Friday, March 5, 2010
Hollywood Here I Am - At Last!
San Diego was great but I was ready to take off up the Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles. The PCH was great for a while. It was pretty driving from one little beach town to the next with the Pacific sparkling on our left side. I have a fascination with maps so I actually study them a lot. Well I should clarify. I don’t actually sit around the house or in the bathroom with an atlas but when we are traveling and I get bored I study the map. So in that long stretch across New Mexico and Arizona, I had spent some time studying on the California map. Something that I really didn’t pay attention to was how mountainous California actually is. So when I say we are driving along with the Pacific sparkling on our left, I should explain that yeah, it was sparkling but much of the time it was off a cliff looking down hundreds of feet! And you wind around to the left and then back to right and so forth and so on. So after the novelty wore off the PCH, Abby and I took a little nap. Our chauffeur was not amused. After waking up and we were still winding around that road at 40 and 50 miles an hour, we decided it was time to hit the freeway.
We arrived in Los Angeles right during 5 o’clock traffic but I didn’t care – I was close to being smack dab in the middle of Hollywood and besides, sitting in traffic was the perfect opportunity to look in all the cars around us because after all, there was a star in every vehicle, right? It looks that way in People Magazine and I will admit, I am a People Magazine junkie. My favorite pictures are the ones in the front of the magazine where some paparazzi have snapped a picture of a star walking down the street in Hollywood - always with coffee in their hands if you hadn’t noticed. Sometimes they are driving their fancy car with the roof down on Hollywood Boulevard or sitting around one of those open air restaurants along the sidewalks in Hollywood. So I figured they all had to get to Hollywood Boulevard somehow so they must be on the freeway somewhere. Nah, the people around us looked just like the people stuck in traffic in Houston, Texas.
We finally arrived at our hotel via directions from the TomTom – how did we ever get anywhere without a TomTom? The one thing I wanted to do was stay close to Hollywood Boulevard – closer to all those stars right? Thank goodness I had been saving all my Holiday Inn points because I needed them to stay a block off of Hollywood and Vine, walking distance to Grauman’s Chinese, the Walk of Fame and the Kodak Theatre where the Oscars will be held this Sunday night. We got in early enough to make a trip to the Boulevard. I was very aware that we looked like classic tourists but I didn’t care – I was headed to find some stars! Well I found some all right – you saw that picture of Marilyn a couple of posts back? Yep, in fact there were a couple of Marilyn type gals wandering around the Boulevard. They each had their own version of a little portable platform to stand on and they had rigged them with slats so they could put a fan underneath to blow their dresses – I bet these gals excelled in the science fair competition in junior high! Along with Marilyn was Darth Vader, several Spidermen, one of which could scale a light post, Sponge Bob was out that evening, and I even saw some Ninja Turtles. Did I see Brittney, Paris, or Miley? Nope. It didn’t appear that any of these gals were out and about or really any of the stars I see in People magazine. So I decided we were going to have to go looking for the stars. This was my first night in Hollywood and by golly I had driven across the desert and the mountains and up the PCH and I was there to see some stars. And guess what? There was a line of guys parked along the curb all hawking at tourists to hop into their van for a night tour of Hollywood. Did I want to share a van with a load of people? Heck no. I wanted my own private car. Enter a vintage white Cadillac limo with a driver named Brian who promises the best tour ever of Hollywood. So the three of us pile into this low riding Cadillac and proceed with Brian at the wheel. First stop of the night – to drop off Brian’s kid at his apartment around the corner. That should have been my first clue of how this tour was going to proceed. I think Brian hit the brake as we passed the Menendez house, he pointed up a driveway where the Sharon Tate murder took place, and we passed a sign for the neighborhood where O. J. Simpson used to live. As we passed the haunted Roosevelt Hotel, he motioned in that direction as well. Not part of the Haunted Tour but a point of interest was the wall surrounding Hef’s Playboy Mansion. And before we knew it, we were back in front of Grauman’s Chinese and still no star sighting. But that was about to all change….
Leave me a comment – are you a People Magazine junkie too?
Everyone commenting between now and Sunday night when the Oscars end will be entered in the random drawing for $25 in Glamour Bucks!
P. S. That's Brian in front of his white limo - notice the kid in the front seat! Also notice the big smiles on my loved one's faces - that's before we took off on this venture.