Partying in LA, History in DC

Some places you visit, you don’t expect much but then your expectations are highly met. Los Angeles is a place that I have always wanted to visit but heard it was too big with so many different areas and that you either love it or hate it. I can’t say I have explored much of it to give a solid opinion on it but the experiences I had made the place really memorable.
After a long drive from Yosemite, Alejandro and I were exhausted! We got to our hostel in Santa Monica, had a well needed shower, relaxed a little and then went for a stroll before dinner. Had a fantastic dinner at Sea Salt Fish Grill and had the grilled mahi mahi with rice and sauteed vegetables – it was so fresh and delicious! Highly recommended when in Santa Monica as it away from the typical tourist restaurants and is very well priced.
After dinner, we walked around for a bit then decided to find somewhere nice for a drink. It was hard to find one that wasn’t a restaurant so decided to go to the English Bar to grab one drink then head elsewhere. We met an American man in his 50’s who started speaking to us and he also told us about his travels and the time he lived in Sweden. We asked him what some good bars to go to and he actually gave us some good recommendations. He offered to buy us a drink but we politely declined and said we were heading off to check out The Bungalow on his recommendation. I told him that he could join but he declined as well.
We went to The Bungalow at the Fairmont Hotel which reminded me of something out of the Hamptons – it was a cottage so didn’t feel like a bar but more like a house party.  With the different themed room, it was a really great drinking spot. As Alejandro and I were about to order and pay, the man we met at the English bar comes over and tells the bartenders not to let us pay. He bought himself a drink and paid for ours too!
After The Bungalow closed at around 10pm (as it was a Sunday), we headed to the Shangri La bar. Again, he bought us cocktails and then grey goose vodka sodas. He insisted that we were guests and should not pay – his hospitality was amazing. The view from the bar was pretty stunning where you could see the beach and sea as well as the city. We then headed to another bar for more drinks and it was a lot of fun!
Santa Monica Beach

                                       Cocktails at Shangri La in Santa Monica
Woke up the next morning feeling a little hungover but ate some free hostel breakfast and Alejandro dropped me off at Hollywood whilst he headed back home to San Francisco. Walked along the Hollywood Walk of Fame and also went to see the “Hollywood” sign. Caught the bus from Hollywood back to Santa Monica which took about an hour and a half. When I told people that I caught the bus, people were saying I was “brave” for taking it. It costs 75c and it was safe so I don’t see why you can’t take the bus in broad daylight!
                                      Worlds tallest man on Hollywood Boulevard
Mann’s Chinese Theatre
Next Stop: Washington DC!
 
With really only one fully day in DC, I was keen to explore the history and rich culture of the city. Started the day early and headed to the Washington Memorial to get tickets to go up the monument. There are only limited tickets each day and as they are free, you need to get there early to grab yourself one. I really took advantage of the short time here and went up the Washington Monument (building is 555 feet high and you could see the view of the city), walked through Vietnam War Veteran’s Memorial, Korean War Veteran’s MemorialAbraham Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool, Martin Luther King Jr Memorial, Franklin D Roosevelt Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, National MallUS Capitol Building (which was very impressive), SmithsonianNatural Science MuseumNational Air and Space Museum, and the White House.
 
Went to Ben’s Chili Dog for dinner and had the famous all meat chili with potato chips (like the Smith’s Original chips you get from the store. I honestly don’t see where the hype is from – it was quite average!
 
Now NYC bound!
Washington DC selfie
View from Washington Monument
View from Washington Monument
Capitol Hill
Capitol Square
Washington DC
Lincoln Memorial
White House
Korean War Veteran’s Memorial

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