We all had mixed feelings about leaving Las Vegas. We had had so much fun over the past few days and had managed to fit so much in, that we didn’t really want to leave. However we also couldn’t wait to start the rest of our trip and explore new places.
We had planned on visiting the Aria Buffet for breakfast as one last Vegas treat, however the wait time for a table was roughly an hour and we just didn’t have the time to wait for that long. So instead we headed to the Aria Cafe for a quick bite to eat and then said our farewells to the strip, as we got a cab to the hire car building to prepare for the next part of the trip.
The car hire guy was so friendly and helpful and actually upgraded our car to something bigger than originally booked when he noticed how many bags we had and how big our suitcases were! So we ended up with what we called The Wagon, a huge Chevrolet Suburban – typically American and very exciting for our trip ahead.
Ready to hit the road, Matt was the first to drive. Our plan was to drive the 4 hours to Palm Springs for lunch and to explore the area and then continue on the further 3 hour drive to San Diego.
We were told to follow this road for 147 miles!!
It was so fascinating driving from Las Vegas into the middle of nowhere. We would go miles without seeing a thing apart from a few plants or a dusty track leading to somewhere else and then randomly we would see the odd hotel and we even saw a theme park, which just seemed so crazy as we had no idea who would visit.
After a couple of hours on the road we stopped in a little town called Barstow, to get petrol and stock up on a few road trip snacks! Then Fraser took over the driving to Palm Springs.
The views upon arriving in Palm Springs were amazing, palm tree upon palm tree and with a hazy sunshine mist it looked like we had stepped into the 1970’s. It was also really quiet, no one seemed to be about and the streets were empty.
We had a little look around but nothing seemed to be that busy or open it was actually a little eerie. So we decided to find a place for lunch. We stumbled across a little cafe called The Sandwich Shop which as you can imagine had every style of sandwich imaginable and they were happy for you to mix and match creations and they even had all their own secret sauces.
I opted for The French Open – Marinated Chicken, Hot Sauce and bleu cheese dressing. My favourite! We decided to sit inside and enjoy our spread, the sandwiches were delicious but huge, I could only manage half of mine!
I’m unsure if it was just a bit out of season (Coachella was happening a few weeks after we left – if only we had planned better!) or if Palm Springs is just sleepy but it looked beautiful and I wish we had spent longer there or even just stayed for 1 night just to find out what it’s really like when it comes alive.
I decided to drive to San Diego, I was a little nervous to begin with 1. because I had never driven on the wrong side of the road before and 2. because the car was so huge! I quickly got used to it though and we were soon making our way through little towns, watching the ever changing views and eventually watching the sun set.
Tired after over 7 hours on the road, we finally arrived at Hotel Handlery.
We couldn’t wait to be greeted with a friendly smile, a big comfy bed and a nice restaurant to walk to. Unfortunately this wasn’t quite the case. I won’t go into full details but lets just say they couldn’t find us on their booking system, we had to wait around for a long time in the hotel reception and bar area which was very messy and hadn’t been tidied after a large group of people left, when we finally got keys to our rooms – the rooms were not as advertised and the service overall was just poor.
By this point it was almost 9pm, so all 4 of us went back down to reception to ask where we could walk to for dinner, they told us that nothing was in walking distance and that everything pretty much closed at 9pm! Instead of crying we laughed it off and walked over to the bar/restaurant area which was next to the reception area, only to be told that if we wanted food we needed to order it now as the kitchen closed at 9pm and that the bar would be closing shortly after. We couldn’t understand why everything closed so early but rules are rules, so we quickly ordered a few dishes to share along with 2 bottles of wine and a round of vodkas, well it had been a stressful evening after a very long journey!
We found the cleanest table we could, waited for our food and drinks to arrive, played cards and decided to forget about the events of the evening, hoping that things would look a lot better in the morning!
Love, Chloe xx