Tonight is our last night in LA. At the risk of sounding a bit bratty, it’d be fair to say that we haven’t exactly loved it here. There’s a couple of reasons for that – the key one being that it has rained for two out of the three days that we’ve been here. At home, that wouldn’t normally be grounds for complaint, but LA typically gets only thirty days of rain a year, so we’re a bit bummed out to have had such a wet visit. The vast majority of things that we wanted to do while we were here were premised on getting good weather (think beaches, parks, observatories . . ), so we’ve found ourselves cooped up indoors a little more than we would have liked. The other key reason would have to be that LA is just a bit mental. Hollywood (where we’ve been staying) is loud, dirty and incredibly busy. People are up in your business 24/7. On the plus side, we have been forced to slow down the pace a little bit and we’re both feeling better for having bit of R&R.
Our first full day here was Friday. It pretty much poured all day, so other than a quick walk down Hollywood Boulevard to see the Chinese Theatre/Walk of Fame etc, we really didn’t get up to much. Cabin fever kicked in yesterday and I was desperate to get out of the house to see/do/eat something from my mega itinerary. Campbell said I was being a “dick face”, so we rugged up and decided to head to Downtown LA to go to Grand Central Market. Grand Central Market is a giant food hall with all sorts of delis, bars, food stalls etc.
There was a half marathon on in our neighbourhood and traffic was a nightmare, so we decided to brave the metro. I have no issues with public transport and will happily ride the loser cruiser at home, but I absolutely hate underground transport. I hate that you don’t know what’s lurking in the station until you’re already on the escalator and committed. Sadly, riding the Paris metro previously only reinforced my fear – there were all sorts of bat shit crazy people lurking in those stations.
Anyhoo – we got on the metro and were off to a good start. I didn’t stare at anyone, and it looked like we were going to get through unscathed. Two stops before we were due to get off a crazy little man got into our carriage and immediately decided he had beef with Campbell. He was right up in his grill and wanted to know how much his shirt was, how much money he had in his wallet, how much his sneakers costs etc. It was incredibly uncomfortable and we were both super relieved when crazy little man got off at the next station.
Grand Central Market was awesome (as expected), and the only downside was that we didn’t have bigger stomachs. I would have kept eating until I popped, but thankfully Campbell has a degree of self-control. On the way back to the metro, we swung past the Walt Disney Concert Hall. It’s a beautiful building, but neither of us have an overly high appreciation for architecture, so it was a flying visit.
The weather finally played ball today. We got up bright and early to tick off a few things from our list. First stop was a drive through Beverly Hills and down Rodeo Drive. I wanted to get a quick glimpse at how the other half live and it did change our perspective a little bit – there are some lovely neighbourhoods in LA.
From there, we carried on to Santa Monica. Santa Monica is beautiful and, if we ever return to this area, it’s where I’d stay. It’s a lovely seaside community with great eateries, a lovely shopping promenade and a gorgeous beach. I got super excited at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co and got my photo taken at the Forrest Gump bench, complete with box of chocolates. I maintain that Forrest Gump is one of the best movies, ever. Campbell declined to have his photo taken.
We were planning on having one last jaunt along Hollywood Boulevard tonight, but the Games of Thrones series premiere is on at the Chinese Theatre and the road is closed/carnage. I was tempted to go and do a bit of celeb spotting, but I can’t compete with the people who have been parked up in their deck chairs waiting since god knows when. We have seen some celebs while we’ve been here though (if you’re prepared to take a liberal interpretation) – the guy from Bondi Vet and Gary the judge from Master Chef. Not exactly A list though.
Tomorrow we leave for San Diego where we have a house booked at Ocean Beach. We are really looking forward to getting down there.