Marmalade Cafe and then went to the beach. We first wanted to rent out kayaks, but the waves were pretty big that day and that would have been a bit too dangerous with the girls. The boys went surfing instead (Daddy Frei hadn’t been surfing since many years and we spent some time at the beach, building sand castles and chasing sea gulls. We went back to the Malibu Country Mart to grab some lunch, it’s such a nice place, with a super nice playground and some good options for food. The boys had burgers and the girls and I went for frozen joghurt at “Sunlife” – try the vegan option with coconut! And they have other healthy options as well. For sunset we went to the boardwalk in Venice, watched a bit at muscle beach and the skate park and then had dinner at a place near Washington street.
Friday we bought some breakfast supplies at Trader Joes and had a nice breakfast with our friends at their house before heading to Vegas – we just went on the highway when we had the first traffic jam (you can expect to be in traffic jams ALL the time in LA), we stopped and just seconds later the car behind us hit us and pushed us in the car in front of us. Luckily no one got injured, it was just a little shock and after we managed all the formalities, highway patrol was there really fast and we called the rental company. We decided not to exchange the car since we still could drive it and we didn’t want to go back all the way to the airport. So we continued to Vegas, stopped to get some burgers at In’n’Out and arrived in Las Vegas at the evening.
We had booked our hotel via Priceline – if you don’t know how it works: you pick the area where you want to stay, can tell how may stars you want and how much you are willing to pay. If a hotel accepts your quote then you are booked immediately and you cannot change your reservation again. And that’s how we ended up in the Trump – it’s a really nice hotel, the room was spacious and had had a nice view towards the Strip. And another thing I really appreciated with the kids: no casino! So I don’t want to get into politicals here, I just hope we didn’t stay at the hotel of the future president of the USA!! We just went to the Fashion Show Mall which is just across the street from the hotel to have dinner at Chipotle (my favorite Mexican healthy fast food restaurant in the US).
On Saturday we went to the North Premium Outlets to do some shopping, we found some nice sport outfits and some things for the kids and it wasn’t so crowded, so it’s for sure worth going. It was so hot that we took a break over midday in the hotel and then went to explore the strip and the hotels a bit. We went through the Mall into the Palazzo and then to the Venetian,to watch the Gondolas – it was fascinating for the girls, since they have been to the real Venice with their grandparents last Summer. At the evening we met with our friends from Switzerland (our kids are friends and they live in the village next to us), they have been on a California road trip, the kids where really exited to see each other and we went to have dinner at PF Changs on the strip. Afterwards we went to the Bellagio and watched the fountain show – I love it and the girls did too!
Sunday was pool day at first, we also had breakfast there and when it got too hot we went back to the room for a rest. In the afternoon we met our friends again and went to Caesars Palace to have dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. All the kids have been so scared by the Atlantis Show which is right in front of the restaurant, so we didn’t spent much time there. We went to the Venetian again, since my friend and I really wanted to try some pastries from the famous “Cake Boss”, a show we both like to watch. The cue wasn’t to bad (even though the Dads thought so – we bought some lobster tails, the famous cannoli and some cookies for the kids. We just went to the next bench and had to try everything. The Lobster tails were really yummy, even though they had a lot of cream in it, but the Canoli were a bit dissapointing. But hey we tried them and can check this of our list now!
On Monday morning we had some time left and went to downtown Las Vegas to have breakfast there. We went to a place called “EAT”, which was really nice, huge portions, which you can easily share. We then went to gave a look at the “old Vegas” in Freemont Street before heading back to the hotel, get packed and getting to the airport.
Our last stop is approaching: New York City – my favorite city in the world! Im exited and I’m sure we will have some nice last days there before going back home again on Friday!
Big apple here we come…
Till next week