What the hell am I doing drinking in LA at 26?
22nd Again- 28th December
Venice beach, Jew town, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Walt Disney, Getty Road Trip
Landing in LAX; first thought- what a dive.
Driving through LA; second thought- what a busy dive.
Arriving in Venice Beach; third thought- MOST amazingly intense, cool, crazy, place ever!!!
Literally anything goes... Anything clothes, piercings, tattoos, drugs, alcohol, sex and food.
Surprise Surprise, I fell in love with the place... Give me a visa yanks!
Time travelling and reliving most of the 22nd again, no wifi and no data meant dates, times and locations were all but irrelevant... Yes asking would have been too easy and I was itching to get outside.
Top ten Venice Beach must and most definitely will see:
1: Nathan (piano playing animal advocate)
2: Dr Weed; for all your medicinal needs
3: People on wheels- roller skaters, boarders, sedgewayers, walk you bike, ride your dog just roll with and actually carry a boom-box: 80's movie dream!
4: For some crazy reason printed Tshirts are a Venice rage... Naturally I got Involved, naturally it was the most overpriced thing ever... When in Venice
5: People smiling, people saying hello, people complimenting for now apparent reason and with no ulterior motive... Sun = happiness
6: Homeless people, masses of them, sarcastic, majoritively witty (surprisingly) pleas held
In their hands.
7: Hawaiian poke bowls (a must eat...amazingness in a raw and healthy form
8: Palm trees, surf and sunsets, all so very terrible to observe all so very O.C and so very Californication.
9: Youths driving, youths sitting in cars...youths getting stoned (in cars)
10: People being the most effortlessly cool things ever... There's no English comparison.
After 5 days of lying on a beach in the same bikini the desire to be a California girl was pretty high...for me anyways. Being in LA a hair blow out was 'so totally necessary yes' and naturally nail Salons are a must visit.
Christmas beginning in LA (23rd) and the arrival of third best friend Fodder. She let me hug her, she informed me nothing at home is different, she smiled effortlessly... Yeah California!
Eating the first of many Mexicans (more available than Maccas) the true expected Californian sprit made an appearance in the form of the Cancer warnings which accompany
EVERYTHING; that water your drinking- could give you cancer,Taco Bell? yep you guessed it cancerous, walk on the beach? Watch out for cancer chemicals.... There's no need! Chernobyl state.
Christmas Eve and whilst the English ballers accompanied our giant heads around sheff, 8hrs of intoxication in advance. We full on touristed the hell out of LA:
Santa Monica + Pier: pretty,busy, pier a little skegvegas but sun and cleanliness make it so much more appealing... Except The cancer...
Beverly Hills: buses were caught (for free!! Americans love us) the bus destination ticker spelled 'smile''happy holidays' and all manner of endearing comforts...
Fods is happy.
Naturally in our bus amazement we missed 90210 stop, jumping off in Jew Town, a less orthodox, more monorah side of the Jewish faith a fascinating walk through the streets took Place with all manner of Sidewalks, faucets, parking metres providing extrodinairily interesting convo.
After being lost in the Beverly Hills which fails to feature in Yankee tv, we made like Julia Roberts and pretty womaned our way down Rodeo drive. You want to shop- go Rodeo Drive, You want to eat cheesecake go to Cheesecake Factory on Rodeo drive. You don't like shopping or cheesecake; still go to Rodeo Drive.
Being too poor to shop (damn our non prostitue ways) We fell into the latter and cried (literally- twice) at the joys of the cake of cheese. Nom nom nom!
The eve of Xmas upon us we rendezvoued back
To Samesun hostel for the arrival Capt. Cockblock (Wolfpack regroup) Hearing (before seeing) her pretty much certifies: you go away - nothing changes.
In The field were a pretty debaucherous trio, add LA on Xmas eve and it was never going to be pretty.
Receipe for pure reprobateness includes:
Pitcher of 'golden mile Californian ale' (bad choice) + whiskey shots from American boys attending to seduce + rejection of said American boys; 'you're married!!' 'you date girls?''you won't give my brother a chance' + giant triple margaritas served with the advice 'you girls should share one' (blatantly unaware of our alcoholic notoriety.) - A very own drunken 'lake tippado' story (if you've seen friends you know how that ends) - an 'über'car journey with a religious fanatic advocating war + a random house allowing us to decorate the Xmas tree + watching home alone - smashing baubles - leg Bevving + saving a dog + releasing a tiger - ruining everyone's English Xmas dinner with an intoxicated FaceTimed = one of the more debaucharous, unforgettable nights ever.
