Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Monday, January 13, 2014

Seeing Buddy off to LAX, being Hollywood tourists January 3-4

January 3, 2014...Buddy's last full day in town before flying home, was spent at LA Fitness getting a workout, and then going to Six Flags Magic Mountain to ride the roller coasters with his 20 year old second cousin, Joseph. The place has to be one of the premier roller coaster destinations in the country, based on what Buddy said, and what I saw as I approached the park. Those coasters aren't made for Grandpaps with bad backs, like me. They looked absolutely awesome. Buddy said there were some that you stood, laid down, as well as sat in when riding. There are old fashioned wooden coasters as well as high tech magnetic coasters. I ran around some, and got some new clips for some sandals that I got for Christmas for biking. Cooler on the feet, and a change of stress points on the ball of my feet. Pam did her thing, including cooking a nice farewell meal for the boy.

Jan.4, 2014....We were out of the house by 7AM, heading for the airport. Traffic at that time, even in LA wasn't that bad, and the airport was calm, even with the last couple of days of terrible weather in the east messing up half the flights at LAX. Buddy cruised right through security and had time to eat a relaxing breakfast before a long ride home. For the second time, he sat in the plane, just like he did flying out here, waiting for a crew to arrive. I think he finally got in the air about noon, and was home about 8PM eastern time. Pam and I were in LA with nothing planned, but we ended up on Hollywood Blvd., walking the Walk of Fame, before 9am, watching the storefronts open while we looked at all the stars on the sidewalk, pretty much by ourselves, except I did see Charlie Chaplin sitting on a bench reading the paper. (Thank God for GPS, which guided us flawlessly through LA, right to the Chinese Theatre.)  We walked all three and a half miles of stars, and looked at all 2500 stars, 1800 or so had names on them. Certain places stunk like pee, and there was some dog poop, but overall, it's a great time of day to see the stars, because it wasn't crowded yet, like later in the day. We found out that the stars who get a star have to pay $30,000 for it to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Pocket change for upkeep I guess. Most of the stars were in good shape, but a few, like Matt Damon's were cracked.
By the time we got back to the Chinese Theatre, we were just in time for the first wave of Looney Tunes.....Spider-Man, Darth Vader, Wonder Woman, and Michael Jackson were all working the morning shift for loose change. We took the 11am tour inside the Chinese Theatre, which was interesting. We learned of movie stars, movie premiers, the remodeling, the women's powder room, and Pam really enjoyed it. The place was beautiful and the tour was informative. We looked at all the handprints and shoe prints in the cement until noon, when it was time to take the two hour Hollywood and movie star tour.
We started out riding through the Hollywood Hills on the narrow, steep, curvy streets, until we got some good views of Hollywood sign. It turns out that the origin of the sign was a real estate developer in the 1930's who put up the sign that originally said Hollywoodland, until the l-a-n-d came down in a landslide. There is no way to get really close to the sign, without walking 2.5 uphill, and then you can only see the back of the 35 foot high letter. Zoom lenses are a good thing in situations like that.
We then saw the homes of live and dead stars. Halle Barry, Sandra Bullock, Simon Cowell, Katy Parry, Madonna, Tom Cruise, Steve Martin, dr. Phil Larry King, Ellen Degeneres, David and Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Aniston, Jackie Chan, Ozzy Osbourne, Ringo Starr, Christina Aguilera, Lucille Ball, Danny diVito, and Elvis Presley's former home. We saw the house were Michael Jackson died, we saw the motel where John Bulushi died, and we saw the condo where Justin Bieber, Cher and others own a crib.
We then cruised Sunset Strip, where all the hot nightspots are, Whiskey a Go Go, The Viper Room, The House of Blues, Fredericks of Hollywood ( the one that's actually in Hollywood), and the Siy Bar. Then it was on to Rodeo (ro-day-o) Drive. We saw the most expensive shopping area in the world, with the most expensive car in the world sitting on the street, a Bogati. You can get one just like it for 1.3 million.
After the tour, which really showed us around Beverly Hills, even if we didn't know who lived where, we had free tickets to the Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. That was pretty cool, more realistic than I expected. We took some fun pictures, but my camera battery died, and Pam's phone died before I could get my picture with Lance Armstrong and Jack Nicholson. Probably the only chance I'll ever have, and the damn batteries died. Two of them within  in five minutes of each other. 

One of the many stars on the Walk of Fame

Shoe shop on Hollywood Blvd!




Charlie Chaplin sitting on a bench!!!  This was BEFORE the panhandlers started to come out!!!

Capitol Records building

Famous theater on Hollywood Blvd

Standing at the famous Hollywood and Vine intersection


Alot of the building are very old and have markers like this to tell you want here once upon a time!

We saw him in the Rose Parade!

Another famous theater


The Jimmy Kimmel show broadcasts from this place

This is a wax model of Marilyn that you could have your picture taken with - for a "donation"

One of the panhandlers - you could pose with them, for a donation


TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly Grauman's_

Hand and foot prints in front of the Chinese Theatre

Yes, that's Roy's gun imprint!







In the lobby of the Chinese Theatre


Old popcorn cart in the lobby

One of the beautiful lights in the theatre

In the lobby they had a display of various movie costumes.  The Hobbit is currently playing there, so they had a Hobbit costume

Curtain is new screened silk

The ceiling

Carpet in the theatre


The ladies powder room - Marilyn Monroe fixed her make-up in this mirror!

This Oriental girl has been here for decades - it is good luck to touch her shoulder when you walk into the theatre via the hidden "movie star" ramp.

Original advertisement for the premiere of Wizard of Oz that took place at the Chinese Theatre

Marilyn dotted her "i" with her earring - someone stole the back of the earring but left the glass behind.

One of the stone alligators outside the Chinese Theatre

Travelling in our open air tour mini bus

Heading up to the Hollywood sign

Looking back at LA!

The start of the Walk of Fame stars

Hotel where John Belushi died of a drug overdose


Wannabe comedians want to perform here and make it big

Mel's Drive-in Diner


The famous Viper Room - where River Phoenix died on the sidewalk from an overdose

The very famous Whisky a Go Go where the Beatles and The Doors performed at one time

This hole in the wall is "the" in spot for rock stars to party





This condo has residents such as Cher and  Justin Bieber

Check out the stars on this fence.  Who would live here????

Why, it would be Ringo Starr!

These homes are built on seriously steep hills!

The house behind this gate was used for the Batman movies

Beverly Hills Hotel

The very exclusive Beverly Hills Hotel!


This house was used as one of the mansions for Gone with the Wind


Part of the gate at Pickfair - the home of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks

Michael Jackson lived and died in this house

Statue outside former home of Elvis

Where MJ died



$1.3 million Bogati just sitting on Rodeo Drive!  People just walked up and posed with it!


Outside the famous Cartier shop


Christmas decorations across Rodeo


The Ivy - the "in" place to go for lunch to buy a $35 hamburger!


This is where many famous awards show after parties takes place

Directors Guild of America

Michael Jackson donated this auditorium to his old elementary school!

Inside a candy shop at the Dolby Theater


Close-up of the start of the Walk of Fame


That's Marilyn Monroe in her famous pose on top of the sign

Phil Everly (of the Everly Brothers) died the day before, so this was at his star

The famous Roosevelt Hotel


A street actor/panhandler

You can see a few of the crazies out making money

Enjoy some of Madame's friends!



Mike making friends

Angelina, Brad and Mike!

Mike and Julia having a private moment


Who's in the shower????!


Two bad hombres!

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