'THROW BACK': my budget trip to 90210...

Beverly Hills Travel Blog

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As a high school lass who grew up in a remote “barrio” in the Philippines, I thought Beverly Hills was a faraway place (and it was!) reserved for the privileged Hollywood haves and celebrities.  Rich people live in Beverly Hills; a common knowledge.  I watched few episodes of “Beverly Hills 90210” when I got lucky to be at a cousin’s house whose family is one of the few who have television sets in my town!  Even now that I live in America, I bought scarves in Target, not in Cartier. 

As an avid traveler, my curiosity of Beverly Hills have become more intriguing.  However, my lack of guts to enter into this sophisticated territory kept me a distance.  Until about four years ago I thought, “Oh what the heck,” and plunged on a Beverly Hills getaway – on my budget of course!  So with my ever gamely threesomes, embarked with me to a stylish trip in the land of the “Hillbillies!”  After a few days of mojito drinks, good-find restaurants, (eye) shopping, and chic ogling, I am a witness that Beverly Hills, is not that too pricey destination after all.

  And your buck can go a long way if you know how to spend it! 

For our home base...

Crescent Hotel is considered budget hotel by BH standard compared with the triple-digit-and-up-hotels in town.  The location is in the prestigious neighborhood.  It is just a few steps to and from the corner of Rodeo Drive, and of everything including the high class and organic store Whole Foods where we dined “inexpensively.”  (Read my review for Crescent Hotel.)  Our bonus:  There is a swanky indoor and outdoor fireplace where we enjoyed two nights of moderate drinking (while the kids were already asleep) and yes, may I stressed it out the word “moderate-drinking.”  Budget: $175.00 / Drinks: $14.00 for 4 glasses of mojito

Exploring the city by foot.

BH City Hall tower
.. instead of hopping on the touristic BH Trolley

To get to our bearings and the Hollywood-feel, we strolled along the streets of Beverly Hills for a few hours.  And we’re never mistaken as locals in this thing!  We got to see landmarks, countless designer stores, street arts, sculptures.  We did plan on hopping on the Beverly Hills Trolley ($20.00) but nosing around by foot is much enjoyable and price-less!  Oh and another way to feel the star power is wandering the gardens of Greystone Mansion, a 1020s estate that has been the scene of society life, drama, and real-life murder mysteries.  FREE

Only "eye-shopping" for luxury handbags...

Momentarily, allured by the dazzling lifestyle of the Kardashian sisters, and just for the fun of it I entered into a shop called Fashionphile, a handbag consignment store with endless shelves of limited-edition, slightly worn luxury bags: name any, they have it – Louie Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Hermes and many more.

  However, the term “bargain” turns out to have a different meaning among Beverly Hills haves.  Even secondhand, many items still had four-digit price tags, a steal by Rodeo Drive standards, but for me…well, I thought paying my mortgage was probably smarter…or traveling is what I fancy… more than posh handbags.  FREE

 Most expensive indulgence…

Obviously, a classic Gucci did not happen, but I could indulge into some cheaper decadent like cupcakes at Sprinkles!  Well, for Oprah Winfrey at least, it is probably her cheapest indulgence but for $3.50 a piece to me that is still quite too much for a cupcake.  But for sweet-heaven’s sake, we are in Beverly Hills so we did have a splurge of the heavenly coconut cupcakes.

   $21.00 for half a dozen cupcakes

Odd place for lunch…only at Beverly Hills...

Mickey Pharmacy is rather a strange place for a restaurant but passed beyond the medicine counters, walk all the way back is a swank place to grab some burgers & fries, omelets, grilled meats, shakes, coconut cake, etc.  This is some niche.  The person who conceptualized this idea is very smart.  Make a pharmacy with a full service restaurant?  This is something truly unique.  And for a price unbeatable, you won’t even know you are in 90210!  Budget: $40.00 for party of four

Museum of Tolerance for History Buffs...

Not too far from very posh streets of downtown Beverly Hills, a slight twist from my curiosity was a visit to The Museum of Tolerance.

  This “no-inside-photography” museum is designed to expose prejudices, bigotry, and inhumanity while teaching racial and cultural tolerance. Budget: $60.00 for four entrance tickets, $15.00 each

For Starry-eye kids, Dreamers, too are Always Welcome...

