It was the summer of 2002 when I first discovered Charlie’s Angels movie. I’ve never seen a CA series before so, until this very day, Drew, Cameron and Lucy are original angels if you ask me (#millenial). I was already pretty obsessed with everything that has to do with Hollywood and USA when I first saw the movie and for the next three months I was falling asleep to the sound of fearless women beating the shit out of bad guys while looking all sorts of unrealistically perfect – hair, makeup and pregnancy glow without the pregnant part while rolling on the filthy floor in flawless outfits! Needless to say, soon enough I knew all the dialogues by heart and wasn’t afraid to use them! As I write this today, I swear I feel the same adrenaline rush, the same excitement spreading from my head to toes.
By the time I was on an actual plane to Los Angeles with my two girlfriends (Coincidence? I think not!), 15 years have gone by. Haven’t seen Charlie’s Angels in a while. Learned to love British accent over American. Survived a heartbreak or two. The moment I saw it from the plane window was everything I kind of always knew it will be: glorious.
I seriously doubt anything I write here can do justice to how it really felt being in LA, meeting it in person, fulfilling a childhood dream. Seriously, it’s a tattoo material (oh yeah!). It’s like seeing someone you love after a long long time. Like that moment when you realize you’re not mad anymore, you’re not holding grudges. It’s all good.
I won’t tell you where to go when in LA, I won’t tell you what to eat, where to walk or what to see. What I hope to do is inspire you to start planning your own Tinseltown adventure. It’s enough to just go. See where it takes you. This usually sounds so fake to me, but when it comes to La La Land, that’s the best advice you can get. Oh, and book a bus tour. Just book it.
However, in order to put things in perspective for you, I have some tips:
1. Do yourself a favor and ditch the high expectations. I know, LA is a big deal especially if you’re European, but if you’re expecting to be greeted to a fluffy red carpet on the walk of fame – chances are you’re gonna be as disappointed as many people I’ve talked to about their LA experience.
2. If you can, spend at least 5 days in Los Angeles. Ok, I know it’s not easy and the money is tight, but please please pleeease you’re gonna be so happy to be in LA for more than 48 hours, I promise!
3. Have a short list of places you want to visit, but don’t make sticking to the plan your number one priority. If you choose to take just one tip from this list into consideration, let it be this one. The city is so big and wild and the things worth seeing are EVERYWHERE. Just accept the fact that you’re not gonna be able to see everything. It’s perfectly fine – you’re gonna check it out next time you’re in town 😉
4. Do as the Romans do. Try following the famous LA lifestyle just for fun and go for acai bowl breakfast followed by yoga class on Venice beach. Smile. Smile. Smile. Then grab In’n’Out for an evening out on the streets. Repeat.
5. Book a bus tour. I know we’re all just tourists who try really hard to blend in but let’s be real – you’re working that camera like your life depends on it, so chill. It’s essential! The quickest way to see everything plus hear some trivia while you’re at it. One of my fondest memories from LA is probably riding the freeway on an open double decker which is as terrifying as it may sound but then Under the Bridge came on shuffle and I was like “My brain will freeze to death and my hair will fall off but this is awesome!”. Anyways, wear a hat. Or a hoodie.
6. Airbnb is probably the smartest solution. I am well known for my realistic approachahahahahahhahahahha. Not. When I first started looking for a hotel online I was thinking something sweet, something bright, something Sunset Blvd. Well, that something costs about 400$ up for a single night and if you have that kind of money to spend on a hotel, I really say you go for it (also, can we be friends hah). Heavyhearted, I turned to Airbnb. Our trip was just a month away so there was not much left to choose from, therefore I strongly advise you to book well in advance. You can find pretty neat place (the one that qualifies as an Instagram material even lol) for a reasonable price if you’re an early bird, so… spread your wings and fly!
“Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.” Frank Lloyd Wright