Los Angeles felt like a good stop on a trip, especially the first in a sequence stretching 6 months. The city I nick-named little Britain at one point because we’d heard more English accents than you would on a Friday night in Brixton Burger King. Specifically we were greeted at our hostel by a girl from ‘Milky Beans’, spoke to Brits in the hostel kitchen, overheard conversations on Santa Monica pier, and shared an Uber Pool with an English guy. Safe to say it was an easy cultural transition from
Blighty to here.
The city is a good place to live if you’re a movie star, and an easy one to tuck off a bucket list for a tourist, but it’s lack of a real character made it a simple enough trip to pack into the three days we had.
Our first full day we wandered to Santa Monica and laid our eyes on the Pacific Ocean for the first time in our lives, which was a moving thought for me at 33.
The pier was funny because I recognised it from Grand Theft Auto. Then we bought ice cream, Kelly one scoop and me two, neither of which fitted into the cone. I managed to lick both flavours before a seagull attacked it and knocked it into the sea. Robbing us both of its creamy goodness.
We then opted for the open top bus ride to get to the walk of fame (a must do, but a brief must do).
The trip trough Beverly Hills consisted of a run down of where to shop, where something was filmed or who died here.
In my usual lack of planning I didn’t bring a hoodie so when the temperature dropped, the wind kicked up and it tipped with rain, I had to hold onto Kelly for sweet sweet warmth.
On our final day we went to Universal Studios – a wedding gift care of my Aunt and Uncle. We opted for an Uber to taxi us there. In the US they have a pooling option where you can share cabs with people, making it super-cheap, and a little bit social as the drivers are usually en route home too.
At Universal we headed straight for the lower lot and jumped on the Mummy ride. Hilarity when it started like a horror house and then turned into a black hole roller coaster surprising us both into laughter. My favourite was the Transformers experience, the first of four 3D rides we encountered. They got progressively samey but the first cherry pop was the sweetest – hurling us around as Optimus Prime fought Decepticons around us.
We took in the Waterworld show where Kelly remarked that she hadn’t seen the film. Jealousy took over me at that point as I thought what my life could have been with such sweet ignorance.
We took a breather in Moe’s tavern from the Simpsons and tried some rather good Duff beer (it needed to be for $13 a pop).
And so the studio closed, but it had one more trick up its sleeve. Given that this was Universal we had the opportunity to see the Steve Jobs movie before its main release. A well acted, if slightly unrewarding movie that was made slightly more relevant by us actually being in California.
Tomorrow we head to San Francisco, a city everyone we’ve spoken too here seems to love!