This day I had planned for us to go into the Hollywood area and do some sight seeing. We got up early and after a nice (and free) breakfast in the hotel we headed out to Hollywood. On the way there we drove through the ta-ta area of Beverly Hills:
Arriving into Hollywood, we parked right across from Hollywood High school:
First on the agenda was the Hollywood Museum but they weren’t going to open for about an hour so we wandered down Sunset and came across the coolest store ever built:
It was certainly the biggest candy store I had ever seen and there were a couple of really cool rooms that had different themes. My favorite:
Disclaimer: No humans were harmed in the making of this blog
Being the Walking Dead fan that I am, I had to check out the goods:
I don’t even know how they were able to collect this and put it in a jar…
Now we know, zombie brains are small
Paying homage to the best show ever
Might be a good disguise in the event of the zombie apocalypse…
The boys made a pit stop:
The “gross” room
When you gotta go you gotta go
The best ideas are thought up while in this position….
There was even a gas station inside:
And a Wonka section of course:
And this creepy baby thing:
By the time we were done navigating our way through the largest candy store ever, the Hollywood Museum opened up.
Marilyn guards the front door
Apparently this was the old Max Factor building where the stars like Lucille Ball and Marilyn Monroe would go to get made up before a shoot. It is filled with years and years of movie memorabilia – which was a big hit for our move loving family. It was three floors full of movie making goodness. Here are some of my favorites:
Costumes from Sweeny Todd
We all know this guy
Effie’s dress from the Hunger Games
I’m dating myself here, but this is Pee-Wee’s bicycle from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure
Prop for the long distance shots of “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World”
We spent a good two hours in here at least, it was well worth every minute! The museum is connected to Mel’s Diner so after we were done we got a jump on the lunch crowd and got a table.
Food was good. Expensive but good. By the time we left there were about 50 people waiting to get in. Mel’s is kind of a Hollywood icon I guess.
Next on our “tour” was Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Which I think is now Egyptian or something because it says so.
This is where they used to roll out the red carpet
See, I wasn’t kidding
Of course we had to take the obligatory tourist photos in front of the building:
Note my USA jersey…it was game day vs. Portugal
And of course checked out the footprints:
I took a million of these pictures so here’s two
For those of you just itching to see about a hundred stars on the walk of fame – I took this just for you:
Walking back down Sunset you can see the Hollywood Sign
See, it’s waaaaay back there
After our Hollywood romp, my husband was growing restless because we had passed lunch and the USA game was approaching…yet we didn’t know where we would stop and watch it. We decided to go down to Santa Monica and see if we could find a place.
Parking at the Santa Monica Pier was interesting. After paying another gazillion dollars for a few hours access, we drove into this little parking garage, wedged our minivan into the smallest spot possible between another car and a brick wall – and handed our keys over to the valet who said “you pick up your car over there” and pointed across the street at yet another parking garage.
The pier was packed! I’ve never seen so many people crammed into one space (well, I see that later in the trip but that’s another day). Here’s our walk from the parking area down to the boardwalk:
The water was freezing so the hopes my kids had of swimming did not become reality (they are used to FL beaches). We didn’t do the amusement park area but walked all the way down to the end.
At some point my son’s flip flop had a blow out (no he didn’t step on a pop top thank goodness) and we had to buy a new pair. One pair of $8 Santa Monica flip flops coming right up! I’ve never seen a kid get so mad at shoes before. I’m thankful that little shop was there!
By this time, I had another man in my life getting a bit grumpy. Game was about to start and nowhere in sight to watch it. We had surrendered to the fact we would have to load up the WatchESPN app on the iphone and listen to it on the drive back but then I saw a little restaurant across the way. I said “what about there?” There was a sign out front that read “Watch World Cup Here!” It was about 10 minutes until kickoff and as we walked through the door the owner greeted us with “Are you here to watch the game or eat?” We responded in unison “Watch the game”.
He seated us right in front of the big screen TV! To our surprise there was not many people in there yet. A few at the bar, but there were 6 of us and the table was for…get this – exactly 6 people! God really wanted us to be able to watch this game. Over the course of those 2 hours, even though we had eaten lunch just a few hours before, we ate…and ate…and ate….and watched the USA tie Portugal. *sigh* By the end of the game the place was hoppin but we made our exit. The food was excellent and the hosts gracious. We can’t thank them enough for such a great time!
With full bellies we waddled back to our car…which was again, across the street…and made our way out of town. Somewhere along the way someone in the car thought it would be a good idea to take Mulholland Dr up the mountain in a quest to reach the Hollywood sign. I think it might have been the driver…my husband. Before long we were literally hanging off the edge of the mountain (ok not literally but it felt like it) and I was holding back my stomach from spontaneously leaping out of my body completely on it’s own accord. We have to be getting closer….we have to be…were the words we were repeating, as we could see the sign but couldn’t quite get there. As we drove higher and higher….
Nothing but a steep drop off to the side of the car!
Needless to say we never made it. We followed every tour bus we saw until finally we asked this guy how to get to the base of the sign. The directions went something like this “Take that street until it curves right, then left…take a right and then at the next curve take a left…take another left…then go a little ways and take a right…then another left and an immediate left…yada yada” My husband was just nodding his head. I was thinking “Are you serious right now??” We decided to just make due with the overlook area and saw it from a distance:
This was as close as we were gonna get
Making our way back down Mulholland (thank goodness) we ran into a traffic jam because something was going on at the Hollywood Bowl.
Not sure who it was that drew such a crowd
By the time we got back into Thousand Oaks, where our hotel was we were tired. Because we stuffed ourselves silly while at Santa Monica…I can’t even remember if we had dinner that night! I don’t think we did. I think we all go back and crashed. My kids are still giving me grief that we didn’t make it all the way to the sign!
Day three coming next….The Queen Mary and Malibu!