The instantly recognizable symbol of Los Angeles
Lights! Camera! Action! Our last stop in the United States was Los Angeles, California.
Wake up call done, we got up and readied to go to the airport. We finally boarded and we were on our way to the city of angels. This was my third visit, and Toni’s first time in L.A.
We landed around 8:30 AM and proceeded to the National car hire centre where we picked up our hire car. It had been raining all morning, so the conditions were not the best (including the fact that the car seats had been soaked).
After some confusion with the map(s) – which included a quick visit to a service station for a replacement map – we headed north up La Cienega and onto Fairfax, which took us into the heart of West Hollywood. Toni still enjoys teasing Rob, who had the unenviable job of navigating through Los Angeles and battling crazy L.A. drivers!
We made it to Richard’s house on North Crescent Heights and surprised him, as he’d thought we were arriving the next day. We moved the luggage in, and he kindly wrote us some directions to a good vantage point of the Hollywood sign.
Hollywood’s Walk of Stars
We drove up to Hollywood Boulevard (the location of the famous ‘Hollywood Walk of Stars’) and parked under the Kodak Theatre. Security screened the car for bombs (the Academy awards were on the Sunday of that week), and so the building was surrounded with security and rigging and scaffolding.
Autographs at Grauman’s Theatre
We took photos of the (Grauman’s) Chinese Theatre, the fingerprints in the concrete and some of the stars on the sidewalk. As we were to find out, there were some advantages to the Oscars being in town. We were able to hold a real Oscar, in a gallery of sorts which had been set up especially for Oscar week.
A room full of Oscars™ – but none for Tom Cruise!
Grauman’s Famous Chinese Theatre | Toni finally achieves Hollywood recognition
Toni and I were interviewed by an Austrian TV show whilst enjoying the Oscar exhibition, even though Toni was very camera shy and attempted to flee the scene J
We ate a quick breakfast and headed for the Bronson caves – home of the original bat cave and countless TV shows. We originally started a long trek up into the hills before it became apparent that it was going to be many hours of walking. We turned back and looked through the caves.
The amazing hills behind Hollywood | The Original Bat Cave
We ended up at the Beverly Centre which included getting lost in a utility hallway and a general browse through the multiple levels. We were all shopped out in San Francisco, I imagine.
Afterwards, we headed back into the car and I drove Toni down to the famed La Brea Tar Pits which are still active and reside in the middle of West Hollywood.
Once we had finished walking the park we headed west on Wiltshire before heading up onto Santa Monica boulevard in an attempt to hit the Santa Monica pier. We had to return by 7 PM for dinner at which point we realized we weren’t going to have enough time.
The La Brea tar pits in West Hollywood
We ended up heading back via Beverly Hills, and we glimpsed Rodeo drive on the way. Richard cooked up an interesting meal, and we had a great dinner conversation before tuning into a TV special on the history channel and then calling it an evening.