I’d always dreamed of venturing to the USA and particularly the glamorous land of Los Angeles. Because LA is the home of Hollywood it was always the dream destination. It always felt like a fantasy land that I only knew about through the media. It almost didn’t seem real, because it lived in the screens of my TV, laptop and mobile phone. But I knew it would change my life. Most of us spend our lives admiring celebrities or at least seeing the things they get up to, so to see the land they come from and where they actually live is a surreal experience. It’s like you’ve jumped through the TV!
On the 16th September 2016 I finally got on the 10 hour flight to LAX airport. As I expected, my life would never be the same again. Once you’re in America life has a new kind of freedom and meaning. So on I went to West Hollywood where me and my mum were staying at a beautiful hotel, The Mondrian. On the way to the hotel our taxi driver drove us through parts of Beverly Hills and it was exactly as you see it on TV, if not better. Palm trees line every street, Bel Air is right next door, and the streets are immaculate and lined with mansions. My dream was coming true right before my eyes.
What I found out was that most celebrities don’t live in Beverly Hills, they live in neighbouring Bel Air or the Hollywood Hills. Bel Air seems to be less famous but it’s where a lot of stars rent houses and where many of the legends once lived. Michael Jackson died in a house that he was renting in Bel Air (the side of the house is pictured below), which I got to see on the Movie Stars Homes Tour, Elvis once lived in the house opposite and the likes of Jay Z have lived in the area.
I felt that being in an area where so many stars once lived and are currently living, was magical and nostalgic. It gives you a glimpse into what it’s like to be a celebrity and it’s fascinating. The most expensive home in Bel Air is worth $125million! Just that fact alone give you a sense of what Bel Air’s about.
Beverly Hills is a public place and some celebrities choose to live on public streets. Bel Air, which is next to Beverly Hills, is mostly a gated area because it is full of mega rich people and their mansions. It’s funny to think that so many celebrities are each other’s neighbours. It really is like a kingdom, full of Hollywood royalty in which normal people like us aren’t worthy enough to enter.
On our tour we went past many iconic places like The Beverly Hills Hotel (pictured below) where many celebrities have stayed, including the likes of Britney Spears, the Kardashians, Jennifer Aniston and our very own Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The most interesting thing is to see the events you’ve seen on TV, in front of you in the flesh. For example, we all saw the footage on the news of Whitney Houston’s death in 2012 with images of the hotel she was in when she died. I am a fan of Whitney and followed the story of her death for a long time. So to be driven past the hotel she died in, The Beverly Hilton, and to see it with my own eyes was a strange feeling.
I was to get many more of these surreal experiences on Hollywood Blvd when I finally got to go to the walk of fame and the famous Chinese Theatre (where film premiers are held). Find out what happened in Part 2 of my Hollywood Holiday, coming soon!