Wednesday, January 20

West Coast USA, Day Eight: Hollywood

Perhaps I spoke too soon? It seems that we have fully embraced the lazy-start-long-breakfast way of starting the day, and as such pretty much started our exploration of LA at around noon. For an early starter like me this was a disaster - flexible and meandering schedules only work if you have the time in which to flex and meander in. On the other hand breakfast at The Griddle was pretty awesome, and to be fair we did manage to squeeze in a quick look at Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills (I looked out for the Walshes but no go).

Today was all about Hollywood really. After parking up we spent more time than we really should have noting the Stars on the floor and the handprints of the TCL Chinese Theatre. We even got roped into taking a drive by tour of Hollywood, Bel Air and Beverly Hills. I won't bore you with the list of alleged celebrity houses we saw but I guess it was all part of the Hollywood tourist trapping. In total we spent 5 hours obsessing over the whole thing - oh and as a tip, if you want a really decent view of the Hollywood sign don't drive to any promised viewpoint: you can see it well enough from the viewing platform of the Dolby Theatre.

Cutting our losses, we headed to the Griffith Observatory. Now this was more like it - starting from the drive up, to the views from it's hill, to the architecture of the observatory to the actual science of the whole thing it really is a special place.

There were science demonstrations, experiments and we even regressed to schoolchildren and bought tickets to a show in the planetarium. My only regret is that we only had two hours or so there, but even that much time salvaged the whole day for me.

Our final task for the day was to catch a basketball game. Lakers was the target, and so we headed down to the Staples Centre to see what we could find. To say the mission was a failure was an understatement; a lack of research left us with pretty unrealistic expectations on how much it would cost to watch a game. We consoled ourselves with a cosy dinner at a lovely Italian called Osteria La Buca... after which we gorged on cheesecake at The Factory of such things. That was all a pretty decent turnabout if you ask me.

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