Monday, March 19, 2007


Eeeeek! Thank goodness we didn't pick a car up at LAX - Los Angeles airport - after our long overnight flight from New Zealand. We crossed a date line and arrived in LA before we had left! Yes, I have trouble getting my head round that one too! The route from the airport was scary - 5 lanes of traffic going very fast indeed. Our taxi driver was no exception; we clutched each other on the back seat wondering if we would get to our Hollywood hotel alive. We did, and what a welcome, our room was ready and the staff were kind to us in our fragile state.

We managed to stay awake that day, very zombie like it has to be said. We were blown away with our antidote to jet lag, an open topped bus ride, around the local landmarks. We passed Hollywood's Walk of Fame, Capital Records building and Paramount Studios, we saw the balcony where Richard Gere finally won Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and lots of other film sites, we viewed the Hollywood Sign high in the hills from afar and generally got our bearings. After a Mexican meal we were in bed by 8 and I slept for 11 hours solid, the first time I've done that for as long as I can remember!

When in Hollywood you have to do the stretch limo bit - we did a trip round the stars homes in one. Yes it sounds awful and we said we wouldn't ever do something like that but Hollywood is Hollywood because of its stars and it just had to be done. It was a relaxing way to see nice parts of Hollywood, the houses were gorgeous and our driver, James, had an interesting line in patter. We were allowed a 15 minute stop in Rodeo Drive where all the designer shops huddle together. I managed a quick whizz round Gianfranco Ferré's who apart from making gorgeous togs also produces a wonderful perfume which I wore on my wedding day - its now referred to as his 'original' I was told as I puffed it all over me. It is still as lovely. A quick whizz round Tiffany's followed, head reverentially bent over the jewelry counters, then back to the car. A heartfelt 'Home James' rang out as the old chap sank back relieved to get off so lightly. We were exhausted after all that gawping and just had to lay by the pool all afternoon; the amazingly friendly staff brought round Popsicals to cool us down and perk us up! Revived sufficiently to eat out overlooking the twinkly lights of tinsel town.

We missed the St. Patrick's Day Parade and an anti-War Protest in Hollywood as we were at the Getty Centre, high in the hills above Los Angeles. It is a fabulous building. The Architect Richard Meier has produced a Modernist citadel built out of 30" x 30" blocks of travertine, a type of marble, with beautiful gardens designed by American artist Robert Irwin. Very white against the blue sky some facades are faced with rough travertine which saves it from being too clinical perhaps. It can absorb 10,000 people apparently, just swallows them up into its cavernous interior, or interiors really as there are North, South, East, and West 'Pavilions' as well as the Research Centre and the Conservation areas. A tram system ferries everyone up to the top of the hill the Centre sits on - all for free.
We've picked up our car and start to drive north up the coast to San Francisco. We've got some new CDs to play as we go along - Bob Dylan's latest - Modern Times and The Scissor Sisters Ta-Dah to go with our other sing along favourites. I hope its not a five lane freeway all the way!


PMM&L said...

Thats hysterical! I hope you had champagne in the limo!!

axx said...

No! There was a huge long bar complete with twinkly lights that we could switch on and off from a console above our heads but no booze, not a drop! Just as well really, may well have ended up buying something!