The morning of day 2 Nicole and I made reservations for a day tour of Los Angeles. We wanted to see as much as possible while we were there since this was our first visit to LA. ( I was there in 1976 but don't remember much - i was 5! )
So we booked a tour with Starline tours and off we went!
by noon we were standing in front of the Chinese Theatre just admiring all those that were there before us. Tons of great names, and i was lucky enough to step on George Clooney's footsteps.. ( insert drool icon here! ) Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, and so many more.. it's really a great place - and also the Hollywood walk of fame .. so cool. It's like miles long with tons of stars and famous names.
We then hopped on a bus with this poor old guy .. he must have been in his late 70's giving us a tour of LA. he was really smart and knew so much about life in LA but man so many times he'd forget what he was talking about and didn't finish his sentence.. regarless we had a good time and learned a lot.
Here is an overview of the different sights :
Chinese Theater: Famous for its nearly 200 cement handprints and footprints of movie stars in its forecourt, the spectacular theatre itself is the number one movie premiere house in the world.
The Dolby Theatre: It is the crown jewel of Hollywood & Highland, a magnificent retail, dining and entertainment complex. The 3,400 seat theatre opened in November 2001 is the first permanent home of the Academy Awards.
The Walk of Fame: The most visited attraction in Hollywood with around 2,400 pink terrazzo stars inlaid with the names of famous TV, Movie, Recording, Live Theatre and Radio Stars, spanning several blocks on Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood Sign: Hollywood's ultimate icon. It was built in 1923 and is considered a national monument.
Hollywood Bowl: It is the world famous summer home of the LA Philharmonic Orchestra. The outdoor 18,000 seat natural amphitheatre has hosted many of the world's most famous musicians, including The Beatles, Cher and Ella Fitzgerald.
Farmer's Market/Grove: The original "Farmer's Market", founded in 1934 is the largest open air market in Los Angeles, with more than 140 shops, restaurants, markets and cafes. The newer Grove has over 60 fashion stores, set in an outdoor, Disneyland style center connected with the 'Farmers Market' by a double-deck, open-top trolley car. -- WE HAD LUNCH HERE!
Miracle Mile: Stretching over several blocks on Wilshire Blvd, it is the first commercial district in the US developed around the automobile. It is also the current home to many Los Angeles museums.
La Brea Tar Pits: This is one of the world's most famous fossil localities, recognized for having the largest and most diverse assemblage of extinct Ice Age plants and animals in the world, all recovered from the asphalt deposits of the Tar Pits.
LA County Museum Art: LACMA is the largest encyclopedic art museum west of Chicago - with artwork covering the expanse of art history - from ancient to contemporary - across the globe.
Melrose Ave: Melrose Ave is a street which defines hip shopping in Los Angeles. Many of the styles on the TV show "Friends" came from the shops on Melrose Ave. The storefronts can often be works of pop art in themselves.
CBS Television: Built in 1952, this is where many of the nation's favorite television programs are taped, including "Dancing with the Stars", "American Idol" heats and the classic game show "The Price is Right".
Paramount Studios: Paramount Studios is the last major studio still located in Hollywood itself where movies and TV shows are still made to this day.
Sunset Strip: Sunset Strip is famous for its glittery nightlife with glamorous hotels, clubs and restaurants.
Olvera Street: This is part of the Pueblo which is considered the birthplace of Los Angeles. This area takes you back to the time this was a Mexican/Spanish settlement and is the location of Avila Adobe - the oldest surviving homes in LA dating back to 1818.
Chinatown: Chinatown was built in the 1930's as part of America's 1st modern Chinatown - actually owned and planned by the Chinese as a major tourist attraction.
Staples Center: Home to many sports teams, including the World-Champion Los Angeles Lakers, it has also hosted the Democratic National Convention and countless rock concerts.
LA Live/Nokia: LA Live, a 2 billion dollar entertainment complex that takes up 6 city blocks. Already the Nokia theatre has hosted the American Idol Finale and has become the permanent home of the Emmy Awards.
Walt Disney Hall: This spectacular concert hall, with its massive steel curves was designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry who is considered a modern day icon.
Our Lady Cathedral: The Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, built in 2002, was designed by world-renowned Spanish architect, Jose Rafael Moneo as a modern reinterpretation of the California Mission.
and we finished off the night at Disneyland!
On our way home we were sitting in the plane a bit disappointed that we didn't get to see any celebrities... about 5 minutes before take off -- Hugh Darcy and Claire Danes come inside to sit in business class and they had their new born baby with them... so precious! Hugh came in the economy class cabin a few times to change the baby and Claire stayed up front.. probably resting from her previous BIG NIGHT ... winning a GOLDEN GLOBE for HOMELAND! we were excited!!!