Venice Beach and Santa Monica
After a bit of a sleep in and breakfast we caught the bus to Venice Beach. The bus system here is pretty horrible, but cheap. We finally got there and walk up and down the water front. It was a nice sunny day, the beach is really wide and people play volleyball, there is a skate park, mini tennis and the famous Muscle Gym where huge guys work out in front of everyone. There a so many buskers and people making and selling all sorts of things along the pathway. There was one guy walking up and down the beach with a big tolley PA system selling his own ‘reggae for children CDs with incy wincy spider and stuff’. We bought a CD as a present and had a chat with him. He is a primary school teacher and had this idea and now has recorded 3 CDs of kids music. He was funny and really nice. We had lunch there and people watched for a while before getting buses home.
That evening we headed to Santa Monica where the famous pier is and the the official end to Route 66. We had no lucky with buses so decided to get a cab (pretty expensive). We had a beautiful dinner at a restaurant called Buddha Belly and that’s what we ended up with. We had a satay dish and a rice dish served in a pineapple… we were missing Asian food! We walked down the pier, watched the rides and sat and listened to a guy busking for a while. We went into the Bubba Gump store and Chris got a hat and there is a little chair with ceramic shoes and a suitcase you can get a photo with….awww Forest…
Hollywood and Downtown
Today is my birthday. We got a cab to Hollywood and bought the hop-on-off bus ticket. They were $40 each and not worth it, but we did get to see a lot. We got off at one place and the buses are supposed to come every 20-30min…we waited for nearly 50 and it was really really hot! We got out at Grove/Farmers markets for lunch, a pastrami sandwich. They serve most things with a giant pickled cucumber here.
We saw the Viper room, Rodeo drive (and the Pretty Woman hotel), Melrose drive, Empire records, CBS, …..We changed to the downtown bus that showed us Korea town, China town, Little Tokyo, the Walt Disney building and got out at LA live. The commentary on the bus is pretty good. I didn’t know that California was actually part of Mexico…that explains so much!
We had dinner at Rock n Fish at LA live. We shared grilled salmon, spinach and garlic mash and a rib fillet with a giant stuffed baked potato and whole grilled cayan corncob. It was a really fun birthday.
One of the big things I’ve noticed is that so many people have dogs and they are allowed everywhere, on buses, on planes at the dinner table. It’s really cool, but would suck if you were allergic to dogs. It’s the weirdest thing, sitting on a plane and hearing a little dog yelping!
We took a cab home and packed up the room ready to go to Mexico in the morning.