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L.A. recap

Posted by on August 2, 2012

The last week flew by at the speed of light! I was trying to enjoy as much of L.A. as possible before hitting the road and once we did, we just happened to stop at locations with very limited phone and internet service.  Here’s a quick recap of Los Angeles, before moving on to the real road trip adventures.


My second day in Los Angeles started with a wake up call by a minor earthquake at 3:18 in the morning. While for native Californians an earthquake with a magnitude of 3.7 may be an event not worth mentioning… For the rest of us… Earthquake is an earthquake. You will hear it, you will feel it, and you WILL remember it! Perhaps it felt more significant because of the epicenter being close by. It sure didn’t help adjusting my inner clock to Pacific time!

In the process of preparing for our road trip, we headed to the Farmer’s Market first thing in the morning…
As the largest grower-only Certified Farmers Market in Southern California, Santa Monica Farmer’s Market is an herbivores paradise.

In addition to all fruits and veggies grown in California, there’s an extensive variety of nuts, seeds and sprouts, most of us would not be able to identify.

Sampling your way through 70 plus farm stands you become an expert on at least one fruit. Oranges! The winner for me was Malibu Gold.
Although there were so many others that could easily share the second place, this gnarly looking orange falls out of its peel and it holds about a gallon juice! Eh, maybe a little less…
We stocked up on all sorts of fresh fruit and picked the theme for our savory car snacks “anything pistachio”. Which really wanted to make me get on the road straight from the market.

After some shopping and “drive by sight seeing’ we ended the day with a heavenly home cooked dinner by our dear friends and played a game of Gin Rummy. A tradition established on my first trip to Santa Monica.
Life couldn’t get any better 🙂

THURSDAY, July 26th.

In an attempt to mix some touristy fun into my trip, my friend an I attended a taping of Jeff Probst talk show that should start airing in September.
“The Party Room” (as they called it) for the audience  was pretty impressive. Music, snacks, hair and make-up stations, photo booth, massage chairs… Not too shabby! If you are planning to attend a taping in Los Angeles, I’d strongly suggest this one… at least don’t expect getting spoiled on that level at any other taping.
The show itself was pretty entertaining as well. Of course after mini makeover and massage one shall not complain…
A little advice… If you are camera shy and the only thought in your head is how to stay invisible and hoping to get a seat somewhere in the back of the studio… This crew can smell the fear!! And they will seat you right in front of the stage! Fortunately, there will always be people who are dying to be on camera, so you won’t be bothered if you show no interest to participate. Although, if you would like to, they will give you plenty of chances!

My other tradition while visiting Los Angeles, is to visit a store called “It’s a Wrap”.
They claim to be the only company on the planet that offers the general public the opportunity to purchase actual wardrobe and props from movie and TV sets.
I choose to believe them.
The code on each price tag lets you know which studio, TV show or movie the items are from, and kind of turns a shopping trip into a treasure hunt.
It’s almost impossible for you to walk out with nothing, but even if you do, you will go back on your next L.A. visit!
So… think twice before you Google it for location 😉

FRIDAY, July 27th.

Out of respect for the Pacific Ocean I decided to spend my last day in Southern California at the beach.
I divided my day between Venice and Santa Monica.
Venice beach boardwalk comes across as a judgement free zone of creative freedom.
Scattered between the regular tourist traps, you will always find some very unusual artwork, crafts and performers.
It is also one of the very few places where doctors are always eager to help you… whether you have insurance or not!

Trust me, you would qualify…

As the boardwalk runs along the beach, you might want to step away from it to check out the Art Walls. The exceptional graffiti is frequently updated by local artists with a valid permit.

Venice Public Art Walls

Just a few blocks from the boardwalk, Venice Canals offers you quite a different view of Venice.
It’s so peaceful, quiet and beautiful, it’s hard to believe you are still in the same town. I suppose that’s what Abbot Kinney would have wanted you to think…


Man-made canals built in 1905…

…by developer Abbot Kinney…

…as part of his Venice of America plan.


I started and ended my day at Santa Monica beach.
The views of Santa Monica mountains, sounds of the waves… The solar powered Ferris Wheel and street artists on the pier.
It’s all just picture perfect!

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