Thursday, January 15, 2009

“Hollywood... dah dah dah dah dah dah dah Hollywood...”

David and I spent the beginning of 2009 on a wonderful trip to California! It was a packed-full week and we had an amazing time. David did a lot of research and planning ahead of time to help us get all over California without the aid of a car – ha ha. The trip ended up also being a bit of a tour of public transportation and shuttle services around the state. It all worked great!
We started off by flying into LAX and spending the afternoon in Hollywood! It was surreal to be in such a familiar place. California has a different look to it than anywhere else I’ve been. The palm trees are a notable part of that! (Instantly, the movies "Speed" and "Die Hard" made more sense.) The weather was beautiful and not too cold, and we didn’t have any rain on our trip (lucky!)

And before I go on, I would like to note that while we were on the Metro heading for Hollywood Boulevard, some local young people asked us if we knew which stop was closest to the Kodak Theatre. David helpfully informed them, correctly, which stop they wanted to get off at. At which point we had been in California for all of forty-five minutes. I love it.

We spent the afternoon wandering around Hollywood, taking in the atmosphere and staring at the Hollywood sign on the hills. It’s so strange to have seen images of it thousands of times in my life, and then to be there – whenever I see famous things like that (the Mona Lisa and the Statue of David come to mind) I sort of have to take a second and tell myself that this is the real thing.

We spent a lot of time looking down at the ground, taking in the names on the Walk of Fame. I was laughing to think that, since there are storefronts all along the walk, usually with their fronts open with the nice weather, the people who work there would always hear this one name being said out loud by people who pass by. “Leonard Nemoy!” “Hey, there’s Leonard Nemoy.” “Hey, here’s the star for Leonard Nemoy...”

We ate lunch at an institution – Mel’s Drive-In. The original location, in San Francisco, was used for the shoot of American Graffiti. That location was torn down shortly after the movie was filmed, but this one definitely pays homage to the movie with many framed photos of Ron Howard, a super-young Harrison Ford and Milner’s (ahem) bliss-yellow coupe. Most importantly, the diner served the real kind of milkshake where you get the silver cup with the extra. Aaaw David, too bad you can’t have dairy... wait, stop drinking my extra...

After that, as we walked along we explored the Kodak Theatre, home of the Academy Awards (ooh, aah). It was so neat to stand on the sidewalk and think about how many famous, glitzy people have walked there. Not to mention Joan Rivers.

Who are you wearing???

Next, we wandered around the courtyard of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and had a look at the many cement handprints and signatures. Here and on the Walk of Fame we took special note of the different CanCon additions such as Jim Carrey, Mike Myers and uh... William Shatner. I was particularly excited to note that my hand fit right inside Meryl Streep’s handprint. Clearly we are soulmates.

We popped into a drug store because David’s hair gel had been confiscated by security at the airport! That was the biggest glitch in our travels, though, so we really can’t complain. We popped into the Disney store to see about buying our tickets there, but decided to wait and get them in Anaheim. After that it was time to hop back on the subway and take a commuter train to our hotel in OC. Next stop – the happiest place on earth!

And now for some CanCon:

Last, but not least:

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