A Travellerspoint blog

21 June, Day 9 back in US - Los Angeles

On the Hop on Hop off bus around Hollywood and Beverley Hills

We are clearly in count down mode now.

Here is a photo of Ilca who has the apartment we are renting in LA with her best friend, Curtis. Curtis met us last Sunday to let us in to the apartment and give us the run down on the local area. Both are actors. Ilca is from Cape Verde and speaks five languages.
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Cape Verde, officially the Republic of Cape Verde, is an island country, spanning an archipelago of 10 islands located in the central Atlantic Ocean, 570 kilometres (350 miles) off the coast of Western Africa. The islands, covering a combined area of slightly over 4,000 square kilometres (1,500 sq mi), are of volcanic origin and while three of them (Sal, Boa Vista and Maio) are fairly flat, sandy and dry, the remaining ones are generally rockier and have more vegetation.

Today we headed off on the red route of the Hop On Hop Off bus again.
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We were going to the Petersen Automotive Museum. It is located on Wilshire Boulevard along Museum Row in the Miracle Mile neighbourhood of Los Angeles. It is one of the world's largest automotive museums, a non profit museum specialising in automobile history. Not the entire collection is displayed at the one time. There is only about 150 vehicles on display with the other half in storage.
Petersen Museum

Petersen Museum

There are vehicles previously owned by "stars" eg Fred Astaire. There is also the BMW driven by Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible IV. Other vehicles from Batman and a couple of the Bond movies are also on display.
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Next stop was Pink's hot dogs. Pink's was founded by Paul and Betty Pink in 1939 as a pushcart near the corner of La Brea and Melrose. The Great Depression was still having an impact on the country, and money was scarce. People could purchase a chili dog made with Betty's own chili recipe accompanied by mustard and onions on a steamed bun for 10 cents each. As business grew, thanks to Betty's chili and the custom-made Hoffy-brand hot dogs with their natural casings, so did Pink's. The family built the current building in 1946 at 709 North La Brea.

There is usually a long line of customers in front despite the lack of parking in the area. The often slow-moving line is viewed by some as part of the attraction at Pink's, especially on Friday and Saturday nights when the stand becomes packed with club and concert goers.
Pink's has its own parking-lot attendant, even though parking is free. According to the menu, Pink's original signature chili dog in stretched, 10"/25 cm form remains the stand's top seller.

We stood in line the best part of an hour. Didn't see anyone notable. Well maybe a bronze statue of John Wayne and his horse could count.

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This afternoon we headed back to the apartment for me to pack up and David to go to the J Paul Getty Museum. The Getty Museum houses European paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and European and American photographs.

The Getty Center, in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, is a campus for the J. Paul Getty Trust founded by oilman J. Paul Getty. The $1.3 billion center, which opened on December 16, 1997, is also well known for its architecture, gardens, and views overlooking Los Angeles. The center sits atop a hill connected to a visitors' parking garage at the bottom of the hill by a three-car, cable-pulled tram. The center draws 1.3 million visitors annually.

It is one of two locations of the J. Paul Getty Museum. This branch of the museum specializes in "pre-20th-century European paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts; and 19th- and 20th-century American and European photographs". Among the works on display is the painting Irises by Vincent van Gogh. Besides the museum, the center's buildings house the Getty Research Institute (GRI), the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, and the administrative offices of the J. Paul Getty Trust, which owns and operates the center. The center also has outdoor sculptures displayed on terraces and in gardens. Designed by architect Richard Meier, the campus includes a central garden designed by artist Robert Irwin. GRI's separate building contains a research library with over 900,000 volumes and two million photographs of art and architecture. The center's design included special provisions to address concerns regarding earthquakes and fires.
Getty Center designed by Richard Meier view from Highway 403 1

