Might begin on the patio, waiting for our car to arrive and wondering what this strange little area of the hotel is really for – until someone comes along and lights his cigarette and it all becomes clear.
Today it will start with turning right, not left into Santa Monica Boulevard, heading for the ocean for a short time before turning towards downtown. At this hour on a Monday morning, many of the locals are out power walking, jogging or doing their taichi under the palm trees.
As we turn right into San Vicente, we drive past the smart and spacious homes which suggest wealthy inhabitants. Their gardeners are out trimming the hedges, watering the lawns and tidying the driveways. The joggers are out on the road in the cycle lane, because curiously, the cyclists appear to prefer riding on the pavement. Funny, that.
We’ve decided to join the smart set at the Brentwood Country Mart for breakfast at the FarmShop, recommended by the Los Angeles Magazine as one of the best breakfasts in town right now. In just a few short minutes we’re sitting in between the ladies with their egg-white omelettes and the guy reading a screenplay. Some are sitting reading ipads or behind their laptops in spite of the note on the menu
We too are in breach of the recommendation as we’re still trying to contact our friend Kristy, texting her to arrange a meeting tonight. We’ve each left voicemail messages here and there but somehow haven’t managed to speak to one another yet.
Meanwhile there are important decisions to make. Aren’t American menus great? Our breakfast tastes as good as it sounds, believe me.
After an hour on the freeway, we visit an old haunt in Burbank from years ago when Edward was young. Can you imagine a small boy’s reaction to a shop entrance like this? Fry’s Electronics have several outlets, each one themed differently.
More mundane shopping in Glendale then, armed with a short list of fairly dull items more easily/cheaply/effectively bought here than at home.
We resist the temptation to equip ourselves for Halloween, however.
After a quick zip into Michaels Arts and Crafts armed with my 40% off one item coupon (I saved $2 – didn’t buy much!) we drove back through a variety of rich and poor suburbs to meet Mary. As we drove along Beverly Boulevard, we spotted these two beauties catching the attention of passing traffic.
Looking more closely, they were heading to join a queue of other smartly dressed people waiting by a gate.
A bit of reasoning now: this is the entrance to CBS studios…the crowd are dressed well…it’s late Monday afternoon…hmmm, didn’t we see Dancing with the Stars trailed on TV this morning? Sure enough, that’s what they’re waiting for!
We’re meeting Mary in Larchmont Village, a delightful small community with a row of interesting, individual shops set out village style. This one was having a “trunk sale”.
After an hour or so with Mary, who arrived fresh from her day’s teaching, we headed off back to Santa Monica along Wilshire Boulevard.
Past the La Brea Tar Pits – I always think of the Beverly Hillbillies when I pass by here!
Past the lighting installation outside the LA Art Museum. Amazing.
Finally, stop – start through all the traffic lights all the way to the end of this road where the sun is setting over the ocean.
We’ve made contact with Kristy and are thrilled to meet up with her, catching up on the news and hearing all about her work. As we sit chatting, the party people in the hotel are just heading out, there are people celebrating a birthday (rather noisily!) and we reflect on our good fortune to be here in the company of such a delightful young woman.
It’s also now past our bedtime, so after catching ten minutes or so of Dancing with the Stars in the comfort of our hotel room, we turn in for the night after another marvellous LA day.