Hollywood Tourist

(Spinning content below.)

I've lived in Southern California since 1968 - and my kids were
all born here - but none of us had ever taken a tour of movie star's homes or a double decker bus tour of Hollywood. That all changed today.

Lisa and Danielle, who is visiting from New York, wanted to do the tourist thing and invited us to tag along. I'm pretty sure Dick had things he'd rather have done today - like herding cats or trimming the lawn with manicure scissors - but I thought this would be a blast (and he was a good sport). The silliness of it appealed to me; we've done city tours in New Orleans, London and Paris. Why not take a tour of our own back yard? Plus it was an opportunity to spend time with Gary, Breanne, Lisa, and Danielle.
Unfortunately for us, L.A. is experiencing a heat wave. The temperature hit 108 in several areas yesterday; today it was "only" 95 degrees in Hollywood. It still felt hot, hot, hot.

We picked up our tour tickets at a kiosk between Graumann's Chinese Theatre and the new(er) Kodak Theatre. The area was packed with people walking with their heads down, peering intently at the hand and foot prints of the stars.
There were also a lot of people in costume - from Spiderman to Mickey Mouse and a Star Wars storm trooper - posing for photos with tourists. Can you image how miserable they must have been in the heat? I hope there was an abundance of tips to make it worth their while.

The first part of the tour was of movie star's homes in Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Bel Air. We saw a lot of closed gates, security cameras, and roof tops. (No surprise in this area of hyper expensive mansions.)
We saw paparazzi staked out in front of Tom Cruise's home and a woman walking 4 of Ozzy Osborne's 8 dogs. We learned who the previous owners were for several homes (apparently the current owners are "nobody" since they weren't mentioned) and cruised by Ronald Reagan's estate. We learned that Bel Air residents are required by law to maintain an attractive front lawn and the city has final say about what is "attractive". Our driver/tour guide was enthusiastic and had lots of factoids to keep us entertained for the 2 hour tour. (I was afraid he was going to crash the van at one point when he thought the SUV driving toward us belonged to Paris Hilton. False alarm.) Overall, the tour was quite enjoyable.

The first tour ran a little long, so we were a few minutes late getting to the double decker bus. All the seats up top were taken and rather than wait an hour for the next bus, we opted to sit downstairs.
Which would have been fine except that there was no air conditioning and the windows did not open. The driver left the bus's doors open so there was some air circulation, but it was still pretty hot. We toured Hollywood, Melrose Avenue, and Santa Monica Blvd. We saw several movie, TV and radio studios, "hot" restaurants and nightclubs, and "hip" shopping districts.

All in all, I think everyone had a good time. I enjoyed the day and liked hearing what the "real" tourists are told about L.A. The youngsters wanted to do more sightseeing so Breanne is giving them a guided tour of Santa Monica. Us oldsters opted to come home and turn on the air conditioner.

Summer Spinning Challenge: I spun for 30 minutes yesterday toward my goal of 4 hours per week. I've also picked about 4 ounces of Grover's fleece and will try to get through at least a pound of it tonight, after it cools off a little.

Le Tour de Fleece: The new drive band is on Bekki, the Ashford Traveller. Tomorrow I'll work on getting the tension set correctly so I can start to spin. I've been organizing my rovings so I can choose one to spin during the Tour. So many choices, so little time. I'll try to make a decision tomorrow.


Sharon said...

Ahhhhhhh ~ There's nothing quite like a windowless bus ride through LA in July, during a heat wave..... NOTHING.

Are you nuts????

[Still shaking my head in disbelief]

I can't believe you actually got Dick to go. A-MAAAA-ZING!

Good luck on 'tour de fleece'.
I wish I would have remembered to join. Oop's - next time.