Our californian coastline adventure was coming to an end…
Part of its purpose was for Vin to visit Alcatraz.
Fulfil my desire to drive Highway 1, enjoy and explore the sights of the shoreline as we galloped down it.
Normally I like slow travel but my beating heart was nestled in Los Angeles with our son – performing for Cirque du Soleil and living downtown. The mum in me wanted to get there quickly knowing we’d see him and it would deliver joy and happiness, then it would turn to bliss, with our daughter arriving the next day, and, for a few short days, we’d all spend time together as a family. Precious.
I had been wondering what I would think, of this vast and sprawling city. I can share with you my experience of riding the metro to Santa Monica and passing through places and names I’d recognised from the movies. Skid Row. South Park, Compton to name just a few. I wondered if I’d feel safe or unsure, comfortable.. maybe even relaxed. Me-drugs and crime movies all enmeshed, as we drove through places which brought the names to life.
We drove along Mulholland Drive, silly maybe to feel excited to finally being doing this. Yet I couldn’t contain my joy in doing so. It really was the little things which I was getting to enjoy. Like a stroll down Venice Beach, chatting away with Karl, my daughters boyfriend. Standing on the side of the walkway, eating a vegan burger and chatting to the street food seller about his food and trip to London in the summer. Star spotting.. yes we saw a few in and close to Level, where my son was staying at the time.
Exploring Whole Foods supermarket and Ralphs on 645 W 9th Street. I’m even getting the hang of how to pronounce it all. Eating outside the taco takeaway and smothering corn tortilla in a tomitillo based salsa verde. The simple things. The little joys. They were the things which brought me happiness.
A place I had been looking for the word of. I normally get one you see, where ever I go. I trust these words which barrel up from within me, a guide as to what kind of place I was in.
Was finally the word I had decided on. From the endless homeless to the helpful bus drivers. The sounds of the streets. All was ok. It felt good to be able to say that about a place I’d wanted to visit for so long.
We walked the streets. Ate the food, met the people and shopped in the shops.
We even saw a car crash, heard gun shots and witnessed a police chase. It was a fascinating place and one I’d happily explore more of. So much going on, a vibrancy, a difference I wasn’t expecting. More time needed to really get into the city and a wonderful trip to spend with my family but as we learnt and heard someone say.
Damn… “It’s just another day in LA!”