Urrrrgh. Probably not the first time I will enter some words about how stinking my hangover is. I blame the three American girls who convinced me to drink Tequila. I never drink Tequila. It is the devils own drink from the seventh circle of hell.
So I crash out in the car and wake up in sunny Santa Barbara. The weather is glorious and a stroll on the pier is a nice wake up call, and I begin to feel more like myself. Then I spot something I don’t think I’ll ever forget; a dog on a surfboard! Not just one, but two! Two dogs on the end of surfboards as their owners paddled them under the pier. Now I have seen everything. except a man eating his own head…
Now there is one reason why I wanted to stop here, and I get a bit excited as we make our way into the hills. This is wine country, and probably most famous for the location of the movie “Sideways”. As one of my favourite films, I simply have to see “The Hitching Post”, where many a scene was filmed. I’m giggling like a school kid as I sit at the bar and taste all the wines on the menu. The people are friendly, the bar staff entertaining, and it really is a wonderful highlight to my travels so far. It is topped by eating the most delicious cheesecake in the history of cheesecakes. I decided that I would be back this way again, perhaps in later years, to explore the region further.
With options open, we come to the conclusion that as much as we have been told to skip LA, we simply have to see Hollywood. With this in mind, we decide not to stay in the area and push on into the night.
Arriving in Hollywood late, we have time to wander down Hollywood Boulevard. The Chinese and Kodak theater’s are here, as is the walk of fame, which is home to all the stars set into the pavements that stretches for miles. I am eager to find some of my heroes, but it’s a challenge to walk so far with your head down, focused on the names beneath your feet, especially if you want to avoid getting assaulted by the numerous shady types hanging about.
First impressions of this place, so magical from afar, is a dirty, garish, run down resort. It’s a far cry from the glitz and glamour of the lifestyles of the rich and famous. It’s dark, seedy and you don’t feel entirely safe. Once you’re out of the brightly lit Kodak theatre area, the bars get darker, the streets more foreboding, and the locals pretty damn strange. We turn in on the early side for a full day tomorrow.