Archive for Los Angeles

Won’t Go Home Without You

Catchphrase of this past weekend… “Wow I can’t believe you are actually in MY hometown this time!”

It was such a surreal few days having one of my best friends from Liverpool (who now lives in London) come out to LA to see what all the fuss was about.  After getting lost trying to back to this side of town from LAX (how confusing are the exits out of airports??), I finally got P back to my house so he could change before dinner.  I took him to El Cholo in Pasadena for a taste of some real Mexican food, not whatever the Brits come up with as Mexican haha… He took a picture of the sheer amount of food we were given and said it was tasty but that guacamole has a weird texture.  I’ll have to bring him around to how amazing it actually is, we have time!

I decided to get Hollywood out of the way on Friday, before it got too packed on the weekend.  We went on the Dearly Departed Tour, which I thought would be a much better idea than me trying to drive around showing him the sites (we all know my history of driving in Hollywood.. and if you don’t then GOOD, that’s one less person that will make a comment on my driving skills!).  The creator of www.findagrave.com is the tour guide, so you know you’re in for some scandalous sites on the Hollywood’s Tragical History Tour.  In the three hour tour we saw tons of LA and movie history, from the street where Halloween was filmed to the restroom where George Michael was arrested for uhh ‘indecent exposure.’  We didn’t come across any celebrities, but we did see Sylvester Stallone’s car and Christina Aguilera’s house… I’m obviously not hanging out in the right circles if in all my years of living in Los Angeles I’ve only seen a couple of famous people!

Once the tour was over we got P posed with all the usual tourist photo ops at Hollywood and Highland and Grauman’s Chinese Theater.  We’ve got about a dozen pictures of a famous person’s handprints and P’s foot, or P’s hand pointing at a celebrity’s signature in the cement.  We wandered down Hollywood Blvd to find P a souvenier out of one of the many seedy little shops and then ventured in to Ripley’s Believe It or Not, a classic!  It seems a little old and out of place next to all the development going on in that area, but it still manages to amuse (and gross out) with its strange collection.

That night we had a few drinks at The Chalet, my local neighborhood bar in Eagle Rock.  We chilled out, played our favorites from the jukebox, and remembered funny/embarrassing nights out from college.  P was amazed that there was actually Guinness on tap at some place in the US — and that it actually tasted alright!  Haha yes.. Americans can drink real beer too (although the next night P was affirmed in his idea that all Americans are lightweights).

Saturday we went to Universal Studios, something I haven’t done in YEARS.  Last time I went it was pretty empty and I don’t remember there being that much to do.  But we had a blast, despite the fact that I might have given P some bruising out of terror walking through the House of Horrors and going down the drop in the Jurassic Park ride!  We went on the Studio Tour, which I thought would be neat for an out-of-towner to see but I ended up exclaiming “Oh wow that’s cool” every five minutes too.

After we had recovered from walking around all day, we ventured to a club called Elevate, located in the 21st floor penthouse of an office building in Downtown LA (along with Takami Sushi and Robata Restaurant).  It had a great view of Los Angeles from its outdoor areas and a DJ who played all kinds of fun music to dance to.  It was a classic night for me and P, filled with an intense mixture of tequila shots, crazy dancing, lost ATM cards, weird conversations with strangers, a few tears, but ultimately a lot of fun (and a LOT of funny memories).  Random little bits of that night have been coming back to us all week, cracking us up with each one.  

After that crazy night we spent the rest of the weekend chilling out.  Sunday afternoon we drove all the way down Sunset Blvd to the beach, looking at all the different parts of LA from Echo Park to Malibu.  From there we wandered around Santa Monica Pier and the 3rd St Promenade.  We got some interesting people watching in and I made P stand in the Pacific ocean and pose for all kinds of touristy photos.  Too bad the weather wasn’t nice enough for actually lying out in the sand somewhere, I don’t think P even went back to freezing England with any kind of a tan! 

For a five day trip I think we hit all the major tourist spots of LA.  We’ve got a list going of less touristy things to do for the next time he comes out to visit, it’s already pretty long but I’m sure there is loads that needs to be added.  If you have any ideas for what has to be shown to people from outside the LA bubble,  drop me a line!

 

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Avon Walk Los Angeles

 I may be crazy, but I’ve decided to do the Avon Walk for breast cancer this year.  A marathon and a half over two days… just thinking about it is more than a little daunting! But, I think this is the year to do what my mom described as a “life changing experience.”  She’ll be training and doing the Big Walk with me this year too.  So far she’s in the lead for fundraising, and reminding me of it every day! 

Oh yeah, that’s another big part of the walk… fundraising.  To participate you have to fundraise at least $1800 for the Avon Foundation, which will go towards providing access to care for those that most need it, fund educational programs, and accelerate research into new treatments and potential cures.  I’ve got a lot of ideas, the trick is putting them into action!

 This is such an important cause to me because this year, an estimated 40,000 women will die from the disease. Breast cancer takes another life every 14 minutes. Another woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 3 minutes. An estimated three million women are living with breast cancer. One million of them don’t yet know it.  Everyone has probably been affected by this disease at some point, whether through a personal health scare or witnessing a friend or loved one go through it.

The walk starts and ends in Long Beach.  I’ll complete a marathon (26 miles) on Saturday, camp out over night, then complete a half marathon (13 miles) on Sunday.  Then I’ll get the longest massage I can afford…

If you want to help, or have any questions for me, feel free to ask!

Hoooome sweet home

I have a friend from England coming to visit me for the first time in a couple of weeks.  Every day he asks me questions about what we’re going to do, where we’re going to go, what I’m going to show him of this city that I’ve raved about as long as he has known me.  And every day I answer “Uhh uhh I’ll have to look some stuff up.  I’ll have to get directions to places.”  I’ve come to the realization that I don’t even know that much about the city that I couldn’t wait to get back to the whole time I was away at college. 

So, with my out-of-town visitor showing up my knowledge of why L.A. IS the best city in the world, I’ve decided that I need to get in touch with my hometown.  The next time someone asks me why I’ll never leave I’ll be able to list in detail the reasons why L.A. will always be my home!