Our first full day in Santa Monica

After coffee, we went for a run towards Venice along the beach pathway. It was foggy and a bit cool when we started out. Our pace was pretty modest because Scott’s knee was bothering him. It allowed me to take photos when we stopped to walk. Venice Beach:

A lot of street vendors were getting set up as we ran past. The area is full of quirky characters and cheap, hippy-era shops along the beach front. Scott saw a silver jewellery shop he wanted to go into but no sign indicated when it would open; instead there was a sign saying it was closed when it was raining or windy. Lots of grafitti and the smell of weed made the area seem a little like the Netherlands.

We got back to our room, skyped with Robin, Allie and Sidney, showered, then headed to look at the Third Avenue Promenade which has a bunch of shops and stores.

Nothing appealed to us so we walked down to Ocean Avenue and found Ocean Avenue Seafood for lunch.

More crab and avocado salad, then I had a cioppino and Scott had a crab melt:

 

After lunch, we walked down Main Street to look at the shops. These were more interesting. Scott found silver rings at a store called Accents:

I liked this bench:
We headed back to the beach and walked on the very fine and dry sand.

We got the taxi driver from the previous day (not the one who couldn’t work his credit card machine) to give us a tour of West LA, Century City, Hollywood, and Beverley Hills before dropping us at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant in West Hollywood. This allowed us to look at the MGM lot, the walk of stars, Rodeo Drive and the Kodak Theater, where the Oscars ceremony took place. We stopped to take a few photos from one of the many hills in the area. The smog makes it hard to see downtown and the Hollywood sign in the distance.

We did the chef’s tasting menu at Gordon Ramsay’s along with the wine tasting. The foie gras and chicken amuse and haddock chawanmushi:

More foie gras and an asparagus dish:

An arctic char dish which was followed by duck breast and a tangerine dish:

Chocolate mousse with kumquat sorbet and the meal ended with meringues:

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