After what seemed an eternity we arrived at LAX, Los Angeles’ renowned airport famous for the X shaped building there (the Theme Building). We had hired a convertable car as we felt it was part of the LA experience, roof down and airco on but it did feel odd.
Before we got in the car we put our bags in the boot (or ‘trunk’, American style), got in and proceeded to put the roof down. Nothing happened, we opened the boot again it all looked fine but still the lid wouldn't go down. Time to ask for help. The guy on the parking lot explained that the roof took up most of the boot and only a tiny piece was over, in this case you might just fit a coat and a small bag that was it. We had two large trolleys (traveling light), our only option was to take the bags out, put the roof down and the bags on the back seat: sorted but not ideal.
We had booked three nights at the Malibu Country Inn. So map in hand, of we jolly well go, traffic being quite busy as it was just after rush hour but the it kept moving and before long we were sailing along the Pacific coast Highway, and wow what views! I loved it immediately. Unfortunately, I'm not the best navigator and we missed our turning for the hotel so we took the next right: a canyon road and within minutes we had climbed Everest. We couldn't see the road over the bonnet it was so steep. We managed to turn around in someone's drive way (thank you) and back down we went. I will avoid that turn off again if I can help it. This time lucky, do a right first left up a steep driveway: home for the next three days.
We chatted to the receptionist as we checked in about what famous people lived around the area. Barbra Streisand and Cher cropped up amongst others. The receptionist, though, said that Barbra never leaves her home anymore but I wasn't so sure that was true. She showed us to our room but it became obvious this one hadn't been cleaned since the last checkout so a new key and bingo a clean room with a view of the beach from the patio.
Now, the beach situation along the Pacific Coast Highway is very odd. Lots are marked as private which even comes down to the fact that if anyone goes onto these beaches security guards turn up very quickly and ask the people to leave. But, here is the crunch: sometimes parts of the beaches are public but the owners of the million dollar homes overlooking these beaches want them kept private and if the people refuse to move the guards call the police. The police arrive and generally side with the guards, which makes the police's job easier, they don't really ever want to get out of their cars let alone arrest people for sitting on a beach. Having said that, there are some beautiful wide sandy beaches for those less well off and still with the same views.
It was getting time for a glass of wine and dinner so back to reception for some dining options as the hotel restaurant was closed. Our closest option was back down the drive along the beach road to a place called The Sunset Restaurant which would do us fine. I parked the car in the car park next door but we noticed a man in a bit of a flap at the car park’s entrance; it turned out to be valet parking something we in Europe are not used to plus the carpark was in spitting distance from the restaurant, we just said next time and in we went. The place was modern and across from the beach. Food ordered and a glass of wine a pleasant meal with a great view as in its name. The journey back to the hotel was less than a mile I was driving and had had two glasses of wine which is something I never do and have never done since, but typical: a cop car turns up just my luck. Luckily, he wasn't interested in us, so back safe and sound.
The beach outside The Sunset Restaurant Malibu
Born in Chiswick West London, grew up in Royal Berkshire, currently living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands