Hey! It's like we're going somewhere besides San Francisco!
We're spending a few days in Los Angeles, but in general we won't have a lot of time. We're going to spend an afternoon/evening at Disneyland (I'll have to do a post about that another time). I want to hit up a few museums and sneak around Beverly Hills...but really, we're not going to have a whole lot of time.
However, I do want to go to the beach. When I was younger, my family and I went on beach vacations every summer (well, almost every summer). We went to Hilton Head Island (wow, no posts about that? It'll be remedied) and spent a week in a rented house right on the beach. Our backyard WAS the beach. There was a short patch of grass but really, the beach was in the backyard. It was amazing. And I haven't been to a REAL beach (a riverbed with some sand in middle Illinois does NOT count, Pete) in three years. Sad.
So, Venice Beach will be happening. We went there when I went to CA with my family in 2004, but it will be more fun with Pete, I think...now I can read all the brochures about legalizing marijuana instead of glancing at them and hurriedly running along and acting as though I don't know what "marijuana" means. Not that I would WANT to read the brochures but it's nice to know that I have that option.
Venice Beach really hit its stride around 1904 when a tobacco millionaire decided to recreate Venice, Italy, in Venice, California. He built realistic-looking canals that had boats (gondolas) going through the waterways. There were Italian restaurants and he recreated Venetian architecture where he could.
As the years went on, it became more of an amusement park - concession stands and circus rides were built. Aerial stuntman were hired. It was fun, for awhile. But then the canals started making the actual land sink. And no one really cared. So by the '50s, people called it the "Slum by the Sea". But the city eventually fixed it up a little, and then the beat poets moved in (yee-yeah!), and then, since they were so awesome, all the hippies and other cool people moved in. And then the rest is history. (Note: that was SO not a complete history lesson but it's to the best of memory.)
Anyway - now there's this long boardwalk with all kinds of restaurants and shops and tattoo parlours that is along the beach. There's lots of graffiti on walls (and it's legal to graffiti there, which I LOVE) and, well...did I mention that Muscle Beach is located on the Venice Beach Boardwalk? Hee hee.
And then, there's the actual beach. This isn't THE place for surfers (they tend to migrate near Malibu and Huntington Beach and other "cool" places), but we will probably see some surfers. Which is awesome.
Regardless. It's a cool area and I'm excited to explore it.
photos: 1, 2, 3