Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hurray for Hollywood!

What a fabulous Labor Day weekend we had!  Mike and I had a wedding to attend in Los Angeles on Sunday--so much fun!  If you read my book, you'll remember the Mona character, one of my first friends in Las Vegas.  We met at our divorce support group.  Her son was the lucky groom.

Every time I go to LA, I love it more.  We stayed at the Best Western on Riverside Drive in Burbank, right up the road from where the wedding was held at the Equestrian Center.   This hotel was a real find--I can't recommend it enough--and I'm a real hotel snob.  It had free parking and free Wifi, which is rare in LA, and it was sparkling clean and close to lots of fun things to do.

Mike and I rolled into town mid-Saturday afternoon, checked in, and then went straight to the rehearsal dinner.  Afterward we were a little too beat to go out, but first thing Sunday morning we got up and at 'em.  We decided to do the Warner Brothers Studio tour, just a few blocks from the hotel.  I thought it was very interesting, our guide was great and personalized the tour based on everyone's interests, and overall the tour was totally worth the $49.

Pee Wee's Big  Adventure was filmed all over the Warner Brothers lots, so I loved seeing things like the pet store where Pee Wee rescues all the animals.

This is how it looks now

Remember the scene where Pee Wee stumbles around in the rain after his tarot card reading?  That was shot in this alley.

Here's a closer look:

Our tour guide told us those fire escape stairs were also used for the "It's a Hard Knock Life" song for the movie Annie.  I swear, every time I think of that movie, I'm reminded of the time I had to drag Courtney out of Colonie Center shopping mall kicking and SCREAMING because I refused to buy her the "Annie shoes" she saw in a store window.  Ha!  Thirty years later, and she can't live it down.

After the tour, we took a drive to check out the famous Hollywood sign.  You could hike to get closer to it, but because of time constraints--and the fact that it had to be about 95 degrees out--we decided to take pictures from just a little ways up the trail.  We were still pretty close, though.

What a beautiful view of the city!

Then we went down to Hollywood Boulevard and hung out there for a while. 

Look how you can see the Hollywood sign in the distance!

Of course, as we walked along we had to check out the stars on the sidewalk.  (Yes, The Kinks' song was in my head for hours, and it's back in now as I write this.)  I had to take a picture of this star since Queen Latifah is my sister Lori's celebrity girl crush.

Oh, so where was MY celebrity girl crush of all crush's star?  You know, the one that says, "Beverly D'Angelo"?  NOWHERE!  Can you believe my beloved Bev doesn't have a star on Hollywood Boulevard???  I'm going to write to my congressman!  So. not. fair.

Being the culture snob that he is, my beloved husband wanted to stop at the Ripley's Believe it or Not museum--damn me for not taking photos!  I know you'd want to see the picture of Elvis made from gummy bears or the elephant with two trunks... 

Since it was going to be a while before we ate at the wedding, Mike and I decided to get some pizza at a little place across the street from this notable complex on the corner of Sunset and Highland.

Famous alumni include John Ritter, Carol Burnett, Alan Hale, Jr. (the Skipper on Gilligan's Island), Sharon Tate, and Cowboy Curtis himself, Laurence Fishburne!  BTW, the pizza was surprisingly good--usually it's hard to get psyched when you walk in a pizza joint and see an Asian guy behind the counter.  That's not racist; that's just... true.

Anyway, the wedding was a blast, one of those events you could truly feel happy about.  We got to sit next to the mother of the groom--talk about VIP treatment!  It was a Jewish wedding, and you know me--nothing thrills me more than clapping to "Hava Nagila," which I know all the words to.

I was telling Mike how lucky I feel that we were taught Jewish songs in elementary school and we even learned the hora circle dance in gym class.  Right along with "The Alley Cat."  Man, I am old...

Anyway, after checking out of our hotel yesterday morning we took a ride up Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills and stopped at this scenic overview.  That's the famous Hollywood Bowl you see there on the bottom right.

Then we drove through Beverly Hills for a while.

Before hitting the road, we stopped for breakfast at the Brighton Cafe, a block from Rodeo Drive.

Man, I look fat in that picture, and I should--I'm totally out of whack with all the traveling I've been doing lately.  I put on four pounds in Albany and probably another couple last weekend.  Well, real life starts today!  The summer's over and it's time to buckle down, find a job, and work off a few pounds.  My birthday is in less than a month, and I told Mike that on my birthday I'm going to post a photo of me in a bathing suit to show people how good 55 can look.  So I'd better look good, dammit!  Yikes.  I have a lot of exercising to do.

Anyway, I love LA and can't wait to go back.  How about you?  Have you been?  What are your favorite spots to visit? 


Julie D said...

I love LA. I went there on my honeymoon 9 years ago (wow, 9 years this month. Time flies when you're divorced, LOL) and then I took Jordan 5 years ago to check out LA Film School. I'd go back in a hot minute!

Since my son is planning to move to LA after he graduates from Ohio State's film studies program, I forsee myself spending a lot of time out west, even relocating at some point because I refuse to be across the country from my grandchild(ren). I wanna be hands on Grammy!

Maybe I'll move to Vegas. :)

Anonymous said...

I've never been there, but it's on my someday list.

You are even close to looking fat!

Anonymous said...

Lift heavy (after working up to the point of being able to lift "heavy," obviously)

It will cut down on the amount of cardio you will have to do, in a dramatic fashion.

True story...

Vegas Linda Lou said...

@ Julie: We could do some serious damage in LA!

@ Cassie: It's SO much fun! And thank you, but I'm a pig these days.

@ Anonymous: How heavy is heavy? I can lift a 22 oz. Guinness no problem!

Anonymous said...

Heavy, for a woman, would be:
Squat @ bodyweight
Deadlift @ 1.5 bodyweight
Overhead press, bench press and bent over rows @ .5 bodyweight.

Lift heavy and take a multi, that's what I always say...

drewzepmeister said...

Visited L.A. back in 2009. Gotta admit it is an interesting place to be. Saw many of the rock and roll landmarks like the Roxy, the Rainbow and the Whisky a Go Go. A highlight was seeing the Andaz West Hollywood Hotel-formerly the Hyatt or more infamously known as the "Riot Hotel" by the band members of Led Zeppelin and The Who. Stories of furniture tossed from the roof, motorcycle rides in the hallways and other wild parties came from there. Would loved to have been a fly on the wall back then...

Tender Heart Bear said...

I am glad you had a good time in L.A.. I have never been there but maybe someday I will make it out west.

This past summer I was suppose to go to S.D. but never made it.

You don't even look like you gained any weight.

Vegas Linda Lou said...

@ drewzepmeister: Yeah, can you imagine? Definitely a cool place.

@ Tender Heart Bear: I hope you get there someday! And to South Dakota, too. Lots to see there.

LL Cool Joe said...

I'm dam sure I left a comment here! Either that or I'm just going mad.

I've just returned from Vegas and it was fun! And you look great btw.