Say Goodnight

If your rhythm ever falls out of time bring it to me

 

13th December 2010

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It was another lovely day in the sunshine state today but we weren't in any rush to leave our comfortable hotel room. The first item on my itinerary didn't make an appearance until 12pm - "find pub to watch football". That gave us plenty of time to lounge about our room browsing guidebooks and the internet. I had already decided on which pub, The Cat & Fiddle in Hollywood, so we spent the time looking for a good place for breakfast.

We came across a cafe with a big reputation for its breakfasts and was perfectly located halfway between the Mondrian Hotel and the pub. So at 10am we left our hotel room and caught the bus up Sunset Boulevard. We bought a day pass for $6 each.

After a few minutes we got off at Sunset/Fairfax and walked the short distance back to The Griddle Cafe. It was a popular little place with a great feel to it. There were several TV screens up on the walls showing old cartoons like Top Cat.

"They don't make them like they used to" I said sounding like a grumpy old man.

We sat down and began looking at their extensive menu. The choices available was so bewildering with countless variations pimping up the basic pancake or French Toast. Overwhelmed we ended up going for the plain and simple options of "Good Old Fashioned" Buttermilk Pancakes and "Mom's" French Toast.

When they arrived at our table we both stared in disbelief. They were an obscene portion, ridiculously over-sized and quite daunting at this time of the morning. At least we had kept it plain and simple. Some other diners had pimped up their pancakes with extra ingredients and then added a side of bacon.

I began on my mound of eggy bread, tucking into the first of four large slices sprinkled with icing sugar and topped with what looked like ice cream but was in fact whipped butter. It tasted divine and before I knew it I was looking at an empty plate in front of me wishing there was more!

Julie on the other hand struggled with her stack of three pancakes the size of the dinner plate on which they were served. She only managed one pancake with maple syrup before accepting defeat.

It reminded us very much of a programme we often watch called Man v Food where this guy travels around America trying all sorts of different food challenges, all of which are over sized. I was half expecting to win a T-shirt for the amount that I had just eaten!

We let our food digest for a while before we felt capable of getting up from the table and back on the next No.2 bus down Sunset Boulevard. We weren't on it for long as we got off at Cherokee Avenue and walked for a few minutes to the Cat & Fiddle Pub.

On the way the passed a lovely church. We certainly weren't expecting to see an Italian renaissance basilica in the middle of Hollywood but the architectural gem of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament was just that.

A little further we walked by a Psychiatry Museum : an industry of death. Now that was more like the weird and wonderful I imagined.

With free admission we were tempted to have a look but with kick-off only 15 minutes away I wanted to get a good seat in the pub for a good view of the screen.

We came to the Cat & Fiddle, at 6530 Sunset Blvd. It's sign was an authentic looking pub sign but the building itself was more Mexican hacienda as we walked through an arched gateway into a pretty inner courtyard.

The door to the bar was at the end of this tree filled square. I was a little worried when we stepped inside to find the place empty and the only television high up over the bar was off. There was only five minutes until kick-off.

"Are you showing the game?" I asked a member of staff who appeared from the kitchens.

"Yes, sure, which one?" she replied. This wasn't how I expected it.

I imagined it would be standing room only with the place full of cheering ex-pats watching the game on a big screen.

She switched on the television and changed to the appropriate channel just in time to watch Manchester United and Arsenal walk out onto the Old Trafford turf.

She didn't however turn up the volume. All we could hear was the music from the jukebox. I'm sure if I had asked they would have turned the music off and the commentary up but I didn't.

We sat at the end of the bar perched on stools cricking our necks to look at the only television in the place. As "sports bars" go it wasn't very impressive.

It was a little early to start drinking but we felt obliged to buy a drink. Julie sensibly went for diet coke but I was in a pub watching football so I had to have a pint of lager!

The game itself was very tense but exciting with United playing the more penetrative football creating most of the chances. Then a few minutes before half time we scored, a lovely header from Ji-Sung Park, United's Korean winger.

Fists clenched in celebration I let out a little "Yay!".

I didn't want to disturb the only other people in here, a couple here for lunch not for the football. Despite having only just eaten a mountain of food a little over an hour ago the second half kicked off whilst we were still eating a bowl of chips. They weren't quite British style chips, they were skinny cut potato with the skin left on but they were nice.

I returned to the bar and sat nervously on the edge of the stool through an uncomfortable second half. Wayne Rooney missed a penalty which made the last five minutes of the game almost unbearable to watch.

