Hello California - Part 2
Trip Start Apr 12, 2011
86Trip End Apr 01, 2012
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Where I stayed
We arrive into Santa Barbara, a nice town just north of LA
Final road trip day and we’re driving to LA, we drive to Malibu and gape at the beach houses overlooking the bay and even dip our toes in the water – still a bit cold for even a paddle. We stop at Malibu Seafood – which is essentially a fish and chip takeaway but with nice outdoor seating overlooking the beach – pretty good fish and chips as well.
Finally we get into LA, the boys drop us off at the hostel with the bags while they take the car back to the rental place and we head to the nearest bar to wait for them. For our first night in LA we somehow end up in a British pub with a Beatles tribute band, playing pool and drinking house wine – not quite how I expected LA but a very fun night.
Next day we’re up to explore LA – we go to the Farmers Market in West Hollywood. This is when you appreciate the size of LA, it takes forever despite us taking a fairly direct bus and not having any problems with traffic. The Farmers Market doesn’t quite have the quality of Borough Market but has a bigger range and is worth a wander. We then go to the Grove which in my mind is what a shopping centre would look like if Disney made them – let’s say very well finished and a bit surreal. We do manage to catch an interview with Jason DeRulo being filmed (none of us quite knowing who he is.) We then get another bus to Larchmount Ave as it’s meant to be a street of normality amongst some very expensive houses. It’s nice with cafes and boutique shops although it does have a wine shop that won’t serve wine by the glass despite having seats outside – all a bit strange. Finally we go to the long awaited Cheesecake Factory for dinner – is it bad if the main course was actually the highlight!? A very good dinner and location – on Marina Del Rey.
We take the LA Rasta tour the next day and so are picked up in a very brightly coloured bus and driven around LA. Our stops included Malibu beach –to admire the beach and the expensive real estate, Beverley Hills – this time to stare at celebrity houses, or rather their very imposing walls including the Beckham’s, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s, Katie and Tom’s properties
At night we head to a gig at El Rey theatre, and after 10 minutes on the bus we realise the major problem with living in LA – the traffic
who we find out later is part of her band), he is good with a pretty unusual voice and Lisa herself is also very good with quite a quirky style. Not quite the conventional LA night out, but probably much more to our style.
Final day in LA is dedicated to a bit of wandering the shops, then sadly we have to say bye to Julie as she heads back to the UK and we wander down to Venice Beach to see the local crazy people released into the public. That may not be fair but the ratio of crazy people in Venice Beach must be much higher than anywhere else in the States. The amount of stores that appear to be licensed to sell medical marijuana may have something to do with it.... Apart from that aspect to Venice Beach, it is good for a wander, we get some lunch in a bar by the beach and then go and watch the skateboarders of all ages try out their skills.
And that’s our time done in the States, a nice little break that felt quite holiday-like especially with our visit from Dave and Julie to catch up on all the news from London town.
On to New Zealand and the Rugby World Cup!!