A Travellerspoint blog

day seven // sleepy girls

resting up and the cut copy show part ii

sunny 72 °F
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Jenny had to work Friday morning and then go to an interview, so I pretty much stayed at her place and relaxed. And oh, I totally forgot to mention that this is the first time I've seen her apartment/condo!!! It is so cute and so Jenny. It's just a small one bedroom, but it has wood or stone floors, a walk in closet, patio, laundry area AND the most amazing view of the mountains. Needless to say it was great to just chill there for a while and not run around. All the sightseeing and "go go go" mentality was really starting to catch up with me.

After she got back, we went to the South Point casino and hotel for some very yummy Mexican food. This place was great because you got chips with salsa, but also guacamole and bean dip. Love the guac. After that, we came home and rested (she barely got any sleep) and then got ready for the Cut Copy show at the House of Blues inside Mandalay Bay. Remember that Tim from Cut Copy put me on their guest list? Well I was hoping that he would remember! Haha.

We got ready, stopped at Bar Louie to meet some of Jenny's other friends and made it to the concert right on time. Tim did remember me plus one! Yay! How nice. I danced. And danced. And danced the concert away. The more I hear their music the more I love it. I was trying to remember what song was the last one I heard in L.A. before the fire dept shut it down. And it was just as I expected... The very last song of their set before the 3 song encore. I mean, really guys? It was that important to shut it down about 20 minutes before it was going to end anyways? I'll never forgive the L.A.F.D. or the stupid Music Box for that. No one comes between me and my music. Grrrrrr.

So after the show was over, we were still tired. But I really just wanted to thank Tim for the tickets. Seriously, how nice are these guys? We heard that at least one of them was DJing at Beauty Bar downtown... Which turned out to be perfect since I wanted to see the Vegas Beauty Bar and Neon Reverb was happening there as well. We headed down there but could only find the lead singer, Dan, at Beauty Bar. So we stopped to chat with him and asked him to give Tim my thanks. Dan didn't disappoint my impression of these Aussies because he was so so nice. He remembered me from L.A. as soon as I walked up to him and said that they were all wondering if I was going to make it there to Vegas. Haha. That just cracks me up.

After that, Jenny just had to show me the Griffin (a bar and club) next door and introduce me to even more people! I really like that club, too. And then, finally, we made it home to sleeeeeeeeep. Fun times. I just wish Cut Copy was playing again in Cleveland so that I could go again! Hehe.

Posted by famousjenn 16:04 Archived in USA Tagged events Comments (0)

day six // vegas baby vegas

flight to lvnv, blue martini and neon reverb

sunny 70 °F
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I barely slept Wednesday night because I thought that I was going to over sleep and miss my flight to Vegas. But, I pulled myself out of bed and got on the 9.05am shuttle back to the airport. Once again, they drove all over the city to pick up other passengers before dropping us off. So strange. No problems at the airport and the flight was so so so short. We arrived a little early and my Jenny picked me up! Reunion!

She and I headed off for some errands and then went to her favorite spot, Blue Martini, where all the drinks and food were half price for happy hour. Great deal! Unfortunately, the boss called and she had to run home for a little while. I chilled out on their patio... beautiful... with my Pear-tini until she returned. We had a great dinner and her good friend Heather joined us later. So much fun! Then we ended our mini girls' night with a stop at the frozen yogurt shop. Yummmmm.

Then it was time for Neon Reverb, the real reason I chose to come out to Vegas at this specific time. It's an indie rock festival that Jenny's friend, James, puts together. A bunch of the bars in the area have shows with bands from all over the country. We headed to the Bunkhouse Saloon to see Ryan's band, Halloween Town. It was a good night because I got to meet a lot of Jenny's friends that I've heard so much about. We were both really tired and she was stressed from work, but we stayed through the end of Ryan's set.

When we got home, I swear I slept like a log. Probably the best sleep I've gotten since leaving home. So that was really nice!

Posted by famousjenn 15:54 Archived in USA Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

chillin' at the hostel

my thoughts on staying at a hostel (in hollywood), the people, the things to do...

