Stan and Ann in the Fifth Wheel travel blog

Hollywood Boulevard

Grauman's Chinese Theater

Walk of Fame-1

Walk of Fame-2

Walk of Fame-3

Hollywood Sign

Ann on top of the Mall Roof

Studio for Jimmy Kimmel

Great Old Fashioned Ice Cream Sundaes

We drove to Hollywood to play tourist today. After negotiating a lot of traffic on Sunset Blvd., turning on the wrong street and running into a taping on locale in Beverly Hills, and negotiating even more traffic on Hollywood Blvd., we parked in the public garage attached to a mall and next to Grauman's Chinese Theater. When I was here before, I could have sworn there was an old rundown hotel there, but a lot can change in 20 or 30 years. Now a hotel is over the mall.

We walked out of the mall to the sidewalk and were greeted by a fake Mickey and Minnie, a Stormtrooper and Darth Vader, Spider-Man and Tinkerbell to name a few. We walked next door to The Chinese Theater where we found the sidewalk blocked with construction of some kind. The area in front of the theater is where the stars sign their name and put their hands and feet in cement when they make it big. It is fascinating to find stars you've known of all your life and know this was something they touched. Marilyn Monroe said she used to come down and put her feet in the impressions of famous people to help her realize they were just regular people.

The sidewalk on both sides of Hollywood Blvd. is lined with stars from radio, TV, Film, and music. We walked both sides looking for names we knew (there were some we didn't know). Two impressions- first there were many blank stars. I assume those are place holders that will hold future stars. Second some have more than one star. Not sure I understand that.

One thing we did notice was a strong police presence usually in groups of 2-5 or more. Stan asked one if there was some reason he was told it was better to have too many than too few. Hmmmm. When we got back to the front of the mall there were 6 or 7 some with rifles in hand. What is this? It was nice to know there was protection if needed, but this was weird. When we got on the Internet, we found out the mayor had ordered it because of recent violence. Some superheroes got into a fight and a women was stabbed by transients over a dollar. Oh that explains it. Thanks LAPD for making our day safe.

Along our walk we did a little shopping and checked out Disney's Soda Fountain. Before we left we decided to check out the mall which was open aired in the middle. It has a large theater complex, several restaurants, and a few shops. It's biggest draw, though, was 4 floors of open bridges that overlook the Hollywood sign. Great photo opportunity. We had our parking ticket validated at Disney's Soda Fountain so we paid a reasonable $2 for our 4 hour stay.

Since we were only a half mile away I had Stan drive by The Edge Performing Arts Studio where our daughter spent time during several summers in high school and after taking advanced classes and honing her dance skills. From there we decided to go back to I-405 via Santa Monica Blvd. Traffic was congested and I believe we caught every red light, but it gave us the chance to see an entirely different area of Beverly Hills than we saw on Sunset Blvd. of course this meant we hit the 405 at exactly 5 o'clock . Not good. In Dallas hitting a highway at 5 means rush hour has begun but traffic moves. This was bumper to bumper inching along with more and more cars trying to get on. Now I realize this is the day before a holiday and that makes it more like Friday traffic getting off early, but seriously...we saw 2 fender benders along the way and finally a quarter mile from our exit was a stalled car squarely in the right lane that had caused it all. It took us 45 minutes from trailer to the mall this morning. It took 2 hours from the mall to our trailer tonight. Crazy.

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