Published: February 21st 2007February 21st 2007
We arrived in LA at our hostel in Hollywood to find more Aussies there than exist in the whole of the Perth metro area and being the international men of mystery that we are, we found 4 other guys from Perth to drink with. LA hostel takes the cake for Aussies per capita, make that gross amount of Aussies, out of any hostel we have stayed at so far.
The hostel organised a walking tour today of the Beverly Hills and Bel Aire areas of LA so that insignificant people like us could gaze in amazement at the huge houses and frivolous security systems of the rich and famous. We walked past houses occupied by Jerry Lee Lewis (before he died), Freddie Mercury (before he died), Marilyn Monroe (before she died in the house), Frank Sinatra (before he died in the house), Aaron Spelling (or is it owned by Tori, or his ex-wife), Woody Allen (before he married his underage Korean daughter and ran off from his wife), Jennifer Anniston and Brad Pitt (before they divorced) and our favourite The Playboy Mansion. And Heff is still alive. Following the tour we went down Rodeo Drive, where we were like hobbits
in a land of giants, and looked into the shops without going in for fear of breaking something and having to pay for it. That night the hostel organised a pub crawl which was really good. We had a few at the hostel before going out with the big group of would be drunks to the local pubs around Hollywood. One interesting sight we did encounter was the typical LA night where about 8 cop cars dial in on the poor accused and follow that by all getting out of their cars and giving him a good beating. We met some cool people along the way from Brisbane, Perth, Sydney as well as an English bloke. There we go not everyone at the hostel is from Aus.
Today we emerged from our alcohol assisted sleep and took a walk down Hollywood Blvd which is where the walk of fame is situated. We didn’t recognise many names until we got closer to the Kodak Theatre and Chinese Manns Theatre. I think most of the names on the outskirts are like the “participation” awards for actors who made it onto the d-list. We got to Chinese Manns Theatre and had a
look at the hand and foot prints in the concrete. These are the best of the best actors and include such great names as Sinatra, Monroe, Jackson, Cage and Stallone. I think Costner is there as well, I mean you couldn’t leave him out after Waterworld. We went into the shopping centre next door and had a look at a real Oscar. We saw all of the statues which are to be handed out on the 25th of Feb during the awards ceremony and even got to hold one ourselves. This was very cool and you didn’t even have to bribe the academy for the privilege. After this we got in our car and drove up to the Hollywood sign. This was an arduous ordeal where we took every back road in the Hollywood hills to get there. We eventually reached our destination which was about 30 metres under the sign and that is as close as you are legally allowed to get. We didn’t go any further for fear of police brutality against Aussie tourists.
Our next adventure involves 3 days in the 2 Disneyland parks, the original Disneyland and Disneyland: California Adventure. Both are far more impressive
in real life. We took back the years today, enjoying everything from thrill rides such as Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, Matterhorn Bobsleds, California Screamin’, Malibooster and Hollywood Tower Hotel to the more child oriented rides such as It’s A Small World, Peter Pan, Alice In Wonderland and Bugs Life. They may sound childish but getting in the way of children who really want to go on these rides is certainly not. There were a fair share of kids who got hurt because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time (that is, in front of us in the line). We got to see the Parade of Dreams, which showcases all of the Disney movies, and the fireworks display which puts Perth’s sky show to shame. We both agreed that California Screamin’ was the best ride. It is a rollercoaster where you get shot out and up an incline then down around, up, down, sideways and then put through a loop to loop all whilst listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers music that blears out of the speakers in your seat.
We finished our time at Disneyland and needed some calming down after 3 days of acting like
children with the added bonus of being bigger and meaner than children so we headed down to Venice Beach, hired bikes and rode up to Santa Monica Beach. We saw where Baywatch was filmed and where the great man (the Hoff) stood in all those episodes with those tiny red shorts on. That night the hostel organised a Hummer Limo ride for those willing to go. Needless to say that with free champagne we were in along with all the people we had met on the way. There ended up being 20 drunken travellers packed into the limo and it was a great night. We got taken around LA in style and let out every now and then to see the sights. We saw Rodeo Drive again, The Grove shopping plaza and then finally a bar called the Saddle Ranch where the mechanical bull provided many laughs to drunken tourists like us.
Our last day in LA was spent at Universal Studios which was awesome. There is so much American cinema history here and you get to see a lot of the stages on the backlot tour. We even saw Crossing Jordan, Jericho and Desperate Housewives being filmed. We
did everything else that Universal had to offer including the Back to the Future Ride, The Mummy Ride, Backdraft Ride as well as the Waterworld, Terminator 2:3D, Animal Actors, Blues Brothers and Special Effects shows. Waterworld was by far the best with pyrotechnics and violence (all be it obviously staged) and a plane which flies into the arena and lands in the water, letting off a huge tidal wave onto the audience. After Universal Studios we headed down Hollywood Blvd and stumbled across a big time red carpet premiere. Ok, it wasn’t that big as it was for Reno 911 and we didn’t see anyone even semi famous but it was a premiere none the less. After that Ian headed down the Sunset Strip to have a look at the spot where River Phoenix drug overdosed himself, the Viper Room. This is the Hollywood history you don’t read about in the brochures.
From Hollywood we head up to San Francisco where hopefully people will know how to drive like normal motorists.
There are more photos below