The sound of the waves, the clean air and the space was such a relief after the intensity of New York City. We chose to stay at Hermosa Beach which is an hour south of LA and it’s an awesome beachside town that feels in many ways like it’s been frozen in time. Life is slower there and reminded me of my childhood in the 80’s on Rottnest Island or staying at Margret River in WA, very laid back and everyone walking around with bare feet. I love wearing no shoes so I felt right at home. There is actually proof that walking the sand of a beach with bare feet is “earthing” for the body, which changes our energy frequency and reduces inflammation in the body – but more on that soon!
We stayed at the Hermosa Beach Hotel which is right on Hermosa Beach. The hotel has been built and decorated in the Hamptons style, with lots of white painted woodwork, vaulted ceilings and big sliding doors that opened onto balconies that overlooked the ocean. My daughter and I had a room facing the beach and when the doors were open we could sit on the couch or lie in bed and look straight out onto the ocean. And of course we were rocked to sleep each night by the sound of the waves, it’s such a quintessential relaxing holiday sound.
What I found interesting about Hermosa Beach is that it’s very flat and it’s very wide so once you step onto the sand you have to walk over a hundred meters to get to the shore line. The beach is covered with rows and rows of beach volleyball nets and people were playing from morning until dusk. I guess it’s very much a case of ‘you play the sport that your environment allows’, as most of the surrounding area of Hermosa Beach was so densely populated and built up that there was no sports fields anywhere, the only sports field was the beach!
The Hermosa Beach town has a really cute holiday and family atmosphere. There is a mall just around the corner from the hotel where all the restaurants and shops are located. We found an amazing cafe called Gum Tree that was owned by Australians and had very yummy, healthy organic food. One night we went to a restaurant called Palmilla that was full of women – literally big tables of women everywhere. Once we sat down we realised why: All the waiters where so frickin HOT! It was hysterical. They definitely hired on looks! And the food was amazing! Go, it’s so funny.
My favourite day in Hermosa was when we hired bikes and rode from Hermosa to Manhattan beach. I love riding bikes, it brings back my childhood and makes me feel so carefree and like life is simple again, meandering along with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face, it’s these simple pleasures that are the best and I relaxed so deeply so quickly.
Over the road from the hotel I found a really great yoga place called “Soho Yoga” which offered HOT yoga. The room had a great ambience and they played some really great music. The town reminded me a little of Byron Bay.
We went into LA twice during the week and it took less than an hour. Of course we went to lunch at The Ivy, a well known tourist/celebrity haunt. The decor of the Ivy is ornate and over the top, flowers everywhere and very smooth and charming waiters scuttling around the place. Our waiter was particularly smooth. I met a friend of mine there from Burning Man and we had a really great catch-up over a few glasses of wine. The food is always fantastic and the serves are not too big, which I love as America usually has huge serves. We didn’t see any stars but we felt like Rockstars for being there! Even though it’s a little dated it still has a great vibe about it.
After that we went to The Grove and shopped in a very different atmosphere to what we are used to in Australia. Here you wonder around paths surrounded by grassy knolls were you can sit on the grass after spending thousands of dollars in the stores and relax in the sun! It was a very different experience and much better and more relaxing than navigating Westfields at the Junction.
I love LA but I loved getting out and having some chill time at Hermosa Beach. NY was so intense, I needed the break. I would really recommend staying here, you have the best of both worlds, groovy cool and exciting LA and the retro beach vibe of Hermosa Beach. Hire bikes, walk in bare feet, eat great food, swim and totally let go, that’s what I did and it was so great!
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