I have become a full-blown tourist and it’s not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. In fact it’s quite a lot of fun.

We were in LA for two days. Just two days. Now normally given a luxurious bed, access to the latest Hollywood blockbusters from the comfort of said luxurious bed and a full room service menu it would be very hard to prise me from my bed, But the lure of the bright lights and sugary delights got to me. That and I was so excited to be there I couldn’t sit still

LA is to big to do in two days so we just stuck to Hollywood where we were staying but Hollywood is too big to do in two days so we kind of stuck to one block (although we left for a while in a tour bus…)

So what can you cover in two days in one block of Hollywood with a 10 year old and two 43 year olds?

Walk of Fame

How many down and out people dressed up in novelty costumes can you fit onto one block?  A LOT.  It is a little known fact that only I seem to have unearthed that there are more people trying to make a buck in costume than there are actual stars on the walk of fame (and there are 2400 stars). Little Pencil was amazed and fascinated by the stars (and slightly unnerved by the gangster types with their jeans at their knees and their tattooed necks) and kept dropping to the floor to be photographed on the floor with the golden lettering of a celebrity.  Mr Pencil kept having to be reminded not to just accept the CD’s that said gangsters were peddling. Seriously, Walk of Fame I am not sure why you allow so many try hards to tout their business on your celebrityness because it’s a little tacky (and rather filthy)*

Madam Tussauds Wax Museum

I love a celebrity as much as the next person which is one of the reasons that I love a wax work. All the celebrity and none of the intimidation what’s not to like?  It was pretty cool to see and prod Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and hundreds of other stars.  What stood out for me? Even in the world of wax where everyone looks perfect – they have models of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt together and a short space away staring almost wistfully at them there is a single model of Jennifer Aniston.  Hollywood. Always a story.

Celebrity Drive

We kind of had to take the drive around the celebrity homes because

a)    I am very nosy

b)   It was an open top bus and I wanted to feel the wind in my hair (or look like a tourist)

c)    I am fascinated by celebrity

d)   My husband thought that if we were on a tour for 2 hours I would be unable to spend any money

We were led to believe we would see the homes of the rich and the famous. We saw the homes of the rich.  Highlights included (and I kid you not) the former home of Carol Burnett, the house that Sylvester Stallone filmed one scene in Rocky and the former home of Lucille Ball.  There were a lot of former homes shown to us. A lot.  No current homes (except for Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes but you could only see the chimney).

That said our driver was wonderfully entertaining when he remembered that we were there. The tour ended with a drive through Rodeo Drive and some other swish shopping areas. You could hear my husband’s audible sigh of relief that we were not getting off the bus.

The Hollywood Sign

Pretty cool to see the sign depicted in so many images and definitely an icon, But still – just a sign on a mountain side.**  What was pretty cool was from our viewpoint we could see all of LA (which is just huge although it is covered in a not so fine layer of smog)

Guinness World of Records

My son is a mad keen reader of the Guinness Books. In fact he most loves a gory record like the person with the most piercings in his lip so it wasn’t surprising that he wanted to see the museum where such records come to life. Except they don’t. The museum was a little old, not everything worked and the things that did required money (in addition to the admission price). But Little Pencil enjoyed it… for about half an hour after which time we left

The Hollywood Museum

Great name for a museum no? I was led to believe that I would see some of Hollywood’s greatness. My son was convinced we would see how movies were made. We actually saw a LOT of stuff with Lucille Ball’s name on it. In fact there was a whole floor (in a two floor attraction) dedicated to Lucille Ball.  It was in glass cases so you couldn’t get to close and that was probably the best part of it.

Mel’s Diner

The first quintessential diner that we went to and I loved it. Not because of the food because that was barely edible but because it was everything that I had visualized when I read Archie comics 35 years ago. The waitress was like a caricature and so was the setting, it was a fun place to eat and be in, it certainly wasn’t healthy and I am sure that people that eat there often live large but not long.

Hard Rock

My husband decided that we had to eat at Hard Rock because it was very Hollywood. It was actually very Hard Rock which was nice in a Hollywood kind of way.  I could have eaten at Hard Rock in Sydney but the portions would not have been quite so mammoth. America you are going to make yourselves ill with your portions.

Sugar and Fat

Seriously what is it with the sugar? They have apples dipped in caramel dipped in chocolate and then dipped in caramel again.  They have cupcakes the size of my head with more icing than cake…  I liked that a lot.

There is nothing you can’t get with sugar and very little that you can actually order without cheese. I almost got diabetes window shopping.

LA was great to us.  We didn’t see much but we saw enough to make us all very happy little tourists.

*I may or may not be quite a snob

** I may be a little jaded by my travels


Filed under My Views

4 responses to “Hollywood

  1. LA is a good city to tour. So much to see and do you have to take a tour to figure it all out.

  2. Yes, I remember my time in LA too and it was all about food. My husband was there for work, so I did a day tour on my own, and our guide – who was fabulous – kept pointing out all the food places! Probably every second sentence in his commentary had to do with food. And the serving sizes! We were there for four days, and this was before kids. Next, disneyland with kids. :)

  3. Last year we did a spot of LA. We did (part of) the walk of fame and bought a $2 magic trick set for $15… but yes, without so much as eating any of it, the food made us feel ill. The McDonald’s there had a WALL of free refill-yourself soft drink (blech) and the bag of apples came with a totally ‘should be banned’ packet of caramel dipping sauce (gag) with a thousand numbers on the label. I know what you mean by catching diabetes from just looking :(

  4. Those people trying to make a buck at tourist attractions drove me nuts in Italy. They were feral and constantly in our faces. Otherwise I loved being a tourist seeing all the places I’ve seen on TV or in magazines. Welcome home lovely xx

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