It gets worse before it gets better
05.10.2006 21 °C
So, after a week in the heart of Hollywood, some much needed R&R was called for and we headed for Venice Beach, only to be disappointed again!!
Another place that looks totally different when you see it in the magazines. It's a bit like Blackpool but weirder. And that's all I've got to say about Venice Beach, even the policemen we got chatting to that live there think it's a shit hole. I'll let Laura fill you in.
mmmm, harsh words J9.
I have to admit the real appeal for me, to visit Venice Beach, was the mention of it being home to the infamous 'Muscle Beach' - a kind of outdoor gym where buff men work out - what more reason could a female singleton have to go to a place, I ask ya?
OK so admitedly no one had actually described Muscle Beach like this to me but that was the picture I had in my little dreamy head.
Try aging over tanned leathery looking men in speedos sweating collectively on a Sunday morning...... I know it's not a pretty description but think yourself lucky, you didn't have to see it!
Only a couple of miles up the road and things vastly improve. The beach is nicer and the loons have dispersed somewhat.
Our first stop was the omellette parlour for a massive breakie and then we had a wander around the area. Lots of nice shops and bars and restaurants that we won't be going in. I like it!
Despite it having a lovely beach, and it being deserted and the sun shining, we haven't actually done any sunbathing. We've been far too active and cultured for that!
We've hired bikes and spent 5 hours riding up and down the beach road. We were promised that it went on for 18 miles but it seems that the nice bike hire man was a little confused because it seemed to stop after about 1.8 miles. We tried in vain to ride around and find a new route but the 4 lane highway was a bit off putting and we didn't have our helmets on so we turned back and headed in the other direction! This time we tried to cycle to Malibu but again, the cycle path runs out just before you get there and turns into a SUV clogged super interstate. Oh well, we still managed to spend about 5 hours cycling around and getting sore buttocks.
The bikes were handed back and we went to play on the original Muscle Beach (the one down the road in Venice is the new sight), swinging on the bars and rings, or in Laura's case, watching me acting about 8 years old whilst she struggled to reach the rings. The little legs don't help.
The next day was Getty museum day. Just up the road but obviously it took us 2 buses and about 3 hours to get there. Again the bus driver was lovely and pointed us in almost the right direction when we got off the bus and it only took us 30 mins to find our way to get the tram to take us to the top of the mountain where the museum is. Nothing is easy here without a car...
Nice museum though.
And that's about it for Santa Monica. Our hostel was nice apart from some shitbag who kept stealing our food, not the brocolli or the grenn beans, but the nice big slice of choccie cake and the cookies. The things that you are really looking forward to eat... I did call them a rude word but this is a family blog so I'll leave our reaction to your imgainations!
I also got into a fight with a girl in our dorm, well almost. She kept putting her suitcase and her 2 other bags by my bed and not her own. I moved them and when she came in and moved them back I politely pointed out that it was blocking the way to my bed and the girl above me and was generally causing a mess and that she had ample space by and under her bed.
She in turn pointed out that she wanted her bed area clear....!!
I got a little cross at this and said that this wasn't possible and to please move her stuff. She ignored me and turned her back. So I grabbed her bags and put them by her bed.
She didn't like this and she told me not to touch her stuff. I said I wouldn't have to if it were not in my way and again pointed out that in a hostel room where there are 8 people, you sometimes have to forego the space that you are used to at home and SHARE. I was quite stern but didn't raise my voise too much.
Her response was to storm out!!!! For the rest of our stay we played a fun game of moving her bags back and forth.
I was very impressed with the way J9 handled the witch, she was very adult & calm about the whole thing....
To add a more interesting twist to the tale, I had actually swapped beds with J9, on arrival, giving her the bottom bunk & I was on the other side of the room on the top bunk. Therefore, when a note was placed on her bed for her to come to reception to discuss the situation it read: 'Laura Pagden, please come to reception as soon as possible', so anything J9 did was under my name anyway!
I din't mind though, the guy on reception had a smirk on his face the whole time, I think he found it pretty amusing.
Luckily we checked out the next day and hired our car, hooray!!
Next stop Santa Barbara