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LA mash up

Oct 8, 2013

So we had a lot of little things to try and squeeze in today as that evening we had to head for Anaheim for our visit to Disneyland the next day....but first...

Rodeo Drive. We were there around 9am...managing to score a parking spot right on the street. Of course, some of the shops were just opening, and many others were preparing to open - probably 9:30-10. We had no intention of going into any of the stores but we had an hour on the meter, so we walked around the area, doing some window shopping, admiring the fountain and the really cool building designs/facades...and up to what I think of as the top of the road...wait...isn't there supposed to be a Welcome to Beverly Hills sign here? Oh yeah - it's behind a green fabric covered chain link fence while they redo the landscaping :( So I managed to get a picture of it thru a hole in the fabric, but not very impressive or picturesque when surrounded by piles of dirt...sigh. Not even a celebrity sighting, tho truth be told, a famous person could walk right by me and I'd probably have no clue unless they were surrounded by paparazzi. We stayed with someone in Bangor who had Stephen King as a neighbor (he lived 3 houses away) and Darrin went up to the gate and I took his picture from across the road - I wouldn't cross over to get closer - I think they get tired of gawkers and I don't want to be a gawker - he did have a really cool fence tho, it looks like a giant spider web! Anyways, back to this vacation...

So we decided to visit La Brea Tar Pits next - we spent about an hour here...Tues must be the day that the schools visit because there were a few groups of rugrats running about. It was pretty cool to see the skeletons/fossils - just the shear number that they find is amazing. We didn't got to the area where they do the actual work - I guess you can go see if you can find it. And you can really smell the asphalt odour and see the bubbles outside at one of the small 'pits'. Lunch time, so we ate at Johnnie's New York just a few minutes wander down the road. I had a delish turkey Panini and Darrin had a chicken parmesan sandwich. They were quite busy, but we were given these yummy pizza holes or something - round pizza dough with pizza sauce for dipping. Needless to say, it was a little early for us to eat such a large lunch, so we ate half and took the rest to go and had it for supper that night when we got to the hotel.

So then it was off to find Grauman's Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood walk of fame. Well, there was an awards show setting up and they had half the street blocked off (I believe it was the MTV Latin music awards or some such thing). Parking was hard to find...we tried a lot but it was full and ended up finding a space on a side street - the bad thing, I'm assuming because of rush hour, you could only park there until I can't rem if it was 3 or 4 pm, but we only had about an hour before we had to get out of there. So we hurried up to the Walk of Fame and started checking out the stars...I saw lots of ones I recognized...Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, Kermit the Frog...lol...I was hoping to find one for U2, but no luck - we didn't have time to do the whole thing. We also spend 15 min or so checking out the hand and footprints immortalized in front of Grauman's...Jimmy Stewart and lots of 'old school' actors, as well as our fav '80's action heroes Bruce and Arnold and Sly, as well as Johnny Depp and Christopher Nolan. We didn't have time to go into the theatre and if memory serves, it was a little pricey. Lots of places along the way if you wanted to do one of the stars homes tours - every few feet you would be accosted by people selling tours...no time again...maybe next time. As you can imagine, it was a very touristy part of the city - lots of t-shirt shops and tacky trinkets.

Then it was off to find the California Science Center so we could see the Space Shuttle Endeavour...Darrin checked out the map app on my iPad and found a different route paralleling the highway but avoiding all the backed up traffic. We found a parking lot and walked about a block past some other museums (I think the Natural History Museum was there as well - I made a vow a few years ago after visiting NY and Washington that I didn't want to see anymore dinosaur bones for 10 years - La Brea notwithstanding). Free admission to the Science Museum if memory serves. We had about 75-90 min until it closed, so we beelined for the Space shuttle. Watched a video first of it winding its way thru LA to the museum, then into the specially built hanger. We actually spent almost an hour - they have a very interesting display set up about all the space shuttle launches and lots of neat stuff - and Darrin really enjoyed looking at an actual space shuttle. By the time we made it back into the museum, it was about 10 min til closing, so we just decided to go. There was a lovely rose garden outside so we sat and enjoyed that for 10 min while we tried to figure out what to do next. Decided to head into the core of downtown, which wasn't too far off. Found a parking garage and wandered about for about an hour...

...and first stop was the Bradbury Building. Now, I'm not a Blade Runner fan, and hubby really is, but he had no idea the significance of the building, so I was able to surprise him. I had read about it in a guide book...so as we are going in, he's like...'Why are we going in here?' Then he saw - and WOW! Of course it is in much better shape then in the movie (if you've seen the movie, you'd recognize the set). I actually think we were there after it closed (it is now a mixture of offices) but the door was open...we stayed maybe 5 min just to look around the lobby/general area. The security guard just ignored us. So chalk one up for me! Then I had hoped to visit the Farmer's Market, but by this time it was getting on to about 6:30 or so and of course it closed at 5 or 6pm...wandered up the hill to look at (from a few blocks off) the US Bank Tower - which, if you've seen the movie Independence Day, gets blown up by the alien ship - the round building...you know the one I mean - go back and watch the movie! There was a funicular going up the steep hill, but that was closed (I want to say Angel Hill - oops - Angels Flight! Thanks google.) Wandered another block or two to see the amazing architectural gem that is the Walt Disney Concert Hall. I can see how people would either love it or hate it. Kinda modern, but the angles and material just made it very interesting visually. No time to go in...across the road was the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, where they used to hold the Academy Awards until a few years ago. It was starting to get dark, we still hadn't eaten, and still had to make out way to our new hotel in Anaheim. I thought it was going to be a longer journey, but it was only maybe 20-30 min to get there - very little traffic, thank goodness.

So here we are at the Super 8, just a few blocks from Disney...OK, was disappointed in this hotel. We were right above the noisy drop off area over the office, so lots of door/trunk slamming and delivery truck noise. There was about a one or two inch gap between the bottom of the door and the frame, which I think contributed to the noise. The shower head was set so low - if you were a taller then average person, you'd have to duck to get your head wet. Horrible sleep due to the outside noise - the first time I contemplated asking a hotel to move us to the back away from the street...but we had our stuff all unpacked and I didn't want to waste any of our Disney time. The guy at the front desk joked we were getting the presidential suite - well, they must hate the president! And the breakfast was...well...a cheap hotel breakfast. The next night, I stuffed a towel under the door, so that, combined with probably tiredness from our Disney day and being full of supper from the restaurant, we had a better sleep. But anyways - we ate out leftover food for dinner tonight and it still tasted good...and around 9pm I hear this popping - Disney is having fireworks! So we went on top of the overhang/portico area over the office right outside our room (there were patio tables set up) and watched fireworks for - I'm not sure, somewhere between 5 and 10 min. Awesome show - they even had Mickey Mouse shaped fireworks...and happy faces! Me out there in my bare feet...lol. Was hoping they would have a show the next night, but no such luck...maybe because of the rain or maybe they only do them a few nights a week. Well, anyways, that was our excitement and a great way to end a busy day...and get ready for Disneyland!

Posted by u2traveller 16:05 Archived in USA

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