Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day Forty-Eight: "I Look to My Right and See the Hollywood Sign"

Well, almost...
It's amazing to see where people are from around here. Most of the cars have California license plates (obviously), but very few are actually from here. Our neighbors are from Burgundy, France and another family is from the Netherlands. There are so many people here- such a diverse area. The only one I've met that does is the lady at the front desk, who's aunt and cousin actually live in Connecticut. (She was disappointed that we didn't bring them- I don't think they would be very comfortable squished into the back seat. I told her that, she wasn't buying it...) After breakfast, we spent a little trying to map out where we were going to go today. So many options! As we were doing so, one of the tour guides came to pick up a group of people, and he asked us if we wanted to go (I'd rather take my own tour), and we said no. (He probably just wanted someone who understood him...) He then asked us where we were from. We said Connecticut and he was like, "Connecticut is one of my favorite states." Robyn acted just a little too surprised!! I guess it would be OK if your friend lives in Greenwich and you live just outside of LA. We finally got our list of places and headed out.
Since we are outside of LA, we have about a 20 minute drive to the city. 20 minutes if everyone just drives the speed limit and uses their blinkers (no one does here). However, this gave us some time to look at the cars drive by us, pretending that there were famous people in them (ie Taylor Lautner). We also saw a military truck drive down the highway. Nothing out of the ordinary, except this one had a "Student Driver" sticker on it! I don't know where his instructor was, because he was driving in the shoulder. But I guess with something like that you can... Also, since there are so many people here, and so many license plates, they started using symbols in their numbers. They have hearts and stars on their vanity plates! I wish we had that!!
Anyway, our first stop to day was in honor of Mom. We headed out to Calabasas, home to the Kardashians. All of the houses there are exactly the same, but they're all huge! It's a small town, though. We passed by their store and took a picture of it. I bet Robyn to go in, but we agreed that we would probably be kicked out before setting foot in the store. We may or may not have seen Bruce Jenner running down the street. I don't know if it was actually him because he was going at a pretty decent speed. We had come up with this whole story we would tell them if we saw them. And funny, it would all be true!
After that minor detour, we headed towards the city, and the first thing we wanted to see was the Hollywood sign. We followed the directions that were given, and somehow missed it. The two of us somehow miss this huge sign. We did find a big 'B', though. (I guess we also missed a 14,000 ft mountain, and we were on the mountain...) We were all sorts of turned around, but did pass by Nickelodeon Studios, Warner Brothers Studios, a few others. By this time, we decided that we needed to find another point to go to. This time, we went to Hollywood and to the Walk of Fame. We were able to find this one with ease!! We also found reasonable parking, which is always good in a city! We walked up and down the Walk, and took tons of pictures of stars. Some more than once. From there, we walked down Sunset Boulevard for a little bit. We ended up back at Hollywood and Highland, which is where the Walk starts, and where all the touristy areas are. We walked through the Hollywood and Highland Complex, which is kind of like an open-air mall connecting the Kodak Theater, where they have all the award shows, and Grauman's Chinese Theater, where they have all the hand and foot prints. They also make it easy to buy an Ipod or Proactive out of a vending machine. This was where we finally saw the Hollywood sign, even though it was kind of small from here. They were shooting a commercial in the complex. This is also where they film a lot of the Hollywood gossip shows- the TV Guide Channel's studio is right down the street.
After we did all of that, we were determined to find the sign again, for some more pictures. We had found a driving tour that was supposed to show it, so we went for it. We ended up driving in the Hollywood Hills (made famous by 'The Hills'). The houses there are GINORMOUS!! But a lot of them were for sale. We ended up driving around longer than we wanted, and only got a few picture of the city from above. Somehow, we still missed the sign. The whole area is a bowl, which should make something like that easy to spot. Apparently not. So, after driving around, we decided to find a few cities. We found Bel-Air (a huge chunk of it is gated off) and Beverly Hills. We drove down Rodeo Drive (complete with 'Rodeo Drive Plastic Surgery', not to be confused with the Wellness Center that performs 'Lipomassage') and Santa Monica Boulevard. We also passed by the entrance for UCLA. Didn't see much of it, but it looks pretty big!!
The last stop we made was towards Downtown LA to see the Disney Concert Hall. It is known for its architecture. It's a pretty neat building. The pictures didn't come out so good because it was getting dark. Between there and our camp, we passed the Los Angeles Times building and the Staples Center. Luckily, nothing was going on because it would have made the traffic a nightmare (it was pretty heavy, even for 8:00). We are planning on spending most of tomorrow here too, before heading to Disneyland tomorrow night!! It's great to feel like a little kid again!!

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