After leaving the whirlwind that was New York, Olly and I touched down in LAX 6 hours later. And, as we have come to discover that LAX is possibly incompetent airport known to man, we arrived at our hotel, The Ramada (on Wilshire Blvd, Korea-town) minus Olly's luggage. Luckily, he didn't have to wait too long and we recieved his case after it arrived on the next flight later that night. The first few days of LA were interesting to say the least. We took full advantage of the free 24 hour gym, but aside from that we found ourselves in a continual loop of catching the Subway to Hollywood and Highland, strolling along the Walk of Fame, buying a Coffee Bean or two, then returning to our hotel room baffled at how we could possibly break out of this mind-numbing routine. It may sound odd, but we had no clue what to do, where to go and most importantly how to get there. The Subways in LA are fine and run frequently. But the busses (unless you are blessed with one that narrates the entire hourney over the tanoy) are a nightmare...and in our experience bizzarely smelt of tomatoe puree! Our greatest failed attempt was when we caught the bus to Beverly Hills, in the hopes of seeing Rodeo Drive. Cut to an hour later, when we are sat on the UCLA campus and it was safe to say that we were less than amused. However, we did get to see the most amazing and sickeningly expensive 'American Dream' mansions and met some cool cats on the bus...so it wasn't an entirely pointless journey.
On the Wednesday we contacted some of Olly's friends from way back in the day, Andi and Amy. I had spoken to Amy previously and bonded over our shared love of 'America's Next Top Model' but aside from that I had not yet had the pleasure of meeting these two lovely ladies. We met up at the Kodak Theatre, but had to take the long way round to actually meet up because Warren Beatty was recieving a Lifetime Achievement Award inside with his homeboy Robert De Niro and homegirl Meryl Streep there showing support, so the sidewalk was closed to all non A-listers. When we finally found eachother Amy and Andi introduced us to their friends, who live in LA, Travis and Amanda. The 6 of us then headed to a restaurant called 'Bella' where we enjoyed a celebratory for Andi's birthday. When we walked into the restaurant there were crew and cameras everywhere filming some reality tv-show which was amusing! A few weeks later, when Olly was watching 'The Hills' he spotted Lauren and Heidi eating there which was bizarre. Gorgeous food and great company ended up as a night of getting completely hammered on champagne and partying till the small hours back at Amanda and Travis' house with the addition of Hank and Ben. Good times!
The next day we were scheduled to go to Venice Beach, however, as everyone was feeling rather worse for wear we spent the afternoon chilling in Andi and Amy's hotel room and watched an amazing documentary called 'The Last Days of Left Eye'. It was an incredibly well put together and thought provoking documentary about the life and death of Lisa 'Left-Eye' Lopez - It's definately worth watching!
The following day we headed to Holywood and met the girls and Travis, who drove us back to his house. We spent the afternoon chilling, chatting and drinking then later in the evening we went to see a 'comedy' show called Superheroes. That was mind-numbing and bum-numbing experience to say the least...The next few days were spent in the Travanda household and with the addition of their hilarious friend Perry, we all enjoyed a lot of laughs and even more drinking sessions.
On the Monday we finally managed to organise a day with Olly's friend Jenny. Jenny lives and works as an actress in LA, so we met in the morning for some well-needed Starbucks then headed to downtown LA and watched one of her photoshoots. It was an amazing experience and the photos turned out to be incredible. Jenny very kindly gave Olly and I our favourite polaroids from the shoot. It was such a lovely, relaxed and glamourous insight into the life of Jenny Mollen. She invited us to a party that evening in Holywood in an exclusive bar and restaurant called Citizen Smith. The party was for birthday-boy Tom Lenk who is also a working actor out in LA and used to play Andrew in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The restaurant was gorgeous, and the party was being held in the outside terrace by the bar. We headed over and got a few drinks (non alcoholic of course - the downside to not being 21 in the USA) and waited for Jenny. In the end, Jenny didn't show, as she got locked out of her apartment, which was a shame as we were the plus two of a guest who wasn't even there! That being said we had a really nice night, wished Tom a happy birthday, saw a few celebs, then enjoyed a giant (and blissfuly half price) nacho plate. Fun times!
On Tuesday, our final day in LA, we headed out with the gang to Venice Beach. It's less than a half hour drive so we spent the day enjoying the sea, sand and sunshine and got some gorgeous group photos on the shoreline. We then headed down the boardwalk and saw all the quirky shops, art sellers and street performers and soaked up the cliche sights of American's rollerblading in short shorts. We then went for lunch in The Sidewalk Cafe and enjoyed a nice meal and even nicer company. I am sad to say that I found the infamous 'Muscle Beach' to be very dissapointing. I was ready (and happy) to see tanned, muscley American guys working out on the beach and as it turned out the first, and one of the only, men I saw was a middle aged ex body builder wearing a leapoard print thong! Nice.
We then headed home and picked up our bags and Travis very kindly dropped us off at the airport for 9pm. Our experience in LAX was a joke, queuing out the terminal, having to scan our own luggage, being delayed by an hour and realising there wasn't a Starbuck's in sight! Eventually we got on our flight to Brisbane, then had the pleasure of sitting on a plane for 13 hours - Joy to the World!