A weekend in Los Angeles, 1st - 5th July, 2010
LA is broken down into a lot of areas and the one's we visited were Santa Monica, Hollywood & Venice Beach.
We were staying in Santa Monica for 3 days, and as we were still drunk from our last night in San Diego, we decided to get the direct train to LA and then a taxi to the hostel. This saved at least 3 hours of travelling with all our gear and was worth every penny, sorry I should say cent. We got here on Thursday and decided to go check out the surrounding area. Actually there was only one place I was interested in checking out and Selena said I had turned into a broken record saying "yeah this is very interesting but where the hell is muscle beach?!"
We found it! :) And how very interesting that they will be having a 4th July body building competition. Must make sure I add that one to the diary - certainly ain't missing that cos I'm washing my hair. ;)
Hollywood is about an hour's bus ride from Santa Monica, so we thought we would brave the American public transport system one last time and go for a little visit. After a very eventful, but no longer surprising nightmare of a journey, we finally arrived. It's a bit rough round the edges, but as long as you keep your wits about you it's absolutely fine, but nothing like the bright lights and glammed up image you see it the movies.
We walked along Hollywood Boulevard and like typical tourists took loads of pictures of the celebrities stars on the sidewalk. We then saw a Hookah bar. I've smoked these things before when I was in Egypt but they were known as Shisha pipes. Before anyone starts giving me the drugs talk - they are a flavoured tobacco which is smoked through a water pipe, so you can't even feel you're inhaling or exhaling smoke, even though it comes out really thick. They put a hot coal on the top (so impressed I didn't manage to knock it onto myself) and it warms the tobacco underneath. The smoke then goes into a chamber and is somehow filtered by the water before you breathe it in. Selena got to chose the flavour as she'd never smoked one before and she went for the blueberry pomegranate flavour - good choice J.We sat there for about an hour taking pics and trying to blow smoke rings before heading back out.
We walked down to the Chinese Theatre which has all the paving slabs with the hand and foot prints and took a load more photos. We also found the 'Hollywood sign' and papped that too. :)
We're back into the world of whirlwind visits, so once all that was crossed off the list we decided to head back to the hostel. That and to avoid bumping into any nutters in the dark!
A family visit
One of Selena's cousins from the big family party called Aric is studying in LA, so we thought we'd meet up with him for an afternoon. We all walked down to Santa Monica pier and had a couple of drinks out in the sun. I managed to bag myself some more random strap marks, a woman made a postcard of the 3 of us for free, and then we were mucking around with his bike for a bit before he had to head to the airport.
So we mossied on down to Venice Beach for the body building competition on 4th July. We got there in the morning and watched it for a couple of hours. It was really funny but if I'm honest was pretty repetitive after a while. I wasn't liking the creosote stuff they cover themselves in, and the best one's were definitely the one's that weren't caked in it. They had all different categories including a couples one, and there was even a couple that got married there on stage at lunchtime! Weird. We left after a couple of hours but not before spending a suitable amount of time watching all the guys working out back stage before their shows. :) We went and found Gold's Gym and then hit the beach for a couple of hours.
The hostel was joining in the Independence Day celebrations and was having a free BBQ in the courtyard for everyone. I'm currently blending in spectacularly well as am sporting a funky Rudolph look with a red nose from toasting it up on the beach! Anyway, gotta go now as need to have an earlish night as we start our Thelma and Louise style road trip tomorrow. Only slight problem is that other than heading for the Grand Canyon we don't actually know where we're going. But then that's the fun of a road trip :)