Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Saturday: Venice & Santa Monica

We stayed in Venice for just two nights at JK’s ex-pat brother’s US home, as a prelude to three days of proper holiday at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in the hills above Santa Barbara. The pale blue painted clapboard house is huge, everything I had thought a beach house should be, with glass walls to the yard, baths so deep I could sit practically submerged, and a kitchen that paid homage to the gods of cooking: Sub Zero, Viking et al.

We decided Saturday was errand & pottering day. We wandered through Santa Monica, buying vegetables & fruit at the Farmers Market, before lunch at Urth Caffé on Main Street. Sad to report, it was execrable. A revolting omelette, composed of a rectangular raft of pallid, rubbery egg with a few (good) mushrooms entombed therein, and some greasy cheese smeared across the top was redeemed only by some delicious toasted sourdough. At the very least, I had hoped for some good people watching, but the clientele was, in the main, badly dressed twenty somethings, stroppy teenagers and a few skinny twiglets pushing food around their plates.

We hit upon Urth Caffé mainly because it was a block away from Yoga Works where JK was booked for an afternoon session of bend & contort. I couldn’t imagine anything I wanted to do less than expose my malcordinated, morgue-pale, English body to a room of bendy Angelenos, so headed down the street to get my nails painted a lurid shade of candy pink in homage to the trashier side of LA.

Parking myself at a café with my laptop to await JK’s release from yoga hell, I was somewhat reassured by the gentle progression of Lycra-clad, wobble-bodied yoga aficionados heading into the studio for the next class. Another of my preconceptions shattered: apparently LA’s entire population isn’t composed of malnourished stick insects after all.