Tuesday, 3 August 2010

L.A. Retrospective: Meet me on Rodeo Drive for Tea and Two Hour Free Parking...

The last few days in Los Angeles were some of the craziest I experienced. Between packing, preparing three finals, and still trying to squeeze in a bit of fun, I did think I was going to go crazy. I did survive and got considerably more sleep than I thought I would. I spent my last day at UCLA running to Beverly Hills to get a souvenir for my mother. She fell in love with a certain type of red rooibos vanilla tea from Paris and was a little disappointed when she realised that I could have brought some with me if she had remembered to ask. Shortly after I arrived in L.A., my aunt gave me the cutest cloth map of the city so that I wouldn't get completely lost navigating public transportation. I looked it over only to see the name of the tea shop that had the wonderful tea my mother so desired. I knew then I would go and hunt it down and bring it back as a surprise. Unfortunately, with the jam-packed nature of my schedule and the unfortunate incident with my foot it seemed like it wasn't going to happen. On move-out day I decided to make a run for it (literally) and took the bus down to Rodeo Drive. I had been there before, but being such a long time ago, it was almost like seeing it for the first time again. Rows and rows of luxury shops with expensive cars parked all around, tourists snapping pictures of elaborate shop windows, and people who have the time for a sit down lunch are what make up an afternoon on Rodeo. It's beautiful and totally intimidating. These aren't the sort of stores you browse when you want a bargain and most of the sales people are so well-groomed that they could probably pass for (or are) models/actors. But back to the tea story!
I managed to locate the store, only to have my heart sink when I realised that it was called the American Tea Room (and not Palais des Thés). I walked in discouraged to have come such a long way for nothing but figured that I would at least ask what had happened to the previous tea store. Surprise, surprise! It turns out they renamed it and still carry all the same brands (under slightly different names). I ended up with a lot of the vanilla tea (I got one for my friend too) a red peach vanilla tea and a free sample of earl gray with lavender. I made it back to my dorm with just enough time to throw all my stuff in a bag check out of the dorm and into my super lovely hotel (more about that next entry). And, of course, I managed to take some pictures too...

Strangely the bus stop is not called Rodeo, but rather El Camino...

Rodeo Drive

Eureka
(Latin: I have found it; State motto)

Are you sure we aren't in Europe?

Palm trees and sunshine...

Picnic, anyone?

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