It wasn’t all theme parks this July. We stayed in three different places in SoCal; Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel, an airbnb apartment in Mid City and I ended my stay in the Hilton Anaheim. 

  

A day in Santa Monica (which included only one roller coaster) was well needed. Me and a couple of friends who moved to L.A. for a little while ended up walking along the pier, looking through the arcades and drinking a custom made sodas. I used to have a rule when traveling to never eat “British” food, but as I no longer get to eat it every day I was happy to visit a pub called Ye Olde King’s Head which was lovely. We then went Downtown to visit The Last Bookstore, a huge book shop with lots of cool photo ops and where I could have spent a few hours just in the vinyl records section.


  
 Another place I stumbled upon while researching online was the Time Travel Mart, a place that sells knick knacks that time travelers might need. The proceeds from the store go to 826LA an education non-profit. You can buy dinosaur eggs there, just in case you run out.

I had done some snooping online and managed to find out where Ryan Adams’ studio Pax-AM is. So I drove over there one night to get a picture with the neon sign. Another pop culture pilgrimage was to where the exterior shots of Greendale Community College were filmed. Community is one of my favourite shows ever, I guess I’ll wait until next time to visit Sunnydale High.


  
I had my first Taco Bell experience and it has changed my life. I understand why Professor Ian Duncan loves chalupas so much.

Then, of course, I visited the Walk of Fame to find Vivien Leigh’s star. And saw a couple of other notable favourites on the way while I got a little lost.


  
 The airbnb apartment was well located, I love that website and think I will continue to use it for the considerable future. I’ve liked the places I stayed in L.A., Austin and Cape Town that were on their website. Knott’s hotel was well priced and the only complaints I had were with a piece of mail that kept disappearing… The Hilton in Anaheim was great, I left it so late to book this hotel (the day before, I think) and it was crazy expensive. I’m sure you could find a great deal on it. Amazing customer service, I had a view of the theme parks and the room was really comfortable and great. I’d look into staying there again because it’s a nightmare driving to Disneyland, much nicer to be able to walk or get a shuttle.

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View from the Hilton at Anaheim Convention Centre

Los Angeles still isn’t my favourite city and I don’t think it ever will be. I’ve gone back for theme parks more than anything else. There are more strange and cool attractions than you realise so you need to do your research. Don’t just hit the tourist spots, as they look better in the movies. I just prefer a city I can walk around in and you really can’t walk anywhere in L.A.. I managed to walk around before in Downtown a few years back but it’s really not made for pedestrian traffic and it probably wasn’t the best idea. I still have things to do in Los Angeles so maybe I’ll come back and give it another chance, but there are so many other places in the world calling my name and 28 more states in the US to get to.

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