Our USA Trip – Los Angeles

December 6, 2013
Movies, My Life, Nails, Nerds and Geeks, Parties and Fun, Travel

Welcome to the first post of my US trip. I have taken so long because I kept writing way too much! I had multiple paragraphs, probably a couple of pages worth of writing and I had only covered the first couple of days. Guys, I am not going to subject you to that. That is why I have a livejournal, not a blog. So please forgive me for being so slow, I just get so excited to recount my trip and the words just come flowing out! OK enough BS, let’s get started!

We arrived into LAX on Wednesday the 23rd of October, about 4 hours after we’d left Brisbane (gotta love timezones). We were exhausted from a long flight that was crazy turbulent but we arrived in one piece and were super excited about our upcoming adventure. Our first mission was to collect our hire car, which was daunting as LA roads and highways are meant to be scary, but we managed to get to the hotel (via a spot of shopping and fast food sampling along the way) unscathed and in good spirits. Awesome work, Ben!

Our first evening was… well, a drunken one. We went to some nearby craft beer bars in Hollywood and got a bit over excited (craft beer in America guys, OMG it’s amazing) and wound up at an old speak easy era jazz bar on the other side of town, based on the recommendation of one guy we chatted to at an earlier bar. It was a lot of fun but such a silly idea as we had an early start the next morning.

The next morning I had an appointment to get awesome 3D deco nails by a lady called Mari in Torrence, which is south-west LA, about a 40 minute drive from where we were staying in Hollywood. Oh, and we’d be in peak hour traffic. Darn. Being hungover while experiencing LA highways ended up being quite the adventure, in fact it was one of the scariest experiences of my life. The roads would just split and we’d be whisked off in the wrong direction without knowing how or why. Our GPS didn’t make any sense because of the crazy roads and we ended up running so late. Thankfully Mari still managed to squeeze me in and gave me the most kawaii Halloween nails ever!

Once we got back to the hotel and had an anxiety-induced nap, we felt refreshed and ready for the rest of our big day. We ended up walking to the main strip of Hollywood because we weren’t driving and cabs aren’t easy to find in LA, but it was a lovely warm day so we enjoyed the stroll. We followed the Hollywood Walk of Fame (where we stumbled upon the only star I really cared about, Buster Keaton!), stopping at a bar for a beer, standing outside of the Chinese Theatre as it was closed for an event and then had lunch at Hooters which was hilarious. Ben was very excited indeed to get a photo of me with a bunch of the Hooters girls.

  
Now full of food and drinks we grabbed a cab up to Universal Studios for Halloween Horror Nights! It was just dark when we arrived and there were teenagers everywhere. Once inside we were almost immediately mobbed by people dressed as people from The Purge, brandishing chainsaws (I think they were real too, just with the chains removed) which was absolutely terrifying! Once I got past them and screamed my head off, we were able to have look at the park. Naturally we were immediately drawn to Krustyland where I finally got to go on the Simpsons ride (I’m still sad the Back to the Future ride was scrapped for it, but it was still a lot of fun) and marvel at all the cool Simpsons merchandise. We managed to go through all of the mazes which were all pretty darn scary and mostly filled with zombies (the main theme was The Walking Dead) as well as all of the rides that were open. It was a really fun night!

 
On the Friday we got up early for a proper American diner breakfast and went on a tour of Paramount Studios which was just up the road from our hotel. While Paramount isn’t as easily recognised as some of the other big Hollywood studios, they’ve had an amazing history and so many cools films and TV shows have been made there. Our guide was also such a cool dude which made it all the more fun. After the tour we went and sussed out a couple more craft beer bars before I headed to the Beverley Centre to do some shopping at Sephora and Forever 21. FUN! Once my shopping quota was filled we then headed to the Largo to see a performance by Jon Brion, something Ben has always dreamed of doing (it was really cool but I was so exhausted I almost fell asleep like a total jerk).

 
Because of how much we loved the Paramount tour, we booked a tour of Warner Bros studios for the next morning, which was amazing simply because of all the Harry Potter stuff they had on display everywhere. This your guide was a bit of a dork and really stuck to the script so it wasn’t quite as interesting but still a bunch of fun! We then headed back to the main strip of Hollywood to look at the autographs and hand prints at the Chinese Theatre and other touristy stuff before I (kind of) randomly got a tattoo. OK so I had considered it already but it wasn’t until we found a really cool place in the back of a rockabilly shop called Tinta Rebelde that I decided to go for it. I got a Jack O Lantern candy bucket which Chris drew up perfectly the first go. I got it on the inside of my leg (above my ankle) which, in retrospect, was a poor placement choice (I’ll elaborate later). Once I was all done there we went back to the hotel to decide what to do that evening. We initially wanted to see a film at Hollywood Forever cemetery (The Craft was screening which neither of us were crazy about, but seeing it in a cemetery sure had its appeal) but then Ben found out there was a screening of Elijah Woods new film which he’d even be at! Along the way we planned to go look at all the shops further up Melrose Avenue but we kind of ran out of time. I did manage to get to Japan LA and buy up a storm though, so that was well worth it.

We saw Grand Piano at the Silent Film Theatre, where I happened to get into a conversation with Elijah at the candy bar. I HAD A CASUAL CHAT TO FRODO AT A SCREENING OF HIS OWN FILM, GUYS! It was awesome. He just started talking about the cupcake I was buying (Halloween themed, of course) and I totally played it cool and chatted back!!! The film itself was great, it’s by Spanish director Eugenio Mira so possibly won’t get a mainstream release but worth checking out if you like the idea of a somewhat light-hearted thriller about a famous pianist getting blackmailed by a crazed sniper (really, it’s a lot of fun)!

 
On Sunday we had a road trip down to San Marcos to visit some breweries (Stone and Lost Abbey). Ben drove the whole way and was getting pretty darn good at it too. We stopped along the way to look at San Onofre beach and had Denny’s for lunch (so. much. food). I got pretty drunk because Ben kept giving me his beers so he could drive home. It was such a nice day, and a little bit of a chance to unwind after doing so much already.

 
And then the big day came, it was time to go to Disneyland. We chose to go Monday to avoid crowds and boy did we. We barely had to line up for more than 10 minutes all day! The weather was pretty cool and even rained a bit in the morning so it was especially quiet, which suited us! Oh man I love Disneyland, I went when I was 14 with my family and it was still as magical as ever. Plus this time we got to go to California Adventure which was SO GOOD. Not only do they have two awesome rides (Tower of Terror and the California Screamin’) but there was a craft beer bar which served pumpkin cider which was the tastiest thing EVER! It was such an intense day though, and my tattoo was so sore I could barely walk by the end, but we lasted nearly 12 whole hours. I also bumped into Stephiee who I’ve followed online for years, dressed as a superhero version of Rapunzel for the Halloween party at Disneyland – cute!

The next day was our last day and we only really had the morning as we had a flight at lunch time so we just spend some time wandering through the Hollywood Forever cemetery (so many ostentatious graves, and most of them weren’t for celebrities either) before we drove to LAX, bound for Vegas!

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