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So this is my second trek to an unknown city to stay at a hostel. The first time was with Mike in Chicago for Lollapalooza in 2005. Back then, I have to say that I was a little nervous and uncomfortable with the idea. But my experience was really good! So I decided to try it again in LA. Well, more specifically, Hollywood. Which again made me a bit nervous since I've heard that Hollywood is a hell hole. But for just me, myself and I... It was the only affordable option. Any hotel in the area would have cost me at least $150 to $200 per nite, and that's just ridiculous.

So I tried USA Hostels Hollywood on Schrader Blvd. It is situated right off of Hollywood between Highland and Vine. Perfect for me since all the tourist sites, major public transportation centers and the concert venue were within a 20 minute walk.

I really did enjoy my stay, once again. This place was a bit older and more worn in than the last one. But it was still taken care of and really felt like home after the first couple of days. I felt safe enough in the area and honestly, Hollywood is not as bad as people make it out to be. Yes, there are poor people. Wow, never seen those before. Yes, there are crazy people. Yeah, sure I've never had smelly crazy people on the RTA at home. Sarcasm. So yes, it was a dirty, gritty city and I'm sorry to break it to everyone but I actually LIKE that. It also had so much cinema history up and down Hollywood Blvd. The stars on the sidewalk. The bank where Chaplin and Fairbanks used to go. The Roosevelt Hotel. Grauman's Chinese Theatre. I just loved the energy and I got to walk through all of it every day on my way to and from the hostel.

So back to the hostel. It has two levels. There is a kitchen on the first floor with free coffee and tea 24/7, plus free make-your-own pancakes every morning. Although I never got around to making those pancakes. Darn. You can use the kitchen all you want as long as you clean your dishes because, as one sign reads, "Your mother is not here." On the second floor is the communal lounge area with couches, a big screen TV, pub tables and a bar. They also have 2 extra full bathrooms in there just in case the one in your room is too busy. Plus there was a nice patio area out front to chillax on.

My room was kind of small, but according to some of the other girls, ours was actually larger than most. There were 8 beds paired up as bunk beds plus 8 lockers. We also had our own bathroom with full tub and shower. Surprisingly, we never had to compete over it!

The also had tons of events going on during the day and at night. Hikes to Runyan Canyon and the Hollywood sign. Walking tours. Party limo rides. Open mike night in the lounge. Comedy night, too. And these events gave you the opportunity to meet the other hostel kids, which was really cool. Everyone staying there is usually very open and nice. Since many people travel alone or with only one other person, they are all really looking to meet new people in each city and to go exploring.

Which brings me to the people that I was lucky enough to meet during my stay! In my room, there were girls from all over the world. And they kept changing out, coming and going to other cities. I met 3 girls from Israel, 1 from France, 1 from Norway, 1 from Brazil, 2 from England, 2 from China, 1 from Japan, 2 from Australia and probably a couple more that I can't remember right now. I would say that most were in their 20s, and Isabelle from France is actually my age, which was cool, too. With the exception of one rather aggressive girl, everyone was really nice and normal and I felt safe leaving my luggage unattended in our shared room. It's a gamble, I know, but you really don't have a choice.

On top of that, I met a few others through the events and things, plus some of the workers, who were all really nice. Another few from Germany, Ireland, England, France, Spain and Malaysia. So crazy! They were all nice and a lot of fun. I did end up exchanging info with a few of the people I met, but I wish I had remembered to ask some of the others. I guess that's the way it goes! Very very fun and my only regret is that I didn't start hanging with the hostel kids sooner! I was sad to leave just after really making friends. All and all a good stay for very little money!

Posted by famousjenn 11:56 Archived in USA Tagged lodging Comments (0)

day five // finally... the beauty bar

comedy night, pizza, beauty bar and ecco = late night

56 °F
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Beauty Bar was on my list of places I had to go to. Had to. JJ loved the place when she visited and I've already been to the one in New York. Hopefully I'll be making the one in Vegas too. So I got Isabelle (from France) and Adiya (from Israel) from my hostel to go with me. First, though, we went down the hall for comedy night at the hostel. They have lots of events going on every day and night here, but I'll talk more about the hostel and other people there later.

So the comedy show features 5 or 6 comedians who are obviously trying to "make it" in Hollywood. The show is in our lounge with a bar, so everyone grabs some cheap drinks and sits down to laugh. Some of the comedians are better than others, but I had to think that it was difficult to connect with an international crowd. These kids probably don't "get" much of our lingo, social issues (that they always joke about) and other crazy American subtleties which make great comedy work. I got to talk with a few of the other hostel kids and all in all it was fun.

