Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Grandmas Visit The City of Angels: Day 1 - Bohemia By The Bay

The Grandmas started really early on Thursday morning in order to make our morning flight. I left my house around 5:20 AM in order to pick up Stacy by 6. We knew that if we left much later we would find ourselves in gridlock traffic on 290. Thankfully, we missed it and arrived at the airport early enough to grab some breakfast and coffee before the flight. Robin was not far behind us.

After a three hour flight, we arrived in bright and sunny Los Angeles. Our driver met us as we departed our gate and ushered us through baggage claim.

He was kind enough to take a picture of the three of us as we started our Grandmas Gone Wild 3 weekend.

Chilled champagne was waiting in the car. We toasted our friendship and the weekend that lay before us.

It didn't take long for us to arrive at our hotel in Santa Monica. We checked in, but our room was not ready. We had a few hours to kill, so we headed out to the boardwalk and walked south toward Venice Beach.

What can one say about Venice Beach? It was such an eclectic mix of people and ideas and things. Body builders and street people and artists and musicians and a man walking on glass. A souvenir shop beside a medicinal marijuana store beside a surf shop beside a restaurant beside a smoke shop. People roller blading (even some over the age of 60) and playing basketball and hawking their wares and offering you that prescription for your 'headaches'.

The only word I can think of right now is bizarre! It had the feel of being in another world. Some of the strangest things were laid out as art and yet, mixed into the weird, were a few artists that had captured the beauty of the area.

We walked for blocks and blocks, picking up a few souvenirs along the way. And then, Stacy and I met Salty Salt.
Salty Salt is an artist who was trying to get his cd's out to the public. He wasn't the only musician out selling his wares, but he was the most personable without being pushy. He had us cracking up as he sang to Robin trying to get her to join us for a listen.

After our three hour jaunt along the coast, we headed back to our hotel to unpack and clean up. (You really feel the need for a shower after a few hours in Venice!)

We had a room with a balcony, and here was our view.
The Santa Monica pier is in the background. Among the trees is the Original Muscle Beach. There is still exercise equipment all around that gets used regularly. You can sit at most any time of the day and watch as people do all kinds of gymnastics routines on the bars and rings. There are people on bicycles and roller blades and joggers constantly zipping back and forth along the boardwalk.

Here I am standing on our balcony. It got pretty cool out if you weren't walking.

We hadn't stopped for lunch, so we decided to order up some chips and guacamole for a snack before getting ready for the evening. We sat out on the balcony and enjoyed the sound of the waves as we snacked. But, like eating outside on the Gulf, you have to watch out for the ever present sea gulls.

These two guys sat on the ledge of the roof above us until we had finished. They quickly moved in to see if we had any left overs for them.

It was time to unpack, get situated and start getting ready for dinner. We made it through the unpacking and getting situated, but we never made it out to dinner. No one wanted to say it, but it had been a very long day for all of us. We were going on a seventeen hour day. We ended up changing into pajamas and ordering up room service which we ate while watching a movie.

Not our most exciting start to a Grandmas trip...but definitely what I needed after all the hustle and bustle of getting ready to go!


klham said...

isnt that the best way to spend a vacation... not having to always go, go, go!

Anonymous said...

The Grandma's Gone Wild bunch has definitely given me great ideas if I ever do travel.

ALWAYS, have a limo pick you up and take you to the hotel.

ALWAYS have a buddy that can carry you back to the hotel, uphill both ways if necessary, when you've had a little too much to drink.

Don't go to all the touristy places. Find some locals and ask them the best places to go and see.

Can't wait for day 2.


Brenda said...

Right Kelli rest and relax...yep love your trips.

Grandma's GW travel in class (Classy GMa's). Glad had you an interesting day at Venice Beach.

I was going to ask you if you went to Sandy or Muscle Beach Monday on the blog.
Will be looking for more updates.