Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Beverly Hills, That's Where I Want to Be

First, I'm never flying Continental again. I've had too many bad experiences with them in one trip, it's ridiculous.

Flying out to California went on without a hitch. With the exception of the rude bitch stewardess I dealt with, it wasn't too bad. We got to LAX Wednesday afternoon to absolutely GORGEOUS weather! My mom didn't believe me when I told her the highs and lows before we left until we stepped outside at LAX to catch the shuttle to Enterprise Rent-A-Car. We got our car and headed straight to the hotel, the Tower at Beverly Hills. Such a beautiful hotel. It felt like a boutique in our room, super cute!
Beverly Hills City Limit

That night we had dinner at a place called Nate N' Al's. A cute diner where they serve breakfast all day - my favorite! After dinner, we explored Beverly Drive (the street over from Rodeo, much more affordable shopping). After that we headed back to the hotel and watched So You Think You Can Dance at 8 pm even though it was filmed in LA at 5. Pretty chill evening since we were exhausted from traveling.

Thursday morning we got up and had our first breakfast at the hotel. Can't say I'm a huge fan of "California Egg Whites." As a big fan of breakfast, I was disappointed in our hotel's breakfast. However, the orange juice, although slightly pulpy, was fantastic. I think it was fresh squeezed California oranges! Yum! After breakfast, we looked up directions to Grauman's and headed that way. We got there pretty early so I didn't have to wait long to take a picture with Michael Jackson's star on the Walk of Fame. Later that afternoon there were at least 20 people around it at all times so we got lucky. We explored Grauman's and looked at all the hand/foot prints in the concrete. Added since I was last there: Hugh Grant and Robert Downey, Jr, two very deserving men - not to mention good looking! OH! We saw a guy with a TCU shirt on at Grauman's! It was so weird, but I loved it! While at Grauman's we went to a little info hut looking thing and bought a tour of the movie stars' homes around LA and Beverly Hills. Our tour guide had been doing it for over 25 years, so I'm pretty sure he knew his stuff! I saw all kinds of people's houses! Orlando Bloom, Robert Pattinson, the Fresh Prince house, houses from Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween, etc... Really neat tour, I suggest anyone who has any sort of obsession with celebrities go on one. After we got back from that 2 hour tour in which the tops of my legs go a slight burn (and subsequent shorts tan), we saw Johnny Depp's star along with a few others' and had lunch at California Pizza Kitchen in the outdoor shopping area at the Kodak theater. I don't know what it is about Kodak but I'm really obsessed with it. I guess because it's where all the awards shows and that type of thing are held and I just can't get into the auditorium part, which I'd absolutely love! That night we tried going to Pink's hotdogs, but the line was too long and we were confused about when the SYTYCD results show was coming on. So we headed back to the hotel and ordered in from Factor's Famous Deli.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Friday morning we got up and once again had the hotel breakfast and headed out for some shopping at The Grove. Got two really cute dresses from Anthropologie that I'm really excited about. After a short shopping trip, we headed up to UCLA to drive around that beautiful campus in search of the filming for ABC Family's Greek. However, we couldn't find them; I concluded they were in the studio and not on location. UCLA is one of the most gorgeous college campuses I've ever seen - which says a lot because I don't think many rival TCU's beauty. After the driving tour through UCLA's summer classes and freshman orientation, I too my mom to In-N-Out an then Diddy Riese for dessert. Then we headed back to the hotel for nap time. For dinner we headed to The Ivy - celebrity hotspot. However, we were there for an early dinner and didn't see any celebs. Although it was expensive, I highly recommend LA tourists to have dinner here. Seriously, one of the best meals I've had. I ordered the spaghetti and the sauce was so fresh and the meatballs just fell apart - SO GOOD! My mom had chicken enchiladas with some sort of BBQ sauce on top and she said they were phenomenal. For dessert we ordered the cookie plate. Again, SO GOOD. I ate the sugar cookie off the cookie plate and was in Heaven. Really, it's a must go to, just not early if you want to see a celeb. After dinner we went to the Santa Monica Pier. I have to say I'm completely obsessed. If I lived there I'd be there all day everyday, especially during the summer, It was freezing though, thanks to that crazy marine layer and Alaskan current. All I could think about after we walked up to the pier from the beach was Despicable Me - "Look at that fluffy unicorn! It's so fluffy I could die!" Oh, Agnes, I love you and your love of fluffy unicorns. The fact that I saw Despicable Me billboards everywhere during this vacation just added to how much I already loved the movie. But that's not the point. Santa Monica was awesome and I'd love to stay there some day. OH! And we drove past the Hotel California! I don't know if it's the one from the song or if it was named/built after the song, but either way it was cool.
Santa Monica Pier

Saturday we slept in and after breakfast went to Calasbasas/Tarzana to look for some E! celebrities. Sadly we didn't see any - the Kardashians were at a wedding and Kendra was traveling to Malibu. But we did go to Dash which was cute and not as outrageously priced as I thought it would be. The Dash girl working is one of the girls whose on the show a lot when they show them in the store. I got to smell Kim's perfume - woooooh. Really strong, but very familiar - nothing special, really. We thought about eating lunch there but didn't explore a whole lot and couldn't find anywhere other than my beloved Menchie's froyo. So we went back into LA and had Factor's in the hotel room again. That afternoon we went to see The Kids Are All Right in Century City. Really good movie, kind of weird, but really good and funny. After the movie we shopped a little in Century City because there was a Madewell (thanks Emily for introducing me in Austin). Then we went to the new Menchie's in Beverly Hills, just one building over from Sprinkles. We never made it to Sprinkles, but at least there's one in Dallas, and although my order's been messed up any time Brig got me a cupcake, the bites I've had were delish! After Menchie's, we went back to the hotel and started packing up for the trip home.
Dash Calabasas

Now we come to the pat of the trip that I'd like to call: I Hate Continental.
We got to LAX and went through security two hours before our flight was scheduled to take off, just like the major airports suggest. Original departure time: 11:40 am. Delayed. 2:00 pm. Cool. Delayed. 3:30 pm. Airport lunch. Read lots of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. Flight Canceled. We sat in LAX for SEVEN hours. Seven hours is more time than I'd ever like to spend at one time in an airport. Food vouchers and hotel night stay voucher at the Westin LAX. Nice hotel, but not my bed in Tyler. Do we need to get our checked bag? "Oh no, it'll be fine here over night. It'll be on your flight tomorrow morning." Wake up Monday morning at 4:30 am. Airport breakfast. Original flight: 8 am. Earlier flight with seats available!!! 6:50 am. YAY! Oh wait, our flight from Houston to Tyler is delayed? Are you kidding? Wait, it's not delayed? In Tyler on time... Where's our bag? Longest 2 days ever. Can't say I'm a huge fan of Continental after that. I don't fly a ton, but I've flown the major airlines and I've never had major issues with them and I know that there's that one flight every so often that goes wrong but literally on this trip if it could go wrong it did.

Other than the nightmare trip back, LA was really fun even if we didn't see any celebs. Pictures on Facebook later and probably a few on here too! Up next in my Summer of Fun: Lady Gaga in Dallas on Thursday. Entertainment Weekly gave her Madison Square Garden performance an A- and published her set list which looks awesome. I can't wait!!!

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