Saturday, July 18th, 2009

Going Topless in LA

drivinginLA

Here’s a tip when traveling to Los Angeles, hire a car and drive.  Don’t let the thought of driving on the infamous LA freeways stop you, they’re not the evil villains you’ve seen in the movies.

Recently, a little haggling at the car hire counter had me cruising Hollywood Boulevard in a sleek black Hummer.  Constantly, checking my mirrors for paparazzi I soon found myself caught up in a media frenzy courtesy of the latest Terminator movie premiere. With red carpet laid out and barricades in place, super sized limos were lined up outside the Kodak Theatre depositing the beautiful. For a moment I thought they mistook my black Hummer with tinted windows and a mysterious air as containing someone of interest, but no, I was waved on without thought.

Whilst driving the Hummer through the LA streets was fun, it was the car I scored on my latest trip that afforded me the biggest buzz to date.  Having decided to drive north to Santa Barbara, on arrival at the car hire, my friend and I were given the choice of hiring either a red Dodge or a silver convertible Mustang.  No prizes for guessing which one we chose.

From LA proper the 101 carves through the hills framing the Los Angeles basin and eventually hugs the coastline. This route is a pleasure to drive, particularly if you have the luxury of a convertible and Bob Segar crooning his love of Hollywood nights as the wind whips through your hair.

The Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier

After a few hours exploring the sights of Santa Barbara we were headed back to our base, but were easily tempted into a spontaneous shopping trip at the famous Santa Monica Pier.  After all, who are we to ignore an iconic destination? That would just be rude, so while minding our manners (mostly, we were on holiday) we set out for the Third Street Promenade.

Rumbling stomachs guided us to Bravo, a quaint looking Italian restaurant. Pinot Grigio accompanied by delicious bruscetta as local buskers serenaded us in the relaxed atmosphere was just what the doctor ordered.  To walk off our meal, we wandered past shops such as Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, Gap, H&M and Victoria’s Secret and did our part to support the American economy.

Without the luxury of a car, our trip would have included a lot more time in and around the hotel, instead of a series of Hollywood-esque adventures.  If you do happen to find yourself a lost or daunted, stay positive and attentive because you could stumble upon a red carpet or at least a great sale.

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