HOLLYWOOD!! We arrived in L.A after a 9 hour flight and didn't really know what to expect but checked into banana bungalow which was a hostel in West Hollywood. Our first impressions of L.A were a bit disappointing everything seemed unreachable unless you had a car or used public transport which made us feel a bit restricted. There was also a surprising amount of homeless people and just general freaks or weirdo's who always had you on edge. Maybe it came as a shock to us because we had came from a small island in the middle of the ocean and had all our food cooked for us, even finding a grocery store was hard.....................what happened to flipping Walmart??????????All the ones we could find were stupid small chains selling all that organic crap!! Were backpackers we can't afford that!! AARRGGHH!! Rant over let's just put it down to culture change haha
The next day we decided to give L.A a fair chance and bit the bullet and organised a car rental for the week leading up until our family came out. We skyped our parents that morning since we hadn't spoken to them for two weeks due to poor reception in Fiji and helped our self to the free breakfast at the hostel. Once we sorted the car rental we decided to head out to the Hollywood walk of fame where all the stars are imprinted in the floor and we went to the Kodak theatre where the academy awards are held, we also did the Chinese Grauman's Theatre where all the hand and footprints are in the cement.This was more like the L.A we imagined and this is where we got our first glimpse of the Hollywood sign in the hills. Louise also saw Peaches Geldoff, day 2 and we've already spotted a celebrity. However this street was still scattered with the homeless and one guy in particular came over to me; nearly 7ft tall and gladly told me............. 'GOD DAM BOY, i can see you're grown up but you look like a punk ass kid maaannn'talk about rubbing salt into the wound, i know I've lost a bit of weight but....come on!!!
One thing we would have to get used to in the US was tipping and this tax malarkey . As we were walking down the walk of fame they have all the characters dressed up like Batman, Scream and Elvis etc... we got caught up in all the Hollywood fame , one grabbed Lou for a picture so i got my camera out and just before the flash went off, i mean literally milliseconds he slips in "i take photo's for tips" and smiles! I bet he's that guy on the radio who gives you a really good deal then reads the small print for the 90% APR at a hundred miles an hour......Jerk!! haha
Next morning i went to the airport by myself to collect the car because we didn't want to spend money on two airport transfers, makes sense or so we thought, I left the hostel at 9:30 am and since I didn't have anyone to help with directions on the way back from the car rental place I got lost (even when Lou had printed me out directions)..........didn't find my way back until 1pm! We spent the day driving round Beverly Hills to spot some stars and see the many mansions that are dotted all over. We happened to find Rod Stewarts address on the internet and we headed into the Hollywood hills to see the sign and find good old Rodney! However we failed in the latter. We then went to the infamous Rodeo Drive where all the designer shops are and Lou took a picture of every shop window. The street was pristine and the cars that went past were ridiculous we must have seen about 6 Rolls Royce phantoms which cost about 450,000 pound each. Never have I felt so under dressed just walking down a street.
The following day we checked out of banana bungalow and headed to Kat Von D's tattoo studio where they film L.A ink, Lou kept egging me on but we didn't have the guts to do it. We spent the next night in Santa Monica which is still part of L.A but toward the beach area, we spent the day down on the beach on the boardwalk. There was so many people jogging, roller blading, biking and some used contraptions we haven't even seen before; there was one guy on a cross trainer with wheels. Straight away Santa Monica had a much better atmosphere than the city life and suited me and Lou down to the ground so we decided to join everybody exercising and we hired out a tandem bike haha.........don't ask why it just looked like fun, but it was a lot harder to steer than we thought; it was great we headed down past the pier and to muscle beach where Arnold Swartznegger used to train.
We only stayed the one night at Santa Monica, then headed 10 minutes south down to Venice beach the next morning. Venice beach was excellent, it was very hippy orientated, loads of little stalls selling anything and everything. Its addictive watching people whiz up and down on the beach on the boardwalk, so this time on Venice beach we decided on ROLLERBLADES!!! Apparently Lou used to skate when she was younger........you must be kidding me! She was like Bambi on ice; in fact she made Bambi look good. Me on the other hand, I handled it like a dream.....no seriously I surprised myself on how good I was haha it didn't take long before Lou got the hang of it and let go of my hand. We spent the morning just skating up and down the Venice boardwalk and we called in to muscle beach and seen our second celebrity ...........Calvin out of Hollyoaks haha, he was also in strictly come dancing, I think he won it. A Z lister is a better spot than no lister! Not to let the situation pass us i bucked up the courage and said "hey calvin" later to find out that our guide book insists on not calling them by their characters names......oops! On the way back to hand in our rollerblades Lou got caught up in an incident and got run off the road, haha you know the classic head on situation where one person goes one way and then you both end up going the same way well this happened to Lou and all i heard was screams from behind..........look back only to see Lou with her hands in the air screaming "i don't know how to turn" as she ploughs through people and heads for the grassy hill since that was the only way to stop! And did I mention that the guy who she nearly collided with was on a bike!
We left L.A behind that morning and we are glad to say it ended on a high; our journey was taking us to San Diego via Laguna Beach, Orange County before heading to Vegas a night early before our families come out!
Love Adam and Louise xxx