Thursday, 16 November 2017

Los Angeles, I’m yours

I didn’t know what to expect from LA.
Venice Beach at night

My husband, who lived in California for around a year at university, has never been it’s biggest fan. Other friends have absolutely raved about it.

Having been, I can sort of see both sides. I personally had an amazing time but I can see the downsides of the city – mainly the TRAFFIC. How, how do you people who live in LA go anywhere, ever?! It made me thankful for the London underground, as sweaty and sticky as it is, in a way I’ve never been before!

We rolled up to our hotel just off Venice Beach - a place called the Venice Inn, which was really secure and comfortable (as well as being quite cool – too cool for me, really) and had a really nice breakfast patio area. It’s walking distance round the Venice canals and to the beach, as well as to some really cute bars and restaurants.

So what did we do in LA?

On our first night we headed to the baseball – we went to the Dodgers stadium and watched the LA Dodgers absolutely ruin the poor San Diego Padres, whom my husband supports. Once we actually got there, which took about nine hours of desperately needing the loo (due to the aforementioned traffic), it was really good fun! We got these insane nachos where you just pour on as much cheese and onions and sauce as you like, which in our case was a lot. And I bought the most expensive beer I’ve ever had in my life. Watching sport in America is so much more fun than in the UK because they really make an effort to entertain everyone, so it’s worth a visit to something while you’re there.

Shopping, obviously. Everything in Hollister is so cheap in America it might as well actually be free. I got a top for $5 which is what… £3? Weirdly, though, the people of LA seem to think it is actually Autumn there when it is literally 31 degrees. Where are you going to wear these scarves, Los Angeles residents? Where? Anyway.

Venice Beach – after a day at Disneyland we went to the beach to collapse and rest for a bit. We got knocked out by the waves in the sea and got nicely crispy in the sunshine (read: I got sunburnt). My husband went to get us burritos and by the time he returned he could barely see me because the LA mists had descended – it was SO bizarre, I honestly looked up from my Kindle to a blanket of fog.

Venice Canals – these are so worth walking along, and maybe not something you’d immediately think to do. It was really quiet wandering along in the sunshine and the canals are absolutely beautiful. You could get a bike too if you so desired.

Venice Boardwalk & Abbott Kinney – okay, so I thought this would be a little more hippy and a little less gang-sta, but it was still hilarious. Every second person is trying to sell you ‘medical’ marijuana and we witnessed a dance off which immediately descended into the world’s most ridiculous non-fight – then a man who’d maybe had a few too many brownies hit me on the arse, leading another man to rush off to hit him to defend my honour… a fun if bemusing way to pass the afternoon! Abbott Kinney is much more chilled out and had some gorgeous bars and the sort of shops where I wanted to buy everything but could afford nothing. 

The bars of Venice Beach – we ate Mexican food and then spent the entire night sitting at the bar in this little wine place just off the beach. It was full of characters, like a huge biker bloke who sat next to me and proceeded to tell me how embarrassed he was that he’d poured his steak sauce on his salad – I loved it.

Beverley Hills – we drove up through the little gates and peered up the long winding driveways at the houses of the rich and famous. It’s beautiful, but I think I’d find it a little isolating? Maybe I’m wrong – as my husband says, sadly we’ll never get to find out!

Rodeo Drive – so we actually went to Rodeo Drive because just off it there’s a Sprinkles cupcakes ATM. Getting cupcakes out of a machine?! America, you have thought of everything. Anyway, we also walked down the designer street, looking at all the big names and glitz and gaudy gold shop fronts and the people who actually went into them and came out looking slightly exhilarated and slightly terrified, and we discussed the absolute lunacy of Chanel prices and what I would do with £5,000 before I spent it on a handbag.


Hollywood Boulevard – obviously you can’t go to LA without heading to the walk of fame, and actually, I had a lot more fun here than I thought I would, spotting stars and wandering in and out of the little touristy shops where I bought my nephew a silly Oscar statue and myself a cheap t shirt. There’s so much about the Hollywood stars I didn’t know – for example, did you know you can have multiple stars for different things you’ve done? Some people have three!

Whilst there we also went into a posh ice cream/chocolate shop called Ghiradelli’s, which is apparently famous in California. I ate an ice cream the size of my head and genuinely didn’t need any lunch afterwards, which for me is saying something!

In’n’out – We went after the baseball and ordered tiger fries and double cheeseburgers from the secret menu, diet coke AND milkshake, and ate the lot in our hotel room watching Forensic Files, and it was perfection. We also went to Denny's...again. Sorry-not-sorry. And we went there after a perfect day out at... 

Disneyland! Of course we went to Disneyland, but it needs it’s own post! You’ll just have to wait!

Honestly, there was so much more we could’ve done, including Santa Monica (which I didn’t even see), Universal Studios, visiting downtown, a hundred restaurants/bars I didn't get to tick off my list and more. 

LA, you may be messy, busy, expensive and dirty – but you’re also sunshiney, friendly and beautiful. I love you, and I will be back.

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