Living like a local in LA


Checking into the Hotel Wilshire near Beverly Hills is a wonderful experience.

That moment when you first open the door to your room to discover it is so gorgeous you never want to leave, is always a priceless moment!

The one bedroom apartment is filled with all the mod-cons and my windows overlooked the Hollywood sign…even if it is obscured by the haziness that is typical for LA.

A shower unlike any other I have experienced, soothed my aching body after an early flight from Hawaii and I decided to explore the city…on foot.

The concierge directed me to the ultra exclusive Beverly Centre and, credit card intact, I headed off into the wild blue yonder, nervous only about how much restraint I’ll have with my purchases.

I immediately realised that I should have dressed a tad less casually and, whilst I feel out of my element outfit-wise, I soon get into the rhythm of things and, head held high I walked into Michael Kors.

The staff were as amazing as the prices and I decided to ‘think’ on things before I made any rash purchases.

Saved by the phone, a friend of mine is just down the road and he makes the brave decision to join me on my shopping expedition.

Having wanted to purchase a designer handbag and wallet from America for some years, we head straight back into Michael Kors where the fabulous sales staff mix us mimosas and I do some deep soul searching…

At the end of the day though…when you fall in love with an item can you really walk away from it?

The correct answer to that is…no, of course not!

So, my brand, spanking new handbag and wallet leave the store with my credit card crying a little before we head over to the more affordable centre across the road.

I guess that was when I found my true love…Ross.

This store is unlike any other discount store I have experienced. Lower than low prices on designer clothing, shoes and homewares meant that my friend’s hot red Mustang is packed to the brim with purchases for the drive back to the Hotel Wilshire.

I swap shopping for clothes for something a tad more mundane…grocery shopping.

Deciding to catch a cab to The Grove to while away the hours in WholeFoods was a very tempting activity for this semi-Angelino.

Organic, fresh produce lines the many aisles and I am in heaven discovering all of the options to make my hotel feel more like home for the next few days.

Fresh bread, grape jam (it seems that everything is available in grape flavour in America), fruit and vitamins fill my bags and I take some time out to devour some sushi for dinner.

I always find that I crave ‘fresh’ when touring the States with so many fried and ‘heavy’ options available.

Grocery bags at the ready I catch a cab back to the hotel and my cab driver (a fellow Armenian) doesn’t let me pay for the fare, instead saying it’s my welcome present to LA.

Only in America!

My welcome present to LA from some fabulous friends I met whilst sailing aboard Majest of the Seas in the Bahamas last year is a night on the town at Fiesta Cantina, the local gay bar on Sunset.

Music pumping and large cocktail bowls of margaritas at the ready, we catch up on old times and meet some very gorgeous patrons all keen to hear my Aussie accent.

Among cries of "say this", "say that" and, my personal favourite, "I love bloomin’ onions at the Outback Steakhouse", I hop in a cab and retire to my ‘home’ in Beverly Hills.

I think I could really fit into this Angelino lifestyle!

Click here to view complete photo gallery

e-Travel Blackboard flights to Pow Wow proudly sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines

Source = e-Travel Blackboard: Natalie Aroyan
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