Where we stayed: Doubletree Suites in Santa Monica – a hotwire deal, but we had to pay for parking. Gym was good, free wifi, most hotel rooms here are suites, but we had a nonsuite version that was fine – central to the Santa Monica scene, and easy to get to the touristy sites in Hollywood. 5 – 10 mins walk to the beach.
Tips: 1. LA traffic is truly bananas. Be prepared to take awhile when you’re on the big freeways, no matter what time of day. 2. This was our first trip to LA so we hit some of the touristy areas but we did them on the cheap and on our own. If tours are your thing, the sky’s the limit here, but that’s not really the 2d’s schtick.
December 3, 2010: West coast diaries #6
Greetings this time from Santa Monica! As per usual, I have some pictures for you.
The first two pictures are from Pismo Beach – this is where we stayed one night with a lovely oceanview room. The first picture is from our balcony there. We ran along the beach in the morning there – so nice. d2 was particularly impressed by the giant chessboard at the hotel and insisted on a picture with it, so here you are.
We left Pismo Beach and made our way down to Santa Monica. We stopped along the way for fish and chips at Neptune’s Net in Malibu. We saw an episode of The Hills where they ate here, so we figured we had to give it a try – not the best, but not the worst either. And since it’s just off the Pacific Coast Highway, with a view of the ocean, you really can’t go wrong. From here, we made our way to our hotel in Santa Monica, and checked out the downtown core in the evening. It’s a bit like Miami Beach – it has a main shopping area, and one street is for pedestrians only. We had a ridiculously tasty red velvet cupcake here, and the fellow working there actually gave us two for the price of one. Double the yum.
Today we spent the day in LA – we hit up a few must see spots like the walk of fame and Rodeo Drive, and we also did a lot of browsing in stores, too. We started out with a run from our hotel to Venice Beach – what a strange place! The beach is lovely, and there’s this really strange mix of lots of seedy and homeless people, along with beautiful homes that line the boardwalk, accompanied by greasy spoon restaurants and souvenir shops. We also ran by Angelica Houston walking her dog there – that was our sighting for the day. Then we drove downtown LA and checked out the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall. Downtown LA is really small in comparison to how sprawling and huge the rest of the city is. From there we went to Hollywood- the walk of fame and the Chinese theatre. We took a good pic of the Herb Alpert star (!) and me with Snoop Dogg. We also drove down Rodeo Drive in our G6, which was by far, the cheapest car on the road there!! Back to our hotel after all of that and just got back from a Mexican dinner a little while ago. Now getting ready for some things tomorrow. Only a few more days here :o(
Hope you are all having a good week.
lots of love,
dpr and d2