Lucky, lucky girl.
It’s moments like this that I really love the work I chose.
Yep. I highly recommend being a publicist!
14 days after returning home from Jamaica with my family....yep... I was at Toronto airport again .. stopping for a quick snack with my passport in my hand a a ticket to ride -- heading to LAX (Los Angeles International Airport).
this time waiting to board the plane with another client, on a totally different project - sans family, who had to stay behind on Hamilton Mountain in Canada (still recovering from that Seven Mile Beach, Negril sunburn I was telling you about before.
So there I was once again at Pearson Airport - ready to board another international flight.
The City of Angels.
Yep. Los Angeles.
More specifically. I was heading right to Hollywood.
Ever amazed at the cool places my work takes me - to do interesting things with fascinating people - I still didn’t quite believe I had been there the first time. After all my 2018 trip was not only whirlwind but totally unexpected - not only did I not know I would be going to LA even days before I got on the plane - but I had never met the Ottawa based client who flew me there in person - and had only just met him on Linked In 48 hours before… that’s another story though, and even though it’s from last year it’s more than interesting enough for me to go back in time and tell you that story in a future blog post. (Watch this space for that epic tale in another post...)
But first, I gotta get through these last three months or so of travel from THIS year - the stuff that inspired this blog.
So for now, I’m at the Toronto airport ready to head to Los Angeles with my friend and client Karen Wallington, celebrity loctician and hairstylist, founder of Modlocks in Toronto and co-founder of the unique hair product Noggin Oil. Noggin Oil, formulated especially for dreadlocks, braids, extensions and other sectioned styles is truly awesome - and I also can’t tell the story of this trip to Los Angeles without it, so go ahead and google it now so you know what I’m talking about. Check out the Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/nogginoil/ for a true understanding of just how different it is. Go to the website at https://nogginoil.com/ -- Order some.
There. Told you I was a publicist !
Now…. back to the airport.
(But really, order some! It’s awesome!)
Like it’s co-founder Karen Wallington, my companion on this flight.
Let me tell you a little bit about how we got here. After all, we have some time…
It’s a few hours before our flight to Cali.
Unlike my last two day whirlwind trip to Los Angeles where I literally had ten hours between hearing about the trip and boarding the plane, THIS time I had a little more planning time.
I had found out about this trip about five weeks before. Two put it into perspective that was a week after I heard I was going to Jamaica, three weeks before I left for a week in Jamaica on another clients project (which I returned from 14 days before the day I was flying out again to LA…).
I’m exhausted at the airport because of a late night party that I couldn’t avoid the night before we had to leave at 5 am for our flight. I live in Hamilton Mountain about an hour outside of Toronto and it woulda been a nightmare getting to the airport that early - but timing had become almost impossible when thinking about how my husband and I would get to famed Canadian broadcaster Steve Anthony’s (another client of mine, part of the project I had just been sent to Jamaica on) 60th birthday party in Toronto’s east end, party til midnight, make it back to Hamilton for like an hour sleep and then get back on a GO bus or in an Uber to the airport? That made no sense.
Karen solved the problem by giving me a key and suggesting I crash in their spare room after the party. So my husband and I had dropped my luggage off at Karen’s, headed to Steve Anthony’s celebrity studded party.
Most of Toronto’s television personalities from the last few decades were there as well as Mayor John Tory and a bunch of other big names enjoying drinks and this awesome cake :
The Mayor, a long time friend or Steve’s had brought along an “official proclamation” for Steve’s birthday that had a joke about his age in it. When someone said “can you do that??” The mayor jokingly said “I can do what I want’. It was a fun night.
Here are a few pics from Steve’s birthday party.
We took the subway together and I got a little teary eyed for a minute saying goodbye - I know it was just for five days but California is a long way away for me to leave the family behind.
Saying goodbye on the subway pic :
I got to Karen’s and went straight to sleep in her spare room. I woke up at 5, Karen was already up, we gathered our stuff and and Karen and I hopped on TTC and headed to the airport for our early flight.
Karen is a frequent flyer with the Nexus border crossing thing so she and I went through a different line at customs. She got through faster of course and was waiting for me on the other side in the secure area as I cleared customs.
Take off my shoes, go through the thingy, put cell phone and laptops and everything in pockets into the bins for inspection...
Quick and simple process with one funny moment as the customs officer said “Why are you going to Los Angeles?”
I responded “For a party.”
He looks confused. “what do you do?”
“I’m a publicist.”
He waves me through.
I proceed to where Karen is waiting for me near the duty free which brings us back to where this post started- there in the airport about to board our flight to LA.
And I am super excited about my second trip to Cali. It’s going to be a super busy work trip but we plan to get some fun in too - we hope to go up and get a pic of the Hollywood sign - something I hadn’t done on my first visit the year before. I also plan to spend a little time in Beverly Hills which I had only passed through before. And Karen says we have to hit an LA comedy club. I’m in!
The flight is pretty uneventful it takes about five hours but by hour for I’ve had enough ...(as, of course, i pointed out on socials. I actually made the status below on the plane - their wifi wasn't working- and it uploaded to FB and instagram when I landed ...
Karen and I aren’t sitting together so there's no one to talk to ( the wifi on the plane isn't working and I’ve watched a couple of the Netflix show that I downloaded onto my device and read some of my magazine ...Yep I was ready to land.
