The American road trip has finally begun! First on our list was the city of Los Angeles.
The drive to LA was surprisingly quite fun. I spent most of the 600km singing to all of the songs of the charts. After 5.5 hours in the car, I now know all of the lyrics to every song on mainstream radio. You can congratulate me later. As soon as we crossed the California border, the cacti all of the sudden disappeared. It was sad to leave Arizona after I’d grown incredibly attached to the cacti, but it was also nice to get a change of scenery.
Our first two nights in California were spent in the outskirts of the city in Hermosa Beach. The name pretty much says it all. The beach was beautiful! The sand was fine and clean, the water was warm (to my Melbourne standards at least), there were heaps of beach volleyball courts and in the morning you could see many people running, walking their dog or rollerblading by the bike path. Our hostel was on the main promenade of shops and our room had an ocean view. For my first hostel experience, it was also really good. The people were really nice and from all over the world and the breakfast was really good. The only downside to the beach days was that I got painfully sunburnt. You’d think that I would know to put on sunscreen by now after living in Australia, but I sometimes struggle at life.
The next 3 nights we stayed in a not so nice part of LA. Inglewood was not our first preference of location, but for $19 a night, we couldn’t really complain. The hostel itself was an interesting experience and we didn’t exactly feel very safe walking around the suburbs during the day but hey, you’ve got to experience it all. On our first day, we decided to go to Universal Studios. It took us three different trains to get there but we made it in the end. The theme park itself was pretty good. There weren’t any rollercoasters (which I wasn’t too sad about), all of the rides were simulators. The best part of the park was the studios tour that went round all of the old and current Hollywood studios that are used to film movies and TV shows.
The following day we decided to change things up a bit and take a bus to the Hollywood walk of fame. The walk itself is incredibly long and hard to fully complete but it was fun to try and spot the stars of celebrities you knew. From downtown Hollywood, we took a double decker tour bus to Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. Beverly Hills was just like in the TV shows, incredibly rich and high maintenance. Santa Monica had a beautiful beach with a pier full of shops and attractions, but it was filled with tourist which kinda ruined the atmosphere.
On the Monday night, I was privileged enough to go and see the LA Dodgers play the Washington Nationals for free! It was my first game of baseball and it was surprisingly funner than what I expected. They actually played the iconic baseball songs before the pitcher pitched the ball to the batter. Don’t stress, my love for AFL is still strong.
I also got the chance to stay in Riverside, a city an hour away from LA, for a couple of nights. There, I went to Farrel’s Ice Cream parlour where we pretended that it was my birthday, and I received a Journey inspired birthday song sung by the staff (with drums and all). The Oreo sundae was incredibly large and incredibly delicious.
My 5 nights in LA were good but I didn’t feel like I fully explored the city. The suburbs are really big and its incredibly hard to move around town without a car. Next time I would definitely try and stay closer to downtown and out of the suburbs.
Hopefully I’ll be back one day to continue exploring and to see the Hollywood sign up close,