Getty Center designed by Richard Meier view from Highway 403 1

Getty Center designed by Richard Meier

Getty Center designed by Richard Meier

Getty Centre  museum courtyard

Getty Centre museum courtyard

Getty Centre  view to  east 2

Getty Centre view to east 2

Panorama of View from Getty Center over LA 1

Panorama of View from Getty Center over LA 1

Panorama of View from Getty Center over LA 4

Panorama of View from Getty Center over LA 4

Panorama of View from Getty Center over LA 6

Panorama of View from Getty Center over LA 6

View from Getty Center over LA 3

View from Getty Center over LA 3

Getty Centre W pavilion  1

Getty Centre W pavilion 1

Getty Centre Vincent Van Gogh IRISES previously owned by Alan Bond

Getty Centre Vincent Van Gogh IRISES previously owned by Alan Bond

Getty Centre Vincent Van Gogh IRISES previously owned by Alan Bond 1

Getty Centre Vincent Van Gogh IRISES previously owned by Alan Bond 1

Central Garden designed by Robert Irwin 3

Central Garden designed by Robert Irwin 3

3 car tram takes visitors up and down Getty Center 1

3 car tram takes visitors up and down Getty Center 1

Fran and Ray Stark Sculpture Garden 1

Fran and Ray Stark Sculpture Garden 1

Today is our last full day in the US. We left home on 12 April and will return on Monday morning, 24 June after we lose a day by flying through the night. We'd love to thank all those people who have willingly or maybe not so willingly posed for photos so that the blog has some interesting photos and snippets of information. David has enjoyed writing and taking the photos, and checking every morning to see how many viewers he has. There is no doubt, if you give David a job, he does it with lots of energy and due diligence. We hope you have enjoyed reading about our travels and maybe for some, it will spark an interest in travel across the world or if not, maybe it has been a lesson in American history.

Posted by Kangatraveller 21:41 Comments (1)

20 June Day 8 back in US- Los Angeles

On the buses-Hop On Hop Off Buses around Hollywood and down to Santa Monica and Venice Beaches

We had a later start after all the walking we did yesterday on our visit to Disneyland. Today is a Hop On Hop Off Buses day. We are doing the same tomorrow and on our last day in the US on Saturday. We fly out at midnight on Saturday night and then miss out on a Sunday altogether as we arrive on Monday morning. We caught our bus near the Dolby Theatre -Home of the Academy Awards- for at least the next twenty years.

Dolby Theatre - home of Academy Awards

Dolby Theatre - home of Academy Awards

Note the stars on the sidewalks. The only star who does not have a star on the sidewalk is Muhammad Ali ( pardon the double negative) as he didn't want nobody walking on his face. His star is in the Dolby Theatre on the wall.
Muhammad Ali's star is on the wall in the Dolby Theatre

Muhammad Ali's star is on the wall in the Dolby Theatre


Our first bus took us along Sunset Boulevard and on to Beverly Hills. Beverly Hills is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States, surrounded by the City of Los Angeles. It is home to the shopping district Rodeo Drive.
Views along Sunset Drive

Views along Sunset Drive

Views along Sunset Drive

Views along Sunset Drive

House of Blues built by John Belushi

House of Blues built by John Belushi


Beverly Hills Police Station

Beverly Hills Police Station

Beverley Hills - each street has different types of trees

Beverley Hills - each street has different types of trees


Beverly Hills-streets have different types of trees from each other and thre are lane ways behind houses for garbage trucks and service vehicles to access.

Beverly Hills-streets have different types of trees from each other and thre are lane ways behind houses for garbage trucks and service vehicles to access.

On the way to Santa Monica we passed through Century City. Once a backlot of 20th Century Fox, which still has its headquarters just to the southwest, the Fox studio commissioned a master-plan development from Welton Becket Associates, which was unveiled at a major press event on the "western" backlot in 1957. In 1961, after Fox suffered a string of expensive flops, culminating with the financial strain put on the studio by the very expensive production of Cleopatra, the film studio sold about 180 acres (0.73 km2) to developer William Zeckendorf and Aluminum Co. of America, also known as Alcoa. The new owners conceived Century City as "a city within a city." In 1963, the first building, Century City Gateway West, was complete, followed the next year by Minoru Yamasaki's Century Plaza Hotel.
Century City - formerly back lot of 20th Century Fox - twin triangular buildings same designer as Twin Towers Trade Center, NY

Century City - formerly back lot of 20th Century Fox - twin triangular buildings same designer as Twin Towers Trade Center, NY


Century City

Century City


We changed buses and took the route down to the Santa Monica Pier. We went to a very nice Mexican Restaurant for lunch. Colleen had the platter and I had Steak Picador. It was far too big for both of us. We never learn to just order one dish and share it.
Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

We took a different bus route after lunch and went down past Venice Beach to Marina Del Ray and Fisherman's Village. By this time it was mid afternoon so we retraced our steps back on different routes.
Venice

Venice


Marina del Ray

Marina del Ray


Marina del Ray

Marina del Ray

We travelled back through Beverly Hills and right along Rodeo Drive, the shopping district of Beverly Hills.
Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive - hotel in background scene of Pretty Woman

Rodeo Drive - hotel in background scene of Pretty Woman


Bijans - customers only by appointment -average spend per customer on clothing is $100k

Bijans - customers only by appointment -average spend per customer on clothing is $100k

Posted by Kangatraveller 19:25 Comments (0)

19 June Day 7 back in US -LA DISNEYLAND

A day at Disneyland Anaheim -established 1955

We walked up to Hollywood Boulevard to catch a Starline bus to Anaheim, Disneyworld. Today's temperatures hovered in the high 20's. What do we expect -summer is here, the schools are on Summer Vacation, the days are long as are the queues for the rides and attractions. Disneyland is one of those places we need to visit once.

