Misconceptions: Everyone is a pothead with dreads who walks around with a sour stench. You can’t get anything but a hot dog from a café with a B- rating in their foggy, spray painted window. It’s a tourist trap. Tourists trash talk Venice, saying that they had to go because it’s on the list when visiting LA. Yes, Venice is one of those places you have to just see for yourself, but go to the better parts, the parts that don’t sell tacky Venice shirts for 2 for $10.
Things you think you will hate but end up loving: Chill sidewalk venders who aren’t constantly yelling at you to buy something. The man with a ponytail to his waist creating impressive marine animals in the sand. The amount of people passing by on a sweltering summer day actually gives you the perfect opportunity for people watching.
Things you think you will love but end up hating: Seeing a three headed turtle in a small plastic bowl outside the famous Freak Show. The henna tattoo places. The muscle on muscle that is flaunted around Muscle Beach.
Gems of Venice: Abbot Kinney Boulevard. The roasted sunchoke with Tarragon and vinegar from Gjelina. Local jewelry artists selling thin rose gold rings on a side street. Watching the sun glisten through the Venice sign. Catching a couple kissing and almost falling off of their bikes.
What you think will happen, but actually doesn't: Leaving Venice before dark, whether you have been there since the morning or not, it doesn’t matter. Nothing is going to make you miss that sunset. Even knowing how bad the traffic will be going home on the PCH. Buying only things on sale, and only a few things on sale. Remembering to check the parking meter. Making a reservation ahead of time at the new Asian/French fusion place. Calling your mother on your ride home to let her know your still alive and coming home, shortly.