I woke up at 6:30 in the morning and left the RV while Holly and Olivia were still sleeping to find a Starbucks to do some writing but soon found that the nearest Starbucks was an hour’s walk away. I did find a nice breakfast spot called Brekkies that had some delicious Danish Pancakes and a nice staff where I was able to write until Holly and Olivia showed up around 10 AM. From there we walked around the cute town some more hand hit up three more Danish bakeries and visited some stores before going to the local park so that Olivia could play for a few minutes while I took a quick nap.
On the way out of town, we stopped at the Quicksilver miniature horse farm, which had dozens and dozens of really cute miniature horses. The farm was closed and nobody was there but we were able to walk around and look at the horses. From there it was back on the road. We are still running a little bit behind so we bypassed Santa Barbara. I had read about a place on the internet near Malibu where it was possible to park an RV along Highway 1 right along the ocean but we found it was no longer possible with an almost continuous line of no overnight parking signs. So went to plan B to go to Venice Beach and try to find parking.
Los Angeles has a huge homeless problem with a September 2019 CNN article titled “Homelessness is reaching an emergency level in Los Angeles” mentioning that there are almost 60,000 homeless there. Of those almost 60,000 homeless, around 10,000 of them are lucky enough to be able to shelter in a car or RV. Los Angeles has a law banning sleeping overnight in a vehicle in residential areas or with a block of a park, school or daycare. I am not exactly sure how it benefits Los Angeles to push homeless people out of vehicles and onto a tent in the street but that is the law.
Before we left, I had gone onto the city website and downloaded maps which showed the areas where it would be legal to park and sleep overnight so I had high hopes that we would be able to find a place to park for one night. We get to the Venice Beach area to be confronted with a sea of signs saying no overnight parking for vehicles over 7 feet tall and 22 feet long. Being a stubborn sort we spent almost two hours driving around Venice looking for a spot to park. However the few possible spots were along major roads and not very level to boot.
A side note about flat parking spaces. Our RV, like many RV’s has what is known as an absorption refrigerator. I won’t bore with technicalities but there are three main differences between an absorption refrigerator and a normal house refrigerator. First absorption fridges can run on electricity or propane. Second is that absorption fridges take longer to cool down. Third and most problematic is that absorption fridges need to be generally level. It is best to keep the fridge within 3 degrees of flat and if it is not flat for too long it can actually damage the fridge. Short periods being tilted are not a big deal such as when driving up and down hills but long periods tilted is bad.
Most streets are built to be higher in the middle so that water goes to the sides and down the drain. Larger streets tend to have a bigger near the gutter. This meant that the big, commercial street where we were legally able to park had a slope of 6-7 degrees that would bad for our fridge and rather uncomfortable to sleep. It got dark, we got tired and cranky. Even worse, we hit a speed bump and our rear view camera went out. Finally, I suggested we pull over somewhere to have dinner. It might be illegal to sleep in a residential neighborhood but there was no law about stopping for an hour for dinner.
As Holly prepared dinner, I decided to cheat. We might be homeless but we had to remember that unlike the other homeless we had money and resources. In particular, we had Holiday Inn credit cards, which gave us free hotel nights every year. Time to use one of those nights. Finding a hotel took a bit of work though. Some of the hotels charged for parking. Others nearby only had parking garages which had ceilings too low to enable our RV to enter. Eventually I found a Holiday Inn Express in Woodland Hills and booked it. Cost $0.
Being LA even though it was 9 PM at night we had to fight traffic to get to the hotel but eventually we got there.