City of Angels

My host & buddy  Edmond

My host & buddy Edmond

Movie stars, Californian sun, trendy beaches, beautiful people , …  The ‘City of Angels’ was the first stop in my American roadtrip but at my arrival in LAX, the rental car company wouldn’t accept my Belgian credit cards and therefor not deliver the car that I rented for a month and a half. Paying cash was also not an option because they needed a deposit. Back in 2010 I met Edmond, a couchsurfer from LA on the island of Hvar, where I showed him around and were we spent some time hanging out on the party island ‘Carpe Diem Beach’.  Edmond worked as a real estate agent in LA and when he heard I had some troubles at the airport, he came over right away and sorted things out. I felt so lucky to know Edmond and especially the fact that he trusted me just after meeting him for a single evening 3 years ago! Again, couchsurfing rocks!

Dan & me @ Walt Disney Concert Hall

Dan & me @ Walt Disney Concert Hall

After this minor incident, Edmond invited me straight away to ‘The Bungalow’, a trendy beach bar / restaurant in Brentwood where we enjoyed a live band and some good food.
Dan, who lived in Manhattan Beach and who took a long break at his job after 20 years in the media, noticed on couchsurfing that I was in LA.  Being himself in the fascinating world of media & the fact that Dan wanted to explore our beautiful planet as well, made us meet for drinks in ‘The Yard’, a famous place in downtown LA.  After a few drinks, we explored the city and visited some places such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, El Pueblo de Los Angeles, …  We ended our city walk on the rooftop bar of the Standard hotel with amazing views on the city.  Downtown LA is actually very compact and not a huge metropole as I imagined.  But it contains numerous suburbs such as Westwood, Brentwood, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, …  what makes LA very large and spreaded out.

Optimus Prime... state-of-the-art  technology !

Optimus Prime… state-of-the-art technology !

Being in the capital of entertainment, I has to visit some movie sets so I started with the famous ‘Universal Studios’.  It was not quite what I expected as Universal Studios is an entertainment park. But ‘The Studio Tour’, ‘Animal Actors’ and ‘Transformers’ were things thet I really enjoyed. ‘The Studio Tour’ took me on a ride behind the scenes and showed several sets of shows, movies, etc and even brought me in the middle of a flood and an earthquake.  The state-of-the-art performance of ‘Transformers’ literally blew me away! Unbelievable realistic robots talked to whoever passed by and Optimus Prime submerged me for a brief moment in his surrealistic world. Once inside, ‘Transformers – The Ride’ takes you on a 3D thrill ride blurring the line between fiction & reality. Fusing 3D media and flight simulation, this epic ride creates an unforgettable experience and it feels like you are part of the movie, driftin’ & rushing through an exploding city!

Edmond, me, Kyle, Andrew & Sahar @ Sweet Rose creamry

Edmond, me, Kyle, Andrew & Sahar @ Sweet Rose creamry

Back in the real world, I drove to the Santa Monica pier where thousands of people attended the weekly free beach concerts on thursday nights. I joined my host Edmond and his friends Kyle, Andrew & Sahar for a few drinks and some nice live music under the stars. Before we hit the sack, we drove to LA’s best creamery ‘Sweet Rose’ for some delicious ice cream.

Painter ... & myself and his painting 'The Circus'

Painter … & myself and his painting ‘The Circus’

Dan invited me the next day in Manhattan Beach to stroll around this lively beach town with amazing villa’s facing the ocean. On the pier we walked into ‘The Roundhouse’ , a sanctuary for ocean’s most unique creatures such as anemone’s, eels, blue sea stars, … That evening Dan invited me to his friend’s (Bob & Lisette) homeparty filled with artists and their work. It was located in a fancy neighbourhood of Laguna Beach. Every artist had donated one piece of their work for a good cause and at the end of the party, they organised a lottery. Lucky as I am, I won one of the most beautiful pieces that night! A painting by the artist Jose Angel Hernandez.  The painting called ‘Circus’ is a irony on today’s political situation in the States symbolising the Democrats by an elephant, the Republican by a donkey and the Third Party by clowns. The juggler in the front symbolises the people as they don’t know which side to choose. What a great souvenir of my trip! I loved the work of Jose!  You can admire more of his work on www.wordsandcolors.com

Exploring Hollywood & Beverly Hills

Exploring Hollywood & Beverly Hills

Universal Studios was more an entertainment park and so I searched for a more genuine experience and decided to take a tour in the Paramount Studios as well. No thrill rides or pop-corn here but a simple tour behind the scenes in the only studio based in Hollywood itself.
My visit to LA wouldn’t have been complete without a visit to LA most famous suburbs ‘Hollywood’ & ‘Beverly Hills’. Hollywood Boulevard, filled with wannabe’s & doubles such as Brad Pitt, Darth Vader, Spiderman, … offering us a photo opportunity for a few box was our first stop before Edmond & me headed to the famous Hollywood sign.  In Beverly Hills, I felt as a starchaser and had to visit some of the ridiculous huge properties of big names such as Jay Leno, Michael Jackson, Tom Cruise, … We even had a peak at ‘The Playboy Mansion’ !
After an amusing starchasing afternoon, my host Edmond & his girlfriend Erin invited their friends Lindsey, Missy, Jen, Chris & Kevin over for a lovely BBQ at Edmond’s place. The perfect end for my LA adventure!

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Comments
2 Responses to “City of Angels”
  1. Wow – this looks great! I’m on the other side of the states at the moment on a roadtrip too and am soon heading that way with my blog – brittrip.wordpress.com. Any places you would recommend?

    • Thanks… Well, if you’re into nature i definitely would recommend to do the National parks. My favorites are Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Lake Powell,… Death Valley & Lake Tahoe are incredible too! So much to see… I’ll post more about my roadtrip and those places very soon 😉 Have an epic road trip!

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