What made it even more painful was Lenny Kravitz wailing "It's ain't over till it's over" over the jukebox. Fortunately when it was over it was finally over, the final whistle swinging my emotion from torture to elation in one short shrill.

It had been a great advert for the English Premier League; a game full of skill, passion and United winning.

Buoyed and victorious we left the Cat & Piddle and continued our way down Sunset Boulevard.

When we reached the junction with Cahuenga we looked left to cross the road and saw the iconic Hollywood sign for the first time. We could see it quite clearly despite it being some distance away high up on the hillside of Griffith Park. It's not surprising to learn that the letters were 45ft tall.

There's been a sign up on the hills since 1923. It originally said Hollywoodland as an advertising campaign to sell property development in the area. It was lit up with light bulbs in true film star style.

During the 70s it fell into disrepair and needed restoring. In a novel way to raise funding they encourage celebrities and local dignitaries to sponsor a letter in an auction.

Playboy impresario Hugh Hefner donated to have the letter 'Y' restored. Rocker Alice Cooper paid for the letter 'O' to be replaced. Warner Records sponsored another 'O' and singer Andy Williams saved the letter 'W'.

With our photographs of the sign in the bag we finally crossed the road to another Hollywood landmark, Amoeba Music record store. It's reputed to be one of the largest independent music stores in the world. Of course we had to pop in for a perusal of the 250,000 titles they had available. It would have been rude not too!

In this day and age where digital download is the most popular format for music it was really refreshing to see an old fashioned record store being en vogue.

It was a vast shopping area, a musical supermarket with a huge selection of new and second hand CDs and vinyl LPs.

We didn't spend too long actually browsing we just walked up and down the aisles taking it all in. It was certainly a nostalgia trip, almost having the feel of a museum.

I could easily imagine taking our grandchildren along to show them how we used to buy our music. They only associated music with coming from one of those black slabs we call an iPod.

They even have their own playlist on mine for the school run. "Yummy Yummy Yummy" by Ohio Express being their particular favourite.

Others include Frank Turner's "The Road" which they know word for word (well, the chorus at least), Tom Jones' "What's New Pussycat" and Johnny Cash "Ring of Fire".

We left the Ameoba Music and continued our self-guided walking tour of Hollywood. When we reached Vine Street and turned left we finally saw some stars! John Wayne, Mae West, Clark Gable and a whole host of extras we had never heard of before. They were of course stars of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

An anagram of Hollywood is Lowly Hood and that exactly what this area had become during the sixties and seventies, a run down neighbourhood. In an attempt to recapture it's former glory the Chamber of Commerce decided to revive the Walk of Fame an idea that began in fifties and became a reality in 1960 with eight stars being laid down.

It had however slowly been forgotten about.

Eventually after all their efforts the Walk of Fame slowly gathered popularity. Now there are almost 2,500 coral coloured gold trimmed stars embedded into the pavement of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.

All this star gazing was making us feel quite light headed and dizzy. We'd been walking with our heads permanently down looking at every star. We took a break when we reached Hollywood/Vine, just north of the intersection where we could see the distinctive Capitol Records tower, built like a stack of records on a turntable. Many great artists have recorded their albums inside the cylindrical building, from Frank Sinatra to The Beastie Boys no less!

Turning the corner onto Hollywood Boulevard we returned to the star gazing.

I was on the look-out for a particular one; the Walk of Fame star for Burton Holmes. He travelled extensively writing, photographing and filming his experiences before returning to America for a series of lectures. The experiences he captured on film, both still and movies, were inspiring.

He was there at the first modern day Olympics in Athens, the construction of the Panama canal, the eruption of Vesuvius in 1906 and he even travelled on the first Trans Siberian Railway.

It was he who also first coined the phrase travelogues to describe his monologues about his travels.

We found him shining brightly at 6600 Hollywood Boulevard. Other than the Walk of Fame there wasn't much else to see down this end of Hollywood Boulevard. Other than perhaps the Grauman's Egyptian Theatre which we completely missed because our heads were down scanning the floor.

The nearer to Hollywood/Highland the more it began looking like the tourist attraction that we were expecting. We even stopped staring at the pavement lifting our heads up to see places like the Guinness World of Records Museum.

In need of a comfort break we pulled into the Green Room Cafe next door to the museum.

With our drinks ordered we took it in turn to visit the little green room in the back.

"The more you drink the more you piss" I said as if it was some old English proverb.

