Thursday, May 28, 2015

Bank Holiday USA

This last weekend was a Bank Holiday in America, although it’s not actually called a ‘Bank” holiday, just a holiday.  It’s important to know that a holiday weekend is just one day off, it’s not a holiday as we know it because there’s no such thing as a holiday in America, that would be a vacation.  Also, Christmas is called “the Holidays.” Confused yet? [*frown*].  Oh and if the ‘holiday’ falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then you don’t get a day off in lieu like we do in England.  Unfortunately, this year July 4th is on a Saturday, so we won’t get an extra day off.

Anyway, back to last weekend.  It was Memorial Day which is a Federal holiday to remember the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces – a bit like poppy day, if you will, only there are no poppy sellers on each corner (which I miss actually).

Memorial Day is also the official start of summer so the roads are typically packed with people trying to leave for a short getaway.  (A bit like trying to get to Margate on a bank holiday weekend).

This year, the weather was a bit crap and overcast (just like England) so we didn’t really do much until Monday, when the sun came out a bit. [Yes, I really do live in California, honestly]  First off a little car trip up the coast to a famous restaurant, Neptune’s Net.  Well, I think it’s famous, the amount of people there certainly led me to believe that it is.  Packed, it was.  We did manage to get a table eventually and sat down to this wonderful plate of spicy, peel your own shrimp.  
Very yummy.   A lady sitting near us decided she couldn’t manage to drink her whole bottle of wine and offered me a glass, (a plastic cup actually) and who was I to say no?  Topped of the meal nicely, thank you very much!
A bit nippy
Party Poopers

We spent a little while watching the surfers freeze their bums off and soaking up a tiny bit of sun, which had decided to come out for a little while, then it was off down the coast to Venice Beach.

I’m not really sure what I can say about Venice Beach!  Some people call Los Angeles LaLaLand and I think Venice Beach is the reason why.  In fact, there’s even a sign to say so.
Definately LaLa Land
The very best of everything crazy can be found at Venice Beach.  The boardwalk (although there are no boards, but you do have to walk) is chocablock with “artists” selling their crazy inventions, artwork and knicknacks.  There are bands playing (sometimes out of tune), drum solos can be heard, an old Indian man on Rollerblades playing the electric guitar is always there.  [No pictures please, without paying, of course].  The sights, sounds and smells (burgers, pizza, patchouli and/or possibly marijuana) make it all a bit surreal.

Busy Boardwalk
Welcome to Venice

No trip is complete without stopping at the Freakshow – yes, they have a real freakshow (obviously). I’ve never been inside, but you get the gist of what you would be seeing as most of the time one or two of the “freaks” are hanging around outside tempting you in.  There’s the bearded lady and the wolf boy (very hairy he is). There’s a two headed terrapin and then there’s this man….
I have no words
You think you’ve seen it all, until you walk to the end and reach the famous “muscle beach” where men and women alike strut and puff their muscles. This day there was some sort of competition going on.  Competitors young and (very) old were strutting, preening and displaying their muscles in bodies that had so much fake tan, I was worried California was going to run out of the stuff.  This one even looked like he had used wood stain he was so dark...
That's a LOT of fake tan
You can only watch these shenanigans for so long, so we had an ice cream and went home.   All this, and not a bloody stick of rock in sight!  

Oh Brighton, how I miss you (okay, not really).


  1. All that vocab surrounding a day off... You've got me wondering how the Americans coped with the title of the film "The Holiday". Maybe it was deliberately clever, aimed at getting them all scratching their heads saying "But it's about a Christmas vacation, so it should be called "The Holidays"... Why "The Holiday"?"... Or maybe they all know that in Britain we call a vacation a holiday, and so they just felt the Britishness of it and went along expecting Hugh Grant to be in it.

    Anyway, as a Brit, whatever cleverness was behind it just passed me by. I thought it was about two girls going on holiday.

  2. My wife has a massive love for Jim Morrison and The Doors, so I've been dragged along to Venice Beach to the Bistro to watch 'Peace Frog' perform (a brilliant Doors tribute band).

    When we finally move to Vegas in August (from sunny West Sussex), suspect we will be visiting La La Land a lot more.....considering it's only 4 hours down the road.

    Can't wait.

    And as far as Brighton is's 30 minutes down the road from us and let me tell you, you ain't missing much!

  3. When you pass Riverside toot and wave! You will go past my house, maybe stop in for a cuppa on the way.