Field Research: Day 2 - Hollywood Land + Stuff

Day 2. What a completely different day. While Day 1 was all calmness at the Lake Shrine and time in nature, today was an urban jungle from start the stop. I've been coming to L.A. for 13 years, usually at least once a month, often more, and the very first thing you need to know about L.A. is that the 101 is the absolute worst. THE. WORST. Any other argument is invalid.


I always check my Waze app the night before to get an anticipated commute time and refresh my data in the morning. The drive from Topanga to Hollywood is 40 minutes without traffic and roughly an hour when there is traffic. It took an hour and 20 minutes this time - Yep! I am in Los Angeles!


Why was I going to Hollywood? I am SO glad you asked! I went to do one of the most quintessential LA things a person can do - take a celebrity bus tour of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, The Hollywood Hills, and more. I completely own that I had mixed feelings going into it; but, in the end, I loved it. So much.


1. Hollywood Bus Tour

Our Tour Guide/Driver was Shay, and he was hilarious. With witty one liners like

"I get all my news from propaganda and Facebook," and heckling other drivers on the road (only over the mic to us, I felt safe the entire time), he definitely scored big points with me for laughs.


I surprisingly enjoyed being driven around and getting to take in the sites -something I have not experienced in LA. There is so much beauty in this bustling city and the two hour ride allowed me to take it in.


I'm not a celebrity junkie by any means; but, it was neat to see some landmarks where famous films have been shot and get a glimpse of the multi-million dollar pads the stars live in. Some of the other riders were definitely there for those sites and the connection to the stars and it was really fun being around their excitement.


While I was sure going into it that I would have rather done my own thing for the morning, I can definitely see why these tours are so popular. I was pleasantly surprised and Heck! I'd even do it again... Thanks to Shay, of course.

I took a break and caught up on work things, while eating a quick Starbucks protein box before venturing out in the wild again. I made the drive to Beverly Hills (about 15 minutes) and proceeded to my next experience- and it was different on every level.

2. Museum of Dream Space

OK. This one is interesting. It's a pop up "multimedia display" inside the Beverly Center (which is just a boujee mall in Bevery Hills). It was part of a combo deal with my bus tour, or I honestly would have had no idea it exists and would have never done it. Since I had the ticket, why not go?


I'll cut to the chase, it's really only worth the $42 general admission (SO glad I didn't pay even half of that) if you're bringing someone who is killer at taking photographs and you need photos like this for... your "influencer lifestyle?"


MODS is a series of rooms, each with a different theme. All of them involve lights, twinkling, and vibrant visuals and are literally designed for getting "Instagram-worthy" images. The smartest thing I saw the whole time was a mom that brought her young daughter (probably 18-ish months). That little girl's eyes were as big a saucers at the visual feast and I scored the mom 100 out of 100 for this outing.


I arrived in the middle of the day and it was busy, making it a little tricky to get photos without other people in them. No one seemed in a rush and they were really respectful of each other's aspiring influencer goals (you may slap my hand). Everyone is there for the same reason - get content for Instagram. You're allowed to stay as long as you want and they have staffers available to take photos for you. The main rules? Don't break anything and no professional photography equipment.


The whole thing was really awkward for me. MODS literally exists to generate social media content. Mind = blown. Another fun fact? You can get an upgraded admission that includes a staff photographer to take all the best photos of you if none of your friends want to support your habit (I know. I'm the worst. But this place, you guys). I had to keep myself from giggling at the photoshoots happening all around me and how much money the place is making ... for Instagram photos. I guess I'm officially old. HA!


I stayed for probably 20 minutes? I enjoyed the twinkling lights and would much prefer MODS as an art installation. The concepts of each room were really beautiful and clever. The center itself was spectacular; but it's hard to see that when surrounded by so much "social selfing" (I just made that up because I can't think of any other way to describe what happens there).

3. Cactus Taqueria

I needed some real-world grit after my time in Beverly Hills, where I consistently feel awkward and out of place, so I grabbed dinner with a friend at one of my most favorite restaurants anywhere. Ok, it's actually a walk-up Mexican food counter and IT. IS. LIFE.

I dream of their tacos at least once a week, YEAR round and never ever miss a chance to inhale a plate full when I'm in town. They have 4 locations and they're all open late, so if you're ever in LA and get a 2am taco craving, you're covered. You can thank me later.


I always order the same thing: 3 tacos with asada and cheese, and a large, soul-shining Horchata. They do have outside tables under cover, so you can eat your food fresh and hot.


Outside of that, there's not really anything else to say, other than GO. Eat all the tacos. OH! They also have delicious cakes; but I didn't get any this time.


That's it for Day 2. About to head out for Day 3, which will be the fullest day so far. I'll need energy - I should probably get more tacos (because, genius!). It's also unexpectedly raining in LA and you should know that rain makes people crazy here. I will leave you with my favorite BuzzFeed video ever, which happens to bee 100% accurate. Click Here to enjoy and stay tuned to Day 3 report!

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