This Ain’t No disco It Ain’t No Country Club Either This Is LA!


After the hectic day yesterday and a lot of time spent on a bus we decided to explore more locally and at a slower pace today. This meant lots of mini adventures and I think this has been my favourite day in LA, with the biking adventure a very close second. Hollywood was a more of a must see sort of thing and not as enjoyable really. With that in mind I started the day with a ‘muscle head’ smoothie from Jenny’s Cafe and Luke and I shared a delicious hempseed flat pancake biscuity thing.

photoWe had been intrigued by these since we saw the man drop them off the other day and they were definitely worth getting. So, after retrieving some chairs from inside the cafe, we sat having our breakfast looking over Venice Beach. It is usualy chiily and cloudy in the mornings here so I was able to enjoy wrapping myself up in a cardigan and people watching.

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Then, after nearly ending up in the mens toilets at one of the restroom stops located on the beach , we set off on an adventure that would end at Santa Monica Pier.

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Along the way I was heartened to see many other ladies actually go into the mens toilets as it made me feel less dumb! We also saw lots of roller blades, striders, bikes, runners and school trips (please see my previous blog for the sights along the way). The latter would be my worst nightmare, which I think is justified as all you could hear was teachers cries ringing out for the children to stay away from the water. Definitely not the easiest instructions for children to follow whilst on a beach, near the sea! However, I did not stay away from the water and we had a bit of a paddle. This was slightly unintentional though as the waves were a lot bigger than we realised but the water was icily refreshing.

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It certainly woke me up but I concerned Luke at bit when I referred to it as the Atlantic. Geography is not my strong point and all oceans look the same to me. I think I may be getting a geography text-book for christmas this year.

I was then drawn like a moth to a flame towards the swings that are dotted around the beach. After having to jump into the seat and being given a push I was away and thoroughly enjoying myself.

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I then got to go on a big bar, once Luke had given me a hand.

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We even attempted climbing a rope. I failed at rope climbing and just about managed the childs version after lowering my standards.

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We then monkeyed around a bit on the monkey bars before reluctantly continuing on a journey to Santa Monica Pier. I almost didn’t make it onto the pier after nearly being eaten by a dragon but I was able to escape the jaws of a dragon.

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Yet I was not able to escape the ferris wheel. Now, heights are not a favourite with me when I am on something that I perceive as unstable. I point-blank refused to go on the rollercoaster. However, we almost went on there inadvertently when we went down the wrong queue. Luckily for Luke, as it would have been entirely his fault of course, we were re-directed to the ferris wheel.

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I was actually enjoyed the ferris wheel, except when Luke pointed out it was attached by two bolts and it was moving a lot. He very nearly ended up over the side of it but after he piped down  we got to enjoy the views together and it was really rather beautiful. It got a bit mushy at that point as I felt like we were in an old-fashioned American movie where they go on dates to the fun fair. Especially when Luke tried to win me a teddy by throwing rings on bottle necks.

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Unfortunately we left without a teddy but we did get to pretend to be Forest Gumpwith his box of chocolates.

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We returned to Venice and had a quick change in our hotel room. I couldn’t do anything with my hair as it was stuck in one position due to the sea breeze so  I had to do an emergency reconstruction with my sunglasses. We then took a stroll towards Abbot Kinneyand joined the queue outside of Gjelinas. This restaurant was absolutely superb from its friendly staff, rustic interior to its fabulous food.

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We were ushered onto a long wooden table and were sat in high , rotating old-fashioned school chairs. I then got to gleefully choose what food to have and the food more than made up for my bad choice with the Tuna last night. We shared tomatoey, herby meatballs

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Then I had a chickpeas stew

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and Luke had a magnificently created woodland mushroom and turkey sausage pizza.

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In between these course we got to people watch and this involved watching , somewhat bemused, as guests were offered lint rollers before they left. The food is so good here that in an attempt to eat every last mouthful it appears that all the customers leave with a few extra crumbs. Also, from the people within the restaurant it is clear that it is where all the trendy people come to eat so you may wonder how we ended up there! We were recommended it from the man who owned the bike hire company and I am so thankful we did. Especially when my dessert came. Now, I never usually have dessert but I thought why not, life is too short and the waiter managed to persuade me to choose his favourite. A butterscotch mousse with salted caramel and creme fraiche topping.

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Yes it was as every bit if not more, as good as it sounds. As was Luke’s strawberry and rhubarb pudding served in a wrought iron dish.

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I think the presentation certainly adds to the experience of a restaurant and Gjelina is not lacking in this. My dessert was a little morsel of paradise and a little bit like a grown up, indulgent version of Angel delight.

We were getting ready to go when I was randomly told I had beautiful eyes by a lady who had just walked in a very low top. Luckily this was time when my brain was prepared and my mouth didn’t automatically respond as I don’t think the correct response would have been ‘ You have a beautiful decolletage’ . Thankfully I stuck with a more socially acceptable ‘why, thank you’ response and with that we then had to amble very slowly back to the hotel, which is always a good sign of great food I think.

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