Anything can happen on a pier.  Step out onto the wooden floors that creak with each pulse of surf, and the security of stepping on a solid land are left behind.  I could plot a crime on this pier, or catch a kid lolled up with cotton candy or a broken hearted human.  Do you know how much of California’s tax payers money goes to build or rebuild a pier?  In Malibu Pier alone $6.2 million was spent to rebuild it.  And like in Santa Monica Pier, it doesn’t cost anything to walk onto it, to gaze at the sea, relish some sunset views, be amused at the park, and even to dream of the future ahead.

  Cotton Candy - $2.50/ Rides: 8.00 for 2 people/ Coffee: 3.50

Musing art pieces not on posh museums but on stylish streets…

In Beverly Hills, everywhere you turn is an art piece to admire whether it is a brass sculpture, innovative art forms, architecture, gardens, etc.  I explored the town at early morning when the streets are bare from shoppers, tourists, and working people and to be honest it was quite a pleasant walk.  Shush, our little secret…the town’s public library is a convenient place to hook up with (free) Wi-Fi use.  FREE

 Star-gazing at Rodeo Drive…

Okay, I admit one of my purposes in this “voguey” getaway is to spot on Hollywood celebrities.

  Well, my fingers crossed on my supposed to be lucky day to finally get even a glimpse of George Clooney or Michael Vartan or Matt Damon…but the most exhilarating time of my trip came and did not even cost a penny.  As we strolled along Rodeo Drive, I spotted a tall and lanky gentleman in a casual shirt and shorts, seated busy on his phone.  He looked as I passed then he nodded genially.  Wait, is that who I think it is?  Now you guess!  No, not Matt Damon…but yeah, it’s Nick Nolte.  ~  FREE

cotton_foam says:
Norman: Thank you!!
Posted on: Aug 26, 2014
jumpingnorman says:
wonderful blog :)
Posted on: Aug 26, 2014
cicie says:
Congrats on your beautiful blog, Sister.
Posted on: Aug 01, 2014
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BH City Hall tower
BH City Hall tower
according to some reading material…
according to some reading materia…
inside the Library (free Wi-Fi) :)
inside the Library (free Wi-Fi) :)
Art display by a car garages wall
Art display by a car garage's wall
went to the Library not to read bu…
went to the Library not to read b…
typical house in BH
typical house in BH
typical house in BH
typical house in BH
the Wilshire Hotel of Pretty Woma…
the Wilshire Hotel of "Pretty Wom…
the end of Rodeo Drive...
the end of Rodeo Drive...
futuristic gas station
futuristic gas station
local government buildings
local government buildings
the start of Rodeo Drive
the start of Rodeo Drive
street arts (sculptures)
street arts (sculptures)
the famous cupcake place in BH
the famous cupcake place in BH
Sprinkles Cupcakes
Sprinkles Cupcakes
hmmm...my favorite!
hmmm...my favorite!
inside the cupcake shop
inside the cupcake shop
yum! yum!
yum! yum!
hahaha!  that is not my car...
hahaha! that is not my car...
Rodeo Drive
Rodeo Drive
Rodeo Drive
Rodeo Drive
the consignment shop for luxury br…
the consignment shop for luxury b…
Rodeo Drive
Rodeo Drive
:D they grow so fast!
:D they grow so fast!
I like this dress thats why I had…
I like this dress that's why I ha…
playing paparazzi @ Nick Nolte on …
playing paparazzi @ Nick Nolte on…
the only picture I could take from…
the only picture I could take fro…
pharmacy from the outside, restaur…
pharmacy from the outside, restau…
@ Mickys Fine Pharmacy/Restaurant
@ Mickys Fine Pharmacy/Restaurant
coconut cake at Mickey Fine Restau…
coconut cake at Mickey Fine Resta…
Mickeys Fine Restaurant
Mickeys Fine Restaurant
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier
at the pier
at the pier
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier
sunset at Santa Monica Pier
sunset at Santa Monica Pier
sea shore at Santa Monica Beach
sea shore at Santa Monica Beach
sunset at Santa Monica Pier
sunset at Santa Monica Pier
@ Crescent Hotel
@ Crescent Hotel
they grow so fast...
they grow so fast...
@ Greystone Mansion
@ Greystone Mansion
Rorys school in Gilmore Girls
Rory's school in Gilmore Girls
Beverly Hills
photo by: cotton_foam