We have a quick hour bus journey to Venice beach on the coast of LA. As Santa Monica is near Venice beach we are going to do a full day in Venice before spending a day up Santa Monica.
We arrive at our hostel to find a pretty run down looking place. The dorm isn't the best and 2 of the beds (which thankfully we aren't in!) have half of the frame missing so they are literally just half a bed each, not the best if your on the top bunk! There are 3 bunk beds and only 1 home made ladder between them all, it feels like it is going to fall apart everytime I use it! We checked out the rest of the hostel and found a minging kitchen and that there were only 2 showers for men and 2 for women between a load of 6 bed dorms and 30 bed dorms! Nightmare in the morning!
After we had got checked in we took a walk down to the boardwalk and beach. We had been told about the boardwalk being touristy but we never expected it to be so touristy. They have stalls selling all kinds of crap up and down the streets, people with signs saying that the doctor is in so you can buy weed off them, all kinds of street dancers and singers and shed load of black rappers trying to sell you there cd's (and when we didn't they all started moaning that we weren't giving them a chance!)
After about an hour walking up and down me and Jodie were quite sick of all the people in our faces trying to get money out of us so we had to get off the boardwalk. We were meant to meet our friend Grace from Australia but she had washing to do and stood us up so we just stopped for food at a beach side restaurant. On the way back up to the hostel we checked out the world famous 'muscle beach' at the end of the boardwalk. We were expecting a ton of burly guys working out there but all there was was a few scrawny guys trying to beef up, think I was about the same size as them!
Next day we went back down the beach and met up with Grace. She has been here before and only came up to Venice to see us so she didn't really want to do any of the touristy stuff any more than we did so we settled for a day on the beach. The beaches here are well nice. The sand is proper soft and golden and goes on for miles and miles. For most of the day we just sat and chilled and caught up with each others travels. After we felt hot and sunburnt enough we went for a walk along the beach and then went back to the skatepark they have on the beach. There is a massive skate competition here that is starting in a day or two so everyone is practicing for that. There was one little kid (not sure if it was a boy or girl!) but they were pulling off all kinds of tricks and only looked about 8, he/she was ace!
Venice beach is only a 10 minute bus ride away from Santa Monica so we met Grace again and spent our last day up there. As soon as you get off the bus you can tell that it is a nicer upper market place, it doesn't look half as rough and the streets are actually pretty clean! They have a huge open street shopping mall so we spent the morning shopping (can you tell I was with 2 girls??) and found where they film an American show called The People's Court, we were even invited to be in the crowd!
After lunch we went and checked out the pier they have here and the beach. The beach looks better than Venice beach, it is just as long but looks a lot nicer and we found out that it's the beach where they filmed Baywatch!!
The pier has a fairground on it but the best ride they had was a rollercoaster and that looked pretty s***e so we didn't bother with it.
After looking round and relaxing a little bit we jumped on the boat and headed back to Venice Beach. The big skate competition was meant to be starting today so we went back to see what was happening but nothing was going on apart from a loud black man preaching about God! As the skate comp hadn't started we just chilled out on the beach again.
Tomorrow we are heading to San Diego for 8 nights. We have 5 nights in a hostel then 3 nights with a couch surfer. LA has been pretty good, especially after we heard everyone going on about how bad it was but we are glad to be leaving. There are definately some dodgy parts and most of the people seem to have a stick up their asses so were hopin there better in San Diego!