Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Hollywood Visit

Yesterday, I was invited to come along on a trip to Hollywood with my best friend Kelly, her teenaged niece, and her niece's friend (both are visiting from New York). Since it was a typical Friday, heading to L.A. at 10:30 a.m. turned a trip that should have taken 1 hour, 40 minutes into a 2 and 1/2 hour ride!

Oh well. Kelly and I had lots of time to catch up on our families and the news of the day. We listened to a radio station called K-Earth, that plays all of the best oldies, including many from the 70's. I really like that station! Not very many commercials!

Anyway, we arrived at the Hollywood and Highland Center at around 1:00 p.m., parked and went on the hunt to find the Meet the Oscars event.

Since the Kodak Theatre (where the annual Oscars event is held) was closed (due to preparation for the Academy Awards on Feb. 23rd) we only took a few pictures at the entrance.

The Meet the Oscars event was small, but interesting and fun. There are glass cases displaying 50 of the Oscar award statuettes that will be presented to the winners this year. There is an ongoing video that shows how the statuettes are made. There are touch-screen computer quizzes that test visitors' knowledge about past Oscar winners and various details regarding the motion pictures of the past.

Next, visitors walk down a replica of the infamous "red carpet" entrance that the stars and celebrities grace when entering the Academy Awards event. There is a red carpet on the floor, cordoned off with red braid looped rope. On the walls are huge superimposed videos of cheering crowds waving, clapping, and snapping pictures with their cameras. It's supposed to give you the feeling of being a "celebrity" for a moment. O.K. Why not ham it up and have a photo taken?

Next, there is a corridor with huge posters of the main categories of this year's nominees on display. There were three more touch-screen quizzes where you can predict who you think will be the winners this year. Unfortunately, they weren't working.

Lastly, visitors can stand in line and get the chance to have a picture taken holding (wired down, of course, so that no one could run off with it!!) a genuine Oscar statuette. Of course, I was the guinea pig and went first. Then, no one else in our group wanted to step up and have their picture taken! Ha ha! It was fun. I should get the picture emailed sometime today and I will add it to this post.

Just got it! Thanks Kelly! Here's the pic:

At that point, we were all very hungry. Had a great lunch at California Pizza Kitchen. Their pizza is good, and the Thai salad is delicious!

Even though the pizza was tasty, I do have to admit that I cannot find pizza here in California that is as good as the pizzas made in family-owned, Italian pizzerias back east!

As we left the restaurant, we noticed that the outdoor pavilion area was filled with "Road to Hollywood" sayings on the pavement. Also on display was that typical, proverbial "Road to Hollywood" casting couch!

Thought I would attempt to be original; crouch down next to the couch, and signal "no" to what's written there on the ground. Not quite sure if this pic demonstrates that sentiment! But that's what I was trying to say!!

[Note: Fine print might be difficult to read. It says:

The Road to Hollywood...How some of us got here.]

Barely visible in this photo is the famous Hollywood sign.

Next, we headed out to the sidewalk for the Hollywood Walk of Fame. If you go to that link, and scroll down a bit, you will see a picture example of the sidewalk. Trouble is, the sidewalks are most likely never that empty during a typical day. It looked more like this ! It was so packed with people! All sorts of people...if you know what I mean. And, some were very annoying! They try to shove coupons and paper ads into your hands as you walk by. I learned to keep my hands in my pockets and say "no thanks!"

The further we ventured away from the Hollywood and Highland Center, the more run down the shops and streets became. We turned around and headed back.

We checked out the Graumann's Chinese Theatre and stood around reading the sayings and signatures of stars who placed their hand and footprints in the cement.

The Chinese Theatre was built by legendary showman Sid Grauman, the man who also built the nearby Egyptian Theatre and the Million Dollar Theatre on Broadway. Sid had a flair for the dramatic, and he was the one who came up with the idea of putting the stars' footprints in wet cement. Sid Grauman owned a one-third interest in the theatre, along with partners Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks.

The theatre was renamed "Mann's Chinese Theatre" after it was purchased by Ted Mann in 1973, the owner of the Mann's Theatre chain (and husband of actress Rhonda Fleming). But by any name it's still the same grand landmark.

We thought about taking the tour, but the starting time was an hour later and we felt that we needed to head home. Good thing we did. It took us four hours to get home! We did stop half-way to eat dinner. Thankfully, the traffic died down once we left the restaurant.

On the way home, the teens listened to their ipods and fell asleep. East coast time got to them! Kelly and I listened to K-Earth radio and reminisced about the good ole' days when we were growing up. Everything seemed so much more innocent, fun and safe back then! We were caught up in the nostalgia as we listened to the oldies. We heard songs like "These Eyes" by "The Guess Who." We sang along to songs by "The Supremes," and "The Beach Boys" (California Girls!).

Songs like "Dancing in the Moonlight." "Beach Baby," "The Boys Are Back in Town," "Ain’t No Woman (Like The One I Got)," and "For Your Love" - are just a few of the songs that played on the way home. Some songs I had not heard in decades!

We arrived home tired. However, we really enjoyed the visit and shared a lot of laughs! It had been a fun and interesting day!

P.S. I just remembered something. While the teen girls were browsing in the Virgin Records superstore, I walked outside to answer a cell phone call and noticed that there was a "Hollywood Walk of Fame Star" right outside the store with Billy Graham's name on it! I was quite surprised to see that!

While searching for a good photo of it, I found the pic above at Brandon and Jennifer Bruce's blog archive.

I liked what they wrote underneath:

I noticed that a few of the stars on the sidewalk have started to crack. It's a great reminder that everything we own here on earth and the accomplishments that we achieve, do not last forever - they can so easily age and be forgotten. However, the rewards that God gives us never fade, tear, break, crack, or burn up - we inherit His loving kindness to us forever! On the other hand, everything that we can attain here on earth without Him will one day be gone or forgotten about. It's amazing to compare the temporary and limited material rewards for a well-lived or even extraordinary life on earth without Jesus Christ and the incredible, unending, unlimited rewards in heaven for all those who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!
Good Word!!


GMpilot said...

Considering what you wrote only a few days ago, shouldn't the title have been "A HollyWEIRD Visit"?

Or do you just love the town but hate its people, as your god does?

Susan said...

Hi Christine -

Great picture, and I love the new "do."

Christinewjc said...


Every visit from you on my message board has been a HollyWEIRD visit! heh heh j/k

So, you claim that God hates that town's people? Where does it say that in the Bible?


Hi Susan,

Thanks! I have had that new style for over a year now...probably time to change the profile pic!

Anonymous said...

I heard that Grizzly Adams had to have a new star made because of some mishap. I think it cracked or his name was at first misspelled or something.

Anonymous said...

Wow it sounds like you had a blast. Did you go shopping in the Hollywood and Highland complex?( where did you stay? There is a Renaissance Hotel ( right there in Hollywood. Well maybe next time you are out in Hollywood you can go to all the places mentioned above including the new up and coming hot spot, Spa Luce (, and get something done and really feel like a star on the red carpet.