Los Angeles, CA ᛫ September 16 – 19, 2017
From the first city of our road trip, it was only a little more than 2-hour drive. The closer we got to Los Angeles, the bigger the roads became. For a good part of our trip, we drove on roads with seven lanes one way and seven the other way. The road was full of cars as well and it looked like this huge mass made out of red headlights just moved along the street. I had never driven on such a big street before and it was quite nerve-racking. But we made it to our next host without any accidents, just some nervous sweat. 😉
Our “Home” in Hollywood
The guy we stayed with was actually not a member of the website Couchsurfing, but a friend of a couchsurfer that we had asked to host us, but didn’t have time. So we were very lucky that this couchsurfer referred us to his friend, who had an extra bedroom for us and lived in Hollywood. Although he wasn’t home when we arrived, he let us into his apartment by hiding the keys without even meeting us! And we didn’t meet him that night at all.
Despite being tired and traveling all day, Caro really wanted to go out since it was Saturday. So we freshened up and met up with a Couchsurfing friend who had been my host three years earlier. He worked as a promoter and thanks to him we didn’t have to pay entry for the club nor for the drinks.
Partying in Hollywood
We hung out with some of his friends at his table and danced. It was a nice club, but the atmosphere and the music weren’t completely what I liked. Most of the girls wore high heels and not a lot of clothes. I prefer more laid back parties where you can just wear jeans and sneakers. The DJ played hiphop and R’n’B music, mostly current songs and a bit of old school, which I definitely like more. It was still a lot of fun though.
Around 2 am the party was over. So my friend took Caro, another friend and me to an afterparty in the Hills. We were very excited because of course, we had heard a lot about the nice houses in the Hollywood Hills. When we arrived, there were not many people there yet. They all just started arriving from the different clubs in the city. And the house was very nice indeed, it was big and spacious, with stylish interior and had a pool with a view over LA.
We chatted with interesting people and had a good time… until the police shut the party down due to noise complaints around 4 am. When we heard the police was there we got a little nervous about getting in trouble, but we only had to leave and they didn’t even talk to us. My friend took us home and I fell asleep immediately.
Fun at Venice Beach
The next morning I woke up to Caro talking to our host. I was still too tired to get up and met him later that day. After a late breakfast, we headed to Venice Beach. It was pretty windy and not that hot so we decided not to go swimming. We just walked along the beach, watched skaters in Venice Skate Park and strolled along the Ocean Front Walk towards Santa Monica. This walk was very cool because there were many different things to see.
First of all, there were so many different kinds of people walking around that you could probably just spend the whole day there people watching. Then, there were also many artists and musicians selling their art along the street on tables or the floor. On the opposite side of them, there were various interesting or funny stores and food places. When we got closer to Santa Monica, some fitness tools and many people working out appeared. We played around the original Muscle Beach a bit; on slacklines, hoops, and swings. And although it wasn’t a real workout, we still got sore muscles the following days. 😀
We continued to walk on the Santa Monica Pier and watched the sunset from there. After the sun was gone it got a little cold and we hurried to a close mall for dinner. Not very motivated, but also not willing to pay for a taxi, we walked 40 minutes back to our car. When we arrived at “home”, we could finally meet and hang out with our host. He showed us his rooftop terrace where we had a beautiful view over the city.
Mandatory Hollywood Sign Pictures
On the following day, we wanted to visit the Hollywood Sign. But even the closest place we could park to the sign still was a one hour hike away from it and we didn’t have enough time. But it was still an important part of visiting LA to take some pictures with the sign in the background. 😉
We brought the car back “home” and walked to Hollywood Boulevard. Walking over the stars of the Walk of Fame was not that exciting because there are so many that we didn’t even know most of the people on them. But we were mainly there to visit the Jimmy Kimmel live show, a late night talk show that airs Monday through Friday on American TV. Since Kimmel is pretty funny, I like to watch his videos on YouTube. The tickets were available online for free a couple of weeks earlier.
Going to the Jimmy Kimmel Live Show
There was a lot of waiting before the show finally begun. First, we waited in line on the boulevard, then some more after the security check inside and then again after we were seated. Unfortunately, we had to hand in our phones and cameras, so we couldn’t take any pictures from inside the studio.
Before the actual taping of the show started, a comedian played around with the audience and we practiced how to properly clap and cheer. There were also several lights pointed at us that showed us what to do: they showed “Clapping” in green and “Stop” in red. So the audience reactions you see and hear later in the show are actually not natural but regulated by the show staff. The cameras are positioned to make the recording studio look much bigger than it really is.
Then, the show finally started. They played an intro and Jimmy Kimmel walked in, accompanied by roaring applause. He started with his monologue and then the band played to fade the show into the commercial break. Jimmy then talked and joked a little bit with the audience. Two guests, Modern Family actress Julie Bowen and Silicon Valley actor Kumail Nanjiani, came to the show that day. They were interviewed and now and then interrupted by commercial breaks (for us it was like a short pause, we didn’t actually watch commercials ;). Kimmel joked around with the audience in between takes and his guests were also very funny.
Afterward: A Concert & Some Fries
After about an hour the taping was finished. We were brought outside to the back of the studio to watch the band Fall Out Boy live on stage. In TV they showed two songs after the interviews, but the band played some more. Caro and I stayed for 2.5 songs because it was fun, but not really our favorite music. All in all, I think the show took a little too long because of all the waiting. But it was still a great experience and very entertaining!
Afterward, we went to the fast-food chain In-and-out-Burger that had been recommended to us. Since Caro is vegetarian and I didn’t want to wait in the long line for the burger, we only ended up having fries. On our way back home, we bought some groceries and some German beer and chocolate for our host.
Hitting the Road
The next day after breakfast, we packed our car with all of our stuff. It seemed to become more and more. We said goodbye to LA and went to Malibu. The hour drive took us through a completely different landscape full of mountains. The beach El Matador was situated in a beautiful small bay surrounded by rocks. There were not a lot of people there which we really liked. We laid in the sun and went into the water which was pretty cold.
Then we headed to another beach, Leo Carillo, but only took some pictures with our car because the beach was not that nice and we decided to rather continue our trip. So we started our drive in the northeast direction, stopped on the way at an outlet to buy some clothes (stuff I really needed and didn’t get the chance to buy in Germany 😉 and reached Visalia in the evening.
See More Pictures of Our Time in Los Angeles, CA
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