Hotel California, Hollywood, Los Angeles

On a dark desert highway, cold wind in our hair We zipped and threaded our way through a mismatch of traffic. Fashionably sleek convertibles shared the road with dusty pick-up trucks, people-mover mom-mobiles swapped lanes with small busses.

The warm smell of colitas rising up through the air and a dusty, piquant smell whispered through the windows of our ride from Los Angeles airport – we simply couldn’t wait to shake off the gross feeling of a 12-hour flight from London.

Hotel California, Hollywood Los Angeles
Apologies for the slightly hazy camera phone photos, holidaying in America has a strange way of losing my camera…every. single. time.

Up ahead in the distance, we saw a shimmering light, our heads grew heavy and our sight grew dim – we had to stop for the night. As we got closer into civilization, the neon lights began to get bigger and brighter in the evening sky, advertising everything in dollars, nickels and dimes, before giving way to Hollywood musical theatre boards.

There she stood in the doorway; I heard the mission bell / And I was thinking to myself, “This could be Heaven or this could be Hell” We tumbled into our LA nest for our short trip, a private Hollywood apartment in the centre of all things tinseltown crazy.

Hotel California, Hollywood Los Angeles

Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way / There were voices down the corridor /
I thought I heard them say…
We dropped our bags, asked the security guy for directions to the nearest 24-hour supermarket and grabbed a sandwich before collapsing into bed. True rock and roll.

Welcome to the Hotel California / Such a lovely place Our apartment was in the hotel famous for hosting The Eagles and appearing on the inside of their infamous album cover, Mr Kiwi stopping dead in the centre of the foyer to exclaim in excitement (I just nodded with a ‘yes dear, can we do this in the morning please?’ like the killjoy I am) at recognising a place of music history.

Hotel California, Hollywood Los Angeles
The Eagles – Hotel California album inside cover

Hotel California, Hollywood Los Angeles

They livin’ it up at the Hotel California / What a nice surprise / Bring your alibis. We knew it was going to be a fascinating 3 days to say the least… later in our stay we even popped into the Beverly Hills Hotel for a cheeky glass of wine & to feast our eyes on the iconic hispanic-style bell tower (also featured on the album cover).

Hotel California, Hollywood Los Angeles

Mirrors on the ceiling / The pink champagne on ice / And she said “We are all just prisoners here, of our own device” I can confirm pretty strongly that there weren’t any mirrors on the ceiling, but we made it our mission to round up a bottle of pink California champagne to toast our Hollywood stay.

Hotel California, Hollywood Los Angeles
So angry with losing my camera, honestly!

And in the master’s chambers / They gathered for the feast / They stab it with their steely knives /
But they just can’t kill the beast
Our apartment was a foodie paradise; a himalayan salt block in the kitchen, surprising array of whiskey and a plethora of cookbooks, but we preferred to grab or meals on the hoof, and a couple of drinks on the fire escape overlooking the Hollywood Sign, winking at us in the distance.

Hotel California, Hollywood Los Angeles
Enlarge to see!

Last thing I remember, I was running for the door / I had to find the passage back to the place I was before / “Relax, ” said the night man, “We are programmed to receive. / You can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave!” We spent our days in mischief; lounging with cocktails on Santa Monica
Boulevard and beach, singing songs inspired by LA streets, spied upon
movie sets and stars, traversed the Walk of Fame, breakfasted like kings
and drank beer in the hangouts of rock royalty.

Hotel California, Hollywood Los Angeles

Yeah, it was much cooler than we ever expected. Quite grimy in places, way too spread out and little challenging with the lack of public transport, but we overcame it with a little luck, and judicious use of googlemaps.

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