There’s a certain charm to walking down palm-tree lined streets with gentle sun rays dancing upon your skin. It was supposed to be midwinter, and while some parts of the United States were hitting subzero temperatures, I was soaking up the rays in the perpetually sunny Los Angeles. With only 48 hours in the City of Angels, I made haste for a dose of Californication.
First stop was the ‘Urban Lights’ art installation at LACMA. Strolling down Wilshire Boulevard, the pungent smell of freshly laid asphalt hit my nose, so I knew I was close. LACMA sits next to the famous Los Angeles Tar Pits. After patiently waiting, I found a brief moment to get a photo of the famous lights without capturing the hordes of people also trying to take a photo between.
Next stop; fulfilling my childhood dream with a day spent at Anaheim’s Disneyland Park. It was surreal. Everything you hear about waiting in lines for hours is true, but that didn’t take away from the fact that I was at Disneyland dammit! The magic of seeing the dazzling Sleeping Beauty castle in person was enough to leave me buzzing.
Where better to brunch then at the iconic Beverly Hills hotel? Really, a whole blog post could be devoted to this hotel. The Beverly Hills Hotel heralds the golden age of Hollywood – The Rat Pack, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor all regular guests. Driving up the impeccably manicured palm-tree lined streets of Sunset Boulevard is part of the experience, and then the red carpeted entryway welcomes. Oh the décor! Tropical resort styling with classic Hollywood touches, think art deco, retro pinks and greens. Brunch in the Polo Lounge did not come cheap, but the experience was well worth the greenback spent.
From the Beverly Hills Hotel we took a short stroll to Rodeo Drive. Window shopping was the order of the day, dreaming up when my ‘Pretty Woman’ moment might come so I can shop down the strip of luxury without credit card guilt.
Last stop in LA was the cultural melting pot where eccentricity is embraced, Venice Beach. You can’t get better people watching than this. A crowded beach where marijuana medical clinics scream loudly with brightly coloured signage, street hawkers spruik their reggae cd’s to every passer-by, beautiful people flex and tone on muscle beach, fearless skaters shred, street art, piercings and tats are aplenty. There’s a definite circus atmosphere.
So we ended our trip in Los Angeles with a lazy stroll across the never ending sweeping sands of the frenzied Venice Beach to the picturesque carnival vibe of Santa Monica pier.