Part 1: Venice Beach Bike Rides and Corporate Hostels

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I wanted to dip my feet in the Pacific Ocean. There was a trek across a long beach on a beautiful evening. I rolled my pant legs up and carried my flip flops in my hand. The sand under my feet gradually becoming wetter until a good wave brought a little wall of water across my feet and up to my knees. I stood there for a second just trying to take it all in. I’d made it. Five weeks of travel on my motorcycle across America had brought me to the other side. I had escaped snow storms in Colorado over frozen mountain passess. I’d slept in the desert of the Wild West under the blanket of stars. In the Appalachians I rode through rain that soaked everything I owned, and the Grand Canyon had lead me down to a paradise 7 miles down cliff faces.

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There I was on the Left Coast standing in the sun looking at the Santa Monica Pier on my left and the hillside of California disappearing into the smog and haze on my right.

All I could think was now what?

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Thinking that was a bit misleading because I still had a direction and purpose, but the trip was about to completely change as I planned to sell the Death Machine in Los Angeles and finish up my trip by some other means yet to be determined.

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I had found myself a bed at a Hostel International which was a world wide corporate hostel chain. As far as hostels go it was the nicest I’d ever stayed in by far, but it was impersonal. There were a lot of travelers, backpackers, and tourists from all over the world filling up its 10 man rooms, tv room, internet cafe, dinning room, kitchen, and court yard. I was not used to having so many ammenities in a hostel environment. I wasn’t going to complain as I was crashing a block from the beach in Santa Monica for 33 bucks a night.

The first night in town I sent out messages to friends who lived in the area and I streamed the last Walking Dead episode after I figured out how to bypass the hostel’s network lock down on such things. With 15 years of experience in IT I learned a few tricks.

I relaxed and showered and crawled into bed. The room had 5 sets of bunk beds and all of the mere full. There was no A/C but the night was cool with the windows open. I slept.

The next morning an old DC friend named Marcy hit me up and let me know that she and friend were going for a bike ride down to Venice Beach. I could not have thought of a better thing to do with my afternoon after I had procured some of California’s finest greenery.

I rented a comfortable black beach cruiser and set course the few miles from Santa Monica to Venice along the boardwalk. The sun shined perfectly as the cool ocean breeze swept across me as I rode.

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I passed the iconic Venice Beach skate park and Muscle Beach. I rode all the way down to the marina before I realized I’d passed Marcy and her friend. I turned back around and enjoyed being lost for a bit longer.

Before I found Marcy and her, Kesha, I stopped off at a local market and purchased a six pack of Mikes Hard Strawberry Lemonade and 3 cups of ice. The girls were around the corner, and we sat on the beach sipping our drinks, talking, and finishing up the little bit of bud I’d come across.

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Marcy told me of her life and the changes that had happened. We talked about her relationship and it’s demise. We discussed her escape plan to move to New Zealand to live with her heavily kiwi accented brother, and we brought up old times and laughed at them.

Marcy invited me to come out to her place later in the evening so that we could go out and hit the town with Kesha and her roommate who was a professional personal chef. Kesha had booked it for the sun of the coast after realizing that treading water where you don’t belong is harder work than finding your spot and enjoying yourself. She was tall and slender and sexy in a wild woman way. I could tell she was a good time.

After we’d made our point on the beach we rode back towards my hostel before they turned right to head north back into the city. I returned my bike, found my hostel, nabbed a wonderful cool shower, and laid down to nap. I must say that taking a nap in the middle of the day was wonderful. I haven’t been able to do anything like that in the last month and half. It was a welcome change on the afternoon.

After a few hours of sleep I got myself together and cabbed it out to Marcy’s studio. It was planted in a complex that reminded me of Melrose Place without the swimming pool or super model actresses. Marcy neighbors were amazing and welcoming. I enjoyed getting to know all of them.

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We hung out in Kesha’s pad and waited for her roommate to come home. She showed up and was a ball of fire. As we met she reached up with both her hands and cupped my face and gave me the warmest hello I think I may have ever received from a complete stranger. The chef got her self together and produced some of Cali’s finest green. We smoked and sipped beers and talked loudly about all manner of awesome things.

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Kesha called a cabbie friend and showed up in an executive sedan and wisked us off to the club where we danced and laughed bounced off the walls with the help of small glasses of alcohol.

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When we got back to Melrose Place The Chef made the most amazing drunk healthy food I’ve ever had. She whipped it up from nothing and I ate a gourmet meal at 3 in the morning. I like these people.

For the third time on this day I slept like a baby on one of Marcy’s couches.

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