My husband-to-be (HTB) and I landed in Los Angeles airport and headed straight for Hollywood. I had flown through LA airport many times, but had never stopped to see the city itself, apart from Disneyland.
This time it would be different. We stayed in a hostel a few blocks from Hollywood Boulevard. The hostel overlooked the parking lot of the club of the moment, Opera, which Brittany Spears had been known to frequent.
Surrounding us were the Hollywood Hills and the famous Hollywood sign- from a very far distance- but still legible. We headed straight for the Boulevard to spot Marilyn Monroe and Keanu Reeves amongst the stars on the street.
At the Chinese Theatre, we found Eddie Murphy’s handprints out the front. I was awed by the Roosevelt Hotel, made famous by many movies I am sure, but by Charlie’s Angels 2 for me.
We saw the lovely old Captain Theatre, Capitol Records and the appropriately themed Egyptian Theatre. We had dinner in the Pig and Thistle– supposedly a haunt of celebrities. I had never heard of Fredrick’s of Hollywood, but the lingerie on display there was certainly show stopping, such as the colourful bra designed by Sharon Stone.
The next day we decided to walk down Melrose Ave and perhaps find Melrose Place. Yes, I know, walk- nobody walks in LA and we quickly discovered why. Melrose Ave is a very, very, very long road. And if that wasn’t enough of a clue, the school bus driver who laughed at us as he passed and called out that we were crazy definitely clued us in.
We passed Kermit the frog at the Jim Henson studio, funky boutiques and coffee shops along the way. I purchased a pair of warm gloves from Target- a reliable shop for a bargain the world over it would seem.
Giving up on Melrose Place, we got on a local bus past Beverly Hills to Santa Monica and the pier. The palm trees here are as numerous and the Spanish style villas.
My favourite thing about LA was the The Getty. The bus trip up the hill that wove through the gated houses of Bel Air was followed by a tram ride up to the museum. When we arrived at the top, the view of the city was breathtaking and we really felt like we were on top of the world.
We hit the museum courtyard at dusk and the orange hues of sunset made beautiful dappled light patterns on the white marble walls of the museum. I loved the marvellous Fran & Stark Sculpture Terrace and inside the museum I felt very lucky to see Irises by Van Gogh and that bridge painting by Monet.
Coming back down to earth, we window shopped Rodeo Dr by night, finding a red dress at Valentino that I could never afford. We also saw the famous Beverly Wiltshire Hotel (scene of Donna Martin’s disgrace on Beverly Hills 90210, or was it Brenda’s first time?) and took our picture with the big Christmas tree set up on the Spanish steps for the season.
We finished our Hollywood adventure where it began on Hollywood Boulevard with half price pitchers of Margarita’s at L’Scorpion. They sure can mix a top Mexican cocktail in California, and the multi coloured corn chips went together with them perfectly.
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