Disneyland Park, originally Disneyland, is the first of two theme parks built at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, opened on July 17, 1955. It is the only theme park designed and built under the direct supervision of Walt Disney. It was originally the only attraction on the property, though it was slightly renamed to distinguish it from the expanding complex in the 1990s.

Walt Disney came up with the concept of Disneyland after visiting various amusement parks with his daughters in the 1930s and 1940s. He initially envisioned building a tourist attraction adjacent to his studios in Burbank to entertain fans who wished to visit; however, he soon realized that the proposed site was too small. After hiring a consultant to help determine an appropriate site for his project, Walt bought a 160-acre (65 ha) site near Anaheim in 1953. Construction began in 1954 and the park was unveiled during a special televised press event on the ABC Television Network on July 17, 1955.
Since its opening, Disneyland has undergone a number of expansions and renovations, including the addition of New Orleans Square in 1966, Bear Country (now Critter Country) in 1972, and Mickey's Toontown in 1993. Disney California Adventure Park was built on the site of Disneyland's original parking lot and opened in 2001.

Disneyland has a larger cumulative attendance than any other theme park in the world, with over 650 million guests since it opened. In 2011, the park hosted approximately 16.14 million guests, making it the second most visited park in the world that calendar year.

Here are some pictures of some of Disneyworld that we experienced today.
Disneyland

Disneyland

Disneyland 1

Disneyland 1

Disneyland 2

Disneyland 2

Disneyland  4

Disneyland 4

Disneyland   Fantasyland 4 the Castle

Disneyland Fantasyland 4 the Castle

There plenty of options for getting around from very odd vehicles to trains and a monorail.
Disneyland   train

Disneyland train


Trams transfer 150 people each to and from carparks

Trams transfer 150 people each to and from carparks

Frontierland was interesting. There is a large sailing ship and a paddle steamer that travels around the rivers of America.
Disneyland Frontierland 2

Disneyland Frontierland 2


Disneyland Frontierland 5

Disneyland Frontierland 5

The centre of the park has a statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse in front of the original Castle built in 1955.
Disneyland  Walt Disney

Disneyland Walt Disney

On Main Street there is a theatre with The Disneyland Story Great Moments with Mr Lincoln. Artists from Disney have recreated Lincoln using an original death mask and an actor who studied mannerisms and speech.
Disneyland Great Moments with Mr Lincoln 7

Disneyland Great Moments with Mr Lincoln 7

Disneyland Great Moments with Mr Lincoln 10

Disneyland Great Moments with Mr Lincoln 10

Every hour in the afternoon they have the Disneyland Parade.
Disneyland  Parade

Disneyland Parade

Disneyland  Parade 5

Disneyland Parade 5

Disneyland  Parade 12

Disneyland Parade 12

There was an interesting exhibit in Tommorowland called Innoventions where we saw a robot developed by Honda over twenty years called Asimov. it talks, walks, runs, responds to speech and quite amazingly can walk up and down stairs.
Disneyland  Tomorrowland Asimo

Disneyland Tomorrowland Asimo

Disneyland  Tomorrowland Asimo

Disneyland Tomorrowland Asimo

Disneyland  Tomorrowland Asimo

Disneyland Tomorrowland Asimo

Posted by Kangatraveller 22:28 Comments (0)

18 June Day 6 - LA Universal Studios

A day at Universal Studios - studio tour and lots of fun

This morning we had a slow start. Our breakfast was last night's dinner from the restaurant. The meals are so large we take home half in a box. Colleen had Chicken Parmiagana and grilled vegetables and I had a very large fettucine pasta with shrimp, chicken and proscuitto, very spicy. it was still good for breakfast. the restaurant around the corner serves Brazilian cheese breads with olive oil and balsamic along with a dinner sald before you get to eat the entree. at home we have an entree, main and dessert. Over here they have an appetizer, an entree (a main) and dessert. it is very hard to get to a dessert given the size of the portions. A pint of Blue Moon (draught beer) costs $4.75.

There is a supermarket a short walk away called Ralphs which sells 12 packs of Coronas for $10.99 along with other brands of beer and wines such as NZ Brancott and Oyster Bay Sav Blanc around $10 or $11. Woolworths' biggest seller is bananas but here they sell for about $1.70 a kilo. food is so much cheaper than at home.

