We arrived in LA knackered and dishevelled after what was basically a 24-hour journey, but had to head out and see the beach – just to know we were near the beach. It was dark and the beach and Ocean Front Walk were deserted, but we walked to Washington Boulevard, which was buzzing. The bars all looked a bit too busy and trendy for us, so we just goggled for a while and then bought hotdogs, which we ate walking back to the apartment.
Thanks to my friend Anstey, we found the apartment on AirBnB, which I hadn’t heard of before, but which turned out to be a goldmine of cheap and fabulous accommodation. Being a bit of a nervy bird, I was a bit worried about using it, but I’m so glad I took a chance because the apartment was wonderful. The location couldn’t have been much better, there was free, secure parking under the building (when I looked at hotels, they often charged $25-50 per night for parking, so that alone was a godsend) and the apartment had a kitchen, balcony and all-important free wifi. Plus my bed was incredibly comfy.
The next morning, once I’d Skyped with David, Harry and Joe, we had a little wander around the canals, breakfast in Starbucks back on Washington (I had a spinach and feta wrap. In Starbucks), and then down to the beach. It was mostly overcast, but it didn’t matter. The beach was beautiful and we walked out to the end of the Venice fishing pier and then along the edge of the surf. I pointed something out to Stella – a wave, I think. She said, “A whale?” and just as I said, “No!” we both spotted a dolphin leaping over a wave. I think that was the moment I realised the trip was going to be a bit fabulous…
From there we walked along the Venice boardwalk, which I’d been warned was horrible – someone described it as Camden-on-Sea, which is fair – but I really liked it (and, over the next three days, came to like it even more). We went into Small World Books and then walked all the way along to Santa Monica Pier, stopping for a drink and sweet potato fries on the way. Oh and we were both very excited to see Gabourey Sidibe, who we both love in The Big C.
The only thing we really wanted to do at Santa Monica Pier was go on the ferris wheel and, by then, the weather had cleared up and it was sunny, hot, and gorgeous.
The ferris wheel was just amazing – I could have stayed on it all day – but I’d booked a studio tour so we had to walk back to get the car. We saw Gabourey Sidibe – or Gabby as we can probably call her now – again on the way back. Stella asked if it was her and she said no, but it totally was.
We stopped at The Sidewalk Cafe (next to Small World Books) for a quick burger and then drove out to Burbank, which is where we came a little bit unstuck…