We made our way to Pebble Beach along the 17mile drive spotting the Lone Cypress, which is the official symbol of Pebble Beach and a frequent fixture of television broadcasts from this area. We passed multimillion dollar homes, (including Whitney Houston's) the Del Monte Estate, the Rolex clock and the famous Pebble Beach Golf Course before we reached our destination for lunch, Carmel.
Carmel is known for being dog-friendly, with numerous hotels, restaurants and retail establishments admitting guests with dogs. Carmel is also known for several unusual laws, including a prohibition on wearing high-heel shoes without a permit, enacted to prevent lawsuits arising from tripping accidents caused by irregular pavement and it is where Clint Eastwood was Mayor for one term. We grabbed a delicious ready-made sandwich and a drink from a local supermarket which we ate in the little park enjoying the sunshine before exploring the little town and taking some photos, then it was time to hit the road again, passing asparagus fields and Vandenberg Air Force Base to our destination for the night Lompoc.
After a good night's sleep the last day of our tour had arrived and we packed our suitcases for the last time, boarding the coach we headed south to our first stop of the day, Solvang. Solvang was founded in 1911 by a group of Danes who travelled west to establish a Danish colony far from the midwestern winters. The city is home to a number of bakeries, restaurants, and merchants offering a taste of Denmark in California, it even has a windmill!
We would have liked to have spent more time in this pretty little town but we were pressed for time and needed to get on to our next stop, Santa Barbara, for lunch where we had a great pizza at Rusty's Pizza Place right there opposite the beach. After lunch we had a mooch round the Beach House, where we admired the surf boards and purchased some t-shirts.
The bus was calling again to take us on the final leg of our journey down Ventura Highway to Malibu where we stopped for a group photograph and envied the beach front properties, before boarding the coach again for the last few miles back to Los Angeles and the Airport. We passed Cher's house and Pepperdine University, which had a dramatic display of American flags on its expansive lawn beneath the Theme Tower - one flag for each of the nearly 3,000 lives lost on 9/11, a very poignant sight. Our last views were of Santa Monica beach as we headed into LA and had to say goodbye to our travel companions and the Wonders Of The Golden West.
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and have some wonderful memories, which will last forever. I hope you've enjoyed our trip as much as we did . Where will we go next you may be asking. Well nothing has been decided yet, but CHINA has been mentioned, I'll let you know.