So as a way of updating my current blog and website, I'm looking to slowly move my blog posts from old sites onto this one here! I'm kicking it off with my USA tour from 2014, joined by my mates as we drove from Los Angeles on the West Coast to New York City on the East. You'll have to forgive some of the photography and writing, but this is pretty much as "throwback" as it gets....
5 days into our America tour, and Los Angeles is amazing so far. What is shocking is just how big this city is, with districts which are essentially small cities in themselves.
We spent the first couple of days at Santa Monica, by the iconic beaches and pier, both of which you’ll recognise from movies, which for me was Iron Man. The beaches are absolutely huge, taking 5 mins just to walk from the sand to the actual sea, and the promenades are full of cool shops and cafes – including doctors advertising marijuana examinations.
We walked down to Venice Beach, with the iconic muscle beach and gym nearby (which I recognised from Don’t Tell the Bride).
Our first experience of the LA public transport was the bus to the Getty Centre, involving high speeds, lots of corners and rough roads. The Getty is a large museum and gallery, providing free entry to everyone to see a ridiculous amount of art and sculpture. To be honest though, there’s only a certain amount of museum and exhibitions I can tolerate, so we didn’t spend too long there. Just a shame their gardens were supposed to be alcohol free.
And of course, no trip to Los Angeles and Hollywood would be complete without a trip to Universal Studios – which was just an insane day with rides and general amazement at the studio and movies they’ve done, including a full size plane crash used in War of the Worlds, the Grinch set, one of the cars from the Fast and Furious movies sitting casually in a parking lot and the set of Back to the Future.
We’ve moved to a central location in Hollywood because of the distance, checking out the Walk of Fame (completely underwhelming) and Rodeo Drive, which had ridiculous sports cars parked along it, including a Bugatti Veyron.
Martin, a good friend of mine from university also happens to live in the area, generously taking time out to show us some places and introduce us to the classic Los Angeles obsession: kale – at some hipster place in Venice that was vegan only. Considering our diets in the US so far, this was a much needed vegetable boost, with practically no shops nearby selling raw fruit or vegetables.
Regardless of where we go though, the people are super friendly, striking up conversations at any place or time, something which has caught us Brits by surprise.
So far, as a city, LA is proving to be a wholly unique city, and one we’re all loving. Moving from Santa Monica to Hollywood is a completely different experience in terms of the vibe and people, and has given us a good chance to get a feel for the city.
Next up: LA brunch and Route 66!