The first thing I noticed when I landed in LA was how similar it felt to Sydney. I’ve actually never travelled overseas before (except for a very brief period living in Hawaii when I was little – and all I remember about that is… nothing), so I can’t really say what I was expecting.
I know that I’d already felt like the plane ride was the best part of my trip. I’ve only ever been to Perth, so the novelty of being on a fancy Qantas plane for 16 hours was like an attraction for me already. You basically get to sit in comfy chair, someone brings you free food and alcohol, and THERE IS AS MUCH TV AS YOU CAN WATCH. Seriously. There was all of Breaking Bad Season 5. I was in heaven. Qantas could’ve just flown me there and then flown me straight back and I would’ve thought it was an awesome holiday.
But, I was there for work. If you could call Qantas flying you to LA to go to some totally legit celeb parties ‘work’. (If you haven’t read about my red carpet adventures, you can do so here and here.)
And given it was my first time overseas at an age where my mum didn’t have to hold me down to take my passport photo, I needed to cram in as much as I could.
Here are the (non-celeb, obviously) highlights from my trip to LA:
1. The Hotel
When we landed at LAX, myself and some other members of the press were taken to a CRAZY PLUSH hotel in Beverly Hills called Mr. C. Not only was it the nicest hotel room I’ve ever stayed in, it was probably just the nicest room I’ve ever stayed in, period. This place was NOICE.
The bed was like a freaking cloud and I had my own private balcony with a view of all of Los Angeles. I could see the Hollywood sign to my right and the entire city to my left. It was amazing.
Obviously, my first stop in LA had to be Hollywood. Still giggling that there was a ‘Valet’ who called me a cab and then put me in it, I struck up a really nice convo with my cabbie (from the Ukraine, trying to be an actor, missed mum) who gave me a bunch of tips on what I should do and see.
He took me right into the heart of Hollywood and told me not to take any CDs from people on the street. His advice made sense to me later when I counted at least ten randoms come up to me and tell me they were going to be the next big rapper/singer/producer/something and I should deifintiely get a photo and autographed demo from them – for $10. I refused, thanks to the sound advice I had received from my new Ukranian-American cabbie best friend, but I was still impressed with their balls.
There’s something about the people in Hollywood; they’re just all so optimistic. I mean, imagine the confidence it takes to ask someone for money for a CD on the basis that you are definitely going to be famous one day?
I checked out all the usual touristy things: the Walk of Fame, the foot and handprints and the Chinese Theatre, the Proactiv vending machine, the Dolby Theatre (where I’ll graciously accept my Oscar one day), Sunset Boulevard… It’s pretty surreal being in all the places you’ve only seen in movies growing up. Which brings me too…
3. The ‘Movie Stuff’
I literally did not come into contact with any movie-making ‘stuff’ my whole time in LA. I wasn’t really interested in going on a studio tour, so other than driving past the huge studio backlots, I could have easily not realised I was in the move-making capital of the world (leaving out, of course, the ridiculous and tacky Oscar-themed souvenirs I bought for EVERYBODY.)