Spent some time with these two.
When the Ant to your Dec lives an 11-hour plane ride away, it sucks. A lot. But on the flip side, you get to casually drop into conversations that, “Yeah, my best friend lives in LA. No big deal.” then casually swan off to see her, while reminding people that your best friend lives in LA. Because it is a big deal. Vicki worked ridiculously hard to get there and she works ridiculously hard now she’s there, and has über-important meetings with big-wigs at Fox and Universal and Paramount, and sometimes I’m so proud of what she’s achieved, I could burst. I also got to hang out with my 2yo goddaughter, who is quite simply the coolest. She’s a one-woman stand-up show, and is going to grow up to become Amy Poehler. I also loved that she kept forgetting my name (‘Auntie El’) and instead opted for ‘Teacher’.
Checked out Venice.
I’d been to LA once before but hadn’t got as far as Venice, so that needed to be put right, stat. We walked the length of Abbot Kinney (which, to style bloggers, is retail cat-nip), meandering in and out of shops, and chattering away nineteen to the dozen. We strolled through the canals, drooled over the gorgeous cottages and wondered out loud how these people got so rich. Turns out a lot of the places on the canals are passed down through generations, so it’s not so much making money as getting lucky in the family lottery. Gah.
Went to Shutters on the Beach.
New England decor is my jam, so Vicki knew I’d fall in love with this hotel. My ‘just going to the bathroom’ visit turned into a full-on stalking of the place… and one day… one day… we’ll stump up the obscene per-night cost and stay in one the rooms, which I’m sure are just as dreamy.
Sat on the Friends couch.
Vicki and I aren’t just Friends fans. We’re the Friends fans. As in 17/17 on this quiz without breaking a sweat. It’s also our comfort blanket – stick on a Friends episode when we’re feeling blue and it cures all. So, getting to sit on the actual couch in actual Central Perk was a major highlight in our lives. We also saw Phoebe’s guitar, the guys’ foosball table and Monica’s see-through shirt from when she sung karaoke. Our 15yo selves’ heads exploded that day.
Ate an In-N-Out burger.
Okay, so Shake Shack and Five Guys may have taken their sweet time and finally come over to British shores, but we still don’t have In-N-Out. I just pray to the burger gods that some day we will. It’s mind-blowingly good… so good, in fact, that there was a queue of about 20 cars in the drive-thru but no one inside the restaurant at the counter. I asked Vicki why, and she just shrugged, “People don’t like getting out of their cars.” What can I say? I get it.
Dined at Nobu Malibu.
To those who don’t live in LA, and who read celeb magazine on a weekly basis, the city is a bit like a safari. You want to see the Big Five (movie star, TV star, reality star, sports star, singer), and if you don’t see at least one, you’re disappointed. Since the last time Vicki went to Nobu, she saw Kourtney Kardashian, Lord Disick, Adam Sandler and Miley Cyrus, she promised me that the odds were in our favour. We ate our sushi and sipped our drinks (both phenomenal) at a snail’s pace in the hopes that Taylor Swift was on her way. Sadly, it wasn’t to be, but with a view like this (on left), who cares*? We also went to The Castaway restaurant, near her house in Burbank, and it was perfect. With festoon lights, a view of the sprawling city and a wedge salad that I’d happily eat for every meal ever, I’d definitely recommend a visit.
*okay, slightly, but hey, on my flight to NY the next day I saw everyone’s favourite Z-listers, Mark Wright and Michelle Keegan (non-Brits, don’t even bother Googling). And Gael García Bernal, who is far more talented, so let’s just focus on him instead.