My L.A. Story beings at 6:30am on a Saturday morning when Steve, Angie and I were off early, to beat the notorious L.A. traffic, for wine-tasting in Santa Barbara (home of that infamous soap opera). Beautiful hills, miles of vineyards and after 9 tastings at the first vineyard of four… there was not much to report after that 🙂 It was then down to Zuma beach in Malibu, not named after our own South African president Jacob Zuma (or JZ), where I got ridiculously excited with the scattering of Baywatch lifeguard towers and tried running across the beach in slow motion.
The next day was spent indulging in a typical L.A. experience… cycling around Santa Monica piers, the farmer’s market and Venice beach. Steve and Angie are the typical L.A. health nuts, their regular routine includes triathlons in the mornings with ocean swims, I just tried to keep up on our bike ride. The day ended up at UCLA, with its’ sorority houses and their “phi kappa gamma phi phi” signs on the outside… just like in the movies, for a Jack Johnson concert. Very cool and what a great performer.
On the third day, the plot took a ominous twist when Steve tried to teach me how to surf at the Manhattan Beach pier. After a couple of minutes of falling off my board, swallowing buckets of sea water and being hit on the head by my 8-foot board, I was done. I’m convinced that Steve was the villain of the story and had planned my untimely death. But, it did not put me off surfing entirely and I have subsequently conquered that challenge.
The final L.A. day was spent indulging in my secret guilty pleasure of “Hollywood” and celebrities. I saw all the famous sights in Hollywood: the sign, the Hollywood bowl, the walk of fame, the Kodak theatre, the Chinese theatre, the Roosevelt hotel, the Viper room, Rodeo Drive, the La Brea tar pits and even the stars homes in Beverly Hills and the Hollywood Heights such as Jennifer Aniston, Tom Cruise, Brangelina, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. The interesting thing about the Hollywood stars on Hollywood Boulevard/Vine is that they basically can be bought by anyone relatively famous in film, tv, music, radio and live performance for $25,000. The hand/foot prints outside the Chinese theatre are a bit harder to come by… I was super excited when my hands fit exactly into the mould of Marilyn’s hands (another great blond bombshell :-))