We decided to hire a Mustang and drive to Los Angeles during our week in Las Vegas. It’s about 4.5 hours if you stick to the speed limit on the California Interstate 15. To be honest it’s quite a long boring road, albeit with some stunning scenery along the way.
We stopped at Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner for lunch, which is a traditional American diner situated in Yermo which was a perfect way to break the journey up. I adored this kitsch place, it was everything I imagined an American Diner to be! I ordered a coke float and pastrami sandwich, and was persuaded to finish it all off with cherry pie. Peggy Sue’s has a 50-60’s shop and a dinosaur park in the garden, so do have a wander around. One of the ladies toilets, also has a surprise in store!
We seemed to have our timing right when we arrived in Los Angeles, the opposite carriageway was stationery for miles, whilst ours was free flowing. We found the Hilton Garden Inn near Hollywood without any issue and parked the Mustang up for the night.
A tip we’d been given was to take an open top bus tour to take in the sights, we asked the hotel for a recommendation on check in and we were in luck, there was one leaving in 10 minutes, so we just had time to dump our suitcases in the room and head out into the afternoon sunshine.
What a disaster! We were collected from the hotel at 15:00 to be taken to a pick up point, here we wasted 40 minutes waiting for other passengers to arrive, and finally our bus pulled up – it was a closed minibus with blacked out windows. I voiced my complaint and other passengers agreed, we wouldn’t be able to take photos or enjoy the sunshine in this vehicle. The company grudgingly agreed to lay on a second bus, which would be open topped, so we were taken to a bus station to change vehicles. This tour wasn’t meant to be, we set off and we couldn’t hear the driver, his microphone was not working. We returned to the bus station, where a third bus in a delapidated state was being warmed up for us, after 15 minutes our tour guide said he wouldn’t do the tour as it would be dark within the hour. We were offered a replacement tour the next day, but as we had plans, we demanded our money back, as did everyone else, we were not happy having wasted our daylight hours and still not seen anything of Los Angeles.
My second tip for our overnight in Los Angeles was to eat at El Compadre on Sunset Boulevard, a Mexican restaurant which was founded in 1975. We walked from Hollywood Boulevard heading in the general direction, and feeling somewhat uncomfortable with the surroundings and hoodies hanging around. Finally we arrived and to our dismay it looked closed, there was no welcoming signs or lights from within. Trying the door before giving up, it opened and the place was packed! It was a Thursday night, there was live music, flaming margaritas and standing room only.
Despite not having a reservation and a full restaurant, the staff had us seated within 10 minutes. El Compadre is dimly lit and has the feel of a traditional hacienda, we ordered our flaming margaritas whilst we decided which dishes to try. I asked for the most popular dish, El Padrino which was a huge & delicious portion of steak, beef taco, cheese enchailada, guacamole, rice and refried beans. Thanks to El Compadre our trip to Los Angeles wasn’t a disaster, we thoroughly enjoyed the evening, heading back to our hotel by taxi afterwards.
The next morning we were waiting for Universal Studios Hollywood to open with our front of line tickets, we were on a mission to complete all our rides, before the long drive back to Las Vegas. It’s been years since we visited an attraction park and we had such good fun, my absolute favourite ride was Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey, the combination of ride and graphics is an amazing experience.
The Studio Tour was brilliant too, it was fascinating to see the sets and take some thrill rides along the way. We rushed around like lunatics, other memorable attractions included Waterworld, The Simpsons and Jurassic Park.
All too soon it was time for us to hit the road and head back to Las Vegas, the car was due back by 7pm.
You can find a selection of our photos from this trip in our Facebook album Las Vegas.