Day 2: Beverly Hills & Santa Monica

Santa Monica Pier

Today we took one of the “hop-on, hop-off” bus tours from Hollywood Boulevard via Beverly Hills to Santa Monica beach. We didn’t spend much time in Beverly Hills -  it’s mainly geared up for (very expensive) shopping or celeb spotting and neither really interest us. The celebrity/tourist thing is a bit crazy: on part of the tour today, they actually said “to your left is a major tourist attraction, it’s  where OJ brutally murdered his ex and her lover in a gruesome cold-blooded attack”. Really? That’s a tourist attraction? We also saw lots of places that have featured in lots of films, as well as the Viper Room (to be fair, the only reason I’ve heard of this place is because of River Phoenix), and the blues club House of Blues owned by James Belushi.

We enjoyed the coast much more though. Santa Monica  pier and beach are nice. We then walked along the coast past Muscle Beach to Venice Beach. It’s a huge beach, and surprisingly quiet. We saw the Pacific Ocean properly for the first time and went for a paddle.

Santa Monica beach Paddling  in the Pacific

A couple of things were confirmed today:

  1. Hollywood is a bit of a dump.
  2. Food portions are HUGE and everything comes with cheese. We ordered a sausage sandwich and a bacon wrap for breakfast at 10am and didn’t feel like eating again until 8pm. In future we will only order 1 meal to share between the two of us.
  3. Americans don’t actually say “have a nice day!”. I’ve been here 2 full days and haven’t heard this phrase once. Despite this, I’ve still had 2 enjoyable days.

Tomorrow we plan to go to downtown LA to take a look at the markets and Grand Union station. Our flight to Auckland doesn’t leave until around midnight so we’ve got another full day in LA. Looking forward to New Zealand though because that’s where the holiday properly starts.

Oh, and I had my photo taken next to Jimi Hendrix’s star on the Walk Of Fame…

Hendrix's star

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