...and then of course the plane finally did and I went to retrieve my luggage and of course take my first selfie in Los Angeles for this trip.
(I had also posted this during the flight without wifi... so as Karen and I were getting our luggage,
and then heading over to the rental car area to pick up our car for the week and about to deal with a vehicle issue I will tell you about in a moment, my social media audience got this...)
Then over to the rental car area to pick up our car. We drove off the lot with it only to find the Sirius XM radio in the car didn’t work. Karen said that was just not acceptable for driving around LA so we went back to get another one which ended up getting us a nicer car with a sunroof to enjoy for the rest of our trip. Now we were styling! We promised ourselves for our next visit we would get a convertible!
But for now we were settled in our ride, sunroof open, radio on!
First stop : A beautiful house in the Hills overlooking the city where an actress from the TV show Bosch, a client of my clients (Karen does her amazing, blue dreadlocks) lives.
I got to meet this sweet little guy - one of her rescue dogs.
This is where Karen stays whenever she is in LA. Her plan is to bring her bags to where she is staying and maybe do her clients hair before a read through she has later that day. My plan is to connect with some legal California weed and smoke a joint overlooking Los Angeles while we map out our day.
Less than two hours after our plane hits California soil, I am able to report to social media :
I got a fine #hybrid #cannabis #strain - #pineapple was my first taste of California cannabis ever!
...kicked off my winter shoes for these summer sandals...
And got my Hollywood Hills on!
After I got to enjoy a smoke and some California sunshine ....
We got back into the car and turned on the tunes.
Next stop : Hollywood!
Karen was taking me to Hollywood to get settled where I would be staying. I was hoping it was going to be ok - I had only seen it online and read the reviews but had never actually been to this place. It looked great online, but who knows.
I had chosen it for three reasons : I was on a budget - I didn’t want this work trip to cost me extra money after all the extra spending in Jamaica on that work trip with the family, I was on my own and planning to spend all my time outside in LA - both working and turbo touristing - and not inside the hotel. And I was thrilled with the location. Because I don’t drive the walkability of an area is important. And also, before I left Canada I had checked weedmaps to find out how I could access some of that legal California cannabis ...and MMDHollywood - a dispensary I had visited on my previous visit - was an 11 minute walk away. Planning! (I had told Karen before we even left Toronto that the dispensary will be my very first stop
I chose a travellers hostel, that looked bright and airy in the pics, had great reviews, was insanely reasonably priced - I would never have found anything as cheap in Toronto for that price!
It consistently surprised me - both on my previous trip to Los Angeles and on this one - how much more affordable it is than Toronto is - from restaurants to renting. When you are from Toronto you don’t even get sticker shock in Beverly Hills.
The H Hotel Hollywood is on Carlos - literally steps from Hollywood Boulevard right near the Capitol records building - true old Hollywood.
It's also a block from the W hotel well I had attended an Oscar’s pre-party last year.
I still couldn’t believe the accommodations were so cheap less than $40 Canadian per night includes a full breakfast ...eggs, sausage, beans, two kinds of cereal or oatmeal, croissants, waffles, toast, cream cheese, yogurt, tea and coffee and orange juice!
This is some of the breakfast they served in the morning, help yourself to as much as you want kinda thing :
- sure it was hostel style dormitory accommodations - I shared the room with three other people visiting LA - but the place was beautiful! And clean and safe.
Watch for a later blog post where I do full review !
Karen and I dropped off my bags -....it was so cheap that even though I had prepaid I totally expected them to charge me more but it turned out I was indeed paid up for four nights in five days in Hollywood ...for just $300 Canadian - breakfast included. Wow. I definitely recommend it for those travelling alone especially if you don't drive and want quick access to Hollywood Blvd. Great for those on a budget.
Right around the corner from the iconic Frolic Room at Hollywood and Vine, the last bar The Black Dahlia was seen in before her murder in the 1940s...
This is what I said on social media about it :
"#ElizabethShort who became known as the #BlackDahlia was last seen here before she was found #murdered in an iconic unsolved #Hollywood #murder case from the 1940s. Several movies were #filmed here. It was originally a #speakeasy that became a #bar when #prohibition of #alcohol ended. #JudyGarland and #FramkSinatra were regulars here and writer #CharlesBukowski wrote about it and came here all the time. #academyawards used to be held next door with tons of stars stopping in. The beauty is it’s still the same simple #dive #bar it’s always been ... I didn’t know of it. I am just wandering #HollywoodBoulevard enjoying my time tonight - it looked like a neat little place and since everything in old #Hollywood has s story I googled it and learned all this and totally had to come in for whatever #cocktail the #bartender suggests. A strange mix of #locals and #tourists come in here / the doorman greeted the tourists and noises at me with a “hey” like he had seen me here before ... lol #hollywood #hollyweird"
It's also a classic dive bar for serious drinkers where all of Hollywood used to meet in the days when The Academy Awards were held in the theatre next door.
Of course I had to hit it… but that was a little later.
First stop ?
MMD dispensary baby.
This is their front entrance, a welcome site to the eyes of a weary traveller :).
1515 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028, United States
For more on my visit to MMD Hollywood Dispensary see my review at :