Life was pretty confusing Xmas day, a 6am bed whilst the sun was shining was never going to bode well for the Xmas spirit.
Rocking the coolest Wolfpack look we walked 'naturally' on the beach.
Everywhere was open, everywhere was busy... In the most dire moment of our possible existence we had a macca's lunch... On Christmas Day... To quote Jked only half ashamed. (Though the fact maccas was heaving to make it more acceptable) apparently Californians don't really Christmas.
Xmas day was Slightly redeemed with a romantic sunset, gin and ginger and possibly the coolest bar in existence... Some things don't change.
By Boxing Day we were back on full fighting tourist form!
1st stop HOLLYWOOD. Keeping it cheap we walked the few hundred miles to the sign, the 'lost look' must have been channelled because Yanks went out of their way to direct us...OR they just wanted to show off the sign....
Hollywood! Big bold capital letters on a bill.It's big, it looks like it does on Tv... how can you go LA and not see it... But take a car Or a bus.
Next stop, walk of fame; internationally renowned yet not signposted with many 'locals' unaware of the location. We saw lots of stars slabs... unknown 'celebrities'... an entire street funnily enough... But no Big names.
A good wander later we found the 'stars' directly opposite us getting off el bus... Oooopss. The Chinese theatre (unknown reasons) started the 'Stars' it's an interesting half hour of hand and foot comparison (Judy Garland tiny!!) it raised lots of questions that no wifi meant google couldn't answer and Johnny depp got a little smutty with his hands.
It's touristy, it's Hollywood, it's free (if you catch a local bus/ screw the tours), a pleasant enough way to waste a a morning but wouldn't repeat visit.
Next stop subway travel (full yank soon) to the Walt Disney Orchestra; visually stunning but waay too modern for a Disney/ orchestral hall... No princess castle. Next door are the Japanese gardens- random square with actual greenery (limited commodity in LA) casual Tai chi class on the lawns, random but a delicate beauty.
Then a short walk (ok not so short) to China town; not your typical street of restaurants and supermarkets; actual China in a town. Banks, supermarkets, temples, Chinese people: tired eyes allowed acceptance to pass through. we discovered the f***anese. We discovered a fruit stall temple. Fun day.
Final stop of the day: Downtown: everywhere has a downtown, asking what Downtown is warranted the reponse 'it's down town' but hey It's cool to say, it's exciting to enter the unknown, it's a new place.
Boxing Day eve, completing our American conversion. We headed to Washington (chic suburb) for a full on Colin Thistle night.
Sat at the bar with a bud: yes
Ghetto nightclub: yes
Being called cute: Yes
Ending the night with Taco street van: yes
Surely visa deserving now?? Especially with the annoying American drawl which is creeping into my conversations.(soz!):
'Has anyone seeeeeeeeen my phooonnnnnnne'
'Du twooo fift-ieees make a quarteeerr'
' yeah that's cute'
27th December, time to leave LA and for the Road trip to begin. Picking up Doug (Van, Wolfpack
Final member, extreme decoaration) and adopting our favourite adorable Aussie for the journey (Callum,blatantly not his name.)
Doug has painted wolves and bears, a double bed and a working sink. With our Wolfpack vests we were struggling to see how we could get any cooler!
As a natural leader and volunteer first driver, the apprehension was quickly eliminated when it was realised, yanks are pretty w*** drivers!
Doug's first trip was the cultural escape of the Getty, rocking up to view Rubens, Renaissance and post modernist art, set in the stunning backdrop of this museum in a wolf painted camper is pretty much winning in life.
Out of everything seen the Getty is the must see; it's free, it's beautiful, it's historical yet contemporary... It was also bloody freezing. Don't go at night, if you do don't wear shorts or dresses and expect to get laughed at by the artistic sorts if you do.
After a few hours of beautiful, underdressed culture, it was back in Doug and driving on the free way to San Francisco baby yeah!!
The Wolfpack has been left behind and the Mavericks are on the move...
See you on the other side