As a first time solo traveler and a first time visitor to LA I had a fairly open mind when I stepped off the plane at LAX (cue Miley) and saw the palm trees and mountains surrounding me. I was nervous and excited but was glad when a girl in the same hostel as me got on the shuttle bus and we soon got chatting.
The shuttle bus took a while but the driver was informative and quirky (if not a bit direct.) If you need a ride from the airport I recommend supershuttle, it was fairly cheap and easy to arrange. We got a quick glance around LA and a really quick glance of the sign and was soon at our destination. USA Hostels Hollywood is right by Hollywood Boulevard and is a great (fairly cheap) hostel I was recommended by a friend of a friend. The staff are really helpful and you get unlimited pancakes, is all good.
Me and my new friend Kim were starving so I suggested we go try and find an In n out, I’d heard people rave about it and I love a good burger so we took a short walk to the one on Sunset Boulevard. Oh my lord, it was amazing.
I got a cheeseburger and fries with a strawberry milkshake, genuinely the NICEST milkshake I have ever had. So thick and malty, it was scrummy. Whether it made it better that we were starving I dunno but I am drooling just writing this (and I just had sushi!)
We got chatting to a couple of guys from the states and they suggested going to the Roosevelt hotel for a couple of drinks. They were in this ridiculously cool sports car but it only had two seats so me and Kim walked. This was were my impressions of LA really started to form. I don’t know if they couldn’t find us or whatever but we didn’t see the guys so we got some (expensive) cocktails and chilled by the pool. The sun was almost down yet people were still in their bikinis supping beer and sounding like typical Americans (like you see in a movie on spring break.)
What really struck me about this place is the variety of people here, not just tourists but locals too. There is every ethnicity, age, stereotype and whatever other categories there are of people here in the bucket loads. It’s strange yet extremely fascinating. You can walk past a group of suited men and 2 seconds later a guy with his life in his backpack asks you for spare change. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just different.
To end our very long day we wandered up Hollywood Boulevard trying to take it all in which I soon learnt was impossible. There is so much going on from looking at the stars on the floor to entertainers on the street I will need to spend a few nights looking to truly experience LA at night. Overall my first impression of LA is mainly that I’m intrigued, it’s full of crazy places and characters that I really can’t wait to see more of.
Day 2 has consisted of a long walking day exploring the Warner Brothers Tour, Bob’s Big Boy, a stars house tour and a (kind of glitzy) film premiere! Come back tomorrow to see what I got up to.