We sat outside on the pavement but a Parisian cafe it was not, the people watching was a bit disappointing.

Once we crossed Highland Avenue the streets quickly filled with people, we even saw a Marilyn Monroe look-a-like or at least she looked like the 1950s siren from a distance but so would I in a blonde wig and white dress.

A little later we saw Mickey Mouse, the real Mickey Mouse sat outside the Disney Cafe. Although he wasn't really real just a plastic statue.

"Go and sit next to Mickey so I can take a photo for the boys" asked Julie "they'll love to see a picture of Grandpa with Mickey Mouse!"

So for Rory and Tyler I sat on the step next to the cheerful plastic mouse and smiled for the camera.

We were by now in the heart of Hollywood looking across at the famous Kodak Theatre.

For one night in February the red carpet is laid down and the world turns its spotlight on to 6801 Hollywood Boulevard for the annual Academy of Motion Picture Art and Science Award Ceremony, better known as the Oscars.

What you don't see on the television is that the state of the art auditorium is actually part of the Hollywood & Highland Centre a standard shopping centre.

I stayed up all night to watch the Oscar's live one year. I don't know why? It's not that I was into all the glitz and the glamour. I think I was excited to find out who won what, as it happened. The only problem was that the winner of the Best Film category wasn't announced until 5.30am GMT! I never did that again.

I had done the same with the Superbowl back in the eighties, even taking the following day off work. Never did that again either.

I tried to take a good photo of the Kodak Theatre's large portico but it was constantly obscured by the steady stream of traffic, a huge Cirque du Soleil poster and an oversized plastic banana. (it actually turned out to be a noodle?!)

I had to wait for another Kodak moment opposite the theatre that looked like the gates of an Imperial Chinese palace, Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

It was quite busy in front of it but I was fine with that. People in the shot add perspective. What was spoiling the picture was this large coach parked outside. I didn't have to wait too long before it drove off but just I was about to grab my snapshot it reversed back into position. I waited for a while and it drove off again. As it was getting out of my view it reversed back again.

Five bloody times it did this! Turned out it was being filmed (I guess for a scene in a film) and it took five takes to get it right.

All the best attractions were on the opposite side of the road so we decided to cross at the next set of traffic lights. Overhead I noticed a small sign saying 'PED XING' and I wondered what relevance this had to the Grauman's Theatre.

Mr. Xing certainly sounded like a good Anglo-Chinese name. It wasn't until an hour later the penny dropped and I realised that ped xing was an abbreviation of Pedestrian Crossing!

We walked into the foyer of Madame Tussauds, had a look around and stood next to an impressive wax-work of Samuel L. Jackson. We didn't stay long, the $25 entrance fee scared us off.

Moving on next door to the Grauman Chinese theatre we walked around the famous courtyard with its galaxy of handprints and footprints sunk into the pavement. It was a tradition that began in 1927 when Sid Grauman opened the theatre.

One of the first imprints was that of Douglas Fairbanks who scribbled into the wet cement "Good luck Sid." He was also a business partner so he would have wanted the venture to succeed more than most.

There were many others from that era with personal messages to Sid. These were far more interesting than their modern day equivalents.

Over the 83 years the forecourt has filled with almost two hundred prints. So much that they're not far off running out of space. I wondered what would happen when they did?

I couldn't imagine them removing the older ones to make room for the new, even the more obscure stars like silent movie actress Pola Negri (who incidentally Burton Holmes once photograph out side a cafe in Paris) are part of the history that makes Sid Grauman's Chinese Theatre so unique and special.

We walked around most of them. It was quite busy with many kneeling down tourist having their photograph taken with their favourites star, most comparing shoe sizes with their idols. They all seemed quite small. Mind you, compared to my size 12 feet even Coco the Clown's feet would seem small.

Moving on we reached the Hard Rock Cafe and decided it was a convenient time for another piss stop.

I always enjoy visiting HRC not so much for their food but for all the rock 'n' roll memorabilia.

As they go this one was fairly tame. I think it was probably because there were a lot of acts that I had never heard of such as The Bacon Brothers.

It wasn't all "Who the hell?" I did get to see a guitar that belonged to Micky Mars from Motley Crue and also a Motley Crue poster from 1987 when they played the Los Angeles Coliseum supported by an up and coming Hollywood band known as Guns 'N' Roses.

Another highlight on the walls of the Hard Rock Cafe was Bo Diddley's home-made cigar box guitar from 1945.

