Arrived here in the evening of 26 Feb 2009, bit jaded but not too bad considering the 12 hour flight from UK. Pleasantly warm after a cool London.
Checked into our hotel and then walked a few steps to the local Italian to grab a snack before hitting the sack! Had a lovely chicken BBQ salad and then crashed out back at the hotel. Mind you, that was after a text message from my friend sending her condolences about Siobhan......panic stations, whatever had happened as soon as I turned my back...after a frantic phone call, I discovered that she had had an altercation with a van whilst on her pushbike...guess she came off worst! I never asked how the bike was, but she's OK, just bruised and shaken up, with a battered wrist, thankfully. What a relief!
Slept well considering the jetlag factor and wandered off to the beach the following morning at Marina Del Rey, walked up to Venice Beach and down the pier and got into the middle of some filming, no idea what film it was, but it was interesting to watch them pretending there were lots of dead surfers in the sea and trying to organise a rescue of a living one.
We carried on and passed Muscle Beach...sadly there were no men showing off, must have been too early for them, I reckon! Venice Beach was rather a disappointment, bit like Skegness on a bad day. We stopped for a coffee and watched the buskers for a while. One man had a piano there, heaven only knows how he gets it down there each day.
Continued up to Santa Monica and went to Bubba Gump's on the pier for lunch, it's a shrimp restaurant and was heaving and had fabulous food. I had a gorgeous Caesar Salad and Tim had a shrimp sandwich, it was huge! Wandered into the centre of Santa Monica after lunch, much more well-heeled than Venice Beach, thankfully.
Managed to find the bus back to Marina del Rey as the old feet were beginning to complain by now.
It is bizarre to see winter cherries blooming alongside roses and day lilies, it doesn't seem to know what season it is here at all.
Spent a couple of hours in the hot tub and the pool and then went off to find a Mexican restaurant for dinner and had enchiladas and burritos; they were excellent and again, the reastaurant was heaving. No shortage of money here for most people it seems, although there are a fair few homeless folk about too. Back to the hotel for an early night, though we're coping OK with the jetlag, it's really not bothering us much at all.
We decided to have a lazy day on the 28th, wandered up to Venice Beach having had a look at the marina at Marina del Rey on the way up; found a heavenly ice-cream shop and just had to try it out and so sat and people-watched for a couple of hours there and then wandered off into the canal area at Venice beach which was lovely, very serene and lots of birds to see, humming birds, pelicans, gulls, mourning doves, snowy egrets.....they're comical with black legs and yellow feet! The a slow stroll back to the hotel grabbing a Subway sandwich on the way; another afternoon by the pool and tub, just relaxing and then out to Tony P's dockside grill for an early dinner; Tim had ribs and I had a steak, both beautiful. Wandered back to the hotel and relaxed for a while before another good night's sleep.
Up quite late this morning, Sunday 1st March...drat...forgot to say'white rabbits', just made it to breakfast before 10am! Another lovely day, so we're doing our washing before going out for another wander; those chores still need doing, lol.
Got the bus up to Santa Monica again, a real hive of activity there, lots of street performers, from legless acrobats to singers and breakdancers, a real holiday feel to the place, they even ban smoking from the pedestrian area!
Cooler today, Monday, 2 March, rather overcast with some rain in the breeze. Had a walk up to Venice Beach again, yet more filming going on, it's clearly a popular spot for that. All packed and waiting to leave for the airport...going to cross the dateline so March 3rd won't exist for us this year, how very strange! Our plane is at 1930 local time and we arrive in Auckland at 0530 on 4 March, with only a 12 hour flight, bizarre. I think NZ is either 3 or 4 hours ahead of us now, so jetlag shouldn't be a problem, just the fact that we will have missed a night's sleep. Ah well, you only live once. We'll be south of the equator in our next post, we left winter in UK, had spring here and now we're off to summer and autumn, fast year this is turning out to be.