A few months ago I had the opportunity to take a tour of the Hollywood Hills and surrounding areas. My Oklahoma accent would stick out like a sore thumb, to say the least. This other guy that I went with was someone I drove an eighteen wheeler with and we had a few days to kill while we were out west.
Our first excursion was to see if we could go get a good look at the Hollywood sign. It may seem a little ridiculous just to go on a trip to see an old sign, but on the other hand this wasn’t just any old sign either. We had rented a Ford Taurus for the day and drove around West Hollywood until we found the road that was supposed to get us in that general direction. There are so many curvy, winding roads up in the hills we didn’t think we had no idea where we would eventually end up. After having to back down several driveways and wrong-turns and very narrow paths, we finally found a road that led to a park up in the Hills where an observatory was. So we got out and climbed our way up the steps to the Observatory where we could see the canyons and hills overlooking Los Angeles and Hollywood. It was a nice view but it made me wonder how they ever got all of those houses built in such out of the way nooks and crannies. Anyway, I turned the scope over to some distant hills and found the Hollywood sign up at the top in the distance.
We made our way up the winding hills and mountains over where a hiking trail led up the side of a steep incline. We got about 50 feet from the very top and discovered the sign had been fenced off and had no immediate access to get up close to it. So we got as close as we could and I stayed a safe distance down the mountain, so that I could still climb down without rolling down instead. My co-driver took some pictures and we started back down the mountain when he discovered that he had gone further up the steep incline than he should have and he fell and started rolling down the mountain, but luckily a big rock stopped him from going any further. After I made sure he wasn’t hurt too bad I couldn’t contain myself any longer and busted out with laughter, he was short and a little overweight so it made him look like a bowling ball with arms and legs but anyhow, he didn’t seem to find any humor in it. I helped him up and we proceeded back down the mountain. Then, we grabbed a map at a local mini-mart and made our way over to the La Brea Tar Pit. They were a quite a ways from the Hollywood Hills but I had never seen it. We got over to La Brea too late to go into the museum part of it but we took pictures of the tar pit and looked at all of the statues of various dinosaurs that were found in the pit, them being, several Mastodons, the great saber-toothed tiger, and also a raptor. They are supposedly still finding things in the pits. Apparently it’s quite deep and they haven’t dug to the bottom of it to this day. The Tar Pit is like a large pond full of thick black tar, it looks like roofing tar. Out in the middle of and in various spots in this pond you can see it bubbling up to the surface. It’s bubbling out of the ground and has been for several million years, so they say.
After we were finished looking at the Tar Pit and at the statues and gardens, we thought it was time to go to the Hollywood walk of fame and visit the small shops along the way.
Upon arrival and after finding a place to park, went made our way over to the “walk of fame”. We made our way down the walk of fame, which actually follows down both sides of the street for roughly about 5 miles. You could take the entire day walking and never see everything along the way. We saw shops for various Hollywood memorabilia, antique shops, t-shirt and clothing stores. It’s as if the “walk of fame” is one large tourist attraction, with people of all different races and walks of life window shopping and the like. We went down by the “Chinese Theater”, and this is where the actors and celebrities of yesteryear write their names in the concrete and place their handprints in it as well, along with other things like Roy Rogers’ horse, Trigger and its hoof prints or Lassie’s foot prints. People tend to congregate down in front of the theater as do the people who are trying to make money by giving out poses for actor portrayals of various characters. We met this one impersonator of Johnny Depp as “Captain Jack Sparrow”. You would expect to see several bad impersonators but this one was a very good rendition, he had the hand gestures and the voice down to a “T”. There was also an impersonator for Tom Cruise as “Maverick”, he had the right look and flight suit and even the right voice with his crooked smile just like Tom Cruise. It was really uncanny. You could tell he was just an impersonator but a very good one. They usually only ask for a “donation” of whatever you could afford.
We made our way down to the Hard Rock Café there on the Boulevard and ate a $15.oo hamburger. It seemed to be expensive for just a hamburger but the waitress told us that people in California tend to eat more like vegetarians so the restaurants use more natural foods or Kosher type foods and ingredients and it makes the food more expensive. I don’t know exactly how much of that was really true but it was a really good hamburger. I enjoyed the memorabilia and guitars and different things hanging around the restaurant that had been given by various rock stars and celebrities.
That topped out our trip to Hollywood and I really enjoyed getting away from work, I recommend it to anyone going out to Los Angeles or going out west to stop by Hollywood Boulevard or its also known as Beverly Hills Boulevard.