Their main attraction however were the legendary "snakeskin" leather trousers worn by the Lizard King himself, Jim Morrison of The Doors. True pieces of rock history.

I completed a full circle of the room and joined Julie who had perched herself on a stool at the bar. It was Happy Hour so we simply had to have a cocktail each. It was the happy hour law. With rock and roll machoism I went for a "Southern Rock" Jack Daniels cocktail whilst Julie had a Raspberry Lemonade which wasn't as innocent as it sounded, it had one hell of a Bacardi kick. They tasted far too nice so we only stayed for one drink, leaving before it became three, four and on the floor.

When we returned outside we literally saw Hollywood Boulevard in a different light, the reflected warmth of the setting sun light. The El Capitan Theatre in particular looked wonderful with it's intricate Spanish Colonial touches really standing out. It was built in 1926, the second of the trio of theatres involving Sid Grauman.

Now showing was "Tangled" Disney's latest animated feature length movie, a reworking of the Rapunzel story. It looked amazing and another good reason to have grandkids!

The theatre has recently been restored to its former glory and is now one of the theatres of choice to host many of Walt Disney's movie world premiers.

Speaking of premiers, it was time for us to leave Hollywood, we had a premier of our own to go too. It wasn't the rom-com "How Do You Know" staring Phil Rudd, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson and Jack Nicholson which was taking place tonight over at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood. Oh no, it was better than that.

Perfect for the rock theme of our trip it was a romp-comp called "Let's Spend The Night Together" about a collection of celebrated groupies recounting their most infamous moments with rockstars of the seventies.

So we slowly made our way down Hollywood Boulevard.

Just opposite the Chinese Theatre was the Roosevelt Hotel.

It was built to serve the growing film industry of the 1920s and for its grand opening in 1927 it was graced by the presence of Hollywood royalty of the era like Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo & Clara Bow.

With all those stars of silent films all gathered together I imagined it was a very quiet affair with a lot of exaggerated facial expressions and plenty of slapstick!

 

In 1929 the hotel's ballroom became the venue for the very first Academy Awards and it quickly became known as the "Home of the Stars" as it filled with famous filmstar guests.

Steeped in Hollywood legend it still retains that 1920s elegance and 1950s glamour. Of course its glory days have long gone, it's now only haunted by the ghost guests of its illustrious past like Montgomery Cliff who allegedly roams the 9th floor corridor playing with his bugle!

Another story tells how the reflection of Marilyn Monroe can often seen late at night in a mirror that used to in room 246 which she frequently used.

 

 

We continued down Hollywood boulevard, still looking down at the Walk of Fame, although there were a few blank stars appearing now.

By the time we reached La Brea Avenue the stars had stopped. We decided to catch a bus down a few blocks down La Brea to the crossroads with Fountain Avenue to visit a popular tattoo parlour called High Voltage well known for being featured in a reality TV programme called LA Ink.

I had applied months earlier for an appointment with one of the featured tattoo artists from the show, Dan Smith. Unfortunately I'd not had a reply in time.

I did eventually get a response from his PA three months after we got home. He's a popular tattooist and in his spare time he's a singer in a band called The Dear & Departed. Anyway I was just going to chance it as a walk-in and perhaps make an appointment with whoever was available.

I've always wanted a Black Crowes tattoo and when I saw the artwork for their Warpaint album (2006) I also knew which design I wanted but I never had a reason to get it done ... until now.

Stepping through the doors into High Voltage was an odd experience; entering somewhere for the first time yet it feeling so familiar like we had been in here a dozen times before was strange.

We didn't see Kat Von D, the owner and the main character around which LA Ink revolves. Her brother Michael walked in which was cool to see a recognisable face. We scanned the room and saw a guy called Greg that we also knew. He's one of the many Shop Managers.

I asked about someone's availability for tomorrow or Wednesday and this bearded guy who was wearing a hat indoors said "I can't do Tuesday, I'm at a cartoon convention but I could do Wednesday."

I described the Black Crowes image that I wanted. He popped it up on the computer and hit me with a $350 quote. "Shit, that's expensive" I thought to myself trying not to let the shock paralyse my face.

I needed a time out, time to consider was it really worth blowing almost a third of our spends budget on a tattoo. Thankfully I got the opportunity to step out and think about it.

"We need a $100 deposit to secure the appointment" said the receptionist. As we hadn't brought enough cash with us we excused ourselves and said "We'll be back later. We're just popping out to get some cash. Oh, by the way where's the nearest ATM?"

