In the midst of the January winter blasts that hit the Rocky Mountains and surrounding areas, the Entertainment Spectrum crew packed up their bags to visit Hollywood. As a result of the dismal weather, the road trip took a little longer than expected but once we reached our destination it was all worth it. We checked in to a Courtyard Marriott and received first class treatment. We were highly impressed with the friendly service, cleanliness and modern look of the hotel. Once we got settled in we planned for the next day of fun…
The official first full day in Hollywood was exciting. We woke up to visit the Starbucks in Beverly Hills 90210 to get our caffeine fix! There we received directions to the Mann Chinese Theatre where the Starline Tour began. We found a reasonable price of $21 a person to tour a few hot landmarks and homes of the stars. While waiting for the tour to begin we looked around at all the Movie stars signatures in the concrete and compared their hand and feet imprints to our own. One of our favorites was Star Wars character’s imprints of
C3PO, R2D2 and Darth Vader. After a short wait our tour guide called for us and we all boarded the mini tour bus. Once we started the drive we realized to get good pictures it would have been better to pay extra to ride the topless bus (don’t get excited we’re talking about the actual bus not having a roof on it.).
The tour went really well and although we didn’t spot any celebrities, we saw many of the gardeners of the stars. We were told by our tour guide that many of the celebrities head home for the holidays and may not be back to Hollywood just yet. Some excitement did occur when we saw a guy have a seizure while driving and almost hitting our bus as he stalled in the middle of a busy intersection. It seemed as if our tour guide was slightly obsessed with Hugh Grant as he drove us by the spots such as the ATM where he took out money to pay Divine Brown, the spot where they were caught, the corner where they first met, and some of Mr. Grant’s hangouts. A highlight for us was driving by Paris Hilton’s house. It was very visible from the street and a little less flashy than we would have expected. Later that night we went back to her house to see if she was home but much to our disappointment her brand new sports car was missing from the driveway. Perhaps she was out with Britney and Nicole. One can only imagine what she was up to.
When the tour ended we began a two hour stroll up and down Hollywood Boulevard to admire the stars that made an impact in film, television, radio, recording, and live theater. The Walk of Fame runs east to west on Hollywood Boulevard from Gower Street to La Brea Avenue, and north to south on Vine Street between Yucca Street and Sunset Boulevard. While taking the walk, we made it a goal to see all 2,326 stars which we found both rewarding and exhausting as we snapped picture after picture of the stars we have grown to love over the years.
Our second day in Hollywood we headed off to Rodeo Drive, the high-class shopping district of the rich and famous. The streets were lined with chandeliers to illuminate the night sky, the sidewalks were filled with gawking tourists, and the stores were rather empty (probably due to the three and four digit price tags). We did manage to make a quick stop at Dolce & Gabbana to shop around. We also made visits to the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, where Julia Roberts and Richard Gere found love in the 1991 movie Pretty Woman.
We also made a stop at the Kodak Theatre, home of the Academy Awards and American Idol finale. The five-level theatre was awe-inspiring as we could only imagine all the famous faces that have passed through the very doors we were standing at. We even took a moment to have “interviews with the stars” as we pretended to be the stars we most looked like. The courtyard at the Kodak Theatre was breath-taking with giant statues of elephants and an illuminated fountain gently caressing the focal point of the area.
Our trip was too short for all that Hollywood and surrounding areas had to offer. We were able to catch a glimpse of the Viper Room, Roxbury, The Laugh Factory, House of Blues, Whisky A Go-Go, Standard Hotel, and Roosevelt Hotel to name a few. The entire adventure through ice, snow, rain, and wind was worth it to stand on Hollywood Boulevard and Rodeo Drive and just take in the astonishing city that is L.A.
By John Koehler & Maleah Moran