Day 2 - September 10, 2011
Had a good nights sleep. Woke up a couple of times but then back to sleep with minimal effort. Got up around 7.30, had a shower and then headed down to the restaurant below the hotel. The restaurant is called IHOP (http://www.ihop.com/) and servers all food good and bad. I decided on the apple pancake and bacon/egg combination. It came out pretty quickly along with a Coke chaser it dealt with the hunger I had been experiencing.
I backed my bag ready to get picked up by Karen, Lawrence and Trevor. I only had to wait a couple of minutes before I saw their car pulled up and jumped in. First port of call was Beverly Hills. Certainly a nice part of town, very clean and pretty to look at. We walked down Rodeo Drive first and saw some amazing shops and cars. The most notable car was the Bugati Veyron. Lots of people taking photos of the car and we were among the masses. Moving on we did a full lap of Rodeo Drive before getting back into the car. Next stop was going to be the Hollywood Walk but along the way we drove up some famous streets lined with the tall palm trees. Lots of stunning houses, all gated and with semi circle drive ways.
We finally got to the Hollywood walk and parked the car and started to walk the length of the Hollywood Boulevard. At first there wasn’t a huge number of people but then the numbers started to grow. Along with the other tourists were the touters for tours of the stars. We kept on walking and eventually got up to the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. This was completely packed and just looked like a huge tourist trap. We did however have a iced mocha at Starbucks before walking back to the car.
From there we drove back along the Sunset Strip passing places like Whisky a Go Go and The Viper Room before doing a loop round passing suburbs such as Bel Air before getting back onto the Pacific Coast Highway and back to the hotel.
I chilled there for a while before getting ready to catch up with Lawrence, Karen and Trevor again for dinner. Prior to leaving I did some reading on the local bus routes and found out some interesting facts. The classic Doors song “The End” makes reference to the big blue bus. So as I came out of the hotel I saw the # 1 coming down the street. I was fortunate enough for the lights to turn green to allow me to cross the street and get to the bus stop before the bus went pass. Got on and paid the $1 journey cost. The bus ride was quick down Santa Monica Boulevard and got off and made the short journey to the Loews hotel where the guys were staying.
We had a drink out on the balcony of the stunning hotel. Lots of lounge beds and for the evening chairs around fire pits. The sunset was fantastic and it signalled time for us to grab some food. The guys made the suggestion of going back to a sports styled bar. The bar was certainly amazing with the wall behind the bar complete full of projector screens and plasmas. On each screen was a different college NFL game or baseball match. One of the games was a University of Southern California so there was a lot of local support. We were in the bar for about 15 minutes before being seated for dinner. I had a steak and certainly hit the spot. After dinner we went out for a walk and the place was still a buzz late in the evening. Then as I walked down I passed someone I thought I recognised. It was a couple that I had worked with back in UK and had not seen for over 10 years. He is Irish and she is Australian and had moved back to Australia at the same time that I did but now reside in Brisbane. Such a strange encounter.
I then bid the guys a good night as they had an early morning flight to Las Vegas. There were not many buses running at this time so I walked the 20 blocks back to the hotel and crashed.