Stood outside the tattoo parlour I told Julie about my reservations. Not that I didn't want a tattoo. In fact it was the right place, right time to put ink to skin and that doesn't happen that often. It was just a lot of money.

"When are you ever going to get this opportunity again?" asked Julie. "We're here in Los Angeles, outside LA Ink and we're going to see the last Black Crowes gig for a long time, possibly ever. Go for it!"

She's always been good at applying common sense to any situation and also encouraging me to do whatever I want!

"Thank you."

We crossed the road to a store called Jons Marketplace only to have to cross the road back again because the ATM was in a supermarket called Ralphs.

With a hundred dollars in my hand we returned to High Voltage and handed over the dosh. Appointment booked for 6pm Wednesday. I was so "stoked" as they say all the time on LA Ink.

We walked back up La Brea to Sunset Boulevard where we came across this guy dressed in a lycra superhero costume barking at passing cars like a mad Jack Russell. We thought it was funny at first but the nearer we got to him we got a little bit scared. Someone who's loco enough to yap at traffic would be bonkers enough to bite. We hadn't had our rabies jabs for this trip.

Before he nipped at our ankles we got on the first bus out of there. The further away from him we got the funnier he became once again. That has got to be one of the strangest things we've seen!

The bus took us all the way down Sunset back to our hotel. By the time we arrived it was almost time to leave. We literally had time for a quick shower and change before we bounced back out again. I wore especially for this evening a retro Rolling Stones '78 USA tour T-shirt.

We got ourselves a taxi to the Cinefamily cinema at the Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax Avenue.

"How are you enjoying our false city?" asked the taxi driver. That completely stumped us; we didn't know what to say. We both looked at each other and without speaking we understood he was obviously having a bad day and perhaps we should humour him. "Uh, yeah, we're having a good time thanks"

"Really? People here are no good." he continued. We moved the topic of conversation on to our trip and that we were off to San Francisco in a few days.

"Ah, you will find the people in San Francisco are more intelligent. You'll see. That'll be $6." We gave him $10 and got out of the cab as quick as we could.

There was a long queue outside the Silent Movie Theatre. The doors didn't appear to be open yet so we walked down Fairfax Avenue looking for somewhere to pick up a quick snack. We weren't really hungry even though we had not eaten since we shared a bowl of fries at lunch. Breakfast had well and truly filled us up.

We found a cafe called Schwarz that was still open, although they seemed to be in the final stages of closing up for the day. Despite having cleared up the guy was more than happy to make us a fresh sandwich each. Julie had what she described as a "fabulous" grilled chicken fillet sandwich whilst I had a "gorgeous" sauted vegetables in a warm spinach tortilla wrap. It was the perfect snack stop.

We loitered outside the cinema briefly whilst we finished our sandwiches. By the time we got inside it was almost standing room only. Luckily we spotted some empty seats in the middle and shuffled our way across.

After a few minutes Julie had to shuffle her way back past everyone to pop to the toilet. After bothering everyone again on her way back my heart sank when I suddenly felt my bladder twinge. Moments later I had to get everyone to stand up again so I could shuffle past. I was dreading having to trouble them yet again. It was the fifth time we'd inconvenienced our row. I apologised individually to each person as passed. Everybody were quite polite about it though.

We finally settled down for the movie premier. It was a 60 minute documentary, part of VH1's rockDoc series.

Groupies have always had a bad image, a reputation for doing anything to sleep with a rockstar including allowing themselves to be violated with a fish!? (rock and roll mythology hall of fame #1 - the Led Zeppelin mudshark incident)

For some people these girls were nothing more than sluts but for others they were angels at the feet of gods. They were certainly the envy of millions.

In the seventies bands like Led Zeppelin were worshiped by fans across the globe and the groupies got to hang out with the band, they were even their companions for parts of the tour.

This was an opportunity for some of them to put across their side of the story.

The camera followed Pamela Des Barres, probably the best known groupie of all time as she went on a journey to revisit a few of her contemparies like Lori Mattix the thirteen year old that Jimmy Page dumped her for.

Michele Overman the "girl with flowers in her hair" from the Led Zeppelin song Going To California. She was Robert Plant's muse. Catherine James who also dated Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger and even a young Bob Dylan. Cassandra Peterson better known now as Elvira the Mistress of the Dark but who popped her cork for Tom Jones.

We also got to see Cynthia 'Plaster Caster' and her collection of rockstar penises captured for posterity in dental alginate.

