Mr Bell’s Los Angeles: Hollywood & The Beaches


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The weather warnings were all over the news, it was going to be over 100 degrees in Los Angeles. What’s the best thing to do I wondered, it was obvious, get a car and drive to the beach.

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Bags all packed and car sorted we switched the sat nav on and headed to Malibu. It didn’t take long to get there and we found a parking spot right opposite the pier. Before hitting the beach we needed some breakfast so we stopped at Malibu Farm on the pier, a great little spot. We got ourselves a table outside, ordered some food and coffee and just watched the world go by.

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All filled up it was time to get to the beach and enjoy some sun. The beach at Malibu is lovely, clean sand, blue water and some really amazing (and expensive!) property along the shoreline. We found ourselves a nice spot and settled down.

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It was a beautiful morning and the nice cool breeze coming off the sea made for a pleasant temperature. The Californian surfers were out in force although there wasn’t a lot of wind and not much in the way of waves but they tried.

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After a few hours the temperature had shot up and it was becoming too hot. We decided to leave. Someone suggested driving up to the Hollywood sign, something I hadn’t done for years, so off we went. We discovered after doing a quick Google search that the best place to see it from was Canyon Lake Drive.

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On the way up to the Hollywood sign we drove through some beautiful countryside, we even stopped to buy some fresh fruit on the way from a guy selling on the side of the road.

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Eventually the sat nav took us into the Hollywood area and up to the viewing area for the sign. The view was fantastic, I don’t think I’ve ever been that close to it before. There was also a great view of the Hollywood Reservoir and downtown LA.

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From the sign we drove the short distance to Hollywood Boulevard, with the car parked we made our way out on to the street and to the TCL Chinese Theater. The area hasn’t changed much, it’s still very touristy and tacky but the Chinese Theater is part of Hollywood history and worth seeing.

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The footprints, handprints and signatures in the forecourt are still quite impressive and it was fun spotting some of the older ones like Marilyn Monroe and Doris Day.

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Of course Hollywood Boulevard is the Hollywood Walk of Fame and beneath the feet of the crowds of people were the stars of some of the most famous people from stage and screen.

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We were all getting hungry now as we hadn’t eaten since breakfast so we decided to drive back to the beach for dinner. Santa Monica is one of my favourite places in the LA area and although these days it’s gone a little bit upmarket it still hasn’t lost its shine.

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First stop had to be food so we chose the Cheesecake Factory, a large American chain serving large portions and a massive selection of Cheesecake. Not the best restaurant I grant you but it did the job. The restaurant is in the Santa Monica Place Mall so after dinner we had a quick wander around the shops, nothing special except for the actor we bumped into, Christian Bale.

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The sun was just setting as we arrived at the beach, it was beautiful, the orange, reddish sky with the mountains in the background on one side and the pier over the water on the other. The perfect way to end a great day out in Los Angeles.

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