Ah, Venice Beach. So much to live up to, what with 'Muscle Beach' and 9,000 portrayals in movies... I must say, it was okay. Most definitely just for tourists- unless you want a medical Marijuana card, then you're in luck, because there is a place to procure one about every 2 feet, haha. I was expecting a very wide, huge street of performers, etc. It in actually, is a pretty thin street, lined with tourist t-shirt shops. There were performers here or there, but overall, not at all what I was expecting. Glad I got to see it in person though!
Ahh-nold was there too. To welcome us.
I snapped this alien pic for Jimmy- we had been, ahem, making our way through 'Roswell'.
-Don't judge us. You will make your way there in your desperate search for new shows to watch on Netflix one day. :)-
We ate lunch in Venice at 'Cafe Gratitude' (Raw Vegan), and dear god, was it AWESOME! I've been reading about that restaurant for years, and it was totally worth the wait. I had a Ceaser Salad, and a Mint Chocolate Chip (cacao) shake... It was the best Salad and Shake I've ever had, hands down. I will be dreaming of that meal for years to come.
After Venice Beach, we headed over to Santa Monica- which was GORGEOUS. It was so pretty, and even the air had a different feel from Venice Beach. Yeah, there wasn't much to see or do (unless your into eating fish and riding the ferris wheel), but even just being on the pier and looking at the ocean/mountains/beach was such a fun experience!
Oh yeah, and did you know that the Ferris Wheel is one of the only solar-powered ones in existence? Pretty cool, eh?
My Mom and I on the pier- check out that awesome sailboat! Perfect timing :).
Oh yes- dinner outfit shots!
1950's Cashmere Sweater w/ bow at neck - Yard Sale, $2
High waisted Polka Skirt - Yard Sale, $1
1980's Bright Blue Spike Heels - Casablanca (Cincy), $6
Love this outfit! Looked a million times better in person. The tight "sweater" skirt is actually pretty flattering, who woulda thought?
We went to a place called 'Genos'. It had just the vibe we were looking for- dim lighting, and good wine. The food was pretty good (they had a vegan brownie, yum!), but the ambience was what I remember most.
The next day was our Vintage Store extravaganza! We went to tons. And, I can happily say, that they don't rival our Cincinnati & NKY stores in terms of merchandise at all. It was all pretty run of the mill. Except, of course, the gorgeous designer/couture stores that we entered. Yeah, it was cool to see the stuff, but really, it just makes you want things you can never, ever have, so we quickly left. There were some really reasonably priced stores such as 'American Rag', and then there were a few that I expected... You know the places, $200 for a 1970's tank top you could find in Goodwill any day of the week, lol.
The best, best place we went unexpectedly, was a Flea Market on Santa Monica Blvd! Oh man, it rocked so hard!!! Vintage everything as far as the eye could see. I was mostly looking for jewelry, and jewelry did we find! I found an amazing silver and turquoise bracelet that I never want to take off pretty much immediately (as did my Mom). It was def a highlight of the trip :).
We ate at 'M Cafe' for lunch (mostly vegan), which was yummy. And then we were off to 'EVO Kitchen' for dinner, we we ate DELICIOUS pizzas and drank more wine :).
This is what I wore:
Flower adorned Bun
1970's Amber drop Earrings - Remade by me, Thrifted originals, $.50
1970's Super thin, super hippie Maxi - American Rag, $18
1970's Wedges - Vtg. Store, $8
Ok so, when they say you need a car in LA, they ARE NOT lying. Since, the taxi's are $4.50 a mile (good lord), we had to take up using the bus system. I've never learned a bus system before, so it was a pretty interesting experience! LOTS O' PLANNING.
Oh yeah, we found a favorite Breakfast spot almost instantly, called 'Swingers Cafe'. We ended up eating there 3 times, haha. It was great! I was able to eat the Banana Pancakes, and got this Quinoa/Spinach/Black Bean Burrito with a Red/Hot sauce on top twice.. Yum.. I can still taste it now!
On our last day, we went over the 'Silverlake', which is the "in" neighborhood right now. There were a couple vintage stores, but nothing too exciting. BUT, for dinner we went to a place called 'Mohawk Bend' which was perfect for a last meal. It's in an old Movie Theater, and we were sat in this really cool indoor/but outdoor looking section with super high ceilings and a fireplace. The ambience was perfect! We drank some awesome craft beers, including my current favorite, the "Enjoy by 9.21.12" (which I'm going to search out tomorrow when we are in Chicago). The food rocked. For an app, my Mom ordered this Watermelon, cucumber, jicama, cherry tomato, radish, pickled fennel, & shiso plate, and I got the "Bangers & Mash" for the first time ever (Lentil Sausage, Mashed Potatoes, Cabbage, Kraut and Mustard Sauce). Mohawk Bend & Cafe Gratitude were my two favorite meals for sure! Although, man, all the food was delicious.
Our view from the Rooftop of our Hotel.
It was a great trip! I'm glad I got to see "LA", but next time I think I'll go for a more green area, like San Diego or San Francisco :).