2022 Dec 17 | Speedboat Beach in Lake Tahoe, Santa Monica and DTLA with Turuu and Enkhee

Chain control lifted over Donner Summit. That means I don't have to deal with that on my drive home.

The California Department of Transportation has a map of chain control areas and and lane closures. However, it's kind of a pain to use, because you have to click on each individual symbol to see what the status is.

On the other hand, the Nevada DOT color codes the maps, so you can see what the status is just by looking. They also wrap their info around Lake Tahoe, whereas the California site stops at the border, so it doesn't have the entire east side of the lake.

The various conditions. Tire chains required all around Lake Tahoe currently, and the smaller roads will keep the requirement on longer as they're not plowed as much.

Ads for chains.

The snow makes it pretty, although harder to drive around.

I was initially planning on stopping at Sand Harbor Beach in Lake Tahoe on the way back home for sunset, but it's on the northwest side and, at least according to the maps, still required chains to get to. On the other hand, Speedboat Beach is on the northern edge and didn't require chains to get to, so I went there instead.

There's only limited street parking, and in the summer, it can be impossible to find a spot.

However, nobody else was around today.

Walked down a little path.

There are a lot of large boulders here. There's a larger cove over here...

... and a smaller one here.

Sunset over the boulders.

Some ducks were swimming around.

I bet the houses at the corner of Speedboat Ave and Yacht St are not very cheap.

The roads weren't too busy, although a couple of stop lights on 267 from the lake to I-80 backed up traffic.

Boreal Mountain has night skiing.

Lots of semis on I-80.

I like the chicken fries at Burger King, but I can never remember their name, and the dumb electronic menu kept changing before I could find them.

I love Vanilla Coke out of the Freestyle machines, but they were out.

The staff was actually having a really difficult time. They must have not had enough employees because the manager was running around, trying to get people back from breaks and to make the correct items. The clerk took this guy's order, then just left the terminal, and I stood there and waited until someone else finally came to take my order. This customer ordered before me, but I got my food first. Then he didn't have fries. The clerk was trying to check which size of fries he ordered, and the guy told the clerk he didn't care how many fries he got, he just wanted some. After he ate, he went and apologized to the clerk, and said he was just really hungry after driving for hours.

Some Mongolian gifts from Ogii's family.

And Ogii bought a bunch of presents for her family.


Ogii decorated our tree, and the presents are all under it.

A truck on fire.

I hope he gets it put out before it does too much damage.

Watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

A weird little car (the guy is driving from the right side) with South Dakota plates.

A rock slide on 140 blocked that route to Yosemite. I'm glad we didn't have plans to go there.

Driving down to LA to pick up Ogii's sister and her husband. Lots of tumble weeds here.

This small town first had a new supermarket go in at the edge of town, and now had this new bridge built across the road to get to it.

Traffic stopped in Los Angeles for something. Good thing we're going the other way.

Las Vegas has had these cars with electronic billboards for years. Hopefully they don't become a thing; they're really distracting.

The blimp and a few planes landing under the sign for LAX.

We were a bit early, so we drove around Marina Del Rey. There are some nice houses there.

With nice views.

Three stories.


Big garage.

Nobody playing volleyball at 4pm where we used to play on Saturdays.

Although there's some homeless living there in a tent.


Us in front of the house we got married in.

Almost sunset.

Some people playing soccer in the park across the road.

Nice mural.

At LAX to pick up the in-laws. Lots of traffic.

Vammpyr license plate.

Another well-done mural.

We took them to Samba Brazilian Steakhouse in Redondo Beach.

It was almost empty on a Saturday night at 5:30pm.

And instead of having servers bringing around meat they cut off at the table for you, they instead had a platter with pre-prepared meat.

They still had the dancers, though.

Two of them.

A video.

Then we went to Santa Monica Pier.

Bubba Gump Shrimp.

Sitting just like Forest.

Pacific Park.

Route 66.

The shore to the north.

A map of Route 66.

Lots of vendors.

This little bar had fake snow.

Party truck near 3rd Street Promenade.

California mural.

Lots of lights on the promenade.


There were lots of people running around dressed as Santa.

A giant ornament.

Then onto downtown.

A little tree on top of the building.

We stayed at the Residence Inn LA Live. It had a nice entrance.

And decent rooms.

Then we walked across the street. A restaurant with outdoor seating.

Ice skating rink.

Many street hot dog vendors.

In front of LA Live.

Lots of statues at Crypto.com Arena. It was the Staples center from 1999 to 2021, and I think most LA residents still call it that.

A few more pictures there.

Then back to our hotel.

A few food trucks on this side if you want a late-night snack.