The crazy time difference meant we arrived in LA 3 hours after we left Vietnam (despite the 15 hour flight), this also meant we had a 36 hour day! We quickly got to our air bnb with an extremely friendly taxi driver and hunted down the first of many burritos. We spent most of the day sleeping and being jet lagged. We cooked some macaroni cheese after a visit to a very American supermarket and went to bed. Lucy was keenly awake at 4am the next day, keen to start our Hollywood adventure. At 8am she felt it was an appropriate time to get up, dragging Tom up with her. We made massive breakfasts in the apartment in order to try to fill ourselves up (to avoid paying American prices for food) and also took advantage of cereal, as we had both been missing it!
We decided to walk to West Hollywood which was about 2 miles away and quickly realised that nobody walked in America. We passed the art museum which looked pretty cool, visited a 99 cent store (nothing was 99 cent) and a farmers market, also very American and in a large car park. Before long we could see the Hollywood hills in the background and found ourselves on Hollywood Boulevard. It was so loud and tacky, yet brilliant. The Walk of Fame or Walk of Shame as the tour sellers called it, went on for miles! We walked the the full length looking for our favourites and finally found Ryan Reynolds after a long search! We went to the Chinese Theatre to see the masses of handprints outside which Lucy was awestruck by. This excitement could also be to do with the 7-Eleven coffees we had been drinking with an extra shot of coffee on our new LA diet. We walked down the full length of Hollywood which soon turned into a rather dingey neighbourhood and walked up to Griffith Observatory on top of a massive hill in the Hollywood Hills. There was a great view of the Hollywood sign which was actually really small! The observatory was actually fascinating and featured a large telescope, sadly it was daytime so we couldn’t see anything.
We headed to downtown Hollywood which features loads of very nice bars and restaurants, none of which we could afford! The Walt Disney Theatre was a very impressive building (and free to look at!) After a long day we got the bus home which was full of a very mixed bunch of people including a really kind security guard who made sure that we hadn’t missed our stop!
The next day we went to the Getty Art Museum which was on the top of a large hill in Bel-Aire. Forgetting how big LA is it took us 2 hours to get there and 2 buses! It was worth it though and the museum was immaculate and the view over the city was incredible. We saw a large amount of art from Glasgow, the North East of England and Europe, which was less exotic to us than the Americans! We ordered the biggest pizza we could find that evening which was very tasty – opting for a 16 inch Deadpool special of olives and pineapple.
For our last full day in LA we visited Santa Monica and Venice beach, Lucy’s favourite place in LA. Santa Monica was full of nice bars and resturants all along the coast aswell which featured a massive beach and pier. There was a paddle boarding contest on which was fun to watch and created a great atmosphere on the pier. We walked on the palm tree covered boardwalk with the rollerbladers and cyclists to Venice Beach, the Camden of LA. It was full of street artists and graffiti covered building as well as a skatepark with impressive skaters. Tom had heard about a festival early so we went to it for a few hours. It was full of food vans, art, a live band and hula dancers on the beach! We treated ourselves to a beer and enjoyed the sun. That evening we headed back to the Getty museum as a band were on that Tom had heard of and he was missing live music! It was great to watch the sunset over the city and a great way to spend our last night there.
We felt it wouldn’t be LA if we didn’t go to a baseball game. We managed to get cheap seats on the Internet and walked through the largest car pack to the stadium (again the only people walking through a car park that was the same size as Leeds!). The game was amazing, although it was slow we quickly got up to speed with the rules and really got in to it! In true baseball style we treated ourselves to $14 beers in the spirit of the game! LA put a serious dent in our budget but it was worth every penny! We made our flight at 10pm to Colombia, another night flight which we weren’t excited about!