I heart Cali

Getting there: Air Canada on points. Hotwire to rent a car – this rental was a disaster….we arrived on US Thanksgiving and waited and waited and waited…and finally got the car we prepaid.

Where the 2d’s stayed: Rented the upper floor of a house on Abbott Kinney Blvd. in Venice Beach. Each time we go back to LA we use the rental sites online to find a new quirky spot in Venice Beach somewhere. This time it was a little studio apartment that was the upper level of a house. Our usual criteria are: wifi, parking, bikes, full kitchen, and this one also had a hottub, bbq, and firepit. It also had a super fun bunkbed that was probably more for kids, but the 2d’s aren’t big, so the bunkbed it was at night!

Fun: We only booked this trip about a month before we went on US Thanksgiving. Since I went out on my own for work this year, I wasn’t sure of what my $$ sitch would be, but since things are going pretty well, we decided to go on a little Black Friday getaway. We went to NYC not that long ago, while I’ve been itching to go to LA for awhile, so the west coast won out.

If you haven’t guessed from reading our adventures already, this trip was much like the others: food, exercise, shopping, a sport event, and repeat. Why change something that works? By the time we got our Fiat 4-door cruiser from the rental, off we went to grab some groceries and drop our stuff off at our rental place. We found out that the outlet mall about an hour up the coast from LA actually opened up at 6 pm on Thanksgiving day, so after some food, we headed up the Pacific Coast Highway, and first stopped just north of Malibu for a catnap in the sun. After some zzzzz’s on the sunny beach and some dolphin-watching (seriously – could it get much better?!), we continued along the highway to find a total stoppage of traffic, so we circled back and through the canyons/mountains to get to our destination. It was one of those crazy, windy narrow roads that kept going up, up, and up, and then finally down! I took things easy on my wallet that night at the mall.

The next day we were ready for some more shopping in Santa Monica in the beautifully sunny weather. We rode the bikes the 15 minutes or so to Santa Monica, tootled all around, munched on one of the best burgers I’ve ever had at a place called Umami Burger, shopped a bit more, and walked down Abbott Kinney Blvd (a main shopping/eating strip in Venice) that night.  Saturday we got on the boardwalk in Venice Beach and rode north for about 45-50 minutes to a lovely spot on the beach. We had spent an afternoon in the same spot a couple of years ago, and it was just as blissful and quiet as the first time we were there. We had the beach to ourselves again in the sun. That evening we visited Randy’s Donuts by LAX – this place has my favourite long john – which reminds me of when my mom used to take me to a place called Grandin Bakery as a kid and would get me a long john with chocolate glaze. Sunday we hung out in LA – shopping in Beverly Hills, and making our way through Koreatown (it is giant!) to a little dumpling restaurant that we saw Anthony Bourdain visit on tv. Just look at the picture – all I have to say is: YUM. From there we were on our way to watch the Raptors play the Lakers. They didn’t win, but the game went to OT, and it was pretty good.

Yesterday was our last day – we went for a run through the canals of Venice (I didn’t bring my camera, but basically it is set up like the canals in Venice, Italy, with all kinds of cools little houses lining it) and to the beach again. The rest of the day we spent at the beach even though it was pretty foggy and blah, we visited our favourite little cafeteria called Lemonade for the second time (one of the best RV’s ever), we visited our favourite rib place called Baby Blues BBQ (mmmmm!) and we also drove to Manhattan Beach and walked along the boardwalk before we went to the airport. We took the redeye home (we can’t remember whose brilliant idea that was), and it’s 7.30 pm at night and I’m actually still kind of functioning, so I’m impressed. It was another wonderful trip to California…I haven’t even been home for a day, and I think I’m already ready to go back….



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