Beetle House LA | Hollywood, California

If I extend my hands and exclaim “IT’S SHOWTIME!” with extreme gusto, would you have any idea what I was referring to? Come on! Come on! You know. Black and white pinstripe suit. Green, mossy hair. He’s got terrible manners. Likes things in threes?

It’s BEETLEJUICE….BEETLEJUICE….BEETLE….scared you there, didn’t I? Don’t worry. No calling the undead here.

What if I told you that this universe does not just exist in the movies? That there is a place fully Tim Burton-themed where fans can high-five with Edward Scissorhands, sing along with Jack Skellington, and get personally victimized by wise-cracking Beetlejuice himself? What if I told you that there were actually two? Yup! There is one in East Village of New York City and the one I went to in Hollywood.

Hollywood (or Hollyweird as some people affectionately call it) seems to be the perfect setting for Beetle House LA. It is located about a block away from the famous Pantages Theater on Hollywood Blvd. It is a tourist-filled area, so do not be surprised by the amount of people who might be there.

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Here Lies Betelgeuse

My two cousins and I decided to make our visit on (what better night?) Halloween. My birthday also happens to be the next day, so we decided to celebrate it there. You might be thinking “Why would someone want to spend their birthday at a place so strange and unusual?” Well, readers. I, myself, am strange and unusual. See what I did there? 😉 Disguised as Minnie Mouse, a butterfly, and female Beetlejuice/Beetlejuice’s androgynous girlfriend/half-assed Beetlejuice (I honestly have no idea what I was), we left the world of Hollywood behind and entered into Tim Burton’s imagination. You are greeted with a florescent purple pumpkin sign encouraging you to “Come As Your Are”. Huh, guess we shoulda ditched the costumes.

Right by the “Come As You Are” sign

After climbing the stairs, you are engulfed in a cacophony of Danny Elfman songs and costumed patrons cheers-ing their “Big Fish” bowls. There are references to pretty much every film at every angle. I found it hilarious that you couldn’t even really tell who actually worked there and who was just dressed up for Halloween. It took me about 15 minutes to even realize that the Edward Scissorhands quietly standing in the corner was actually an employee and there for photo ops (and not just some anti-social wallflower).

Inside the main restaurant

True to LA-style, we were really late to our reservation. Parking was a bitch, ok? Especially late at night on Halloween. Luckily the hostess was able to fit us in and we were led into a separate area where the restaurant is. It is parallel to a stage where we saw Beetlejuice starring in his own comedy hour and, after, a bearded lady showed feats of strength or breathed fire…or something. I was too busy geeking out at the surrounding decorations, to be honest.

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Edward Burger Hands

Despite the multiple courses, Beetle House has a pricey menu.  It is $40-45 complete with 2-3 course meals, which will include an appetizer, entree, and dessert. I ended up choosing “Cheshire Mac & Cheese” (which had hints of truffle – which is this foodie’s favorite), “Linguini Todd” (a not-so-subtle homage to the singing razor-yielding Benjamin Barker), and a free sorbet with a candle in it for my birthday. I don’t think you can go wrong with Mac & Cheese so I was very pleased with this creamy dish. However the linguini, even though paired with clams, came up short. The proclaimed “Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc” sauce was completely bland for my taste. What they might lack in taste, it is made up for with creativity. My conclusion about this place is that you are not paying for the quality of food, you are paying for the experience and for the actors.

We had a special moment when Catwoman stalked up to our table. “Oooouuu, my favorite snacks,” she declared, licking her lips. My eyes went big and my mind went to dirty places before I realized she was talking about my cousins who were dressed up as the mouse and a butterfly. (Doy, cats eat those!) They informed her it was my birthday and she excitedly made it over to my side of the table.

21 Forever

I looked down at my phone and said I didn’t even realize it was only a minute until midnight! Catwoman made some small talk to help pass the time, asking what our favorite Tim Burton films are and if we were from LA.  20 seconds goes by…30…40…it felt like forever before the clock stroke 12. She hilariously broke character and said, “That was the longest fucking minute of my life! Have a Happy Birthday!”. And, true to her catlike form, she sauntered away to greet her next customers.

“Everyday is Halloween” here, so don’t feel obligated to visit only on a spooky holiday. I don’t know how crowded it is on a regular night, but it was pretty packed on October 31st. Be prepared to be blocked by people taking pictures – but you should not expect anything less from a Tim Burton fan in a Tim-Burton themed bar. Just have fun!

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Happy Halloween!

Stay weird.

Sincerely,

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Princess Diaries Adventure in the Fisherman’s Wharf | San Francisco, CA

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How close do you think we got to the original?

If you’re like me, you grew up loving 2001’s The Princess Diaries (set in San Francisco, CA). If you’re even more like me, when you  visit a city, you enjoy going to the sites of famous movies. One of my favorite scenes from TPD is when Mia takes her grandmother to enjoy a day at the Fisherman’s Wharf. They arm wrestle a masked luchador, eat corn dogs,and take goofy pictures in an old-fashioned photo booth. So guess what? So did we! Follow us as we recreate some of the memorable parts of the movie!


