It is the final day of our long journey across America and our last day in Los Angeles.
We checked out of our Air BnB. It was just off Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. The place was ok, but not amazing. The owner wanted to charge for every extra thing and she was staying in a walled off section of the lounge room while we were there. The upside is it was close to Sunset Blvd.
We checked out right on 10am then took the car to give it a clean. We’d been living out of it for the past few weeks and it needed some organising.
Lunch at Pizzeria Vivoli & Italian Grill
Once we had cleaned the car we found a little Italian restaurant in Hollywood to grab some lunch. It was called Pizzeria Vivoli & Italian Grill. It was pretty affordable and the servings were massive, although like everywhere in Hollywood, we had to pay for parking. I ordered some kind of chicken panini sandwich.
We had planned to eat light because we were getting on a plane this evening but it was actually quite a massive lunch and really delicious! After lunch we ran some final errands and took a final drive through West Hollywood.
Photo Opportunity with the Hollywood Sign
Then we went in search of the Hollywood sign. I hadn’t really seen it in all our time here and you can’t really come to Hollywood without getting a photo in front of the sign. I googled it and we just ended up back at the Griffith Observatory. Danielle stayed with the car while I took a quick snap so we didn’t have to pay for parking (what a great wife). Unfortunately the results were not what I had expected. The sign looked a lot further away than in the photos you typically see.
I was later told a better location for a photo of the Hollywood sign. This is what they said…
“So it’s 6161 mulholland highway… it’s the little lands between the 2 houses… it’s further up than the spot at Hollywood lake… that’s full of tourists… so keep going into local traffic roads… it’s chained off like a park entry but just walk right in. The locals love seeing us… then walk as far up as you want. The trail lead right up!”
Thank you kind stranger! We will check that out next time.
On the way down from the Observatory, we called in at this cute little coffee stop called The Trails. It was a beautiful afternoon with the sun highlighting the colors of the autumn leaves.
It would have been nice to stay and drink our coffee here and go for a walk but it was time to make our way to the airport.
LA Traffic & Returning Our Rental Car
After all with the Los Angeles traffic, it took us an hour to travel 12 miles! Thankfully we had given ourselves plenty of time. Before taking the rental car back I dropped Danielle at the terminal with most of our luggage. I had a bit of trouble navigating the airport with Google maps as the roads are on two levels. We ended up going around in circles a couple of times. Hertz is a little ways from the airport so I drove back to drop off the car.
It was super easy to return the rental car with Hertz, you just park the vehicle, leave the keys in and jump straight on the shuttle, which was about a 10 second walk from the car return!
Allow time for the shuttle trip from Hertz to the airport though. As we’ve already discovered, LA traffic can take a long time!
We were flying with Virgin Australia so at LAX we had to check in at terminal 3. Then we had to walk across to the Tom Bradley terminal which is the next terminal. I thought this might only be short term as the Tom Bradley terminal was undergoing renovations. I was later told that it’s because Virgin Australia can keep check in open for longer in terminal 3. As with all airports in the US, make sure you allow plenty of time for security – it only took us about 15 minutes to get through.
We grabbed a burger with some sweet potato fries for dinner at Umami Burger before heading to our gate. The food area here can get pretty packed, so sometimes it is better to get your food to go and find another quiet place to eat.
The boarding process was pretty seamless, although our flight was delayed a while so we didn’t line up straight away.
Reflections On The Move
As we waited I asked Danielle what it was like to be leaving the US. Sure we will come back to visit in the future, but for now she is leaving the country she’s always known to be home.
“I have mixed emotions. I’m excited. I like change so this is exciting for me. But also, I really want to do laundry! And it’s really hard to say goodbye to my family…”
Moving across the world isn’t easy, but we will be back to visit the US soon.
We eventually boarded and sat in our seats towards the very back of the plane. As the plane hurtled down the runway and lifted into the sky we farewelled our home for the past few years and got ready for what was to come next.