Friday morning we woke up and packed up. It was our final morning in Los Angeles and it was time to move on. After eating breakfast we went an hour south to Newport Beach to go whale watching. Yes, south was out of our way, but it was an enjoyable experience and we are both glad we did it.
We were scheduled for the 10:00 a.m. whale watching tour and we arrived in Newport Beach around 9:30. We checked in and pared the car and we were soon off on our excursion. The boat ride was for a little over two hours and was a really nice time. We did not see any whales, but we saw hundreds of dolphins. We also came across some sea lions out sunning on a buoy and we saw birds of all sorts, dolphins and sea lions feasting on a group of anchovies. That was extremely fascinating. The boat was also equipped with a snack bar and I was able to enjoy a Diet Coke and some freshly popped popcorn.
We arrived back at the harbor about 12:30 or so and discovered that while we were away the town had woken up. When we left there was no one around and when we returned there was a lot of hustle and bustle. A lot of people, it seemed, were there to catch the boat to Catalina Island for perhaps the weekend. We made a stop by Balboa Candy and bought some salt water taffy that was/is divine. It is probably the best I have ever had. Strangely enough, the girl working there was home for the summer and attends Auburn - small world.
We went back to the car and drove a few blocks away to the Crab Cooker where we had lunch. The food was really good. I had crab cakes and my dad had shrimp and scallops. The waitress was nice and had been to various parts of Alabama before. In addition to her and the girl from Auburn, we have also come across a girl that went to school at Alabama A&M and a lady that lives in Hazel Green.
After eating lunch, we headed north since we had about a six hour drive ahead of us. About three and a half hours in to our journey we were running low on gas and after passing multiple gas stations, my dad finally pulled over in the middle of nowhere and the gas was $4.79 a gallon. We only got a few gallons and then filled up later on down the road where it was a bargain of $4.29 a gallon. This should make all Alabamians thankful for $3.23 a gallon.
We made it to Livermore around 8:00 p.m. and checked in to the hotel and then went for an In And Out Burger which is the popular thing here in California. The burgers were okay, but no better than Wendy's or Steak and Shake for example. The only difference I can tell is that they have 1000 Island dressing on them, which is weird, but not disgusting.
After a quick stop by Wal-Mart, we were back at the hotel and I went to bed. I was pretty darn exhausted. Today (Saturday) is the big finish on Mt. Diablo for the Tour of California. We will be leaving in another couple of hours to head up the mountain where we are scheduled to volunteer a 1-4 shift. We are hoping we are scheduled to be on the course because if not, then they can count us out. Hopefully it will be a fun day.