Then the Beauty Bar! But first the girls were hungry and we stopped for a bite of pizza... Okay not a bite. They had the biggest slices of pizza that I've ever seen!


Finally -- Beauty Bar. It was so pretty inside! Not at all like NYC. I mean, I loved the NYC bar because of it's vintage kitschy decorations, but this one was so new and glittery looking. Very pretty. Unfortunately for us, it was dead in there. The music was okay, but not what I was hoping for. Adiya requested a few songs but then left (she had one hell of a day and I think she was tired). So Isabelle and I finished our drinks and headed next door to dance club Ecco. It was really cool -- very dark and very luxe. There were these cool bubble lights all around the place that would change colors with the music too. We danced there for a while to techno-ish house music and returned home. At least I can say that I made it to a few clubs on the Cahuenga Corridor!


When we got back, the hostel was still busy with people. I ran into another person I had met there, Tom from Cambridge, and we stayed up talking for a while. I knew that I would need to be up early for my flight, but I also knew it was my last night in L.A. and I wanted to take it all in. Bed time and in the morning, my flight to see my Jenny!!!

Posted by famousjenn 18:28 Archived in USA Tagged events Comments (0)

day five // last day of paradise

afv taping, behind the scenes tour, the wax museum, shopping and the red carpet

overcast 65 °F
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Wednesday. My last day in wonderful, fun, sunny Los Angeles. I wanted to finish up what was on my CityPass plus hit a few more places on the boulevard. So I started out by heading to the Behind the Scenes Tour. I stopped at the Chinese Theatre, thinking that was the meet up, but then realized that it wasn't. :( So I started taking pictures instead of the really really cool hand and foot prints left by stars from every decade. It was so cool to see Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Shirley Temple, Douglas Fairbanks, Jean Harlow, Cary Grant, Clark Gable and so many others. So much fun!


I also got my picture taken with two Johnny Depp characters, Edward Scissorhands and Captain Jack Sparrow. All these actors (or whatever) stand around in front of the theatre in different character costumes. You have to tip them (of course) but I'm glad I got my photo. The pirate guy really looked and sounded like Johnny. Yummy. Heheh.


Then there was a taping of intro segments for America's Funniest Home Videos right there in front of the theatre! I saw the host and the director guy kept telling all of us what to do: "Walk around! Take pictures! Look natural! Don't just look at the camera!" So I may be in the background of that show as well! Who knows!


After that I finally headed to the CORRECT place for the tour. We walked up and down Hollywood Blvd and I learned a few more things about the area. Like the red carpet for the Oscars is actually on top of the street. Yes, they actually shut down the entire road for blocks and turn it into the red carpet. So crazy! And I learned about the history of some of the old hotels and other buildings in the area. I love tours like that.


Then I headed to the Hollywood Wax Museum for some real cheese. And I found it. First I went into the Horror movie area, which actually was a little creepy. Some of the statues of the monsters were very very good! Then onto the stars in the regular area. They had Halle Berry, Arnold the Governator, the Beverly Hillbillies and more. Some of them were really good and truly looked like the stars and others did not. I was disappointed in Jude Law. Haha.


I decided to take some more time to check out a few vintage stores in the area, American Vintage and the Iguana. They were both pretty good and very reasonably priced. I really wanted to buy something at the Iguana because it was sooo large with such cool items. But in the end, I just didn't see anything quite right. Maybe next time!

Finally, I headed back to the hostel, rested up until around 5.15... When I headed back to the boulevard for a real movie premiere!!!! Disney owns the El Capitain theatre and has all of their movie premieres there. Tonight was the Rock's new movie, "Race to Witch Mountain." So I lined up with the other crazy fans and waited for everyone to arrive. You knew when the Rock got there because people were screaming! He ran across the street to shake hands and give autographs. So nice! The only other star that I recognized from the carpet was Amanda Bynes. So two more stars for my personal record book! (PS - I was talking with a sweet family from Utah during this which made the 1.5 hour wait not seem that long.)


It was a pretty exhausting day but at least I got done with all the stuff I wanted to. Next up was one more chance at the night life!

Posted by famousjenn 17:39 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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