Los Angeles / Santa Monica
Anne here . . . Wednesday 30th April (again) to Friday 2nd May
We had the very surreal experience of repeating Wednesday 30th April by crossing the International Dateline just by Fiji. The Fiji Times newspaper claims to be the first (earliest) newspaper published each day.
Also do not believe weather forecasts! Denarau was meant to be very hot and steamy, 29 degrees C. In fact it was much cooler and very very very wet; a tropical storm arrived earlier than expected. Santa Monica was meant to be warm, about 18 degrees C. It turns out to be very hot and dry, about 28-29 degrees C. More like the temperature that we were expecting in Fiji!
First impressions of Santa Monica . . . If we ever emigrated to the USA (highly unlikely but at the moment far from unappealing) we could definitely live here quite happily. We have eventually to late afternoon sunshine and a beach front hotel – the Georgian in name and style. The locals are very friendly, the houses pleasant and the streets are wide and spacious.
Second impressions . . .
We have just been for the most lovely evening walk along the seafront and then down Santa Monica pier. It’s still hot despite being 5pm in the evening. I love Santa Monica bay and pier. The bay is just idyllic, huge white sandy beach and fantastic waves. The pier is great fun and a bit mad. It is The End of Route 66. And also has Bubba Gump Shrimp Shop (a reference to the film Forest Gump) and a small but very interesting aquarium run largely by volunteers. But by far the best aspect, was the lovely view of the most stunning sunset over Santa Monica bay. A classic sunset over an idyllic bay.
Other iconic impressions . . . American style lorries and taxis, the regular wail of American police sirens, American flags on top of buildings, one dollar notes, lots of very expensive cars, huge sandwiches far too big for one person, lots of excellent fresh fruit, the photo of the President as we entered LA airport . . . Things that are so familiar from television and films but I keep pinching myself as a reminder that we are actually here.
A couple of minor downsides . . . I got short changed by $20; and there are a fair number of street beggars.
But overall we are thoroughly enjoying Santa Monica. In fact we have done so much sightseeing, we decided to give the tourist sights of LA a miss and just enjoy Santa Monica. If that turns out to be a mistake, we will just have to come back another year!!!!!