Friday, July 20, 2007

Get on the Banana Boat

I DID put sunblock on, but I was quite crispy after a week in California. During our stay, we went surfing, boogie boarding, running, kayaking, sightseeing, and celebrity seeing. Friday night, we arrived, very tired, at our hotel in Venice Beach. Our hotel was right around the corner from the Santa Monica boardwalk in Venice, where friendly leathery beach-bound hipsters sold incense, talents, jewelry, and their philosophies. After a much-needed nap, we decided to take the car for a spin around hollywood, where we tried to get lost in beverly hills and fantacized about our car shorting out so we'd have an excuse for asking a mansion-dweller for help.

Saturday morning rolled around and after a warm jog down the coast, we went kayaking in a place, where I once applied to be a windsurfing instructor, the UCLA sailing center. We came back and got ready for surfing.

We went to Malibu beach, where one would assume contains trophy houses, pink cadillac convertibles and Ken-looking surfers. Well the waves were okay. The sets were few and far between, with about 20 surfers in line, and the coast was covered with sharp rocks, but I went anyway. At one point, we were all sitting on our boards twittling our thumbs and an older guy broke the silence and said, does anyone want to hear a joke? From that point on, the whole crowd was friendly, and we all acknowledged that when a good wave came, we would all go for it, and no one asked any questions. I caught three waves for like ten seconds each and ended each session with bellyflopping into the water to avoid the sharp rocks. I only cut the bottom of my feet. Others scraped their backs.

We hurried back to catch our reservations at Koi. There was definitely pressure to look my Sunday best everyday. A comedian once said that LA is obsessed with being skin tight and in New York, people let it all hang out. As we were escorted through the restaurant to our seat, other well-dressed seaters looked up, hoping to catch a glimpse of a celeb. They saw us instead, but it was very flattering to be mistaken. Our waiter was a good looking struggling actor/screenwriter by day, waiter by night. Jasmin got his number. And we ended dinner at the bar, where I was instructed by a stranger on how to order a drink, so he could get his drink as well, and a quick glimpse of BRUCE WILLIS as he passed by us for a late dinner in the prvate room. Jasmin freaked out, which was good because calming her down preoccupied me from freaking out myself.

We went across the street to REPUBLIC, where we asked a random what's going on inside. He said some event for Raw Entertainment, so we went to the front of the line and simply said "We're with Raw Entertainment" and in we went. Although, it sounds like something I could conjure up, it was actually Jasmin or Shilpa that pulled this one. Inside the club was where we discovered that people in LA don't dance. They sway side to side while talking over the loud music. We danced. And were often approached by guys, who started conversations with "You're obviously not from here..."

Sunday morning, we were so sore from the jogging, kayaking, surfing and dancing, so I got up and took a stroll along the beach looking for sunglasses to buy, since I broke mine from jumping out of the kayak. The waves in Venice were still sucky. I turned around and saw TOM BROKAW walking down the boardwalk. I called Shilpa and Jasmin and they encouraged me to talk to him. I said "Excuse me, sir. What brings you to Venice?" He responded in his deep reporting voice. 'We're shooting a documentary about the 60s. I used to live around here, over on Hurricane [street]' and I said something like welcome back to Venice, as if I lived there. wow.

We got ready for our next reservations for brunch at The Ivy, where celebrities are often spotted. Again, we were dressed to kill, and immediately spotted someone, who appeared to be an aged Melanie Griffith, without the plastic surgery. It wasn't her. I'm still trying to figure out who it is. Just as we were contemplating the people behind us, a woman with a tight black tanktop with her chest hanging out the sides came in, and I turned away out of disgust whispering 'too much skin, too much skin, yuck.' It was CHINA, the prowrestler. She also sat outside with a friend, and our conversation evolved into proper etiquette and dress for the Ivy and how China wasn't following it.

After the Ivy, we found parking down the street from Rodeo drive and we hit the shopping. I didn't buy anything, but we gawked at the designer clothing and jewelry, the faux Chanel runway in the store that we strutted down and the many $5,000+ dresses. I had fun finding the style of wallets and bags that I bought in Chinatown and comparing prices.

Sunday night, we wanted to stay in around the area, so we went to this drumming thing on the beach. Then people started shooting off fireworks, and the cops came and ruined it. I missed the fun cop part. I ran back to grab the camera.

Monday morning, we went to Santa Monica beach, and yes, I rode the yellow roller coaster, we went shopping along the 3rd Street Promenade and went to the beach. They were only renting boogie boards, so we all rented a boogie board and shared. The bottom of the water was soft and sandy, and I rode the high, short waves for three hours. We walked back to Venice and ate locally at a mediterranean restaurant.

I'm kind of tired of typing. It was a great trip though and I'm excited to see where I end up next.

The windsurf project is still in layout...