A Travellerspoint blog

it must be something in the water


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I've noticed a lot of things in California that we just don't have that many of back home. They are, in no particular order:

1) Toasters, as in my car, the Scion XB. Yes there are quite a few of them back home but I've seen soooo many of them here. Especially the silver, like mine!!!

2) Hipsters. I knew they would be here. But they are just more glamorous than the ones back home. Ha!

3) Sunshine. Yeah......

4) Apple computers. Almost all of the kids here at the hostel have MacBooks. And I've seen multiple Apple stores out here. Love. It.

5) Scientologists. I knew they would be here as well. The thing is, they own a building on Hollywood Blvd. with a big neon sign to advertise. Plus there are probably at least 2 more bookstores or other recruiting centers between Highland and Vine. The celebrity's church. Nice.

Posted by famousjenn 16:38 Archived in USA Tagged postcards Comments (0)

day two // that's where i want to be

beverly hills shopping

sunny 68 °F
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Next on the list was ritzy Beverly Hills. I took the Metro and connecting bus over to Rodeo Drive, and that was an experience. But I made it. The shops up and down Rodeo area beautiful and all designer label. I loved the architecture and the decorative window displays. But it's only really good for window shopping. The next street over was Beverly, with some other more reasonably priced stores. Such a beautiful day too. The sun was out with a nice breeze. I bought some Swiss dark chocolate and enjoyed! I also stopped at the famous Nate and Al's Diner. I think there are more diners in this town than there are real restaurants back home. I just had a fresh fruit salad with cottage cheese and it was wonderfully refreshing. Yummmm...

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After that, I hopped back on the bus to Robertson for more shopping. But this time I bought something! Haha. I couldn't resist the unique clothing and accessories at Kitson, the famed celeb shopping site. Although no stars on my trip! :( Maybe another day!

My Kitson buys...
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After that I was worn out from hours of walking. So I hopped back on the metro to Hollywood and Vine. I stopped in at the famous (yes, another famous spot) Frolic Bar next to the Pantages Theatre. The place has been there forever and has never lost it's character... with the ambiance or the patrons. I had my standard gin and tonic, talked to a few locals, and went home.

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By that time I was hungry so I decided to finally get to the Irish pub down the block, The Cat and Fiddle. I'm so glad I made it there! Sunday night was jazz night, so I sat on the heated patio and took in the sounds. On top of that, I've never seen so many hipster types at an Irish pub in my life. It must be the new hang out. Haha. There was a girl that came in that looked like she should be a movie star or model, but who knows! I doubt I would recognize someone unless they already had a crowd around them. My meal was great -- a Cornish pasty -- and although I was tempted to stay and enjoy myself a bit more, it was getting late and time for bed!

One thing I have to say, though, is that at all the restaurants, bars, retail stores, etc. everyone has been incredibly nice to me. I wasn't sure what to expect from L.A. but so far so good!

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Posted by famousjenn 18:26 Archived in USA Tagged shopping Comments (0)

day two // hurray for hollywood

touring the hollywood museum

sunny 70 °F
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After complete exhaustion from lack of sleep and losing one hour due to daylight savings, I got a decent night's rest and got up early enough to make the Hollywood Museum at open. It's in the Max Factor building where the famous makeup artist worked his magic on classic era stars. I honestly thought there would be a bit more to the tour, but it was still full of amazing memorabilia.

A big surprise was the collection from this year's Oscar nominees. The Reader, Benjamin Button and more. But the classic stuff was what I came for. The Best Drama Golden Globe for Ben Hur, an entire Marilyn Monroe room with the famous black dress she wore while entertaining the troops in Korea, Rocky's gloves signed by Sly, THE ruby slippers, and more. There were entire displays devoted to silent screen stars, the classic bombshells (Mae West), Bob Hope and Johnny Grant, the "king" of Hollywood. Plus they had the real king -- Elvis's -- bathrobe. I know my dad would have loved it! Plus old equipment from the beginning of film, Moulin Rouge costumes (Nicole Kidman has the smallest waist I've ever see) and much more. I think my fav was the Marilyn room and the bombshells' amazing and glamorous gowns.

Downstairs there was more to see. Much left from Max Factor and his 4 original makeup rooms -- blue room for blondes, green room for redheads, pink room for brunettes and peach room for bownettes. He was a smart man. Then more Hollywood goodies including scores of autographs from all different actors and directors. They even had the stars from my fav old movie, Singin in the Rain. It was really cool to see Gene Kelly's. There was also a photo archive room with great pics of vintage L.A. And movie premiers. Plus, in the back was Cary Grant's 65 Bentley. Life was rough back then.

