After a wonderful few days of being at one with nature in Yosemite, we set off for La La Land. Arriving just in time for the lunchtime gridlock traffic on Sunset, we finally made it to our next home for a few days. Another Airbnb gem (we nailed the Airbnb’s this trip), just a few streets back from Abbott Kinney boulevard where we spent most of our time.
I first came to Venice ten years ago, and although the beach and boardwalk itself is just as tacky now as it was then, Venice made a huge impression on me, and I was so excited to go back. We had just a few short days in LA, so decided that we would much rather spent most of our time in Venice, knowing it was 100% our kinda place, than do any of the Hollywood touristy stuff. Had we have had more time, I would have loved to check out the Silverlake neighbourhood which from what I’ve read, also sounds like our cuppa tea.
Our home from home had two rusty old bicycles that squeaked at every peddle. As soon as we arrived, we dumped our bags and took the bikes for a spin down to the beach to watch the skaters and body builders.
One of my favourite ways to get acquainted with any city is to seek out the locals favourite hiking routes. We headed to Griffith Observatory and found a 6 mile route that would take us to just below the Hollywood sign. Although Marc wasn’t at all bothered, for it, I thought he should at least see the sign. In truth, we were unprepared for the intense heat and didn’t take enough water with us, but we were glad we did it. It felt great to get the blood pumping, and again, it was a really good people watching spot. Those LA natives are a fit bunch. I felt like a potato, but a motivated potato at least.
Being on a tight budget (California is hella expensive by the way) we decided to save our money and eat breakfast and dinner at our little apartment, and take lunches out with us. We picked up corn tacos, refried black beans, salsa, corn chips, avocados, ‘Crema Mexicana’, loads of fruit and salad, and pretty much lived off that the whole time. We did however treat ourselves to an EggSlut breakfast on our last morning when we were particularly hungover, and it was ridiculously good. Bacon, fried egg and cheese in a toasted brioche bun, with fresh OJ. About as far from plant based as you can get, but it was hella good.
We found the best ice cream outside of Rome at Salt & Straw on Abbot Kinney, and went twice in one day. We also had a slice of pizza and a couple of brownies from Gjelina, which were insanely good.
On our second day, we cycled to the Venice Beach Farmers Market, which was smaller than we had hoped, but an epic people watching spot. It was heaving with the local, young families, wearing really dreamy vintage denim, filling up their basket totes with Kombucha and organic fruit, living the dream.
With our local cherries and almonds, we cycled along the beach path, all the way to Santa Monica. We had a little picnic on the beach and read our books, and did some really impressive pull ups at the beach gym. We spent a few hours wandering around the beautiful shops on Abbott Kinney, which I 100% recommend you carve out time to do. There are lots of really well curated boutiques where you’ll find piles of the best vintage denim, mixed with local designer collections, homewares, crystals, trinkets and handmade jewellery.
House spotting in Venice Canals was pretty fun. It’s the perfect retreat from the boardwalk craziness, and just lush to wander around idly with your headphones on, a California playlist and an icy green juice in hand.
Malibu Farm was high on my list for lunch, but sadly we only managed a quick pit stop on our way to Santa Barbara. The food looked delicious, and the atmosphere was nice and relaxed, so it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re heading that way.