Cali Rendezvous

Cali Rendezvous

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Los Angeles, Venice, Santa Monica
August 7th - 12th 2017

First of many trips with my love, filled with: welcoming Airbnb hosts, a hike that was responsible a knockout nap, a longboard and bike ride against the Cali breeze, strolls alongside sailing sunsets, house music madness and most of all, love.

Why Los Angeles?
This was a last minute trip that I booked so I could spend time with my love before visiting some of my family in Long Beach. It was really important to me to see each of my family members and spend as much time with my other half as possible before going travelling in September.

If it wasn't for STA Travel, there is no way I could have afforded to book my flights in the first place! Even though this was a last minute booking (compared to my usual advanced planning) STA found me a great return deal flying with Virgin Airlines for £650!

Where did we stay?
I found an Airbnb gem in Venice,CA that was titled "WELCOME HOME." I was immediately drawn to the title and after checking the reviews thoroughly and viewing the house rules as well as the photos, I booked! When we arrived at the Airbnb together we were buzzing- not only was the house even more beautiful than the photos, there was an instant positive and calming vibe. This was the first time that I had ever interacted with an Airbnb host in person and it thankfully it was a great first time experience! We connected with both the host and their housemate and we spent the first evening chillin' out together in their very chic, boho style outdoor area.

What did we do?

On our first day, I was eager for us to walk down Venice Canals together hand in hand and cycle along the beach from Venice to Santa Monica Pier. So that’s exactly what we did. Everything was exactly how I remembered. Quirky, lively and oh so scenic- it was even better because I had my other half by my side! (Cheesy I know, but it's soooo true!).

Although I felt like we had completely kicked back and relaxed on this trip, we actually did quite a lot in 5 days. Together we completed the Los Leones Canyon Hike which then led to me having a killer nap! We hired bikes for the second time and cycled towards Malibu from Venice Broadwalk. The two of us wandered up and down Abbot Kinney admiring the street art and different stores as well as the cafes! One evening we watched the sailing boats pass through the harbour at sunset from Fisherman's Village, Marina Del Rey. We did this whilst stuffing our faces with food and drinking coronas at El Torito- it was pretty amazing! We both enjoy watching films, so as well as making use of the Netflix at our airbnb, we made our way to an AMC cinema along 3rd St, Santa Monica. We chose to watch the movie Dark Tower with an oversized portion of buttered popcorn and we snuggled up next to each other in some seriously comfy cinema seats!

How did we get around?
Uber everywhere. Literally. Actually, I take that back, we did walk around quite a lot as well as cycle/longboard.

What about the foooood?
We visited quite a few restaurants/cafes for breakfast and brunch in Venice. There are always new places popping up along Abbot Kinney, but my favourite was The Cow's End Cafe on Washington Boulevard. We did have a couple of cheeky visits to In 'n Out Burger, ooo and we also discovered the secret menu! (It's not that much of a secret, you can ask the locals or somebody at the till when you visit).

How was the night life?
We spent many evenings under the stars in the outdoor area at the Airbnb. We did make it out to The Venice Whaler on Washington Boulevard one evening, but if you ever want to visit for a night out  I strongly suggest that you go on a guest DJ/event night. We're both great at dancing the night away with massive smiles on our faces and we did this at West End Night Club in Santa Monica. It was actually one of the housemates, who we now consider as a friend, that invited us out! It was a great night! House music, good vibes, cheesy smiles and unicorn headbands! Yes you read right, UNICORN HEADBANDS!

Sometimes California is painted with a brush filled with glamour, celebrities and wealth, but if you do your own research rather than sticking to the main attractions and if you are not afraid to ask questions, you'll uncover a more down to earth and truly beautiful side to this state. Cali will always be a place that I will revisit and I hope to uncover more beauty and connect with other positive souls along the way!

- moonsoulsteps

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BSmyth October 11th, 2017

Uber everywhere skrt skrt!

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