A Travellerspoint blog

NBA - Clippers v Timberwolves game

We always thought that going to an NBA game would be one of the highlights of the trip, and it definitely lived up to expectations.
The Los Angeles Clippers were playing against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and even though the Clippers' star player, Chris Paul, was out injured, we thought it would be an easy win for the local team, and so Will decided that that is who he would be supporting for the night and bought a Clippers jersey as a souvenir.
Our prediction looked very likely at half time with the Clippers up by more than 15 points at the half. However, a weak third quarter from the Clippers, and a second tech foul and hence a disqualificaion for their leading point scorer, Mo Williams, gave the Timberwolves hope. And sure enough, with 20 seconds on the clock, the Timberwolves tied it up at 98 all with a clutch 3 pointer from their guard, Ricky Rubio. The Clippers then had a chance to win the game but missed, and the wolves called a time out with 1.5 seconds on the clock. With such a small amount of time left, we all thought the game would go into overtime. But when play resumed, Kevin Love found open space and effortlessly drained a three pointer to take their first lead since early in the first quarter and the win for the Wolves, and leave the home crowd in silence.
Despite the team we were supporting losing on the buzzer, we all enjoyed the game and it was an ideal way to finish our holiday.

Posted by bremner 11:05 Comments (1)

Warner Bros Studios

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This morning we braved the LA traffic and drove up to Warner Bros for a studio tour. It's quite a way from Marina del Rey - right up past Hollywood and onto the hills. The GPS said 35 mins so We added on a bit more time and away we went. Well over an hour later we got there - the LA traffic is unbelievable, even at what we would have thought were off peak times. Fortunately we managed to get on a later tour and we spent the next 2 1/2 hours seeing heaps of props,costumes and locations for numerous movies and TV shows that are filmed up there. They have done most of the Harry Potter films so there is a big costume and prop exhibition just on that alone, they have a set of the "friends" coffee shop permanently there even though they stopped filming years ago and we all got a walk around the huge "Ellen" talk show set and back stage. We were driven around in a 12 seater golf buggy by a tour guide who knew everything about every Warner production ever!! A great day and we actually coped really well with the drive back later today - we made it back in less than an hour!


Posted by bremner 10:53 Comments (0)

Road Trip - SLO to Santa Monica


We had a quick look around San Luis Obispo this morning - it's a lovely place that we'll remember for 2 things. It has a coffee shop that makes the best coffee we've had in the past 3 1/2 weeks (you know you're in a country that views coffee differently when McDonald's boasts that they are the coffee for coffee snobs and you are hanging out for a Starbucks coffee!!) and it has a bubble gum alley! It's a cross between really gross and really amazing - both sides of the walls of the alley are completely lined with used gum! After Geordie and Will added to the collection we drove over to nearby Pismo Beach to look at the Monarch butterfly grove. It was too cold to see them all flying flying around but was still interesting.
Next stop was Solvang - a really quaint little town known as "little Denmark". Every building is in a Danish style and there are Danish street names and flags everywhere - just gorgeous. Another stop off in Santa Barbara where we marveled at all the Spanish architecture and then we continued along state highway 1 past Malibu beach and we were here at Marina del Rey, near Santa Monica. Our hotel is out at the end of one of the piers and the view below is what we look out on - all very pleasant!

Posted by bremner 08:39 Comments (1)

Road Trip - Monterey to San Luis Obispo


Another sunny day in paradise, and a very leisurely trip down the coast from Monterey to San Luis Obispo.
We started off with a cruise down a private ($9.50 fee) road through Pebble Beach and Carmel. Stopped off at the hallowed turf and resisted the temptation for a quick 18 holes (don't have a house to mortgage for the green fees) but did splash out on a coffee.

Carmel was a very picturesque little spot, and whilst no sign of Clint or Doris (as in Day), we enjoyed a meander amongst the shops, and a tasty lunch at Club Jalapeno. (Tom and I outvoted the other contenders who, ordinarily, are less inclined to take on anything spicy. Brig is now insisting Tom and I share a room tonight.)

The drive then carried on to public roads and arguably more affordable (or is that less unaffordable?) real estate through Big Sur (couldn't find any Beach Boys CD's to provide appropriate accompaniment) and arrived here just in time to check in before dark and then join in the hotel Happy Hour (free drinks and snacks - yippee!) and a BBQ beside the pool.

We did stop for a few leg stretches down the coast, and managed to come across a few hundred elephant seals basking on one of the beaches. You will see in one of the photos - what might otherwise have passed for rocks. In fact yours truly was mocked by all passengers when first suggesting he had spotted some seals on the beach. (Something to do with crying wolf after earlier suggestions of having spotted otters - which turned out to be kelp. An easy mistake to make...)

A slightly longer road trip tomorrow down to LA, but still with plenty of time to stop and sightsee on the way.


Posted by bremner 19:15 Comments (0)

Road Trip - San Francisco to Monterey

Our last morning in San Francisco and we had one more thing to do before we started our trip down the coast - a drive over to Sausalito, a quaint little town on the other side of the bay. So we headed over the Golden Gate bridge and strolled around Sausalito, enjoying the lovely old buildings and views back over San Francisco. After a return trip over our favorite bridge we started the 2 1/2 hour drive down to Monterey. It's an old fishing town right in the heart of golf country. While the most well known course would have to be Pebble Beach (open to the public for a mere $495 a round!!), there are loads of other courses around as well.
We spent the afternoon in Monterey's Cannery Row - shops and restaurants all in the converted old canneries. We had lunch at a seafood place that sat out over the sea and then spent ages watching the otters (a feature of Monterey) playing amongst the kelp just off the shore. We finished the day with a drive around the coastline around a neighbouring town, Pacific Grove, which was gorgeous. A rough, rocky coastline with the occasional white sandy beach, but what really excited the boys was when they spotted a NFL ground with a high school team training on it!! Off to Pebble Beach tomorrow and then on down to Carmel (Clint Eastwood country!) before heading further on down state highway 1.

Posted by bremner 22:25 Comments (0)

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