Yes… this may be a month overdue… shoosh!
Tuesday 23 February, 2016
The day of the big drive! We were pretty out of it in the morning, our first night in the US, so the jetlag was kicking in pretty good. We packed up and had a nice breakfast with my Cuzzie and a cuddle with the dogs. Our goal was to hit the road after the traffic around 10am and then get there just after dark or not too late.
Success! On the road at 10am and we had minimal traffic heading out of LA on the freeways. As soon as we got past the major areas, it opened up into rolling hills as we entered the “…” valley.
It was such an interesting area, kind of mountainesque but not quite. There was a massive lake on one side and just an interesting scene. The first few hours went really fast.
Lunch stop, our first tiff of the trip. I had predicted that the two things we would fight about if we fought were driving directions, and what to get for lunch, Of course these two things combined when you’re driving around trying to find something to eat. Carls Jr, Del Taco, Starbucks… urgh is it better the devil you know. I said I wanted something “healthy” and my boyfriend was leaving it up to me…. Hmmm. A deli! That’s “healthy” right. It was pretty much a fancy subway. We got a small… 8 inch sandwich! What is a large then – look at this monster!!
Tasty lunch and back on the road. Loving this ‘Winter’ weather here in California. It’s such an interesting state. Around Bakersfield we drove past what we thought might be cherry blossoms, we later realized they were probably oranges. I decided to save the debate but tweeting the photo and a friend came to our rescue with an answer, almonds! Fascinating.
Driving in the USA is totally fine. My boyfriend was doing really well with the whole other side of the road thing and as long as it’s not LA, you’re all good! I felt safe in his abilities. After lunch, with the warmth of the sun and the gentle humming of the car, my jetlag took over. My darling man decided this was an opportune moment for a happy snap. Yep… I was tired! Passed out cold for a good hour and a half and this is the result.
We got into the mountains area after Sacramento around 5ish. The drive slowed down from there as you wind around single lane roads through the mountains and around the enormous pines. I nearly made Matt swerve off the road when I saw the snow capped mountains for the first time and pointed out across the steering wheel …. My bad!
Arrived into Lake Tahoe around 7pm. Lovely little town with twinkle lights around and wooden cabin like buildings. We were staying right on the Stateline in South Lake Tahoe and as our hotel, Harveys Casino is one of the tallest buildings in town, it was easy to spot. Couldn’t see the lake or mountains, as it was too dark, keen to explore the town the next day.
Check in was unpleasant at Harveys I must say. We booked through Expedia and I was happy to have booked and paid for the hotel upfront so we wouldn’t have to worry when we got there. Not only was the front deskman gruff and short with me, perhaps been in the service industry about 30 years too long, he also informed me of a $22USD per day charge for resort fees, including internet and the health facilities. I wasn’t happy but accepted it as apparently it’s mandatory.
We went to our room, which was lovely and spacious and we had a decent view over the city. Big bathroom, walk in closet and change area and a nice big bed. I then checked my bank and had $424AUD gone! I was outraged! Luckily I had a large amount on my credit card. I also checked my booking to see where it said about resort fees, and it didn’t.
Back to Grumbly McGruffman who looked equally unimpressed to see me again. He couldn’t understand my accent or was hard of hearing as I had to repeat everything I said. I asked why such a large amount was taken off, he said that’s the damages they hold on my card of $50 per day… umm ok. Maybe it’s good to tell me that when you’re taking that charge off my card. And then I discussed why there is a resort fee when I had already paid in full. He explained that this was the issue of the company I booked through for not telling me, not their’s so, nothing they can do. Excellent service… America and its hidden charges drives me crazy! And it’s only Day 2!
Tired, weary and now a little hot headed, we went out to seek food. The good thing about staying in a casino, plenty of choice and you don’t have to go far. We had $2 beers and some tasty burgers from Straw Hat. It was easy, cheap and good food. Served us well! P.s. O love RANCH! So much Ranch! Give me all the RANCH!!!
In bed by 9pm, absolutely shattered and now ready for our first big days at the snow!!!
Oh and because I love them, sunset from the drive!