Having canceled our trip to Israel thirty six hours before it was to take place, Stan and I were left with mixed feelings and a non-refundable ticket to LA. In the spirit of making good on our New Year's resolution to be more spontaneous we decided to book a hotel in Venice Beach and make the best of it. After a terrible flight at the crack of dawn on Thursday morning (1/8/9) in a teeny tiny plane we got a rental car (Stan found a local place that rents good 'ole Japanese cars instead of weird Chevy's) and headed to the Getty Museum. Awesome architecture, rather boring art. Afterwards we went to check into our hotel on Venice Beach...I guess I must have seemed nervous checking in to this rather bohemian establishment (“bohemian”- code for smells like pot and is surrounded by homeless people aka "artisans" ) as the front desk clerk felt the need to tell me that the memorial/vigil outside the hotel (which I hadn't even noticed at that point) was for a man who owned a local restaurant and had recently passed away from a heart attack, “he wasn't shot or anything” she reassured me (indicating that perhaps this was an equally likely explanation)...yes very comforting, I feel all better now! Wandering down the beach we found a cute place to eat, FigTree Cafe and enjoyed the best ahi tuna sandwich, sadly sans fries (not even on the menu, are you kidding me?) After lunch we headed to happy hour at another local establishment on the beach where I enjoyed a screwdriver made with potato vodka...result- inconclusive. When dinner rolled around Viv took us to a fabulous Thai place that had a lounge singer (who was awesome!!!) and as I was still feeling sick from my stupid cold we had to call it a night. I was however happy to learn that the famous flip line in Clueless “what's the point [of practicing parallel parking] everywhere you go has valet” is delightfully true, for only $4 you can hand your rental car keys to a complete stranger and pray you don't end up on Punk'd. All in all a funtastical first day.
Friday we went to FigTree Cafe again for breakfast and made it there in time for the 50% off early bird breakfast special, which apparently every place in Venice Beach does. Then headed to the LACMA where we spent the entire day!!! Must do exhibits include the Vanity Fair Portraits and the entire contemporary art collection (despite my lack of appreciation for Homage to a Square) Dinner was at a mediocre French cafe – Lily's and post dinner entertainment included waiting for an hour or so for netflix to allow us the privilege of instant movie watching, all made worthwhile by the successful showing of the classic Coppola dramedy – Peggy Sue Got Married.
Saturday we checked out our friends Viv and George's apartment in Long Beach (right by the beach lucky duckys! though also near a sex offender rehab facility...hmm maybe not so lucky) We all had lunch at “At Last” Cafe, super cute, good food and not overpriced. Wandered the marina and squeezed in some lingerie shopping and a much anticipated trip to pinkberry, my first time- pomegranate with capn'crunch, yum o! Don't think I'll be holding my breath for them to open their shop in Reno, NV though. Then onto the Pacific Resident Theatre to see “Fata Morgana”...all in all a good show despite the fact that one of the male leads seemed to be forgetting his lines and “improvising” (badly) for a large chunk of the show. I consoled myself with the thought that one of these people could get discovered one day and I can say I saw them back when. Post-show we drove for hours (possibly exaggerating for dramatic effect) for izakaya-style dining at midnite to enjoy gizzards, hearts, chicken skin and tongue, dee-licous. Sadly we were too tired to karaoke and took our lame butts home to sleep off the last full day of LA adventure.
Sunday, we woke up late (that's past 10am for you non-believers) and headed over to (what was by then) “our” place the FigTree Cafe for breakfast. Convinced Stan to try the “soufflé-d pancake” results-mixed and took a long stroll on the beach in eighty degree weather...mmm California I shall miss you.