Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Los Angeles

I was staying with Rachel's brother Richie and I had a week to explore Los Angeles, of course, the first place I went was Hollywood, but feeling a bit lost and disorientated in the big city, I decided to pay for a guided tour, which turned out to be really worth it!

After a typical American breakfast, I managed to get a $40 tour for $20 by talking to the old woman about her life. She explained to me all the places we would be going and by the time I had given my $20, I had already forgotten half of what she said, woops! But here are some pictures:

Where it started

Some famous peoples houses but I have forgotten whose they are, but I remember we did go past Ellen Degenerates, Katy Perry's, Lady Gaga's, the Playboy Mansion, Johnny Depp's and a tonne of others.

I remember that this was Snoop Dog's

And this was Johnny Depp's front lawn

After the tour, I walked around Hollywood for awhile feeling a lot more confident in this big city.  I realised that this was my last week of my Gap Year. The last chance to really explore, and to concentrate on everything this Gap Year was supposed to be about, so I vowed to make the absolute most of it all...

Maybe this will have my name on it one day? Hehe

After exploring Hollywood and Beverly Hills and Bel Air for awhile I climbed the "mountain" that the Griffiths Observatory is on to go and see the view and the science museum.

Then I climbed back down and decided to head to the LACMA and find those pretty lights that are in a lot of romantic films (to anyone who cares, totally take me on a date here one day hahaha)

Then it started getting dark and I decided I had achieved enough for one day and I didn't want to push my safety on the first night by being outside at dark. I got the bus back to Richie's house and made it to the door just as the sky went black.

The next day, after a breakfast brunch lunch at a popular cafe (which you can find in this edition of the Los Angeles pocket guide in the picture below) I went to Whimsical Alley to go and see American Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and Dr Who - bit strange but also very cool, but nothing compared to the Harry Potter Warner Brothers Experience just outside of London.

Then I took my dad's advice and walked down Rodeo Drive and wished I had worn a better outfit and had way more money than I've ever had because the stores here were all for the filthy rich! But it was a great place to see, so thanks Dad for suggesting it!

Photoshoot going on in the middle of it all

and wedding pictures too!
That evening, I went to Santa Monica beach for dinner and to have a quick look around the area. I went to see the Original Muscle Beach which my dad had also told me to go see and basked in the last evening rays before heading back to Richie's.

The next day, I went to Venice Beach but the weather wasn't that great so instead of sunbathing like I'd hoped, I walked along the coastal stretch and took in the sights to be seen. Including a basketball event going on with a small person and the tallest man I'd ever seen!

Some graffiti artists celebrating their crews existence

In America, even the mannequins have bigger butts ;)

Tall man

Short man

After spending most of the day in Venice, I went back to Hollywood for dinner where I found this star:

One of my favourite days was when I went to the Warner Brothers studio. I had previously booked a $250 5 hour Deluxe tour (compared to the $50, 2 hour VIP tour) - on my bus route from home to the studio, I met a Mexican girl who was also doing the tour but at a different time. We exchanged addresses and emails before departing and for me, it was a fabulous start to a fabulous day :D

I got to hold an actual real life Oscar

Trailers for the rich and famous

The houses above are all sets for different TV shows, a lot of the sets actually over lap so if you look closely you may see the same house in both The Big Bang Theory and Pretty Little Liars etc.

This is where the upside down Spiderman kiss happened!

And then we got to go and see the set up from Friends, and because our host was a bit sneaky and I think he had about three cocktails with his lunch, he allowed us to touch everything as long as we didn't move anything and as long as the door was shut behind us, brilliant!

After Friends, we got to see all sorts of different props used in all kinds of movies, commercials and TV programs. Near the end of our stay, we also had a look at all the famous cars:

On the 20th of August, I had tickets to see Taylor Swift live at the Staples Center. I had two tickets from Christmas as originally planned Abigail was supposed to meet me in Los Angeles, but because of lack of funding, this plan didn't end up actually happening. So I had an awkward ticket spare...

I tried selling it at first, but who really buys just one ticket? So in the end I used to advertise the ticket and to get someone to actually go with. In the end I had about 7 replies and I just picked the most enthusiastic person who turned out to be Joseph (who also turned out to be the niece of Angelina Jolie - not that I knew that when I picked him!)

It was SUCH a great night and I loved every moment of it. Even though I had been looking forward to it since I got the tickets at Christmas, it still exceeded my expectations and I even cried at one point, and for those of you who know me, you'll know that that really is insane!

The next day it was time for me to pack my bags for the final time on this adventure and on the 22nd of August I flew from Los Angeles to England Heathrow and then from England Heathrow to Amsterdam, arriving on the 23rd of August to my mum, dad and best friend Abigail Black waiting for me.

More on coming home next time,
Lots of love and wish me luck for my first week at University,
Lucy xxo

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