Travels with Ellie; Venice Beach, California
We made it!!! Ellie’s first ever flight was the 10 and a half hour direct flight from Dublin into LAX. and she was an absolute angel!. She never cried once. I splashed out a business class seat as I was travelling on my own. I was slightly nervous of the evil side eyes for bringing a child specimen into fancy class but I ended up sitting beside a couple and their 2 year old daughter who reassured me they had been traveling with their little girl since she was 10 weeks old. Ellie is 13 weeks today. “Once you start them early, you have no issues.” said mum Doris. Music to my ears!! The Aer Lingus staff couldn’t have been nicer, being as brilliantly attentive as always and making a gorgeous fuss over her.
Nothing about travelling with her on my own had bothered me at all, bar the fact that I knew we would really miss himself. But I hadn’t really factored in the logistics of travelling on your own with a baby. Simple things like, how was I going to get from the taxi to the check in desk with a buggy, 2 huge suitcases, a carry on bag, a car seat and a baby in a sling? And how would I manage the baggage carousel the far end? There is so much stuff you have to pack for such a little person.
So my best friend met me at the airport and helped me lug everything to the check in desk and because you clear US customs in Dublin Airport, Linda was able to meet me at the baggage carousel the other end. But I will be more prepared in the future.
Anyway, the California sun is shining and life on Venice Beach is as beautifully eclectic as ever. This is my sisters hood, her little house is two blocks from the beach and really feels like a home away from home. We have been walking the beach which have brilliant paths for buggies and pottering around the neighbourhood. A lot has changed in Venice Beach since my first visit here 15 years. Then it was pretty rough with parts you wouldn’t venture into. Now it is full of great bars, restaurants and coffee shops but still hasn’t lost its edge.
We walked all through the tranquil canals and stopped for the most unbelievable ice cream at Salt and Straw www.saltandstraw.com Mine was a lemon buttermilk and blueberry flavour thank you very much!! We then wheeled Ellie along the seafront to muscle beach where all the body builders and beautiful freaks were working out in the sun.
If you are without a buggy download the “Bird” App before you travel. These battery operated scooters have taken over in Venice and Santa Monica. You just scan a scooter with your phone and it’s a really fun and fast way to zip around the neighbourhood.
The best coffee so far for me has been in Menottis. www.menottis.com Also the Great White Cafe, www.greatwhitevenice.com does good coffee and brunch at the weekends though you have to be prepared to queue for a bit.
Sushi is another must for me when Im in Venice. Hamas Sushi www.hamasushi.com is one of the oldest restaurants in Venice and has a real surfers feel to it. Sit up at the bar for happy hour and you never know who you will get chatting to. Wabi Sabi www.wabivenice.com is probably one of my favourite spots. Great sushi, great cocktails and a great vibe. Myself and Linda organised a baby sitter for Eille and had a great night out which started and ended in Wabi Sabi, with dinner in Skopa in between www.scopaitalianroots.com Go hungry and don’t leave without ordering the chicken parmesan; it is off the charts.
Nobu in Malibu is also amazing for a special occasion as it is pricey. On the off chance that you are completely loaded, I would advise you to eat the sashimi here every single day!
We also spent a a lazy Sunday out in Malibu, hanging out on Canyon beach. I bought a little sun block beach tent for Ellie which offers complete protection and she happily fell asleep to the sound of the waves. After a stroll down the pier, where we randomly bumped into Brandon Jenner of all people. Unfortunately, he thought Ellie was a boy and the irony of his mistake was not lost on any of us as we all had a little chuckle. We had a sunset dinner in Malibu farm overlooking the ocean. Order the steak with a bottle of Justin Cabernet Sauvignon followed by the grilled chocolate cake. www.malibu-farm.com
There are lots of drop in classes available depending on what you are in the mood for. I did a great vanes flow class at Yoga Works in Santa Monica. www.yogaworks.com/santa-monica
I also hit The Dailey Method barre studio on Abbot Kinney
www.thedaileymethod.com/studios/venice and availed of their on site child care which they have for some of their busier classes. There is also meant to be a great baby bootcamp in Marina Del Ray www.babybootcamp.com which I didn’t get to but it came highly recommended.
So all in all, Venice is a lot more hipster than when I was here last. And I would go as far as saying it is child friendly, though, I never would have thought it! Yes there are still lots of potheads knocking around(why wouldn’t there be as it is now legal to buy weed in the state of California. If that is your vibe by the way, depending on the type of high you want, you can have a tailor made experience picked out by the experts in MedMen www.medmen.com Where was I, oh yes family friendly LOL…Definitely, hit up Venice next time you’re west side and enjoy the vibe.