Anyway, back to today, we walked to hollywood Boulevard and took a bus to Universal Studios. We took the Studio Tour. We saw many of the sets for current and past smovies. Many of the sets are used over and over again. For example, the Court house in to Kill a Mocking bird was also used in Back to the Future. this tour also rides through the world's largest 3-D experience on King Kong 360 3 D created by Peter Jackson. We went through some sets which gave us some incredible experiences. Many sets are just the back and sides of buildings.

Colleen walking the red carpet

Colleen walking the red carpet

Statue inside the entry to Universal Studios

Statue inside the entry to Universal Studios

Line up to Studio tour

Line up to Studio tour

Avenue of movies

Avenue of movies

Studio 25 where CSI is filmed

Studio 25 where CSI is filmed

View over LA from Universal Studios

View over LA from Universal Studios

City Hall building

City Hall building

Back to the Future vehicles

Back to the Future vehicles

Special effects water rushing down the scene

Special effects water rushing down the scene

Subway station used for filming

Subway station used for filming

Same subway station after special effects

Same subway station after special effects


Subway station scene

Subway station scene

We went to the Special Effects Stage which was really interesting and very well presented.
Sound stage and special effects

Sound stage and special effects


The Blues Brothers

The Blues Brothers

David trying out the bike

David trying out the bike

Here are a few pictures from Universal Studios.
Vehicles from Jurassic Park

Vehicles from Jurassic Park

Wisteria Lane

Wisteria Lane

Later in the afternoon, we went on the Transformers Ride. I am really sorry I didn't take photos. most of the time we held on for dear life as the vehicle we were in accelerated and decelerated rapidly in facing these 3D transformers that jump out, fight and thrash around and fire weapons at you. It is one of the best rides we have ever been on. here is a picture of the front of the building.
Transformers Ride

Transformers Ride

Posted by Kangatraveller 19:00 Comments (0)

June 17 Day 5 back in US - Hollywood

our unit is a short walk from Hollywood Boulevard

This morning we had a sleep in and after breakfast we walked the short distance to Hollywood Boulevard. We started on the corner of hollywood Boulevard and La Brea Avenue approx 300 metres from our unit. This is the start of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Here are some photos
Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood sign from  Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood sign from Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood Museum

Hollywood Museum

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We saw many stars we have admired over the years, including this one revealing his identity.
Clayton Moore - The Lone Ranger

Clayton Moore - The Lone Ranger

The original selection committees chose to recognize some entertainers' contributions in multiple categories with multiple stars. Gene Autry is the only honoree with stars in all five categories. Bob Hope, Mickey Rooney, Roy Rogers, and Tony Martin each have stars in four categories – Rooney has three of his own and a fourth with his wife, Jan, while Rogers also has three of his own, and a fourth with his band, The Sons of the Pioneers. Thirty-three people, including Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dinah Shore, Gale Storm, Danny Kaye, and Jack Benny, have stars in three categories.

Gene Autry - only starr awarded a star in all 5 categories

Gene Autry - only starr awarded a star in all 5 categories


Gene Autry - only star awarded a star in all 5 categories

Gene Autry - only star awarded a star in all 5 categories


David  near Celine Dion star on Hollywood Boulevard

David near Celine Dion star on Hollywood Boulevard

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We walked quite a few blocks and did not see all the stars. We stopped at Graumann's Chinese Theatre to see the feet and handprints of stars set in concrete in the entrance.
Graumann's Chinese Theatre

Graumann's Chinese Theatre

Chinese Heaven Dogs from Ming Dynasty

Chinese Heaven Dogs from Ming Dynasty


Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe - Gentlemen prefer Blondes

Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe - Gentlemen prefer Blondes

We visited Madame tussaud's Waxworks Hollywood and met up with a few of the people we have admired over the years. It is sometimes a surprise to see the actual height and size of some of our screen idols.

Conan O'Brian and David

Conan O'Brian and David

Colleen and John Travolta

Colleen and John Travolta

Daniel Craig and Colleen

Daniel Craig and Colleen

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

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Jack Nicholson and David

Jack Nicholson and David


Howard Hughes and David

Howard Hughes and David

Right beside Graumann's Chinese Theatre is the Highland Hollywood Center, the venue for the Oscars. The red carpet entrance is in the front of the center which has shops each side. The shop fronts are closed off for the Oscars. The Roosevelt Hotel nearby is a popular hotel for stars on the night of the Oscars.
Highland Hollywood Center - Oscars Awards red carpet entrance

Highland Hollywood Center - Oscars Awards red carpet entrance

Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood Boulevard

Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood Boulevard

We have arranged to go to Disneyland on wednesday and for Hop On hop Off buses for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We are plannng on visiting universal Studios tomorrow and perhaps the J Paul Getty musem on Friday night as it stays open till 10.00pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

Posted by Kangatraveller 20:03 Comments (0)

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