I then took the tourist route and walked the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. I heard a solo artist perform, saw a contortionist and lingered in and out of the big name stores. I was pleasantly surprised with the Kitson outlet. Most have probably heard of Kitson in gossip mags as it's the hip spot for LA celebs to shop for clothes. The outlet was filled with sale priced items and a sea of shoes in the back of the store. The sight of all those shoes put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.
I had my first taste of Pinkberry frozen yogurt as well. I got the coconut yogurt with mochi, mango, blueberry and blackberry toppings. Word on the street is that people go nuts for this premium frozen yogurt that claims to have reinvented the US frozen yogurt category in West Hollywood. It's often referred to as Crackberry due to the never ending lineup of people trying to get their fix. My frozen yogurt was very delicious and I didn't mind waiting in the line either as they had tons of cool gadgets to look at such as the corkscrews and salt and pepper shakers that I've included photos of.
I found another cute coffee shop and it just so happens to be LA's largest organic coffee roaster. I love coffee and tea, but I've come to the conclusion that my love for coffee shops surpasses both. There's just something about the chill vibe, cool tunes and comfortable furniture that makes me want to sit down and people watch. I came across a gem of a spot just down the road from where I'm staying. It's called Groundwork Coffee Company and it's a place everyone should try when in the area. The locals love it because of the quaint atmosphere where everyone knows your name. I got the Bitches Brew coffee, a fresh pumpkin loaf and then sat outside in the sun where I met Hamilton. He's a masseur by day, but likes to come to the coffee shop to sing and play his guitar in his self-made Thai pants. The coffee, pastries and people are amazing here, and I highly recommend stopping in for a cup of joe.
As spectacular as the coffee was, the highlight of yesterday was still my bike ride along the Venice Beach Boardwalk and pier to catch the sunset. A nice man who lives downstairs and writes screenplays let my friend and I borrow his bicycles. My eyes lit up when he wheeled an old-school vintage green bicycle my way. It was lovely and equipped with wide handlebars and a bell. I've been wanting one of these bikes ever since I saw Wedding Crashers, when Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams take a bike ride to the beach. I couldn't have asked for a sweeter ride. On a Friday night the boardwalk was filled with artisans selling their crafts along the street, musicians playing in and out of pubs, artists carving sculptures in the sand and skateboarders showing off their new tricks at the skateboard park by the waters edge. There were also tons of kush clinics enticing people walking by to purchase their medical marijuana cards.
The modern homes that overlooked the beach were so grand that I almost crashed my bicycle at the sight of one. So, of course I stopped and took a picture for my blog. Despite the chilly weather, I was still able to see some dedicated surfers once I reached the pier.
Later last night I got semi dolled up and went out for a couple of drinks and good conversation with some friends at The Otheroom. The lounge had that relaxed Venice vibe. It was decorated with large portraits on the brick walls, candlelight and an upscale finish. LA is said to change "it" lounges and clubs on a monthly basis, so we found out that this particular lounge had great reviews from locals and celeb magazines.