Arriving in LA LA Land
Los Angeles Travel Blog› entry 1 of 4 › view all entries
After a major delay in Gatwick airport which I won't bore you with, I finally arrived in LAX, Los Angeles Airport about 6 hours later than expected. I was booked to stay in the Venice Beach Cotel, so I rang a shuttle to get me there. The driver who arrived was a right character and said why did I get a shuttle when I could have taken public transport and got there for 2 dollars instead of 14? The fact that this was my 1st time in LA and it was late at night didn't seem to dawn on him, plus the ease and comfort of a private transfer was well worth it, he also warned me not to tip anyone 'Do you tip in your country?' he asked. I replied 'not really,except for exceptional service'. 'Well, don't tip here either, they may hate you for 30 seconds but they'll soon forget about you and move on to the next sucker, SO DON'T TIP' he reiterated.
Dragged my bags up the stairs of the Cotel and met Kerry who I had been corresponding with before I set off on my journey.' I have good news and bad news for you' she uttered. 'OK' I said wearily 'give me the bad news first'. 'Well the bad news is that we gave your room to someone else.
Woke up next day still groggy from the flight and different time zone but decided to take a walk on the beach (by the way when Albert Hammond sang 'It Never Rains in California' he was talking crap). My previous impression about the quantity of homeless people was confirmed in the daylight. They were absolutely everywhere, some living in caravans and RVs, others sprawled on benches. However they weren't the aggressive, looking-for-money, type of vagrant I'm used to in Ireland and elsewhere, most were content to just walk around and interact with each other and to leave strangers like me be.
Decided to find Gold's Gym, but first get some breakfast. I found a place selling breakfast just off of Main St. Still lots of vagrants and what seemed like mentally-ill skateboarders roaming around the street as I gazed out of the window of the cafe munching a breakfast burrito.
The next day I decided to do the touristy bit and see Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Surprisingly enough this was highly enjoyable and I even spotted Hurley from Lost hanging out in the Farmers Market. Did the whole Houses of the Stars spotting tour and checked out Sunset Boulevard and the surrounding area.
Spent the next 3 days just relaxing and hanging out in Venice Beach, which is a great place for people spotting. Saw one guy on a skateboard being pulled huskie-style by 2 dogs as he was talking on the mobile phone!! Have to say I was really surprised by the amount of vagrants, drop outs and homeless in this area, given that California is the 8th biggest economy in the world.
Well enough of that and now it was time to head to Las Vegas by Greyhound bus.