Los Angeles, United States
34° 3' N 118° 14' W
Jul 12, 2007 23:39
Distance 2862km

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Text written in: English

LA baby.. home to the rich and famous!

Arrived in LA without any delay.. my rucksack even came out promptly! walked straight out the doors and caught a shuttle bus that dropped me right at my door. So far i'm not experiencing the problems of not having a car in LA. The hostel i'm staying in is okay.. i've stayed in better. When I arrived I was allocated my dorm (sharing with 11 others) and I found my bed covered in beer cans.. lovely. Oh and did I mention it's a mixed dorm? Yes.. not so fond of those.. boys smell. On the upside people here are really nice.. I just kicked about on my first night.. going my laundry and checking emails etc.. was pretty pooped after the night before. It is very much a party hostel.. there is constantly something going on.. which is great.. but not so great when it's 4am you're trying to sleep and everyone's coming home from the party - lights are on people are shouting and doors are a slammin! Bunch of inconsiderate pillocks. I got my own back when I was up at 7am!

My first day in LA.. I took a trip with the hostel to Universal Studios.. free shuttle bus.. can't go wrong! It was great fun.. although we were dropped of at 9:30 and picked up at 6:45. Far too long there.. you can do almost everything in 3hours. Saw some fantastic special effects though, the movie set for War of the Worlds, Desperate Housewives set etc! Had some fab sushi there too.. yum yum yum! When I got back to the hostel I planned to get an early night as I was due to meet my friend Marianna the following morning at 8am (note the 40 minute journey to get to hers). However I ended up getting dragged out to the hostel night out.. which turned out to be a great laugh. We had a few drinks (all you can drink beer for $5.. not bad eh!) then we went to a place called Club 7 on Santa Monica Blvd.. very classy. I managed to make it home by 2:30 so my head was only slightly hazy when the alarm went off at 6:30. Made to Manchie's for 8 though! Met her and her boyfriend Jason.. really nice guy. Haven't seen her in so long.. was great to meet with an old friend.. who is looking super! Going to hang out with her a bit more whilst i'm here.. she apparently has surprises for me!

After meeting up with Manch and Jason they dropped me off at my new hostel.. lovely looking place.. right next to a farmers market.. fresh fruit and veg at my finger tips! Right now i'm in a cracking little internet cafe round the corner. Also i'm just a few blocks from the beach.. woop dee friggin doo!! Yep.. really like it here.

................ Up-date.. I love LA!!! Having done my fair share of touristy stuff yesterday I decided to hire a bike and really see Malibu/Santa Monica/Venice Beach(s). Marie (a girl from Paris who is sharing my room) ended up coming with me, so the two of us cycled along the ocean front for a couple of hours. I loved it. Fresh air, sunshine, exercise and site-seeing all rolled into one! I want to hire one again tomorrow, but am tempted to go for the roller blades.. we shall see! After that I headed back to the hostel to get ready for dinner.. Marianna and Jason were taking me for sushi (it's their favourite food too) but I wasn't allowed to know where it was. We arrived at the lovely restaurant (Hamasaku) not too far from where they live. They go there all the time and the owner loves them, as I found out later when he spotted them! We has some of the best sushi I have ever tasted, not to mention the strongest sake. When they brought desert.. Marianna had organised for them to being a glass of ice cream covered in a crisp syrup cone (about a foot high) with 'Welcome to Hamasaku Fiona' written on the plate in chocolate. It was so nice. All in all it was a fantastic night.. we all had such a laugh. Poor Jason had to put up with Manchie and I exchanging old-school stories. It was great.. definitely a night I will never forget.

Update...... today (Tue) Marie and I headed to the beach early doors and spent the morning there. We soaked up the sun on Santa Monica Beach till mid-day when it all became too much for Marie. I stayed a few more hours.. people watching and feeding my sudoku addiction. Then headed back to the hostel late afternoon where I just relaxed.. which was nice. All in all a very chilled out day. I made myself a salad for dinner and went to the TV room where a bunch of folk were watching Bill Englvey.. very funny guy. I then went up to the room and read my book before going to sleep at........ 10pm!!!!! What is up with that??!

After a great nights sleep I rose early and went for a run along the beach.. it was so nice.. as it was still fairly cool. I then headed back to the hostel, grabbed a shower and went out roller-blading. I loved that.. although I almost decked it at one point.. it must have been pretty hilarious to watch as it was one of those cartoon moments where my arms and legs were going everywhere.. thankfully I regained my balance and carried on (with my head down). That afternoon Manch and I had planned to go the beach. she was taking me to a lovely beach in Malibu. She picked my up about 1 and we headed along armed with stacks of water. magazines and fresh fruit.. all the essentials. The beach was totally secluded and there was only a handful of people there. The weather was perfect and we had a great day .. especially for Manchie who had been working non-stop so was enjoying relaxing. We braved the cold Pacific Ocean and went to take a dip.. the waves were huge and almost swallowed us both (on a number of occasions) it must have been funny to watch as we were making a racket. The two of us found it hard to speak as the water was so cold.. no .. it really was bloody freezing! After our cool down we went back to our sun-spot only to see G-I-JOE coming down the rocky beach steps. What I mean by G-I-JOE is a chap dressed in a make-shift cop outfit.. with what we hoped was a water-gun, a fake sheriff badge and what looked like a mexican sombrero.. all together a bit weird. He felt the need to pass on his sun-bathing wisdom when walking past.. i'm just glad he kept walking.

