Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Our Moment in Hollywood

On our third day in southern California, we ventured into Hollywood.

I had heard that it can be tricky to get a good picture of the Hollywood sign, but that they Hollywood & Highland shopping center bridge between the 3rd and 4th floors was a winner. You be the judge of that.

I wasn't so impressed - it was still way too far away. My (working) zoom lens could still only capture this much of the sign.

And here's what my broken lens captured... great Hollywood sign, right?

Some of my washed out photos would look better in the editing process if I made them black and white. Nope, no Hollywood sign.

Graumann's Chinese Theatre is part of the Hollywood & Highland center.

Its where all the stars through the years have put their hands in cement.

Its also where a lot of freaky weirdos walk around in costume and pose for pictures if you tip them.

Which blue Elmo suckered me into with Ryan.

I mean really, Ryan... with Spiderman, Darth Vader, Captain America, Hulk, IronMan, two Captain Jacks, Marilyn Monroe, Batman, Poison Ivy, Transformers, Catwoman, Samuel L. Jackson, Stormtroopers... you pick blue Elmo? What the heck is blue Elmo, anyway?

We also looked around at the Boulevard of Stars. You can't see it here (thanks, broken camera), but this was Ryan with Mickey Mouse's star. He was pretty excited.

Alex, on the other hand had seen a picture in a window of the Harry Potter stars putting their hands in cement. And since he knew only one place where the cemented handprints was, we went back to the Chinese Theatre.

And sure enough, we found it! Smart thinking, son of mine!

While we were Potter-hunting, Ryan found this amazing staircase. A working piano, like in the movie 'Big,' but on stairs. It was too cool!

We also visited La Brea Tar Pits. With a name like "La Brea Tar Pits," I wasn't sure what to expect. Even reading about it - tar pits, dinosaurs - didn't excited me too much. But it sounded like something the boys would like, so off we went.

Basically, the tar pits trapped a lot of dinosaurs many million years ago, and in the early 20th century, they discovered these amazingly preserved dinosaurs. Its one of the premier dinosaur grounds in the world, right in the middle of Los Angeles.

Next to the tar pits is the Page Museum, which houses a lot of dinosaur bones. It was a very cool building, which of course you can't see it all in my photo, but you can see the boys rolling down the grassy hills. They loved the grass here.

Some of the dinosaurs inside the museum:

And the boys finding out how hard it is to lift things out of tar. How sad for the dinosaurs.

The museum has recovered something like 400 of these extinct dire wolf skulls. Ryan was fascinated.

The Page Museum and the Tar Pits are located on some beautiful grounds. They are constantly excavating, although during the summer months only, so we didn't get to see that.  But we did see the Modern Art Museum next door, and which shared the grounds. I'm not usually a fan of modern art, so we didn't go inside, but these lamp posts outside were one of the coolest things I've ever seen.

Alas, we also got to experience the best (worst?) of  Los Angeles rush hour when we headed back to Grandpa's house. He's only about 30 miles away, but it took us over 2.5 HOURS to make that drive. I'm SO never moving to LA!!

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