Thursday, July 3, 2014

California Girls

Yes, I totally love The Beach Boys.

Those are Southwest Airline drink tickets. Hey, who cares that it was 9 in the morning. It was girl trip time!!!!
After spending my teen years watching 90210 and Melrose Place, I have wanted to visit Beverly Hills. Yet, I didn't at all feel like Brenda, Donna, Kelly, Andrea, or Valerie. In fact I have to admit the real thing wasn't anywhere near as glamorous as the the picture I had painted in my mind. That is not to say I didn't have a blast, because I absolutely did. It was just fun for very different reasons than I thought.

I am super lucky to have a cousin that lives in Los Angeles. She is a costume designer. She has worked on several movies and is currently working on the Fox tv series Bones. Besides all of that she has to be my absolute coolest cousin ever. I'm sorry to say it, I love all of the rest of you too, but the Minyard clan has to agree, it doesn't get any cooler than Jeannie, right? Anyway, I was super super excited to see her. I am like the baby, of the baby, of the family. I think my next closest cousin is 17 years older than me. So, I don't really get a lot of cousin hang out time because, I have always been closer to my 2nd cousins age than my actual cousins. In fact , I probably have second cousins older than I am, who knows. Anyway I am rambling like a crazy girl.

Jeannie and her super nice, super sweet, super fun, producer boyfriend, Sam, came to pick us up from the airport and took us to lunch, thank you, thank you!
I know they were probably bored out of their minds because I had a million curious questions about their jobs. They told me stuff that made my brain hurt. I had no idea how much work went into their jobs. Those people are crazy talented to be able to think and process all that stuff to create entertainment for us. Truly fascinating!

I am a little dumbfounded by a couple of California things now. First, dogs. Seriously, those people were crazy in love with their dogs. People took their dogs everywhere! I mean everywhere, grocery stores, restaurants, everywhere. We walked into Cheesecake Factory and this lady had her dog sitting at the table with her.
I realize I am in the minority of people that believe dogs are meant for outside, but come on, dogs eating off your plate at a restaurant is really pushing my dog tolerance. I love dogs, I love animals period. I just don't feel like animals need to be treated like humans and taken everywhere with you. Rock on California and your dog love. I am going to stay living in Arkansas where, for now, at least, I won't be eating off of a plate that someone's dog just licked.

The other thing I found on the strange side was how Californians' maintain such a healthy life style. I realize my five days don't come close to allowing me any knowledge of an actual California life style, but those people don't walk anywhere and they have huge delicious food options everywhere.
I know that it's not any different than living in Arkansas, but I guess by looking at the hundreds of sexy, buff built, men and the hundreds of size zero chicks running around, their lifestyle must be more accommodating for health and fitness than ours. (Probably just my made up excuse for trying to make myself feel better for my ever growing food belly. )But, when we told people we were going to walk somewhere, they literally looked at us like we had grown three heads or something.

We did walk several places, regardless of it being a crazy thing to do. The weather was so nice, it was kind of a treat to get to walk, be outside and enjoy the sunshine and perfect breeze. The first place we walked was to Hollywood Boulevard to see the stars, the Chinese Theater, the famous handprints, and all of the interesting people. We also enjoyed dinner at the Hollywood Street Grill and dessert at Ghirardelli.

After hanging out on Hollywood for several hours and having the wrong shoes, we decided to get our first Uber ride. Oh my mercy my absolute favorite thing about the whole trip! I had vaguely heard of Uber before and kind of thought the whole thing sounded scary and strange. I was so wrong. It was the coolest thing ever and literally made the trip. The first Uber driver we got was this crazy cool chick named Shannon. She told us all about the ends and outs of using Uber, as well as told us about Uber's competitor, Lyft, including how we could score free rides. The long and short of it is, you use an app that pinpoints your location.

Random people signup to be drivers for Uber and or Lyft. When you need a ride, said random person can agree to come pick you up and take you wherever you want to go. So it's kind of like a taxi only it's just everyday people, in their personal vehicles, on their free time. There are tons of safely features involved too (mom before you freak completely out while reading this). The thing that made me love it so much was, we got to meet some neat, super friendly people, that live in L.A. and they all had fabulous tips on what we should see and do while we were in town.