After 4 hours flew by in what felt like 30 minutes.. Manch and I headed to the supermarket to get food for dinner as she was having a few friends round. We bought shrimp and smoked mackerel for a seafood salad. Manch's friends arrived and we all had some wine and olives before dinner. The food was lovely, after which Marianna and I made cookies... yum! Good joint effort there.. even if we did leave them in a little too long! The dinner was great.. great food.. great conversation.. great night.

Update..... Last night was the DVD launch of Jason's movie 'Our Very Own' at a Hotel in Santa Monica.  Jason was in New York so Marianna, Jason's mum and I headed along.  There were a few celebs there.. Autumn Reeser (Taylor from the OC), girl from One Tree Hill and lots of others.  Manch, of course used to all this LA movie guff was catching up with friends and up-dating them on her movie.  I was a little star struck at first but then got all too comfortable with it!  The night was great, a photographer took our picture for a paper or a magazine or something so i'm going to need to keep an eye out for that!  After the launch, Manch, Nancy and I grabbed some sushi at a nearby place.. it was so good.  The sushi over here is like no other!  I have to bring this to Glasgow!  Manch and I headed back to hers where we made some tea and sat down to watch Jason's movie (as I hadn't seen it).  It was very good.. I was nearly in tears at one point.  We then crashed out in light of our early rise the next day. 

I rose fairly early, worried about sleeping in and knowing how long it would take me to pack all my gear.  I was a numpty and had left two tops at my old hostel so Manch very kindly picked them up for me whilst I tried to find space for everything (without much luck).  We left her apartment and headed for the bus station...

 

Photos / videos of "LA baby.. home to the rich and famous!":

Original Jaws Poster Nothing to flashy but this is where all the big programs/films are made and again.. A set for a film A bridge that has appeard in many things.. one of which was quantum leap (I think) The car from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang the car from some movie.. was too busy taking pictures I missed which one THE car from Back to the Future (where Biff gets manure dumped on him) again.. THE car from Back to the Future same again from Back to the Future II Special effects they used in the Fast and The Furious films ... ... They filmed a lot of Jurassic Park at Universal Studios A simulated flash flood (this was used in the film 3 Amigos with Steve Martin) again... The poster from the film The set of The Ghost Whisperer and again (didn't spot Jennifer Love Hewit) Part of the Jurassic Park set again These sets are used for several movies ... ... A replica of the San Francisco Subway A simulated earth quake in the San Fran Subway The lake on the set of the Jaws film again.. again.. Desperate Housewives set again Set from the Grinch again... from psycho The actual set from the movie ... The set from War of the Worlds An actual Boeing 747 that was destroyed for the set of the film ... ... ... ... Making of the film Evan Almighty Steven Spielberg Dr The set for Evan Almighty ... From Notting Hill From the film Apollo 13 with Tom Hanks From the movie Backdraft.  They led us into a factory set and staged a controlled fire.. it was so hot.. I had to check my eyebrows were still there after it ... ... ... Universal Studios again again ... Universal Studios Outside my first hostel in LA - Banana Bungalow The view from the balcony upstairs Santa Monica beach (1 block from my second hostel) Santa Monica Pier Santa Monica again.. ... Outside my second hostel (really nice) My 2nd hostel The beach Baywatch!! The view of Santa Monica from the beach Santa Monica The shop from Pretty Woman (where they wouldn't serve her) LA Rodeo Drive Rodeo Drive Regent Beverly Wilshire and again Inside the Regent Beverly Wilshire (Pretty Woman was filmed here) ... LA Rodeo Drive This is a tunnel built into the floor of a shop entrance (thought it was pretty cool) Dior Rodeo Drive Rodeo Sign Rodeo Drive.. Beverly Hills Police Station (Beverly Hills Cop) Johnny Depp's old club The Viper Room (Where River Pheonix died) A famous LA hang-out LA Sheryl Crow's bar Where Frank Sinatra started out LA The Chinese Thearte Hollywood Walk of Fame again... Opposite Kodak Theatre Break-dancer on Hollywood Blvd Eddie Murphy's prints and signature Judy Garland The Hollywood Sign.. trust me.. it's there.. you just have to look really hard.. to the right .  Joke isn't it.. this was the grand finale of our City Tour.. you must be able to get closer than that! View of LA Santa Monica Jason and Manchie Me, Jason and Marianna at Hamasaku The welcome desert they got for me Manch on the beach in Malibu Marianna and me Me Me and Manch and again... testing out the timer setting Me on the bike.. Santa Monica beach Marie 3rd Ave Santa Monica Beverly Hills Jason's launch party for 'Our Very Own' in Santa Monica The Director Autumn Reeser (Taylor from the O.C) Alison Janney Me and Autumn The party and again... Manch, Nancy (Jason's mum) and Sondra Locke Autumn and I again