All my life I have wanted to be a celebrity. Every few months I brainstorm new ideas on how to get famous quickly and easily. My most recent idea was becoming a famous makeup artist via Youtube. I really thought I had it when I nailed the winged eye liner look on one of my eyes one time. But then I tried to do the other eye and it smudged and it was uneven and it was taking too long and so I said forget it and I haven’t attempted eyeliner since. If anyone has any new suggestions for me being famous let me know in the comment section please.
In the meantime let’s talk about the fourth day in California, which was spent in Los Angeles. I woke up I think the most excited I have ever been and FINALLY put on what I had been anticipating all week, aka “THE outfit.” Let me tell you about this ensemble before I continue. I had bought this outfit a few weeks in advance and it was one of those situations where I stood in the dressing room for 25 minutes staring at it because I didn’t want to take it off. I planned this outfit specifically for LA, and for two weeks I stared longingly at it in my closet, eager to wear it out. But luckily, my self control held me back, and when I put it on in my hotel room for the first real time, I felt more Rachel Green than ever before.
After obsessing over myself for twelve hours, the three girls made our way to our shuttle where we would be picked up for our Starline Tour, which we purchased for $75 per person the night before. We were confident in it being worth the money because the pamphlet and the hotel desk attendant mentioned stopping at all of the famous landmarks and driving through the celebrity neighborhoods on the seven hour journey.
Waiting to be picked up for the best day of our lives!
When we got dropped off at the Starline office, things were starting to get exciting. Portraits of some of my favorite celebrities hung on the wall. I took selfies with my mom and dad as you can see here:
Once our whole group arrived at the office we got on our bus. We started the tour in Venice. This part of LA is your typical beachy, skater, Vans-loving, chill scene. There were people long boarding everywhere, almost everyone had a snapback on, and even though I was only there for nine minutes I felt pretty tubular. (I hate myself for using that word. I am so sorry everyone.)
Pay attention to the fact that I was there for *nine* minutes. The three of us thought we had signed up for a sight seeing tour where we got to stop and hang out at different tourist spots in LA. What they didn’t mention in the pamphlet was that this tour stopped at maybe two or three places tops (other than a ten minute stop for gas and a 45 minute stop for lunch) for at most fifteen minutes.
But at this point in time, I was not frustrated yet. I was more so confused. The bus driver kept saying “take out your cameras” but he never slowed down at the attractions, so most of my photos were blurry, and I really didn’t know what I was supposed to be looking at. What distracted me from my frustrations at this point in the day though, was when we drove around the county and into the celebrity homes neighborhood. I saw a number of homes, including ones owned by Beyonce and Jay-z, Ellen Degeneres, Elvis Presley’s family, Nick Jonas, the Fresh Prince of Bel Air house, and more!
Bey and Jay!
But the most special moment of this day, and possibly this whole trip was when we pulled up to Michael Jackson’s final residence. I am a HUGE fan of the King of Pop. The day he died and the months following, I spent so much time watching interviews and documentaries of his final days. I knew exactly what the mansion looked like and what took place inside. So when I noticed the property as we drove up the street, I began to cry. I could not believe I was looking at the last place Michael Jackson resided. I was taking it in when all of a sudden the driver pulled over. He called me up and said “I’m not supposed to do this, but you have two minutes. Get out and go touch the house.” I was shocked, but the bus door opened and I ran up to the gate as quickly as I could. I couldn’t help but just stand there holding onto the gate weeping. (Have I mentioned how much of an emotional wreck I am 80% of the time? Here’s exhibit A.) My mom got out with me and got photos of me that I will cherish for the rest of my life. It was hard to pull away, but the guard dogs behind the wall of the garage helped me get moving!
The front gate, which was the scene of many news reports on the day of his death.
From here, the tour went downhill, FAST. We drove full speed past the Santa Monica Pier, past the Hollywood sign, past Rodeo Drive, and into downtown LA. We stopped nowhere, and the driver did nothing but point out random Maseratis. As we drove there were so many other tour companies letting everyone out to take pictures. I was silently jealous and upset, the people on the bus were starting to whisper to each other wondering why we weren’t stopping anywhere like he said we would be, and my mom was furious. When we got let out at the Kodak Theater for our only actual sight seeing stop of the day I told her I was done and not getting back on the bus. I wanted us to have a day in LA where we took our time exploring all the spots that we only had one day to see. We are by no means high maintenance. But for $75 per person, we expected more than a 50mph drive by every landmark in LA and blurry photos through tinted windows that were sealed shut the entire drive.
