From the Hills to the Beach, Beverly to Venice That Is

Talk about going from one extreme to the other.

Our morning started at the Bourgeois Pig, an eclectic coffee shop known as the writers’ hangout in Hollywood – a place where screenwriters, bloggers and journalists alike all sit for hours on their laptops. I could feel my creative juices flowing just being there.

This is one of the work areas for writers...
This is one of the work areas for writers…

From there we drove through Burbank, passing by studios such as Disney and Warner Brothers.


Then it was on to Beverly Hills, via Mulholland Drive. We saw dozens, if not hundreds, of multi-million dollar homes, many situated dramatically on the side of a mountain.

We knew we had arrived at Beverly Hills after seeing our second Rolls Royce (before we would leave Beverly Hills, we would see a couple more Rolls; four Rolls Royce in less than two hours – we weren’t in Kansas anymore.)

It was fun browsing in some of the shops, as well as shocking. Tee shirts for $220 and a pair of adidas sneakers for $230. For the price of those two units combined, I could take care of my clothing needs for the next three to five years at Boscov’s and Target.

We were now ready for lunch, and we headed back into Hollywood. Dennis suggested Stella Barra pizzeria. My son and I agreed it was one of the best pizzas we ever had.

Right across the street from Stella Barra was Amoeba Music, a great movie and record store. We spent a few minutes here, but realized it would take at least an hour to fully appreciate such an amazing store, so we finally headed back to my friend’s house.

Once we got there, we packed up, said our goodbyes, and headed back to my Aunt’s, with stops at Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach.

Santa Monica Pier was a nice warmup for what we were to experience in Venice Beach. We got to see a couple of street performers, one who was singing some Neil Young, an the other was a small group of guys doing some break dancing type moves. We gladly paid all the artists to thank them for their efforts.

Finally, it was time to get in the car and drive the last mile right down the street to Venice Beach.

It was close to what I had imagined, Wildwood, NJ meets California. There were your classic boardwalk type shops, but then with  a Venice Beach twist.

There was a skateboard park, with many active, and talented, skateboarders. We then walked over to muscle beach where I was able to impress the crowd with my 60 pound bench press. There was also a guy playing a baby grand piano on the boardwalk.


But perhaps the most unique aspect of the boardwalk was the presence of multiple Green Doctors locations. The Green Doctors is where one can get a prescription for medical marijuana for just $40, and the prescription can cover a wide range of illnesses, including insomnia. Apparently the whole process takes less than five minutes.

When I tried to take a second picture, the guy out front started cursing at me about something, so I just kept moving on…

For some reason, Venice Beach had a different vibe than Beverly Hills, but they were both enjoyable. I’ll venture a guess that my son and I were the only people who visited both places today.

At this point, the sun was starting to set over Venice Beach, so it was time for us to head back to my Aunt’s.

During the drive home, my son and I reminisced about what a great 36 hour trip we just had. The highlight for each of was the opportunity to see friends of ours we hadn’t seen in a while. Beyond that,  hiking Griffith Park, strolling down Rodeo Drive, and people watching at Venice Beach provided us with memories we won’t forget.

And to top it all off, we still have a couple of days left to add to those memories.

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Jim Borden

Accounting Prof. at Villanova; happily married for 30+ years; father of 3 outstanding young men; vegan; interests: fitness, creativity, education, blogging, social media.

2 thoughts on “From the Hills to the Beach, Beverly to Venice That Is”

  1. It’s been fun reading about your travels in my new “neighborhood”. Many of the places are our weekend escapes. Our best memory in the past two years is a picnic at the top of Griffith Park, where they shoot so many commercials and movie scenes with that spectacular view of the LA skyline, followed by a concert with Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo at the Greek. I do envy that you will return home to spectacular fall colors which we miss so much. What a memorable father-son adventure!


    1. Thanks, Nancy. We had a great week. The view from Griffith Park is spectacular. The fall colors are nice, although I think I would gladly exchange the fall colors for warmer weather.



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