Star Trekkin'

Trip Start Dec 09, 2012
Trip End Jan 05, 2013

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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, December 10, 2012

I wanted waffles. More to the point: I wanted to eat waffles in a typical Californian diner, like the one where John Travolta and Sam Jackson are breakfasting when all hell breaks loose in Pulp Fiction. So we find our diner, I get my waffle stack, and part way through I realise something is wrong. I'm having heart palpitations. Sweating. My kidneys ache. It's only when I express my concern to Kez that she tells me our very discreet waiter has been topping up my coffee cup whenever it's been running on empty. 

How's that for service? So good it can kill you. 

And you gotta give it to them; Americans certainly know how to do table service. I understand they're working it for tips, but the cheerful and attentive attitude rarely ever feels contrived, and by the end of my meal, I want to show them my money. So sneaky ninja waiter guy is left a nice tip, and we're off on a leisurely stroll down Sunset Boulevard.

We've been told that L.A. doesn't really have seasons as such, and I believe it, because what passes for winter here could be a temperate spring day back home. A little cool in the shade, but an otherwise glorious morning for a walk.

I'm not sure if I'm jittery with excitement or just jacked on caffeine when I notice the sign. Bright red lettering that boldly states 'Amoeba Music'. This magnificent establishment holds the title of World's Largest Independent Record Store. Stepping inside, you instantly understand why. I'm overwhelmed by rows upon rows of vinyl, music memorabilia and merchandise. Much to my giddy delight, they stock a large assortment of Beatles collectibles, from old school lunch-boxes to mugs, tote bags, key rings, the lot. I would have spent much more time in this place - and no doubt a lot more money - but we had a tour due to start back at the Chinese Theater. 

I'd take a safe guess and say it doesn't get much more touristy than this round these parts: being perched in an open-top minibus for a tour of celebrity's homes around Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Bel-Air. We were promised a glimpse into the lives of our favourite movie stars, and, boy, did we get it. Along the way on our two hour trek we spotted Jennifer Aniston's fence, mavelled at Orlando Bloom's gate, sussed out Quentin Tarantino's driveway, ogled at Charlize Theron's bush*, and were also incredibly fortunate to catch a rare glimpse of Courtney Cox...'s gardener!

Okay, so maybe it wasn't exactly the inside look my rampant imagination had fabricated, but it was still a thrill to careen around Mulholland Drive with the wind billowing in your face.

Anyway, I'm sure Courtney talks to her gardener, or has an assistant who does, so that's good enough for me.

* Oh, grow up.
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