With no need to rush and no intention of trying to see all of it, we choose to just take an easy drive. From West Hollywood we start with a slow tour of Beverly Hills. Huge homes, manicured gardens and tall palm trees, the whole place screams excess. Its breathtaking and fun to see it.
Heading out on the Santa Monica freeway turning right when we hit the coast, driving along the coastline on our way to Malibu. There are some incredible homes and it does my head in how close to the beach they are allowed to build here. I’m talking right on the sand, waves almost lapping at the steps off the back porch. I could picture myself sitting on one of those back porches listening to the sounds of the ocean, enjoying the salty sea breeze.
I have a quick look at real estate ads and quickly realise we won’t be relocating to Malibu any time soon. There are six bed beach side houses for $60 million, here’s one a 4 bedroom place only $25million, oh here we go this one is only $4.5 Million for a two bedroom apartment, wow! Well it is lovely just cruising by anyway, seeing how the other half live.
Heading back toward Santa Monica and down to venice beach where we meander through the little beachside streets. Then it’s time for a little break and a bite to eat and we are going to Mels Diner.
Sunset Strip, bright colourful billboards, florescent lights, clubs, shops and of course Mel’s. Do you remember American Graffiti? Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford to name a few, an absolute classic. Mel’s Drive in was a key location for the film and while the original Mel’s is long gone, there are Mel’s around america including this one in West Hollywood. We pull the Mustang into a space next to a big old Dodge.
It is 2016 on one side of the door and 1962 on the other. The counter on the left where you can perch and overlook the serving area. Beige leather booths each with a dime juke box where you can sit with your lover and play your song while you share a thick shake with two straws.
There are lots of options but we go for sliders, little mini burgers, tasty little morsels and just enough. Our server Pat (Patricia) is lovely, she is new and getting a bit of a hard time from her supervisor so we are extra nice and complimentary – we can see she is making a great effort. There is one question though, we have a funny feeling Pat may have once been Patrick! She is just great, animated, funny and gregarious, albeit a little nervous and looking over her shoulder. She has made our visit a warm and welcoming one. We thank her profusely, within ear shot of her pushy supervisior and give her a nice fat tip.