LA

Los Angeles is a big sprawling place. We’ve never stopped here before and thought we would this time. The climate sure is intoxicating, even though they’re coming out of winter (judging by the winter clothes the locals are wearing) it’s still quite temperate and still has a landscape of blue sky and palm trees. We’re staying in a fantastic hotel on Santa Monica beach – here’s the view from our window.

santamonica_b

Getting anywhere is a mission. We met our New York ‘land lady’ for lunch yesterday in Beverly Hills and she was absolutely horrified that we went there on the bus. I told her we were only in town for 3 days and she responded in the best New York accent ‘SO?!’ I guess you’re supposed to hire a car. She said everyone drives, and everywhere is 20 minutes by car. For us, everything is an hour by bus! It seems to be the transport system for crazy people from those who rant at you for no reason, ranting at themselves and shouting at pamphlet ads to removing their suit to reveal a Superman outfit underneath!

Quick list of stuff we’ve done:

  • Walked along Santa Monica beach & explored promenade shops
  • Gone by bus up to West Hollywood to meet Rick & Julia on the night they were also in town – walked the Hollywood Walk of Fame looking at all the stars and batting away dressed-up movie characters wanting to charge you to have a picture with them (on your own camera) and people flapping tour brochures.
  • Gone by bus up to Beverly Hills to meet Sandy for lunch. She was lovely! Pure New Yorker, brought out to LA for work (ex film producer! and we watched her actor son in an episode of the TV show Numb3rs last night!) who told us lovely stories about the LA psyche and her life. It was such a great thing to do and she totally trusts us to live in her apartment. While we were at lunch The Mister was asked for ID – she said he should feel very chuffed about that – everyone here is cut and injected to look younger (and actually looks the same, which everyone does!) so he’s feeling all springy and youthful now!
  • Wandered along Rodeo Drive – was a bit disappointing, not sure why, I think they whole glossy big shops with doormen thing is a bit overwhelming if you just want to have a poke around. It’s like even when out for a stroll you have to prove you can afford to be there.
  • Went down to the Santa Monica pier and The Mister played some arcade games (some old shoot ‘em up game he hadn’t played since he was a teenager), got a strip of photobooth photos (your booth is so much classier and QUICKER @freezingkiwis), saw lots of random stalls with merchandise that could involve you: your face in a photo with the ferris wheel behind, your name on a grain of rice, you as a small clay sculpture, your future as predicted by the tarot cards. We went back after dinner and rode the ferris wheel – yes ME on a ferris wheel. It wasn’t until we had our tickets and were almost at the front of the line that The Mister told me he’d never been on one before! It wasn’t so bad :)
  • Had some bad BAD coffee – been here 3 days and only had 3 cups. And the first was only half the bucket of searing hot milk I was presented with. The latte they serve at breakfast on the veranda of our hotel (such a cool place to have breakfast) is drinkable if you leave it to rest for 15 minutes!
  • Gone by TWO buses up to Universal Studios in the sometimes torrential rain – not sure what I expected but it wasn’t really what I expected. Expensive day at a theme park although the 2 tours we did were pretty good although designed for mass reproduction – studio tour and special effects stage. Had a bit of my first cinnabon – it had some kind of gooey icing on it and I don’t think there was any real cinnamon present, was some kind of reddish cinnamon paste. Oh, well, I was excited to do it!

Santa Monica was very cool. Would visit there again.