California surprised us. We should have known after the wealth of hospitality we received in the north not to stereotype people or regions but it was hard to think of LA as anywhere but a glorified version of the Gold Coast. However we scheduled the three day stint as a 'why not' destination on our way home to relax for a couple of days.
Los Angeles had our hearts at the first view down long parallel streets that showed the desert mountains through lines of palms. It was beautiful and hot. Our limo driver was a fabulous source of knowledge about the whole Hollywood area. Venice Beach, Santa Monica Pier, Malibu Hills, Hollywood, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, names you'd heard of but hadn't appreciated. Rodeo Drive was much smaller than Fifth Avenue but the white flowers everywhere made it so much quainter and we scored some beautiful new clothes. We decided that between our studio tours and visiting beach markets the Chateau Marmont and the Beverly Hills Hotel were as important. So hospitable and beautiful we actually couldn't decide which we liked the best. After our wonderful time there, exhausted and full of life, we headed home.
The house from Gone With the Wind
Breakfast on the Santa Monica Pier
A marathon group passing us on Venice Beach
Driving to lunch in the Malibu Hills
Getting into the Getty Villa for free because we passed the Australian accents test
Overlooking the city from the Hollywood Sign
Our first glimpse of Australia, of home