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Musée Mécanique is located near Pier 45 in The Fisherman’s Wharf, right next
to Fisherman’s Grotto. As the sign boasts, they have a plethora of antique and new coin operated games alike! There are some very unique items in there; things I have never seen before and probably will never see anywhere else. I highly recommend visiting, even if you aren’t a Princess Diaries fan. The best part? It’s free to get in and only pennies to play.

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Meet the arm wrestler! Don’t be fooled – he’s tougher than he looks. Costing only a quarter to challenge him, you can choose from the hardest level (welter) to the wimpiest level (fly). I chose fly obviously. You get two tries, yet both seem to just fly by because you’re too busy being pinned down by this mechanical luchador! He’s strong, ok?! We took turns, Elyssa going first and being defeated. I suffered the same fate right after. We must have been causing a scene because people were stopping to watch us and laugh. We were just happy to be touching the same hand that touched Julie Andrews (and maybe a thousand other hands before and after her)! Don’t worry, I wiped it down just like she did in the movie.

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Have you ever tried an old fashioned photo booth? It’s so much fun! It flashes with that *poof* sound and then takes about 10 minutes to print out your pictures (not for the impatient). The ink was still a little wet when we pulled it out. It smelled like it could give you lead poisoning too! Haha.

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Do not make the same blunder we did and mistake this photo booth for the one in the movie. There are like FIVE different ones in Musée Mécanique, so make sure you go to THIS one for the legit experience. Of course it was the last one that we came across. We must have spent about $15 on photo booth pictures. Not that I mind 🙂

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I highly suggest visiting the sites of your favorite TV shows and movies. It brings you closer to the characters! Who doesn’t want to relive the magic and have the joy of experiencing it all over again?

Love American Horror Story like me? Check out my visit to Murder House! Also see how  I visited the mansion where Miss Robichauex’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies was set in New Orleans!

Want to see more of my California adventure? Click here.

Sincerely,

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My First AirBnB Experience + Review

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The sweetest touch outside our AirBnB

Although AirBnB was been around since 2008, I feel like it’s popularity has only peaked within the last couple of years. Or maybe I’ve been under a rock and you all have been using it this whole time?! Either way, it’s a new concept to most people. This past November, my closest cousin and I planned our first trip together to San Francisco, California. Only about a 1.5 hour flight away from Los Angeles!

This was my first time in The Bay. We didn’t really have a set itinerary, but we definitely knew that we didn’t want to spend a fortune on a hotel. Did you know that the lowest price I could find for 1 night at a 3 star hotel was nearly $300?! Say what?! Say NO! That’s why we decided to give AirBnB a shot. And I am SO happy that we did.

 

To tell the truth, Shaun and Kurt’s place was always the top of my list. How could it not be with the presentation they had on the website? From it’s stylish furniture, spacious room, and free cable, there really was no resisting it. The only thing holding me back was that it was located away from the action of San Francisco’s downtown area, about 30 minutes, in Bayview. But, after talking to other hosts and weighing multiple pros and cons, we landed right back on S & K’s doorstep.

From SFO, we took an Uber (also my first time using this) carpool for about $17 to Bayview. The neighborhood is nothing too extravagant, but it is in a fairly good part of town. It is a really cute 2 story blue building with a gated, private entrance. A big pro is that Shaun and Kurt give you your own 4-digit key code to get into the gate and your room! No hassle with managing key exchanges. There is a neighboring room for other tenants on the other side of the patio, but they were far enough that we never ran into them.

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Queen Size Bed + Free Coffee & TV
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Clean bathroom with walk-in shower and extra shampoo too

Based off my 4 C’s of Confidence, here is how I’d rate the place:

CLEANLINESS: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Not a speck of dust left. You never would have known that another tenant had ever stayed here! Seemingly clean sheets and immaculate bathroom – that’s really all I can ask for.

COST: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

For two nights, we spent $274 in total. That is with service and cleaning fees included. Much better than 1 night at a hotel closer to the city.

COMMUNICATION: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I communicated mostly with Kurt through text and he would always respond very quickly! He answered all my questions about their place amicably. They have a binder with information about the history of their neighborhood, tourist spot, random recommendations, and transportation options.The BART was really easy to use and there is a bus stop very near the home. It is about a 10 minute walk to the stop.

COMMUTE: 🌟🌟🌟

As stated, it is about 30 minutes away from all the tourist spots. It could be a good or bad thing depending on how close you want to be to the traffic. It was very easy to hop on the BART or hail an Uber from their location. But keep in mind your budget!

Be sure to sign the guestbook they leave for their tenants. Take a picture of what I wrote and send it to me – if you ever end up staying!


 

Click below for a link to Shaun & Kurt’s amazing AirBnB! Tell them Tiffany sent ya!

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MY FIRST TRAVEL VLOG

Ever wondered what someone could do with an iPhone 5s and an old Canon camera? Click the link below and find out! Follow me on my adventures in California – touching base in the city of my birth and a city I’ve always wanted to visit (Los Angeles & San Francisco).

Who doesn’t love Cali? West Side is the best side!

CLICK THE PICTURE BELOW TO SEE THE VIDEO: 

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