Like how to drive super close to the Hollywood sign.
And my two favorite suggestions: go to The Farmer's Market at The Grove and eat at Craig's.

The Farmer's market was just that, a huge permanent farmer's market, but there was also a huge outdoor mall that was so extremely nice. I loved it and could have rich people watched for hours. E News was there video taping some celebs shopping and I know there were several there doing just that. Sadly, I am the absolute most clueless person when it comes to famous people. They would literally have to be wearing a large name tag for me to recognize them and even then I would probably have to google them. I live in an Andrea bubble.
Awwww why can't we have such fabulous produce!
Look just walking through the place made us more beautiful. Ha! So yes maybe we did stop to get our hair fixed while at The Grove.
Ok enough of my silliness and in to dinner at Craig's. Hello fun night! This was our only night to get dressed up and "go out".
Honestly, we almost backed out on dinner since we couldn't get dinner reservations until 9. So glad we didn't. We get there and immediately realize we are literally the only people in the restaurant, other than the staff, that aren't in the industry. This place is crazy. Everyone in the restaurant knows everyone else and it's like a big party for them. The other thing we immediately notice is that a couple of tables over they are filming something with Jimmy Kimmel, John Stamos, Don Rickles, and Bob Saget. Not that I had any clue who Don Rickles was, but I did watch tv back in the day, so I was all over the Full House stars. Anyway we didn't get any pictures, well not really because we were really really trying to act cool and not like crazy tourist. I did get a sneaky picture of one of the five camera men filming in the restaurants. Quality, right?
And a picture of the host that Jenn and I kind of fell in love with ( and whom was also kind enough to explain to us that they were filming the show Dinner with Don ).
When we left the restaurant we were met with paparazzi waiting outside the door. ( I was only sneaky enough to get a picture of one of them. I am such a dork! )
They didn't want our picture so I took one myself. Ha!
Anyway I decided since they were standing out there, I would stand out there too and finally take the pictures I had been dying to take all night. Plus unlike the rest of the people there, we didn't have a Bentley, Lamborghini, or Porsche waiting on us to hop in and drive off.
This one makes me laugh because the cameras were going off like crazy, it was blinding. No wonder they hate the paparazzi. I swear I am still seeing spots.
Anyway, Jimmy was the only one that left out of the front door. He had a limo and it couldn't pull around back so no sneaking out like the rest of them did. While Jimmy was leaving, Rachel from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was going in. I only know this because the paparazzi was yelling at her.
We didn't just do things the Uber drivers told us to do. We also did the regular touristy things too, like shop on Rodeo.

Me acting stupid asking Marshal which "outfit" he wanted me to bring home.
Me letting him know what he could buy me in return for bringing home said outfit.
And us acting like total tourist with our actual purchases from Rodeo Drive. (Cute shoes and a dress for you curious people and Jenn bought a purse.)
We also went to Malibu, Venice Beach, and the Santa Monica pier.
The most touristy thing we did was go to Universal Studio's. We went early in the morning when they first opened, which was fabulous.
However, by the end of the day we couldn't even walk there were so many people, which made us both crazy and we couldn't wait to get out if there. It was fun and my favorite ride was the Jurassic park ride where a massive T-rex popped out of the dark and tired to eat me only thank heavens I was saved by falling 84 feet (yes seriously) down a plunging waterfall.
Before and after Jurassic Park.
Transformer guy. Doesn't impress me, but maybe it does it for you.
Oh hello now we are talking, "Mr. Grey will see you now."  For some reason they weren't ok with my request to sit in the conner of the studio and just watch them film hottie Mr. Grey. Odd I know.
We also went to the Holocaust Museum, which was pretty disturbing, but I am glad we took time to visit and view artifacts from an important historical event.
And last but not least, we hung out at our hotel. They had a fabulous wall of hotties. Ummmm oh my mercy yes please!
And a rooftop pool that over looked Sunset and the hills.
They were also taping the intros for the new season of The Biggest Loser at our hotel, before taking the contestants out to the ranch. Ready for some more sneaky photography? Yes, I got my fill of sneaky camera work in on this trip. I promise to stop now that I am back in Arkansas.

Obviously this is such a couple of the contestants. They only had one hour of free time and only a few choose to come up to the pool. They were all really sweet and it was kind of fun listening to their busy reality tv schedule.

Girls trip 2014 in the books! Yay!