G’day from LA 2011

Posted: May 25, 2012 in Travel

Looking for a slight culture change from Boston and what better place than LA. Qantas flies in and out of there naturally and this time we thought we should squeeze in a couple of days in LA before heading home. It was jam packed couple of days and we probably only saw one side of this town but it was great – in fact so many great times and photos from Universal Studios will leave that one day to a separate post.

Flew in late one night from NYC and we were staying at Hilton Universal City so had investigated shuttle buses and their appeared to be some suitable alternatives. However methinks there may be some money changing hands as it was very difficult to line up the shuttle we wanted with the supposed “hired help” Due to time of night we took the sensible though expensive option of a taxi. It was a nice drive through LA at nightime but when the head hit the pillow it was time for rest. We woke up next day to a bright sunny day and time to check out some glitz and glamour. Off to Hollywood Boulevard and check out some famous footprints and equally famous breasts.

Its a great walk up and down looking at the stars and we were lucky as got there early and not too crowded. Checked out Kodak theatre and had a dim sim at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and then we went looking for that distant far off HOLLYWOOD sign. But first we had to deal with the infamous casting couch! As usual CLP simply sat there doing nothing!

We had a segway tour booked for later in the day around Beverly Hills. These Segways are pretty easy to move around on once you get the hang of them but the tirck is to speed up you have to lean forward; to slow down you lean back. Simple Pimple really – but we went along a lot of sidewalks and crossed streets and back up the sloped culvets onto the sidewalk. I found it very difficult to lean forward while going uphill so nearly fell off a few times trying to travel 0.3 m up a 10 degree incline. Not pretty. What was pretty though was zooming along quiet back streets of LA checking out some famous houses- none more famous than the one shared by MM and the Yankee Clipper – and then onto Rodeo Drive. Once again glorious weather.

There was still a lot of daylight left on this glorious day so thought lets head down to Venice Beach. Unlike the subway system in NYC and Washington the public transport here was a lot more difficult to line up so after a couple of buses and some walking we went for the taxi option once more. We had seen Coney Island somewaht deserted on a glorious day but there were plenty of people around the boardwalks here and doubt many of them paid taxes. The medicinal weed doctor seeemd especially popular and of course what is Venice Beach without the outdoor gym.

Then we had the problem of getting back to the Hilton Universal as the sun was setting. Another taxi through some peak hour traffic got us back just in time as the sun was setting and we had a quick stroll through Universal City walk barely taking time to reflect on how much we had done and seen in our first day – LA is that sorta town I guess. There was not time to hang around though even if pictures may suggest otherwise. It was a glorious night and was hard to walk away but we knew we would be back tomorrow. USA, the land of contrast, had thrown up another.

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