"Muscle Beach here I come..."

Trip Start Oct 04, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Sunday, October 31, 2004

When you think of Venice Beach, you usually think of bikini clad beach babes rollerblading along the side walk, massive men working out on Muscle Beach, people playing basketball and of course the lifeguard towers made famous by the TV programme Baywatch, you might have heard of it? Well we were happy to find all of the above and more when we stepped out of our hotel into the hustle and bustle which occurs every Sunday in Venice Beach.

Venice Beach, apart from the obvious Beverly Hills and Bell air, is one of the most expensive areas to live in in Los Angeles, but we couldn't see why. Yes the houses were amazing, especially the ones that opened out directly onto the beach, but when we walked along the beach we were quite surprised to see how littered it really was, especially the further we walked away from the central Venice Beach area. It was as if the council cleaned the popular bit of the beach to keep the tourists happy but left the rest of the beach, hoping that no one would venture down that far. It might be different in Summer, but it was disgusting walking through it now. (see pictures)

Apart from the litter though, Venice Beach was beautiful, it was just a shame the authorities didn't take much care of it. Like i said before the house were amazing, It was looking like this was another place we would buy into if we won the lottery. Our global portfolio starting to get quite big!

We walked back in to the center of Venice Beach where it comes alive every Sunday. Hundred's of Street performers and salesmen battle for space eager to sell you anything from freshly grown Sage to Photo's of the area. From day one in America i had been trying to get Dan to hire rollerblades and give it a go (Vancouver and New York) now he finally gave in, i'm not to sure if it was the bikini clad skaters that changed his mind though! There are an abundance of skate hire company's along the strip so it didn't take to long to hire some, although Dan didn't really take to it as well as he might of wanted. He literally put them on, stood up, fell down, stood up, fell down again... and gave up! He opted for the bike instead!... Big Girl!

We made our way along the specially made skate and bike path before stopping at what can be described as an adults adventure playground. Just lots of swings etc. But what we were fascinated with were the rings (like out of Gladiators programme from the 90's). The Americans were making it look so easy so we thought we would give it a go... not as easy as it looks though, as I could only manage 3 rings and Dan even worse, 2! Holding our head in shame, we left quietly, trying not to draw attention to ourselves! (if your confused look at the photo's).

We spent the rest of the day just walking around trying in vain to turn our pasty white skin into anything that would resemble a base tan for Fiji! It didn't work as we still looked the same as we did when we left England, but hopefully 2 weeks laying on a beach in Fiji will cure this?

We had come to the end of our first leg and enjoyed nearly all of it. The trains were more than ok and all the people we met were always friendly and happy to help. We felt no danger in any of the cities and would be leaving the country wanting to come back. America... Loved it!

A Few Facts and Figures

Cities Visited: 12
States Crossed: 24
Total Miles on Train: 6761 miles
Largest Single Journey: 2055 miles (Chicago to Las Vegas)
Longest journey time: 42 hours (chicago to Las Vegas)

Favourite City: San Fran (Vancouver - Canada)
Worst City: Chicago (Toronto - Canada)
Most Boring City: Seattle
Most Interesting City: New York
Most Fun City: Las Vegas
Hottest City: New Orleans
Coldest City: Ney York

Fourite thing we did: Drive through Death Valley
Worse thing we did: Toronto CN Tower
Best Value thing we did: Jerry's free 17hr tour of New York
Worse Value for money thing: Hiring the car!

Worse Hostel: New Orleans
Best Hostel: Vancouver HI
Friendliest People: Portland
Unfreindliest people: Washington

Nicest scenery on train: Between San Fran and Portland
worse scenery on train: Between Chicago and Las Vegas

President of choice: Bush all the way!
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