Los Angeles is definitely somewhere I will not be visiting again. Despite the warnings of people I knew before I arrived, I was determined to tick LA off the list. Being a wannabe actor, seeing Hollywood always felt like the pinnacle of anyone’s acting career, however the real side of Hollywood showed its ugly face.
We stayed in a hostel located actually on Hollywood Boulevard, which felt quite unbelievable, and yet it was surprisingly cheap for such an important area. We were next door to the Jimmy Kimmel show, as the queue for entry stretched along outside our hostel.
Once we arrived and got changed, we made our way down to the communal area where everyone had begun drinking. The hostel manager was very generous with alcohol, pouring it down everyone’s mouth without asking for any money, as we all began feeling right at home. Once we all set off towards the club, under the guidance of the hostel manager, things went a bit downhill unfortunately. I was not let in for free, like everyone else was, and the hostel manager pretended he didn’t know us, so I had to pay full price. My friend then got in a fight with the manager, who spent half the night chasing around the girls in the group. The club was pretty bad and the drink prices were through the roof; LA on the weekend was more like the bad side of London.
It was actually an old friend of mine who was keen to get us to LA for a party, whereas I was enjoying my trip in Yosemite, so I wasn’t really keen to take off.
Finding some free time, we began searching for hostels in San Diego on the hotel computers, when the manager ran towards us and shouted “Tom Hanks is downstairs”. I tore down the stairs and found a car park with around 100 people gathered around watching about 100 people on identical mopeds. The car park was round the back of the hostel, so off the main street and out of the view of the public. Eventually, Tom Hanks pulled up in a car and came towards us to be interviewed on TV. Me and Charlotte stood there hysterically waving for around 20 minutes, hoping he might buy us a jaffa cake or offer us a holiday to Barbados.
Following the interview, Tom Hanks climbed onto his moped and began leading the gang of bikers towards Hollywood Boulevard for the premier (I never saw the film, it looked terrible….If Tom Hanks reads this, my apologies). We watched a bit of the celebrities walking down the red carpet, catching a glimpse of Julia Roberts, however I had lost my interest so began walking back to the hostel.
Staying on Hollywood Boulevard was pretty cool, ensuring we got photos of us next to all the famous stars on the street. There were some unbelievable lookalike street performers as well, possibly the most well known being the Samuel L Jackson man who quotes lines from Pulp Fiction all night.
Driving around LA we came across the head church of Scientology, however we failed to see Tom Cruise outside with a net, disappointing. We did contemplate taking the test to sign up to Scientology, however it was between that and eating some cheese; I think we made the right choice. Spotting a number of dogs with sunglasses on was pretty entertaining to me as well, not to mention quite a few skate boarding dogs. I’m a sucker for a pug with a hat.
In the knowledge that we were on our final day in LA, I convinced everyone how crucial it was that we take a look at the Hollywood sign. While you can not go right up to the Hollywood sign, you can get relatively close, while taking some amazing photos. One warning if you decide to walk up the residential hill towards the sign, bring water! We took the journey up in the blazing heat without a single drop on us. We managed to find a cafe on the way down, however my lust for sweet things overtook me as I traded in the idea of water for a strawberry milkshake.
After the Hollywood sign, we visited a number of tattoo parlours as me and Seb debated whether to get tattoos on our arms. My issue was that I still had 2 months in America, in the blazing heat and with no real access to medicine if something was to go wrong. Seb on the other hand only had about a week before he went back to England, so his hunger for a tattoo was stronger than mine. The design we came up with was the Golden Gate Bridge but made out of barbed tribal lines. I still think getting a tattoo of a half eaten ham sandwich would have been legendary, but I was definitely in the minority with my suggestion.
We made a quick trip up to Beverley Hills and Bel Air to see the homes of the rich and famous (and quote the fresh prince of Bel Air at every possible moment). The houses are certainly a step away from what I was used to, really highlighting the disparity in wages from one area of Los Angeles to the next.
For our final night in LA, we had to move to a different hostel, down the road to the one we were in before. This one had a Jacuzzi which I was determined to jump into, however everyone else convinced me that I would definitely come out of the tub with some kind of sexual disease. How right they were as within an hour there was an old man and a couple of prostitutes in the hot tub. So glad I didn’t take a step towards it, I shudder to think of it!
Have you ever been to LA? Let me know in the comments below if you had a greater experience.