LA LA Land, city of angels, Hollywood, home to Disneyland and the LA Lakers! This is why we came to LA and it’s also where we met up with our travel partners for the next 5 weeks: Angus’ brother Jack and his wife Gabrielle.
We hired a car in LA, just because we knew the main attractions were so far from each other. Driving proved to be a challenge in itself, driving on the opposite side of the road was daunting enough, but the massive eight lane freeways, lack of street signs, the LA Marathon and barely there traffic lights made it even harder. In saying this we kept to the right side of the roads at all time (constant chanting “Right side, Right side” from the back seat drivers helped) and only ran three red lights. We left unscathed and in total awe of peak hour traffic, massive kudos to our awesome driver Jack!
Staying in West Hollywood was great. Our hotel was just off the Sunset strip, as central as we were going to get and relatively close to where the cast from The Hills hang out. Not a priority, but handy when it came to picking some cool bars and restaurants to eat at. Our first “Hollywood” experience was spent at a bar called the Hollywood Den, where each of us saw someone famous but no one could name them. Jack saw a guy from a movie, Gabe saw Spencer from the Hills and I saw Heidi from the Hills. Gus bitch slapped us all for watching the Hills and knowing who the characters were.
The next day we set off in our SUV to Santa Monica and Venice beaches. Getting there was another challenge, we couldn’t drive along the coast due to the roads being closed but we took the back streets and got to see Venice beach. I might add it was also pouring rain in LA, so all shops were closed along the beachfront and didn’t get to see much. What we saw of it looked exactly like that scene off Pretty Woman, minus the roller bladers and hot guys pumping iron. Maybe next time… The second half of the day was spent up in the Hollywood hills, tailing “Star Home Tour” buses – it seemed like a good idea until we realised we didn’t know whose home they were stopping at.
San Diego – A number of people told us to head to San Diego while we were in LA. It’s only a couple of hours drive and as we were heading south we experienced some sunny Californian weather – just what we needed. We went to “Balboa Park” to see some beautiful Spanish architecture, churches, castles and fountains. We stopped by the market along the pier in San Diego and soaked in some rays. It was a great day and wish we had some more time to explore the city. On the way home , we drove through Beach Country and saw a sunset on Laguna beach, a magical way to finish the day.
Disneyland – We waited for the sunny day in LA to go to Disneyland. The happiest place on earth, with the exception of when waiting in line. We had the disadvantage of being there during spring break so the lines were up to an hours wait. Well worth it when you get onto the ride, but it’s just a hassle. Next time we’ll use the Fast pass service. It’s an additional $22, but it means you go into the fast line and basically skip the line where us plebs were. Best rides at Disney were definitely Thunder Mountain and Bob Sled roller coasters. We tried to get onto the Indiana Jones ride and waited for about 45 minutes, before the ride got shut down for servicing. Bummer!
LA Lakers – Highlight of LA. The game we got tickets to were to see Lakers vs Pheonix Suns. Massive game. The game went into triple overtime, only because the players kept making ridiculously awesome foul shots from the line with 1.5 seconds to go. Thrilling game, the crowd was insane and we lost our voices. The ultimate LA experience.
- You can get a Hollywood Photo from the lookout up on Mullholland drive
- Try the Chilli Cheese Dog and Chilli Cheese fries from Pinks. Greasy but good.