Travel Tales: Los Angeles 2006, Part Three

Our last full day in Los Angeles (July 29, 2006) began when we headed on a complete tour of the Los Angeles area. We started off our day with a laugh, as we realized that Jordan and his friend Ian were wearing virtually matching outfits by accident – yellow shirts and greenish shorts. So we piled into the car and went to the Chinese Theater, and to see the Walk of Fame. We parked the car in a very sketchy parking lot and headed out, determined not to purchase any maps to stars homes – we didn’t need to see houses behind fences, did we? (Well, turns out we did, but that’s for later…)

We spent the morning at the Kodak Theater (where the Oscars are held) and then at the Chinese theater, trying out our hands in various celebrities. I discovered that my hands fit pretty well into the likes of Mary Pickford and Vivian Leigh, but were a little too wide to fit in Marilyn Monroe’s handprints.

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At the Chinese theater, Jordan purchased the map to the stars homes, and we still insisted that we would NOT – I repeat, WOULD NOT – use it to drive around aimlessly looking for random houses. (And again, that’s a story for later…)

From the Chinese Theater, we walked a little bit on the Walk of Fame, where we found Chuck Norris’ star. We also found Michael Bolton, Patrick Swayze and David Hasselhoff – all people who highly amuse us for some reason or another.

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Then it was off to the Santa Monica area, where we had lunch and walked through the shopping areas. Believe it or not, this was also our first glimpse of the beach as we walked along the Santa Monica pier. The day was a little cloudy but it was still nice to see.

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After this, we decided to check out Rodeo Drive – and not just by car. We drove in and parked in a lot that cost nothing for less than an hour of parking time (one of my favorite things about LA was the cheap parking all over the place – which was nice since the street parking sucked!). We walked along Rodeo Drive for a while, just checking stores full of things we could never afford. Of course, we couldn’t help ourselves from quoting D2: The Mighty Ducks over and over again, pronouncing it Rodeo like the cattle show just like Ty does. None of us really wanted to mimic Goldberg’s food ordering though.

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Then it was off to a walk along the Clueless steps, and THEN we checked the map and headed to the stars homes. We especially liked driving around the Bel-Air area, where we got to see Nicholas Cage’s house (behind a fence), Leonard Nimoy’s house (behind a fence), Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillipe’s house (before the break-up and again behind a fence – are you seeing the trend here?).

Our favorite house by far was the one belonging to 90210 creator Aaron Spelling. It seemed to be at least three blocks long (as Jordan joked, “It took us like, 7 minutes to drive by it”) and we were especially entertained by the tiny little property that was smashed next to it!

Then it was back to Jordan’s place, where Kara, Emily and I decided we didn’t really want dinner but could really go for some ice cream. So we headed back out to find a Gelato place near Rodeo Drive that Kara had noticed when we were there. However, it seemed to disappear in our absence and we couldn’t find it again! A short drive found a Baskin Robbins though, and we parked in the same lot as before because Kara claimed it was free. I said it wasn’t because the sign said that after 6:00 p.m. you had to pay $2.00 to park there – but still a fair price, we all thought. However, when we got out of the car, Kara found $2.00 on the ground! “See, I told you it was free!” she said, and we in fact used those dollars to pay for the parking when we left.

On our way back, we stopped at the cookie store (the name escapes me) and decided to purchase a dozen cookies for Jordan and his roomates to thank them for their hospitality, and we also picked up a fantastic card at a Duane Reade by the Baskin Robbins. And if memory serves, we stopped at the supermarket to replace all the bread and peanut butter and water we kept consuming!

What Kara drew on the bag of cookies.

What Kara drew on the bag of cookies.

That night, Jordan contributed a fabulous White Castle frozen cheeseburger wrapper for our trip scrapbook and everyone was entertained by Jordan’s roomate Jim singing along to “Sugar We’re Going Down” (or whatever that song’s called – this is what Kara calls it in the scrapbook) and doing a fantastic dance.

Sadly that was our last night in Los Angeles. The next day we had to leave pretty early to return the car, and we wanted to stop for cookies. Kara purchased us one drozen cookies for the airport and plane ride home, and then we went to gas up the car, where I spilled gas on my foot (it was SO gross!). We got to the airport and made a few final purchases before getting on the plane and headed home.

Note: The raisins we got on the plane were the most disgusting things any of us had ever had. I think they went beyond raisin – they were that dried up!

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