On our drive down the coast to Disneyland, we passed through Santa Barbara (wow – a really relaxed beach town with great shops – we couldn’t afford to stop!), and through Beverley Hills in LA (okay, it was a bit of a detour, but we hadn’t seen it before, and the girls were asleep). We did the full set – Hollywood Avenue, Wilshire Boulevard, and Rodeo Drive. Rodeo Drive is being worked on at the moment, so there’s no pavement and huge piles of mud outside all of the fancy shops – Chanel & Mud, Armani & Mud etc. We decided that was reason enough not to shop there – besides Louis Vuitton is soooo much cheaper in Kho San Road in Bangkok!
We got to Venice Beach in the middle of the afternoon, and wandered along to see Muscle Beach, and various ‘actors’ performing. Perhaps the greatest stand was for one of the Governornatorial candidates (the election in California is next month, and 135 candidates are standing, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Larry Flint, of Hustler fame, oh and some politicians), who is a porn star in her day job. Her give-away posters were incredibly popular! I thought the photo captured the mood – wedding photo’s on the Baywatch set.
After 14 hours in the car, out of 24, the girls enjoyed running around the beach, and getting themselves wet and sandy. Although the promenade was tacky (think about the worst of any English seaside resort and quadruple it), and crowded, the beach was nice, with a huge stretch of sand. It wasn’t crowded either, because the weather had been so cold in the morning.
The girls also managed to do some shopping at the beach too, claiming that they “absolutely must” have sunglasses for Fiji. As they were only $4 each (they’ll last a long time then…), we let them choose their own. As you can see, they’d obviously got into LA mode immediately, and each choose a pair of hip-chick ones. We’re quite used to people looking at the girls as we walk along, but once they’d put these on, and wandered down the promenade, it seemed like everybody was looking at them. Of course, they pretended not to notice, but they both managed a little more swagger in their step! What kind of children are we raising?!
Anyway, after leaving the beach at 5pm, we finally arrived at our motel next to Disneyland at 7pm. We’d booked it by phone a few days ago, and it turned out to be great – right next to the entrance to the park (closer than the Disney hotels by half a mile!) and at $49 a night, it’s a bargain. We decided that after the long drive we needed a treat, so we went for a slap-up meal in a ‘proper’ restaurant – just a main course, which left us all bursting at the seams (John Coxeter – if you’re reading this, it was on you – thank you!). And then to bed, to start recharging the batteries ready for FIVE WHOLE DAYS AT DISNEYLAND (scream, or smile, depending on what you think of that!).