Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The LA life! USA Road Trip Part 1

Arriving in LA - slightly tired but super excited, our first stop after baggage claim was National Car Rental. As luck would have it, our delay in Washington DC had meant that we timed it perfectly to get a Mustang! It had been dropped off half an hour earlier so had we arrived on time it wouldn't have been there.

The car dreams are made of!
We were like kids in a candy store when we saw it - jumping up and down - this was the start of our dream trip....the drama of getting there was fading fast.

In other good news, Laura was able to be a named driver which was good for two reasons: 1) I didn't want to do all the driving 2) L has far more experience driving in America so could handle the busy cities.

Thankfully L offered to drive first and I was so relieved as we hit LA traffic pretty quickly. Our AirBnB was only 20 minutes from the airport and was two streets up from the centre of Hollywood. It took us almost an hour to get there though and by the time we had moved all the bags up the stairs, we ready to pass out. However, the desire for food helped us find a Taco Bell and that gave us the energy to drive the Hollywood strip and plan our next day. The quote 'LA is a car park' was ringing true at this point!
Squint and you can see the Hollywood sign on the hill!
I always forget that the USA doesn't have Sunday closing - in the UK shops shut at 4pm, but without that timeline the day was our own. We had brunch at Mel's Diner - an omelette big enough to share and set us up for the day. It was hot - like 35 degrees C hot - so we took our time doing the tourist things. We walked up and down checking out the Hollywood Walk of Fame, we went to the world's largest sweet shop, I ran up and down the musical stairs by the Chinese Theatre and we spent a good half hour in RuPaul's shop 'just for the shade of it'.

We walked in and out of numerous gift stores collecting mementos - it was Hollywood after all, and this is what dreams are made of !

In the evening we decided to drive to Malibu and were lucky enough to time it for a beautiful sunset - perfect to watch while eating our California Donuts and revelling in how lucky we were to be there. On the way back we decided to check out Calabasas - or, as we discovered, the gates of Calabasas - the Mustang meant we fitted in well enough but we didn't dare to try and drive through the security-guarded gates!
The best evenings involve sunsets and doughnuts :)
The next morning we decided to get our hike on and headed out to the Hollyridge trail that had been suggested to us on Instagram. We knew we had to start early as it was due to get to 38 degrees that day! We arrived at the area at 8am and found a park - following the instructions we had screen shot, we found our trail and started the ascent. It was steep in places but beautiful and every so often you caught sight of the Hollywood sign. We had made the decision to go to the top of the Hollywood sign and we were so glad we did. It was almost 10am by the time we got there but the view was spectacular - totally worth it. It really gave a perspective on how big and sprawling LA is. It spreads out as far as the eye can see, but while standing there it looked so peaceful.

We made our way down and took a second trail to arrive at a great viewing point for the front of the sign - I was SO excited. To be standing at the sign was such a dream come true. In fact, LA was a dream come true!

We also did a Hollywood homes tour (we were tourists, we had to!) and headed into the hills to spot celebrities houses - to name drop a few, we saw: Quentin Tarantino, Vinnie Jones, J-Lo, Bruno Mars, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Ice T & Coco, the Playboy Mansion, Michael Jackson, Liza Minnelli / Judy Garland, Simon Cowell and Justin Timberlake! Phew!

We also took in Beverley Hills, Mulholland Drive, Rodeo drive and a host of other places including the jail Li-Lo and Paris Hilton did time in. It was just like being on the E! Channel. Sadly we didn't actually 'see' anyone famous but it certainly felt like we were in the right place to.

Rodeo drive had this AMAZING beauty parlour - if only it had been open!
Our time in LA came to a close with a beautiful sunrise before we hit the road to Anaheim and Disneyland.....exciting times lay ahead!!!!

See ya, LA! You were everything we had hoped for and more!

1 comment:

  1. Wow you two packed in the fun... awesome... I love all the pictures xox


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