My mother informed the driver we would take it from here all by ourselves and to leave without us.
We walked along the Hollywood Walk of Fame (I saw Michael’s star!!! Eeee!).
We saw the Dolby and Chinese Theaters.
And we finally got a semi-decent photo of the Hollywood sign.
My decent, I mean from a million miles away. But whatever I still saw it!
When we went to head back to the souvenir shop, we saw the bus still waiting for us and the driver looking guilty standing next to it. He pulled us aside and apologized for the way the tour was going. He then told us a couple on the bus had to be back at the airport by 2:30pm (even though the tour ended at 5pm) so he was trying to have them see everything before he dropped us all off early. (I could almost see the steam shoot out of my mom’s ears when he said this.) He then said that the couple was making their way back to the airport on their own so he wanted to spend the drive back to the drop off location taking us wherever we wanted. We said we wanted to get out on Rodeo drive, walk around for a bit, and then be dropped off at the Santa Monica Pier. He obliged.
Walking down Rodeo Drive is a fantastic way to be reminded of how poor you are! Let me give you a mental picture. The first stores you see are Dior and Tiffany & Co.
T&C is across the street.
Next to that, Versace.
Down the road is Chanel, Balenciaga, and Valentino.
I didn’t get photos of all the stores. But they are all attached to one another.
On your left, Louis Vuitton, Celine, Bvlgari, Gucci, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, and more.
I mean, the list goes on.
I thought I would go in a store and maybe get a key chain or something. So we went into Chanel. I looked around at the security guards and the employees all dressed to the nines and quietly searched for the cheapest thing in the store without making it obvious that I was in no way fit for the scene. I found a key chain and my eyes lit up!!!! And then I flipped it over and saw that it was $489. Ok gotta go now thanks for the memories Chanel!!! Seriously guys, help me get rich and famous so I can pay for things like that with the change in my pocket instead of with my tears.
After that reality check, we got sent off at the Santa Monica Pier and we were free to roam on our own for the rest of the night.
If you like churros and crowds, this is the place for you! The pier is like a mini fair filled with rides, games, and snacks like cotton candy and popcorn.
Thousands of people lay on the beach adjacent to the pier
and everyone gawks at the famous ferris wheel that sits in the middle of the landmark.
Before this day, I had only ever seen this pier on Disney Channel and sometimes when I watched The Hills and Laguna Beach. I never thought I would one day walk down it myself! It was a surreal moment, and a great way to end the tour of Los Angeles.
Since we were no longer participating in the tour, we had to find our own way back to the hotel. The best way back was to take the bus, or so the locals said. We have barely ever taken the bus back home, let alone across the country. We were not aware that we needed a specific amount of cash, so when we got kicked off the first bus after trying to use debit cards, we stood nervously trying to figure out where the closest ATM was. Let me tell you, this was not a shining moment for the girls. We were tired, we were starving, we were finishing up a ridiculous day, and we were losing our patience. Alli and my mom held nothing back when it came to releasing their frustrations. They spent next 45 minutes wandering around the streets of LA screaming at each other:
“THIS ATM IS GOING TO COST A FEE AND I AM NOT PAYING A FEE TO GET 10 DOLLARS AND SOME CHANGE.”
“WILL YOU STOP WALKING IN RANDOM DIRECTIONS AND JUST LISTEN TO ME?!”
“STOP YELLING AT ME FOR ONCE IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE.”
Me: “um, hey guys..there’s..there’s a Jamba Juice up there that I think maybe..just maybe..we could all benefit from…possibly?”
Both of them: *yelling, yelling, yelling* *notices me* “WHAT COUR- oh? really? yea sure let’s go.”
We drank our smoothies in silence at the bus stop…
Once we got on the bus it was just over an hour long ride. For once, something went our way and we got dropped off right at the front entrance of our hotel, where we sat and waited for our next shuttle to bring us to the final hotel of the trip. As the sun set in Los Angeles, we said good bye to our day of fame, and hello to Disneyland. The next day was sure to be magical!
Tune in on my next post to read the story of how I lost my mom in Disneyland for almost an hour and found her in the most ridiculous place! Until next time, xo.