We might not have been lucky in the Las Vegas casinos, but apparently, our few days in LA would be pretty exciting. We arrived in LA late-afternoon, and instead of staying at the hotel to rest, we immediately dropped our bags and headed out to Hollywood to check out the CHinese Theater. We arrive with no troubles (LA traffic, where were you?), parked, and as we walked towards Hollywood Blvd, we were surprised to find the street pretty packed. Backtracking a little: my friend Dani is pretty obsessed about Justin Timberlake, and she was so upset that she had missed his concert in Vegas the night we were there. So upon seeing the amount of people on Hollywood Blvd, I jokingly said “maybe it’s JT.” Well folks, it was. The street was closed for Justin Timberlake’s performance for Jimmy Kimmel Live.
After the JT craziness was over, we walked around Hollywood. Last time I visited, the front of the Chinese Theater was so packed, I didn’t even went closer to check it out. Turns out, that’s where all those concrete slabs of people’s hand and foot prints were at. We had fun getting pictures with some of the famous footprints, and then also finding some of our favorites on the walk of fame. Hollywood Blvd. is an interesting place.
Pictures (from top to bottom, left to right): Chinese Theater, Inside the Kodak Theater, Donald Duck’s footprints, in front of the Chinese Theater, a happy nerd with the handprints and footprints of the Harry Potter main characters, bruce willis and mickey mouse stars, Dani and I with George Lucas and Spielberg.
Our second day in LA started with a trip to Rodeo Dr. The funny thing about that day, was that we were parked about two blocks from the famous part of Rodeo Dr., with all the stores and Julia Roberts, but we didn’t know that, so I google-mapped it. Google took us right to the beginning of Rodeo Dr., a residential area. I was very confused, but after a few blocks I realized the mistake, and just thought to myself “Let’s hope no one notices I took them 8 blocks away from our destination, and then back those 8 blocks to it.”
We eventually found our way, and I enjoyed looking at all the window displays of famous and luxury brands. There was a point in my life where I did write a capstone project (and maybe a few other essays for classes) on luxury brands and Chanel. And it’s no secret I’m a fan of fashion and good design.
The next part of this day was pretty hectic. We bought a star map (solid investment, btw, hours of fun guaranteed) and toured Beverly Hills from the comfort of our rental car. Here’s a disclaimer: you can’t really see anyone’s houses. Everyone lives behind gates and walls and fences, so all the time you are going “Oh, this must be the house we were looking for.. I think.” Nonetheless, it was fun. The highlight of the star map search was our trip to try to see Leonardo DiCaprio’s house. As we pull in his dead-end street, with our minivan, we have to turn around to leave, and here’s the highlight of our star search: we pulled in his driveway to maneuver out of the street. Then we got followed out of the street by a mean-looking security guard, which we’re pretty sure meant Leo DiCaprio was home!
Next on the list? Getting a picture with the Hollywood sign, of course! I still have no idea how we got here, the instructions on the star map were sort of confusing, the hills were steep and the roads tiny, but somehow after a lot of turns and me going “ahnnnnnn” when asked where to go next, we arrived at the perfect spot to take our picture with the Hollywood sign. Life: made.
I have to thank the nice, probably-british, man who took our picture in front of the sign. He almost got towed for parking on the wrong side of the road, but he only made his way to his car after taking our picture. Thank you! And as good karma, he did not get towed. Now, let me share some more views from that area:
And to top off an amazing day, we headed out to the Griffith Observatory—my favorite place in LA—to watch the sunset and enjoy a few more beautiful views of LA (lots of pictures!)
And my absolute favorite photo from the Observatory:
And we couldn’t leave LA without having dinner with Mindy (from Budget Fairytale) at an amazing Mexican restaurant in her old neighborhood of Studio City, Casa Vega.
Next up: Disneyland!