Los Angeles, my old friend.
This time you had your ups and downs, The only down would have been the weather though and well nothing really can be done about that one..
West Hollywood was our first destination. A last minute call out to some couch surfers gets us a night 2 blocks off Sunset Blvd in a studio apartment with 2 guys. Yes, thats right. We were staying in a studio that didn't have a bedroom, just a living room kitchen and bathroom with 2 guys. Steven, the host offered his 'bed' for the night while he crashed on the floor.
We arrive about 5ish and Steven wasn't home so his flatmate Josh let us in. He was a bit awkward, fine but he didn't seem to keen on the whole couch surfing experience, we went to get some dinner up the road which he said would be a short walk.. turned out to be like an hour, anyway it was nice to walk the Blvd at sunset.. how convenient Sunset Blvd at sunset.
The night was uneventful, Steven came home and showed us some of this work, he was an editor/ photographer so he had some really cool videos that he had personally made, we made dinner and then Steven wanted to take us to Mullholland Drive. We eventually get there and its too misty to see anything and you're not allowed to stop at night as the road it too curvy but it was nice of him to do it for us.
The next day was our tourist day.
We get to Hollywood Blvd after visiting Amoeba Records.. the most amazing record store and venture down to the Chinese theatre, get photos with hand prints and foot prints, get harassed by the next 'Jay-z' , Catch up with Mickey at the Disney Store, buy some of the best souvenirs and walk past the most amazing store.
A movie poster store and while you may not think that this a very good store this is exactly what i wanted. This trip we had been looking for a cut out that we could put in the back seat of our car as an extra person but they were either too expensive or i couldn't find one i liked enough. In the window was a life-size cut out of Joseph Gorden-Levitt from his latest movie 'Hesher'.
We go in and have a look at the ones they have for sale and none of them are as good as hasher. Me being me i didn't want to ask the store owner if i could have it, Jame asked for me and I walk out the door with a life-size hasher under my arm for $20. He is amazing and now all i have to worry about it getting the fucker home. not easy but i will cross that bridge when i come to it.
Time to head back to Steven's to say farewell and head to the beach, the next 2 nights we were staying in Santa Monica however it was now peak hour and he said it would take us 3 hours to get down there, something neither of us want so we head to a sports bar called 'Big Wangs' to watch the Canucks play. Apparently Chicks dig big wangs.. the mascot of this place was a big rooster. After a good hour and the Canucks losing we decide that Jaymee is a bad luck charm and head back to leave. We find out that after we left that the Canuck won. She is a bad luck charm.
Santa Monica was a very cool place to be. Our next couch surfer i found was a bit awkward but lovely, he was from Perth so i was nice to hear a familiar accent for a change.
We settle in and he very kindly gives us his bed for the night while he crashed on the couch, we make plans to go to Yoga in the morning… one thing i am not looking forward to.
6:30am wake up and we head to Yoga, our very 'LA' thing to do. I have never done Yoga before and it was hard, i was told that Pilates was harder than Yoga and when i did that a few years ago i didn't think it was that bad but with me hating exercise and the fact that i am not flexible whatsoever prove that Yoga was a bitch BUT i think i would do it again.
Our day was a bit delayed as we left something at West Hollywood so we had to get back there to pick it up.. a bit of back and forth and a lot of traffic but we head down to Venice, a place that i had been looking forward to getting back to since 2008. Like i said earlier the weather could have been better but when it is something that you can change then what can you do?
So we walk the markets and as we were told it was very interesting. poor people selling art, artists selling art, homeless selling art, the 'wino' skating on blades playing an electric guitar, skaters, surfers, permanent travellers,hippies, tourists and homeless teenagers asking for smokes.. or a light. it was harsh and fascinating, this city has 36 million people living in it, the largest in the states and when you think of it you think glitter and gold, lifestyles of the rich and famous but when we get down here you see the rebellion against that or even the failure of that dream.
jame likes homeless art so we wander up and wander back, she likes this this one ladies art but she was charging $40-60 per piece so we move on and find a friendly guy who draws day of the dead skulls and frames them in 100 year old wood from his house that he renovated, she was uncertain if she wanted it or not.. and because we were undecided he made the decision for us, he put it in a bag and sent us on our way with his pocket a bit heavier and jame's a bit less. it was a very good drawing.
further down the way i pick up a broken skateboard that one of the locals turns into art and head back to the start to buy an actual board.
We head into a few stores but its not until we get to Maui that i find the one that has been waiting for me. The Chad is his new name and he is beautiful.
Success in Venice, my one goal and it has been completed.
We hang around a bit more and as the day continued the sun came out to play, we stop at a Raw Vegan restaurant and i tick that experience off my list.
The food was really good, i think about it now and i can still taste it, their Key Lime Pie was AMAZING and i would return just to eat it but i do prefer my food to be cooked.
Santa Monica Pier is next. We walk along the beach and into the pier. it was ok, rides were over priced as you would imagine from a tourist attraction and so was the food but i finally got to go there and it was at sunset, so it was lovely to see the sunset over the west coast ocean, something that i haven't seen since Peru.
We head home for a bit before we have to get back out to meet some friends from Australia.
They finally find somewhere to crash for the 2 nights and tell us their location so we can meet up, An Irish pub on the border of Santa Monica and Venice.
I loved this part. To have a part of home even if it was short time was so good, to hear their accents and hear their stories was just what i needed, even little things i miss about home that i didn't realise.. like the way australian friends greet each other, a hug and a kiss but a good hug. i miss that, i love hugs.
Anyway they got to meet Hesher and Skully and after a good 4 hours we head to our respective homes and make plans to see each other before we leave the next morning..
Jaymee is a Vegan so the place we chose for breakfast wasn't the best for Christian and Tom but they did inform me they planned to get some beef shortly after to satisfy them.
I wish i could have spent more time with them, it was so lovely and i had such a good time but it was better to have some time than none at all.
We say goodbye and part ways.
One more stop for us at Venice beach, Jame had a ride on my board and wanted one as well and we now make our way up to Santa Cruz.. we had intentions to go to San Luis Obispo but Jess, Christian and Tom convinced us to go to Cruz instead.. it was just like Byron Bay.. a home away from home.