Saturday, May 28, 2011

Worn OUT - Trip Log Day 2

Mystery Trip

It takes more than just a day to adjust to the time difference, so I was up SUPER early (CA time, it was a decent hour back home!), so we got to get ready at a very leisurely pace and hang around the hotel room for while in the morning. That gave us some time to research what we wanted to do on the internet, too. Plus, it was the girls’ last day of 3rd grade, so I was glad I got to call them and wish then a fun day and check in on them.

So, we left the hotel about 8:30, and headed back to the Hollywood and Highlands center. We were going back to the Grauman’s Theater area to buy tickets for the TMZ open air bus tour of Hollywood. It’s called “Secrets and Celebrity Hot Spots” and it was so fun! From the website: “The World's leading entertainment news brand will show you the real Hollywood - TMZ style. See the hottest spots in Hollywood, West Hollywood, Sunset Strip and Beverly Hills. Camera-ready Guides on the lookout and ready to film Celebrities. The secret places where Hollywood comes to play. Juicy nuggets from TMZ staffers about Hollywood celebs. Inside info about the hot spots and stories that TMZ made famous.” It was pretty cool – the bus is open air and up high so you can really see well, plus the tour guide, Kevin, is a staffer from the news room at TMZ and a real paparazzo. He told us if we saw a celeb, he would jump off the bus with his camera and mic, and try to talk to them. We saw Ryan Phillippe in a gym on Sunset (Kevin got locked out as he tried to approach) and Steve Harvey on Rodeo (who talked to Kevin for a sec, but declined to really interact). It was 2 hours long, and it was fun. SO glad I talked Britt into that one!

Once we were back at the Grauman, we were HUNGRY. One of the things pointed out on the tour was an IN-N-Out burger that was less than a mile from where we were, so we decided to get our car out of the garage and go have our first In-N-Out burger! It was 12:30, and it was SCARY busy! LOL! But it was fun – we sat outside at a little table where the birds tried to get our crumbs, and we watched the traffic go by. It was nice – and the food was yummy! After we ate, there were a couple of other places pointed out on the tour we wanted to check out. One was Pink’s hot dogs (we really just wanted to see how long the line was – there was not one at 10:00am – imagine that!), and the other was The Grove shopping area. We went by Pink’s , but decided to go shopping later. So, we went back to the hotel to rest a bit, freshen up, and decide what to do for the afternoon. SO glad Britt didn’t go through with the “no technology” on this trip! We would not have any idea what we were doing without checking things out on the internet first! LOL! We decided to go on another tour. This one was a Star Line tour of celebrity homes . So – back to the parking garage at Hollywood and Highlands, and back to the Grauman…

At 3:00, we loaded up in a van with 10 of our closest tourist friends (a family of 6 from Iran and 4 younger folks from San Antonio, TX) and set off to see more of Hollywood. This one was in a 15 passenger van that had been converted into an open air van. We had headsets to wear so we could hear the driver as he took us through some really really really nice parts of town. He was older and had a very “gentle” voice, so 2 hours of him in a bouncy van was kind of like a lullaby! It was really neat to see all the homes – especially the ones up in Hollywood Hills! My favorite one he pointed out was Ryan Murphy’s. Not because it was especially cool or anything, but because he created Glee. So, we rode around in that van for 2 hours, and got some sun on our faces and arms. When we got back to the Grauman, we were tired, hot and HUNGRY. There are several “Food Court” type food places in the Hollywood and Highlands Center, so we checked a few of those out and settled on Johnny Rockets. WRONG. Ugh. Britt said his food was pretty good. Mine was OK, but I was so hungry I didn’t care. The fries were weird, the rings were cold and the service SUCKED. Up to that point, I had been so surprised at the good service we had been getting. The rental car place was AMAZINGLY accommodating; our hotel check in lady was (new at her job yet still) gracious and kind and very helpful; every place we had been up to this point was great; our tour experiences were top notch; then, we tried to eat a quick meal and it all fell apart. No tip for those lazy heads!

With full bellies, tired bodies, but renewed spirits, we decided to head out on another adventure. Once again getting our car out of the parking structure that was bigger than our entire town (this was our 3rd time on the trip – we were now experts), we headed to the shopping area known as The Grove. It’s basically an outdoor mall. No cars, just foot paths. It was a BEAUTIFUL evening weather wise, and there were TONS of people out. There was a jazz band playing on the plaza, and it was fun to see the little kids dancing around – made me miss mine *just a little* - and we had a good time marveling at all the stores and poking our head into a few. It was a HUGE area, and we were already worn out from the day, so we stayed about an hour, then headed back to our hotel for the night.

Once we were back at the Historic Hollywood Hotel, we tried again to watch TV finales on Hulu, but the wireless is just too slow. Britt found Dateline on TV and we were going to watch it, but I think we were both asleep within 10 minutes! It was a GREAT day, and tomorrow will be even better!

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