Hooray For Hollyweird!

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


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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, December 9, 2012

 There's a bunch of shadowy figures flirting around the edges of my vision and I'm wondering if one of them is Marilyn Monroe.

 It's been a weird-ass day. Wonderful, but weird.

 As predicted, I managed to clock-up precisely zero hours of sleep on our flight. Kez didn't fare much better. Descending into the madness of LAX, our whole world had suddenly turned inside out. Summer was now winter. Night had become day. Nickelback was playing on the radio. To add to the surrealism of our new environment, the plane had passed through a temporal wormhole and arrived in L.A. seven hours before we were due to depart from Sydney. My tired brain considered phoning the past version of myself in Australia and recommending horse tranquilisers for the flight, but sanity prevailed and I thought better than to tamper with the delicate fabric of the space-time continuum.

 After a frustrating mix-up with our airport transfer (they forgot about us!), we finally arrived at our hotel: the (in)famous Hollywood Roosevelt.

 The Roosevelt is steeped in rich Hollywood history. Apart from being the location of the inaugural Academy Awards back in 1927, it's also housed some of Tinseltown's most legendary players. In fact, Marilyn Monroe adored her suite here so much, that when she checked out of life some fifty years ago, she's said to have checked back in at the Roosevelt and never left. There have been many sightings of her ghost in this building throughout the years. And she's not alone. Montgomery Clift is also said to haunt here, roaming the corridors and practicing the trumpet for his role in "From Here To Eternity". Haunted or not, you certainly get a feel for the majestic past of this place when you enter its doors.

 The rest of our day after this point is a jet lagged blur. We stepped out of the hotel and within ten paces had been asked to sign a release form for appearing on X-Factor and offered a free personality test by a Scientologist ironically lacking any personality. Navigating the throng of Hollywood Boulevard, we settled on lunch at Mel's Drive-In; a throwback to 50's American culture. Of course, cheeseburger, fries and cherry cola were the order of the day.

 When lunch was done, it was a stop next door at the Hollywood Museum, a shrine devoted primarily to the silver age of filmmaking. This place was a rabbit warren maze of movie memorabilia and had a musty smell that reminded me of my grandmother's wardrobe (I haven't been wearing your frocks again, Nanna, I swear!).

 By the time the sun had set, we were almost laughably delirious from lack of sleep. It got cold surprisingly fast; a tangible cold that felt wet against your skin. Battling through the costumed crazies desperate for photos and tips outside Grauman's Chinese Theater, we decided to take a tour of Madame Tassauds. Not the best idea in hindsight. Walking around a building full of eerily life-like wax mannequins when your mind is on the verge of hallucinating is freakish to say the least. Every so often one of the mannequins would move and I'd realise it was a patron or staff member. Kez actually groped an "exhibit" on the stairs only to discover it was somebody waiting for their family to catch up. Personally, I think it was just an excuse to cop a feel but she pleads her innocence.

 Finally, it was a hurried bite to eat at Hard Rock Cafe before making a retreat to our hotel. Maddie was asleep before her head touched the pillow. Kez is now snoring and drooling beside me. My eyes are having trouble focusing on the screen. Time to leave the shadows in the room to their play and get some very welcome rest. 

 I wonder if Marilyn will visit for a nightcap.

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