La La Land…

I think you either love LA or you don’t…. I’ve only been here once before (25 years ago!) and stayed in a lovely house with a lovely family in “The Valley”.  We only went into the city once to do the touristy Hollywood Boulevard to see the stars and handprints, and a drive around the hills to see if we could find Madonna’s house – which we did, but then we got out of the city and saw Malibu and Disneyland which was much nicer and probably gave me a rose coloured sense of what was on offer here…. then again things could have changed somewhat in all those years.


This time we are staying in walking distance of Hollywood Boulevard and you can see the Hollywood sign from the end of our street and I have to say, aside from our gorgeous Parisian oasis of an apartment, the area we’re in is not flash.  We Ubered through some lovely areas near Beverley Hills yesterday to do some shopping, but it is a vast contrast.

Here’s our lovely house… the Parisian Suite at Villa Delle Stelle “House of the Stars”

Apparently it was decorated by Brogan Lane who was once married to Dudley Moore.  One of the five villas has been decorated with all things Dudley including an upright piano that Duds himself liked to play.  Our apartment was inspired by Grace Kelly.

Yesterday, we visited the Old Farmer’s Market at The Grove – an outdoor shopping mall.  The Farmer’s Market is an open air market with permanent stalls.  It’s been going since 1934, but the history goes back to 1880 when a bloke and his business partner purchased what was a dairy farm, then they tried drilling for water, but they struck oil instead.  Their business grew and grew including a sports stadium, a baseball field and a drive in theatre and they built a central marketplace where local farmers could see their wares.  And now they’ve built a lovely outdoor mall called The Grove and attached it to the Farmer’s Market and the whole thing is quite civilised.


Usually there is an old fashioned trolley that takes you from one end of the The Grove to the entrance of the Market, but today we saw it tucked up in its shed.

(Not my photo)


Here’s the olde’ fashioned petrol station – probably on the site where they first accidentally drilled for oil.


All the food shops in the Market had names like – Phil’s Deli & Grill…




Bob’s Coffee & Doughnuts…


It was still pretty early, but if it’s like anywhere else we’ve been, we’ll bring the crowd.


There are some lovely shops there but as we were looking for particular things we headed over to the Westfield shopping centre which was also an outdoor mall – items were purchased and then when we were ready to head home we were directed to the “Uber Lounge” – have you ever heard of such a thing?  Very civilised!

Dinner was another recommendation by Caroline in the office of a place on Hollywood Boulevard called Wood and Vine.  There was one table left in the courtyard and it had an ok vibe about it.

(Also not my photo)

It was described as a sharing dish establishment which was fine by us, except that all the dishes that we ordered were just one serving – ie: a plate of salmon on mashed potato with beans, Big enough for two, but served as if it were for one person.  We just cut it in half and split it, which is fine, but weird.

This morning we did a walk up in the foothills of the Hollywood Hills – suggested by the compendium and the lady in the office. It took us up and around some lovely old houses where some famous people used to live.


The only name I recognised was Charlie Chaplin, and even then we couldn’t find which one was his.  A lot of the houses were old-time Hollywood glamour that have seen far better days.

There could have been a wonderful view of the city and across LA from some of these places, but LA was shrouded in fog (smog) today…


As part of our walk we stopped in at the Cafe 101 – a kitschy, retro place where the hipsters go.  It was an authentic American diner with stools at the bar and booths and the building looked like it had been designed by Mike Brady – with sloped roof and everything.


Today, besides the walk, has been a getting ready to go day.  We’re downloading podcasts for the plane and packing and repacking… I had a slightly heavy case leaving New York and our B&B in Denver and our Parisian Oasis in LA have both been upstairs… lots of stairs.  I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried to get a 32kg case up stairs on your own, but it does not do wonders for your back.  Yes, I know and I agree, 32kgs is too much stuff, but I have been away for a long time and across a couple of seasons & climates and I’ve done a tiny bit of purchasing…..

I was forced to purchase another case as I am flying Hawaiian tomorrow and they only allow 23kg cases…


So, we never heard from Ellen and I must say that I’m a little disappointed.  However I understand that there are probably millions of people from all over the world, even here in LA who have tried for years to get tickets to one of her shows. Still…. it’s a little bit selfish on her part.

I did see her star though (which looked a little smeared) and I’ve booked myself on a Warner Bros tour tomorrow, so maybe I’ll just casually bump into her, cause that could happen.


Jodie leaves on her flight to Melbourne tonight and I must say that even though I’m ready to get out of LA, I will miss her being in the next room. Not so much that I won’t jump in to sleep in that room next door as soon as her case is down those stairs…. can you blame me?  Just like all good siblings do – we took turns at having ‘the good room’ in each place we stayed.


We have a back door in the apartment that just goes down to some parking bays, but I opened it up today and would you look what I saw….


That’s right – if you squint hard enough, you can see the Hollywood sign.

Categories: LA, Travel, USA

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