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A trip to Los Angeles

Jack Nicholson

Los Angeles, CA
26-27 September

We woke up in Mountain Hill, CA quite early due to the jetlag. We looked around in the town, i.e. how Saturday morning looks like here, took some coffee and headed towards Los Angeles, which was our destination for this day and our expectations were high.

We took Interstate 101 for driving, although now I would suggest driving at state Highway Number One which goes at the coast and therefore the scenery is much better. But we enjoyed even so. Mountains, beautiful big American trucks, country music from car stereo, convenient rest areas – we just enjoyed traveling again in America.

Our first loner stop was in Santa Barbara. This city is about 85 miles before Los Angeles, when driving from San Francisco. Santa Barbara is situated along the Pacific coast. This stretch of coast along southern Santa Barbara County is often referred to as the "American Riviera" because of its Mediterranean climate.

We found an accommodation in Ventura, CA (also known as city of San Buenaventura). The motel was nice, but even better was our dinner. We found nearby the seafood restaurant at the pier - Andria's Seafood - and ate there most delicious shrimps (cooked in the butter and garlic). Andria's Seafood Restaurant & Market’s heated waterfront patios make for fun and casual dining.

Next day we explored Los Angeles. The weather was a bit cloudy, but still the tour was interesting. First we went to the Hollywood Walk of Fame - a tribute to over 2000 artists who have made significant contributions to film, radio, television, theater and the recording industries. The first star placed on 9th February. 1960, was for Joanne Woodward. Walk of Fame is located on Hollywood Boulevard from Gower Street to La Brea Avenue, and on Vine Street from Yucca Street to Sunset Boulevard. The renowned sidewalk "stars" salute the celebrities who made Hollywood great - from the silent film stars of yesteryear to the modern action heroes of today's blockbusters. It is interesting to walk and find famous stars.

Near Hollywood Boulevard we found that trolley ride is available, even several of them. We took the one which promised to be a tour of historic Hollywood movie, TV and radio landmarks, as well as the filming locations of famous movies and series. The ride also went to Beverly Hills; the tour guide showed us some houses of some famous people (although there is another tour of Movie Star Homes). The open air trolley ride took us to the Hollywood Bowl and also to the Hollywood Sign. For me the best attraction was left as last one. If you have seen the movie Pretty Woman, you know the last scene where Richard Gere climbs up to the second floor to make the proposal to Julia Roberts, this was the house. I like the movie very much therefore seeing this place was a event of the day (although we saw many other interesting things also).

The trolley ride finished at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, the most famous movie theater in the world. The Chinese Theater has been the site of more gala Hollywood movie premieres than any other theater. We did not go inside to watch a movie, but the option was available to see Saving Private Ryan.

Our last stop in Los Angeles was at Universal Studios. This was huge. I believe that at least a day is needed to explore it. As it was already late afternoon, we decided just wonder around a little bit. We did not take any attractions available – studio tour or go behind the scenes. I believe this all is worth of visiting. For attractions the ticket is needed, for walking (like we did) no pay.

We had great time is Los Angeles. Although the LA did not exceed our expectation, we saw “Must see” things. This evening we found a motel in Vista, CA, a town between Los Angeles and San Diego.