I have been on a bit of a writing slump lately, I keep opening up WordPress, opening up my photo folders and not knowing where to start or what to say until I shudder at the thought of writing a blog and close it all down again. Whilst watching YouTube on the weekend and seeing some of my favorite vloggers in LA for the upcoming Vidcon event it made me long for the Californian coast line and some warm rays of sunshine on my face instead of being huddled in my home office with my hot water bottle in a perpetual gloom state as the Victorian winter settles in. So fittingly this post will now be about our first stop on our round the world trip – The City of Angels (LA)
My expectations of LA were based purely on shows such as the OC, Entourage and of course who could forget Baywatch! So when we trekked in the taxi for 40 minutes in gridlocked traffic amongst an endless concrete jungle that at times bordered on the neglected on our way to west Hollywood I came to see the real side of LA in a different light (please note West Hollywood itself is actually quite nice and I would recommend staying there). In fact, on our first morning there when entering a nearby diner, we witnessed a man being hit by a car and left lying on the side of the road whilst the offending car yelled at the man and drove off (the man was fine, he stood up and wandered off again after a while and no one battered an eyelid). I guess I had imagined endless mansions, celebrities walking around the streets and glittering coast lines where as in reality I actually saw a lot of concrete and grime and an overload of tourists on the Blvd to view the Walk of Fame and the Chinese Theatre.
That said, this was the first impressions on the first day I was there when I was jet lagged and had been awake for almost 40 hours so it may have been a lot better than it seemed. Secondly after having had a look at a map of LA if I had stayed in Beverly Hills with the mansions then that expectation would have also been fulfilled, its easy to forget how large LA is and how little of it we see on our TV screens!
The next day I felt a lot better after a much-needed extended sleep and enough food to feed a small family (meals in the US are massive compared to Australia, we ended up sharing meals half the time)… the crowds seemed to be thinner, my legs were ready for adventure and I loved my day in Santa Monica & Venice beach.
There is heaps to see and do around Santa Monica and if you’re a people watcher you could spend days at Venice beach (especially the skate park) and never get bored with the endless array of people of all walks of life where everyone seems free to express themselves without worrying about other people’s opinions – a great way to live really.
If you’re in Venice grab yourself a bike so you can explore all along the shoreline as well as the shopping and cafés/bars where you can get a great bite to eat and a drink whilst having an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean at your doorstep.
The next day we headed to Beverly Hills & Rodeo drive to ‘window shop’ as our backpacker budget surprisingly didn’t allow us to buy that $3,000 Gucci Bag on display in the window
Some other things we enjoyed while we were in LA was Knotsberry Farm Theme Park – top roller coasters if your fan of fast and action packed rides
Malibu Beach – pristine beach and the chance of some celebrity spotting
Santa Monica Pier and amusements for old fashioned carnival rides
Santa Monica Beach for a much needed Baywatch photo and a refreshing swim
I must say that LA was the best start to our holiday as it showed me that there should be no expectations when you travel as you can get caught up in how you think it should be rather then enjoying the experience of being there!
‘Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world – Gustauve Flaubert