Finally the basement... And it was scary. On purpose though. They had entire set of the jail hall from the Silence of the Lambs. Creeeeppppyyyyy!!! Then there were other items from Quills (yay), Cleopatra, and Indiana Jones (the Holy Grail!).

So glad I made it to this museum!

Posted by famousjenn 11:42 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

day one // getting aquainted

flight to l.a., hollywood exploring, stars homes tour

sunny 68 °F
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OMG, I made it to L.A. -- but not without some pains. Those pains being 1) waking up at 5.30am, 2) basically 6 hours of sitting on a plane b/c of the stop over in Nashville, 3) feeling lost in the SuperShuttle b/c we kept circling the terminal to pick up more people, 4) getting the ghetto tour of Koreatown and downtown via previously mentioned SuperShuttle. But all and all it has not been difficult to travel. Plus the flight was beautiful. I took some pics from my very convenient window seat.

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The hostel I'm staying at is in the heart of Hollywood. Very cute. Young. International. Cozy. The place was deserted this afternoon at check in but now it's buzzing with people. I'm sitting in the TV lounge-slash-bar where they are playing music and having a tattoo party. No, I will not be getting a random tattoo from some unknown L.A. artist. But I'm sure someone here will be! Haha.

After getting settled in, I decided to explore Hollywood Blvd. It's tacky and wacky, but I can tell that it is soooo L.A. already. Actually, I've decided that the intersection of Hollywood and Highland is the west coast version of Times Square. Crazy people mixed with tourists mixed with locals mixed with stars. If they keep putting money back into this area it could be really cool. It's almost there right now.

I bought my CityPass which gives me access to 4 different venues/tours/museums for one price. So... I decided to just go with it and take the first one tonight. It was the Stars' Homes Tour. Who knows if the stars really live there? Or who cares? What was really nice was getting a tour of the area. We started at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Then we made our way up the Hollywood Hills, from Outpost to Mulhulland Drive, to look at the Hollywood sign and to see a great view of L.A. from above the city. We passed Orland Bloom's home -- which I sadly knew was his for sure because I have seen it on TMZ. Yeah, that's right, TMZ.

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From there, it was time for Bela Lugosi's gargoyle gate, Bob Barker's home, Elm Street where, you guessed it, Nightmare on Elm Street, along with Halloween I, were both filmed. Then a drive down the Sunset Strip, which looks very cool, by the way. Where else can you valet your Mercedes at a coffee shop? Then we entered the real 90210 with the Osborns old home that they lived in during taping their reality show (and where my fav girlie, Christina Aguilera, lives now). Also saw David Beckham and Posh Spice's former home (apparently he was traded to Italy). Another turn and we were in Bel Aire and even saw the Fresh Prince house where we rapped the theme song outside. Haha. Then some window shopping down Rodeo Drive and back to the Theatre via Route 66. The tour guide was great and so knowledgable about Hollywood history, past and current facts. It was a lot of fun.

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Then... I was tired. And cold. :( I was going to eat at this little Irish Pub down the street from the hostel, but I just couldn't make it there. I ended up at Mel's Diner. Very cute. Then I took a look around Hollywood Blvd. at night. The neon here is just amazing. I took a lot of photos and will post them as soon as I can.

All and all a good first day! Tomorrow, I think I will start with another tour. Maybe the behind the scenes tour. Then go to Beverly Hills. Then the Runyan Canyon walking tour organized by the hostel. And hopefully I'll have some energy to make it to the clubs tomorrow night!

PS - Don't forget to bring a towel to a hostel. I had to buy a stupid "Walk of Fame" beach towel for $15!!!

PPS - I will be adding all my photos to Flikr or Photobucket once I figure that out. I have some good ones!

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Posted by famousjenn 15:03 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

gearing up...

still in the cleve

overcast 29 °F
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Getting ready for the trip... one bit at a time. I spent all night on Monday at the laundromat... No fun, but at least it's all done. Tonight, it's already 10:15pm and I haven't done what's on my list... Take out the trash, put away the laundry and do the dishes. Maybe I can do that before 11pm? Oh boy. The good news is that all I have left to do on Thursday and Friday is this:
- Buy snacks, any other Target stuff
- Pack
- Polish fingernails and toenails
- Print trip itinerary
- Log in for flight and print

Posted by famousjenn 19:29 Tagged preparation Comments (0)

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