How I wanted to hate Beverly Hills
I wanted to hate Los Angeles. I really did. It is an expensive place to live and vacation. But, every time I tried to turn my back on it, it caressed me with its warm ocean breezes, stunning sunsets, tan soaked inhabitants and bright city lights. I ended up staying so love I found my list of 7 things to do for free on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills.
Some parts of the Los Angeles area are truly beautiful, particularly Beverly Hills. Every time I turned a corner, the city unveiled yet another palm tree-lined street awash with the warm glow of sunlight glinting off the bumpers of luxury cars like you can’t believe.
Ugh, LA, don’t make me like you…I kept thinking.
NO, you’re NOT so bad, but my goodness, you can be flashy.
Anyway, I went on a road trip to LA on Memorial Day weekend with a few friends. This week, I’ll blog about the places we went, the friends we saw, and the crazy romantic flings we had with strangers. That last part didn’t really happen. I’m just checking to see if you actually read these things.
First stop…Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills
Our first stop in LA is Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, a road famous for its many luxury designer stores and the celebrities who frequent them.
“Look cute!” I yell as we step outside of the car.
I woke up at 3 a.m. and have been in a car for six hours. My hair is matted from leaning my head against the window for so long, my face is oily, and my clothes are wrinkled.
The request is impossible.
Use a fancy bathroom
“I need to pee!” I whine as I stretch out my cramped legs.
A friend say, “Let’s find a fancy bathroom!”
I think she’s kidding, but to my horror, she walks up to a high-end salon on Rodeo Drive and gestures to the door. “Go in and ask them where their restroom is.”
I’m mortified. This is a salon where haircuts START at $150. I am wearing shorts I bought three years ago, a sweater from Forever 21 that has unraveling threads, and sandals I bought from Target. Surely they’ll drive me away and call me riff-raff!
I walk up to the guy at the front desk.
“Checking in?” he asks.
I laugh. I appreciate that, instead of driving me off, he is humoring me.
“Um, no, where’s your bathroom?”
To my surprise, he says, “Right this way” and walks me through the busy salon filled with well-dressed women getting their hair blow-dried. I try not to stare at them too much.
I open the bathroom door and–how terrible!–it’s just a regular bathroom. No gold-trimmed mirrors or diamond-encrusted toilet bowls. But I really don’t care; I just need to pee.
Meet a model
As we walk along the sidewalk lined with classy boutiques, we pass by a good-looking guy wearing an expensive suit. Okay, so we walk by SEVERAL good-looking guys wearing expensive suits.
But this one is different. He is just standing there, smiling.
“Oh,” I say. “He’s a model. Some stores hire them to stand there and promote their clothing.”
My friends don’t believe me.
“I dare you to go take a picture of him,” one friend says.
“Fine,” I say, not one to back down from a challenge. “I will.”
My friends then abandon me to watch me at a safe distance from the other side of the street. It becomes clear I am in this alone.
He’s a model, I tell myself. Of course he won’t mind me taking his picture.
I walk up to him and, without a word, start snapping away, expecting him to work the camera, but suddenly Mr. Model is all shy. He laughs and blushes.
“Are you a model?” I ask, and then immediately fear he might think I’m hitting on him.
“I am,” he says. “Would you like a picture with me?”
“No thanks,” I reply and walk back to my friends, who have dissolved into a pile of giggles on the other side of Rodeo Drive.
Watch people pose by fancy cars
A few more steps down the road, and we see people posing by cars I’ve never even seen before. I assume some fancy car dealership is showcasing its cars on Rodeo Drive.
But then I watch an old Ford parallel park in the spaces between them–and it hits me: these are just rich people’s cars parked in regular parking spots.
Ogle at expensive jewelry
Another free thing that is really fun to do in Beverly Hills is ogle at all the diamonds!
We have thus far managed to sidestep the many shiny, pretty lures scattered all over Rodeo Drive–but then we pass by a jewelry store flaunting gargantuan diamonds in its windows, and I am entranced.
I do, after all, love a good diamond.
I ogle the jewels in the window for a solid ten minutes, and worry someone may have to come and physically drag me away.
Take a photo by a Rodeo Drive sign
I love signs. Photos in front of signs? Even better.
Nothing says “This is proof I was at this place, but I didn’t really do anything there,” better than a photo in front of a sign.
Take a photo in front of the Beverly Hills sign
ANOTHER SIGN? This is just too good to be true.
This seems to be everyone’s favorite place to pose for photos because we have to wait in a long line for our turn.
Maybe it should be #1 on my list of “7 things to do for free on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills?”
Pose with the Beverly Drive street sign
Visit Geary’s of Beverly Hills and look at the Rolex and Patek Philippe watches
This store is magnificent, like nothing I’ve ever seen. We walked all around the store (it’s big) and the staff was exceedingly kind,
Geary’s Beverly Hills has absolutely beautiful everything in the world of luxury gifts, jewerly items and watch brands. If you are ever in Beverly Hills, a visit to Geary’s is a must in my book.
Clearly, the highlight of my visit. I love Rolex watches. If I could afford to, I’d have a huge collection.
A visit to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills should be on everyone’s to-do list on a visit to the Los Angeles area. If nothing else, the window shopping and people watching will make it all worth while.
I hope you have enjoyed my 7 things to do for free on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. And if you have any other great ideas, please email them to me as I’d love to add them to the list.