Hollywood is not a place; it’s a state of mind.
We arrived in LA yesterday and were all geared up for the glitz and glamour of Hollywood today! We picked up our rent-a-car this morning and for once opted in for the extra insurance (we figured it might come in handy since our plans include driving through Death Valley and the Crand Canyon…just in case!) and drove straight to Wal-Mart to make the most important purchase of the trip; GPS!!
Surprisingly, driving in LA was really easy. After having become lost last Friday in the claustrophobic one way streets of Sydney for over an hour trying to make our way out, I had reservations about driving in LA. But no problem! We were told prior to arriving that public transport is so easy and cheap in LA that it makes having a car redundant, however we love the ease of jumping straight in the car, exploring and getting lost around the streets of Beverley Hills (I’m sure there’s a kind celebrity who would offer directions if we knocked on their door!) and parking in LA; everywhere!! and so cheap!! Very impressed!
Now to dispell the myth of the “glitz and glamour” of Hollywood. I had heard that Hollywood itself is very dirty – it is. Hollywood Boulevard however was fantastic fun. It was great walking the walk of fame; walking with our heads down scouring the street for famous names we recognised out of the almost 2,500 pink terrazzo stars inlaid with the names of famous celebrities. As we reached the end of the walk of fame there were blank stars for celebrities to come; so going to photo shop my name in!!
There are a tonne of tourists milling on Hollywood Boulevard (I dont know why a celebrity who values privacy would go anywhere near the place!!!) and it’s a fantastic, electric vibe of excitement outside the theatres; Kodak theater where the Acamdemy Awards are held (last week) and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, which, built in 1927 by Sid Grauman, is famous for its concrete hand and footprints of the stars. James Franco has his hand and foot cementing ceremony in a few weeks so hopefully we will swing back through LA before flying to Florida to catch it!! Also characters from every movie you can image walk the Boulevard in full costume charging for photos.
These were the main attractions in Hollywood, however, and we were done in an hour. It’s one of those things where the excitement around it really is a state of mind. It was very cool, however it’s just a street. You should definitely visit Hollywood; I would recommend it highly; however dont go with built up expectations of glitz and glamour. Rodeo Drive, however – that’s where the glitz and glamour begins! We walked up Rodeo Drive and it almost hurt not to max out all of my credit cards on Prada and Gucci and other high fashion designer brands!! The male door models themselves nearlly melted my will power not to enter the stores (and I can say that publicly as Mike even said they were so pretty he would probably turn :P)!!!! I also resisted the urge to re-enact “Pretty Woman” and walk into a store dressed as an 90’s prostitue!
Tomorrow we are hiking up to the Hollywood sign for what I’m promised are the most spectacular views of LA and stalking celebrities. We didn’t see the point of taking a celebrity homes tour bus when we have a GPS and a car of our own; and now after a bit of internet research I have a comprehensive list of addresses keyed into the Nav Man!!!