Mel from Tea&Cake PR, Meena from Quiksilver, bloggers Cozette, Laeticia and myself
Okay, okay, we’ve tried to hide it up until now, but we have to get it off our chests, even top flight fashionistas and pseudo surf chicks have to forget how cool they think they are sometimes and go sight-seeing. Phew! Feels so much better out than in! First up was an arduous uphill climb, okay, okay – DRIVE up the canyons and windy roads of the Hollywood hills to pay a visit to the infamous Hollywood sign.
A friend of blogger Laetitia of Madamoiselle Robot and LA local, Mike, filled us in on its history in the car. Originally constructed as an advert by a real estate company who were selling spots in the housing development Hollywood Land, it seemed to capture people’s imagination, and give the area a bit of a landmark. At one point it fell into disrepair and apparently became a popular spot for suicide attempts, as disillusioned actresses plummeted to their deaths from the top of the 13th letter. For this reason, when they refurbished it, they took down the ‘Land’ part permanently and the rest, as they say is history. We were quite close to the sign when the pic was taken, but apparently if you go too close up sirens start ringing, a big searchlight swoops down and ferocious dogs are unleashed to protect the holy relict from potential vandals. Blimey!
Oh look it's Piglet and Winnie the Pooh! Oh, no, it's just me and Cozette McCreery having a walk
Another well known sight we tried on for size was the walk of fame and the Chinese Theatre. Although popular with tourists this area is pretty run down and mucky, so it’s best to get your pics done and then get out of there to go and find a lovely cocktail bar . . .mmm?
By far one of my favourite areas had to be Venice Beach – which was where our hotel was located, and therefore the site of many a morning stroll to say hello to the sea, or “the ocean” as the Americans would have us say. Now, if you like hippies, you are not offended by the sight (and smell) of spliffs and you prefer colourful and scruffy to scrubbed clean modernism, then Venice beach is the place for you.
There are shops – as well as smoking paraphernalia, they sell all manner of printed and tie-dyed t-shirts, as well as many many stalls of ethnic trinkets, including hand-painted (wooden) skulls and similar wonderments. I briefly toyed with the idea of buying a skull as a prezzie for my boyfriend, and mentioned this to him in a message. When I got back to Blighty without said item on my person he enquired as to why, and I had to admit that the thought of having to look at it every day in our flat was a bit too much. Sorry!
Getting ready in the hotel for a night out. Top - Quiksilver Women, leggings, Beyond The Valley, sandal boots ASOS
All in all I would definitely recommend LA for a relaxing break. I already knew that the weather and the food would be gorgeous (and very abundant) but I didn’t realise a) – how colourful it would be, or b) how peaceful and calm. Although it’s a great big city with one of the most high pressured industries in the States, from a tourist’s point of view it is incredibly tranquil. It’s quiet, everyone glides everywhere in enormous trucks and no-one seems to be in a rush. Quite a panacea coming from London where you often feel that the very air we all breathe is infused with stress and grumpiness. I would be happy to go back at any time!
AND ONE MORE THING! My holiday Poncho Gallery!