128 days away
30 km / 19 miles since last post
51,076 km / 31,737 miles total
What had seemed like a cold coming for the last couple of days, is now confirmed as a cold today. I woke up with a full blown blocked nose today - lucky we still have some Octravine left.
It was a lovely morning here in LA, and we headed out to a place around the corner for some breakfast. After consuming quite a bit of wine last night it was a great start to the day to have a decent breakfast.
We nipped back to Adrian's after breakfast, where I changed into my shorts (yes it is that warm here). Nice to be able to wear shorts again for the first time since Hawaii.
Today Adrian had offered to take us out in his car for a drive around LA, to show us all the things to see. We got to see loads of things, which we certainly would have struggled to do on our own - we just wouldn't have known where to go.
First we took a drive down Hollywood Boulevard. We had spotted the Hollywood sign breifly on our way to Adrian's place again, but we had plenty of views of it today, and the observatory on the hill. On Hollywood Boulevard we got to see all the stars on the pavement. We didn't stop and get out to look at these as it's not really of much interest to us. I managed to spot a few for people I had heard of though, including Lauren Bacal and Kirk Douglas. We also spotted the interesting looking Capitol Records building, which is actually shaped like a stack of records with a needle on the top.
We took a drive through Beverly Hills to see where the rich and famous live. We saw some massive houses here, although a lot of them are hidden away behind big trees and bushes.
Next we drove down Rodeo Drive where all the expensive shop are located. It's quite a short strip of shops, but you could see all the big named places - D&G, Ralph Lauren, Cartier etc. As well as the pricey shops came the even pricier looking cars parked outside.
We then took a drive down Sunset Boulevard and the Sunset Strip, where we took a drive past some infamous places, including The Viper Rooms (club owned by Johnny Depp), The Whisky A-Go-Go (where The Doors used to play) etc.
Next we took a drive to Venice Beach. Here we parked up and took a walk along the beach. It was an interesting walk, and full of some strange and interesting shops and people. There were lots of places selling 'medicinal marajuana'. It's bizarre that it is legal because it is supposidly medicinal, yet you have people outside the shop and trying to entice you in. Thre are also loads of t-shirt shops, jewellery, painings, tatoos, henna etc. There was even an actual freak show, which did not interest us in the slightest. I hate to think what they might have inside, as outside they tried to intice you in by showing you a two-headed turtle!
We soon came to area called 'muscle beach', which essentially is like a big open gym where various men show off their muscles to the public - a bit weird but I guess you have to see these things.
As you walk down Venice Beach you realise that the shops soon start to repeat themselves, as you see the same stuff for sale. It's not what I would call a nice place as such, but it felt fairly safe and I guess it's just one of those things you have to see while you're here.
Away from the beach we saw the reason for the name 'Venice' as there was a small section of canals surrounding some lovely looking houses - it looked really pretty.
We took a walk back to the car, and Adrian took us on a drive towards downtown LA. Here we got to see some of the skyscrapers and older buildings, some of which look great but needing a bit of love and restoration. We also drove past what was an entire block filled with homeless people - a part of LA that the tourists tend not to see.
We took a drive to China Town and parked up. China Town here isn't huge, it is essentially just a small square. But it is quite pretty, and we decided to stop here and have a snack in a small cafe. Our breakfast this morning had filled us up, so we only needed something small.
After seeing all the major highlights, we started driving back to Adrian's place again. It had been a fantastic day, and a superb tour of LA. There is no way we would have achieved this by ourselves in one day, and we wouldn't have seen all the things we did either.
Back at Adrian's we had a couple of hours to relax before we needed to go out.
Adrian's girlfriend Elizabeth came over around 7pm, and we soon headed out to meet a couple of their friends for dinner. We went to a Oaxacan restaurant. This is a completely new cuisine for us. It is essentially Mexican food, but from a specific region of Mexico. The big thing at this place is a sauce called mole (pronounced mo-lay). It is a sauce which contains chocolate, amongst its many other ingredients, and it comes in many different varieties. Adrian's friend was an expert on this food and just ordered a load of different dishes for us to share. We had a great spread of food, such as cactus salad, goat wraps, chicken in a dark mole, beef in mole and a few others. The food was absolutely delicious. However, I think we may struggle to get mole back in the UK.
After a great meal we headed back to Adrian's place, and then off to bed.