Roadtrip: Los Angeles

Trip Start Nov 01, 2012
Trip End Jul 01, 2013

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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, November 11, 2012

On Friday morning I couldn't wait to get out there and explore LA! I've always heard so much about this city, but have never spent any time here myself. I came to LA last summer while I was doing my internship in San Francisco, but it was only a short trip so I didn't get to see much. I literally flew in one morning, spent the day and night in a hotel working at an event the company I was working for was hosting, and then flew back again the next day. So I was very excited to finally get to spend some time exploring this city.

First off Garrett and I went to Beverly Hills and wandered down Rodeo Drive. Rodeo Drive is kind of like Los Angeles' Regent Street, in other words it's where the rich and famous go shopping. A bit too pricy for a little traveller like me! Afterwards we carried on over to Hollywood and walked along The Walk of Fame, which was fun. I took pictures of all the famous people's stars on the ground that I liked, for example Mike Myers, Journey, Michael Jackson, etc. I also got my first one dollar coin while we were in Hollywood, I've given it a special place in my wallet so I don't spend it. Next we met up with Rosa again, the German girl who travelled down from San Francisco to LA with us. She was staying with a CouchSurfing host, who had suggested to walk up to the Griffith Observatory for sunset. We met them at his place, Dan was his name, and set off together from there around 4.30pm. We walked all the way up the hill, which took us about an hour. It was quite a hike because it's uphill most of the way, but it was totally worth it! The view from the observatory was absolutely incredible! We made it up there just in time to catch the end of the sunset, you get the most amazing view over the entire city from up there. I recognised the observatory straight away from movies like Charlie's Angels, which has a scene shot up on the roof of the building. We also went to watch one of the exhibitions in the planetarium called 'Time's Up', it was about the end of the world and was very interesting. In the evening we walked back down the hill and hung out at Dan's place for the evening. He was a very interesting and welcoming person, thanks for inviting us into your home Dan!

On Saturday I met up with Laila, a German friend I went to university in London with. We met for brunch at Urth Café, a really nice place along Beverly Drive. I had an egg and spinach panini, which was really tasty! Her boyfriend Alex and his brother Josh joined us too, they were both born and bred in LA and had some good tips on which places to go and visit while I was there. Laila is visiting her boyfriend for a few months out here while she does an internship, it was great to be able to meet up with her on the other side of the world :-)! After brunch Laila, Alex and I took the bus over the Santa Monica, one of the well-known beach areas in LA. Santa Monica has the famous pier out over the Pacific Ocean with a boardwalk and rides along it, I'm sure everybody knows it from a scene in some movie they've seen. It was really windy and quite cold walking out over the ocean like that, but it was worth it just for the view. After wandering around Santa Monica for a while and watching half a dozen street artists perform we went to have dinner at a really good Japanese place. There was a mini 'grill' in the middle of the table, on which you cooked your own meat etc. It was a fun experience, something I had never quite done before. After dinner we went back to Alex's place and had a few drinks, a massive thank you to both Laila and Alex for showing me around all day! I had a great time!

On Sunday Garrett and I met up with Laila and Alex again, and went over to Venice Beach. So far I wasn't convinced that I liked LA very much, it felt like a very 'fake' city with no real character to it.. But my trip to Venice Beach finally changed my mind, I absolutely loved it! Venice Beach is a bit further south from Santa Monica, where we went the day before, but it's a completely different world. Venice is known to be the 'hipster' area of LA, it's got a few great streets with lovely little restaurants and shops. However my favourite part was the boardwalk along the beach. At the weekend there were loads of little market stalls set up all along the boardwalk, selling various things from different types of art to food to medical marijuana cards. Haha! Very interesting! We also got to watch some street artists performing, as well a bunch of skateboarders rocking the skatepark by the beach. It was really cool! Oh, and last but not least I got to eat another ice cream cookie sandwich :-)! I had one of these in Berkeley last summer, and it was the most amazing thing I'd ever tasted! So I couldn't believe it when I bumped into a place just like it on Venice Beach selling the same ice creams, of course I couldn't resist the temptation to have one. On Sunday evening we were lucky enough to enjoy another beautiful LA sunset before setting off to San Diego the next morning.
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