Her most famous appendage was the slightly flaccid Jimi Hendrix. One hell of a guitarist but a not much of a cockstar!

The real star of the show was "Sweet Connie" Hamzy from Little Rock Arkansas, she was hilarious, absolutely mad as a bag of frogs. She gave out blow jobs to any passing rock musician and by the sounds of it they've all been through Little Rock.

And finally the queen mother of all groupies Tura Satana a burlesque dancer who dated a young Elvis Presley and taught him to swivel apparently.

After it had finished four of the "stars" of the show Pamela, Catherine, Lori and Michele took to the stage, along with the director Jenna Rosher for a Q&A session.

It was compared by Michael Des Barres, an ex-rock star in his own right (although to be truthful I'd never heard of him before!) but tonight he was simply the ex-husband.

It all felt a little awkward at times and other than Catherine James they didn't cover themselves in glory. "We were part of the band" piped up Pamela dizzy on self-importance whilst Lori Mattix tried to defend her mother for willingly giving her consent to date Jimmy Page at the age of thirteen.

The under-age thing brought an air of seediness to the room which was difficult to shake off. The atmosphere became decidedly awkward after that.

There was an after show party to which everyone was invited but we'd had enough of the giggly old women and their tales of their sexploits that happened some forty years ago so we headed for the exit.

We stepped out onto Fairfax Avenue and tried phoning a taxi with our mobile phone but for some inexplicable reason it wouldn't connect. There was only one thing for it, we had to find a pay phone. We crossed the road on the off chance we may happen to be at a bus stop when a bus happened to be passing and we began walking up towards Sunset Boulevard.

We had crossed Melrose Avenue by the time we came across our first payphone. It was only then we realised we didn't have any small change. Luckily it was right outside a small store called Centrefold International News so we bought a small packet of chewing gum for 35c to break into our dollar note. Back at the payphone we lifted the receiver, dialled the numbers and shoved in a quarter. "I don't fucking believe this" I spat "The coin's got stuck." I was not a happy chappy. I started slapping the phone box to see if I could dislodge the quarter but it made no difference.

We moved on. The next phone we came too had been vandalised, their coin probably got stuck as well and they slapped it a little too hard! It was practically hanging off the wall. The next one wasn't even there, it had been completely ripped out! The gradual decline in the state of the payphones made us feel as if we were walking into an area that perhaps we shouldn't have been. Julie was getting a little anxious. It was late, we were in between places, in the dark, alone in the middle of Los Angeles. It wasn't clever.

Los Angeles has a reputation for having a high murder rate but I later found out that the stats for homicide were actually down for the year 2010 to it's lowest level since 1967. That would not have consoled Julie in the slightest, she rightfully felt a little exposed out here on Fairfax Avenue.

"We're not far from Santa Monica Boulevard" I said trying to reassure her that we weren't far from somewhere familiar. Julie didn't reply, she just put her head down and broke into a quick march. With a face like thunder and the speed she was moving if there were any hoodlums on the street they probably would have stayed clear!

Within minutes we reached Santa Monica Boulevard, then a miracle happened. We just happened to be at a bus stop when a bus turned up. Halle bloody lujah !

With huge relief we jumped on board and travelled westwards towards our hotel.

Calmness restored we got off at Santa Monica & Kings but before returning straight to our hotel we celebrated our lucky escape with a drink in Barney's Beanery.

Tonight it was Karaoke night. The singing was awful but the atmosphere was wonderful. This bar could have been anywhere in the world until someone got up to sing a hip hop song. Karaoke gangsta rap meant we could only be in America.

We stayed for a couple of rounds before making our way up the steep hill of Olive Drive back to the Mondrian hotel.

We popped into the Skybar for a nightcap and were pleased when we found one of the coveted window seats available.

There was a private party going on up in the bar itself. It was very busy, full of a young beautiful pretentious crowd. It wasn't good people watching seats as it was very dark. Brad & Angelina could have walked past and we wouldn't have seen them.

The music was also pumping out some non-stop dance rubbish and far too loud for those of us who just wanted a quiet drink. It was still a lovely romantic candlelit setting though and we stayed in our comfy window seats for the remainder of the evening.

At the stroke of midnight we called it a night and returned to our room. Before going to sleep we Skyped Hannah who was just getting up. It was 8am at home.

We hadn't seen any celebs today but at least I hadn't been mistaken for a woman either! celebs spotted 0 celeb lookalikes 2 people who think they're celebs but only slept with a rockstar some forty years ago 4 mistaken for a woman 3

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