Friday, 26 September 2014

LA Baby.

The excitement flying into LAX airport was crazy. All my life I had dreamed of going to LA and this was it.

We stayed in Venice Beach Hostel not surprisingly on Venice Beach. It was about 15 mins away from the airport. As we entered the Venice beach area I was feeling a bit disappointed. The area did look a bit dodgy and there were a lot of drugged up looking homeless people sitting around the streets. As we entered the hostel it got worse. It was very grubby looking and dingy. We told ourselves that we would just spend as little time in there as possible. 

We went out to explore the area. Venice beach was actually quite nice. It was very edgy and urban and there were a lot of skaters around. There were lots of cool market stalls and shops along by the beach, along with restaurants and artists sat out doing their work. 

That night we had dinner at a restaurant called 'Figtrees'. Everything on the menu was healthy and they greeted you with a lovely cold glass of water. We sat in the sun looking over the beach and I had a beautiful smoked salmon pasta dish.

We headed back for an early night after a long day of travelling. Again the hostel let us down as the noise was ridiculous. we barely slept all night. The rooms had no air con, so you had to sleep with the windows open, but right outside were bustling bars  where people were screaming until 4am, that mixed with the sirens and traffic created an awful nights sleep. 

The next day we got up nice and early to get out of the hostel. We jumped on a bus and headed to Hollywood. The bus drivers were incredibly helpful. After getting a little bit lost we eventually ended up on Hollywood Boulevard. We had a wonder around and found different stars on the walk of fame. The recently departed actor Robin Williams star was there surrounded by flowers and tributes. It was nice to see as I was a fan. 

After a bit of souvenir shopping, we were persuaded to go on a tour around Hollywood and to see all the celeb houses and sights of LA. The night before we went to Hollywood it was Chris Browns album launch party where there was a shooting, so obviously the tour had to take us to see he venue with all the news crews and police outside. We saw houses belonging to stars such as Britney, Pais Hilton, Channing Tatum and the Beckhams. The tour also took us up into the hills to get a photo of downtown LA and of course the Hollywood sign. They did convince me with the tour by saying we would see the store Dash and as a self confessed Kardashian fan I was extremely excited by that, but they lied and I didn't see it, so they didn't see their tip! (the tour was also very cramped and I couldn't see much from the seat I was given).

After exploring Hollywood we decided to head to Beverly Hills. We saw the hotel where pretty woman is filmed and went to the Cheesecake Factory for a lovely piece of cheesecake. It was amazing. I went for a fantastic lemon meringue flavour. All the shops looked fantastic and all the cars driving round looked incredibly expensive as Im sure they were. I'm convinced I saw Kylie Jenner drive past, but I probably didn't. 
We strolled up to the Beverly Hills sign to get a photo and hopped back on the bus to Santa Monica where we did a bit of shopping. We then walked back to Venice beach, not really knowing how far it was, but it was such a lovely walk we didn't really notice how long it took. 

The following day we decided to have a relaxing day as the hostel was still noisy and uncomfortable.

We rented some bikes and cycled along the beach to Santa Monica. It was lovely cycling along, we left early again so we had a lovely fresh breeze as we passed all the locals and other early rising tourists, passing on their bikes, roller blades and skateboards. We stopped for breakfast pancakes in one of the beach cafes. It was so lovely sitting on the beach in the morning, I could so easily live there. 

We carried on cycling and picked a spot on the beach to sunbathe. The further up the beach you go the quieter it is so we were pretty much alone. After a few hours lying in the sun it became clear I had failed with the suncream application. I could feel my skin burning and needed to get out of the sun. We went and got some lunch and did a bit of shopping, as we headed back we strolled over Santa Monica Pier but my sunburn had got so bad I needed to stay out of the sun so we headed back to the hostel. Santa Monica pier is also home to the 'end of route 66' sign. The pier has lots of fairground rides and a few restaurants. I would have loved to have gone on the big wheel if I hadn't been feeling so rubbish. The burn on my leg was so bad that I still have a scar from it now 4 weeks later. Wear sunscreen kids!

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