Grand US Tour 2010: Los Angeles Area

PauTravels in Hollywood

At the end of our first week in our grand US tour of 2010 where we visited the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, we decided to spend some time going around Los Angeles which is just about 30 minutes drive north.

Los Angeles Area

the Halliwell Manor from the TV series Charmed

Angel, Jen, Janine and myself took this road trip around the tourist destinations in Los Angeles.  We targeted on driving to Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica that day.  And our first stop is a destination not known by most people except for those who watched the TV series of Charmed which is about 3 sister witches.   Well the series was depicted to happen in San Francisco but their manor house is located in Los Angeles in 1329 Caroll Avenue.  It is near the Echo Park and the historic Filipinotown area.  I didn’t know there was even a historic Filipinotown before.

Anyways, we did this short stop and took some photos of it.  And since Angel and I were fans of the show, it was a great though we tried to take photos discreetly because people actually live in those houses.  We don’t want to disturb any of the residents.

Los Angeles Area

the iconic Hollywood Sign

Los Angeles Area

approaching the Hollywood Sign

Los Angeles Area

jump shot at the Griffith Observatory with the Hollywood Sign at the background

Los Angeles Area

Hollywood Sign and me

Next we drove to one of the most notable landmarks of Los Angeles, the Hollywood Sign.  Well we didn’t exactly go to the sign site itself as I don’t think there is a public path going there.  So, instead we drove near the sign where in the past I’ve been going.  We headed to near the Lake Hollywood Park in Canyon Lake Drive near Mullholland Highway on the same mountain as the Hollywood sign stands.  I discovered this view spot from my ex-colleagues in WeServ.  And like before heading up that hill we get to see the big sign and there was that part of the road where you’d almost think where at it’s foot.   One thing different on the viewpoint than my last visit was that there were more people now who found the spot and even a tour group was there that day.
Los Angeles Area

group shot with Los Angeles at the background

Los Angeles Area

Downtown Los Angeles at the distance

Los Angeles Area

The Griffith Observatory

Los Angeles Area

Griffith Observatory at our back

After a few minutes of photo opp with the Hollywood sign, we drove to another spot on the same mountain, the Griffith Observatory.   I haven’t been to this place before and so I wanted to have that opportunity to go up there.  So from  the Hollywood sign, we drove downhill again to Franklin Avenue and find our way up the observatory.   We didn’t bother going inside the actual observatory but simply walked around the area and see the view of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills area.  It had a great view of the city.

It was almost lunch time when we decided to head downhill straight to the famous Hollywood Blvd.  One hard thing to find in Hollywood Blvd is a parking space.  It was not easy to find a side street parking specially after seeing one traffic officer fining a car.   We drove around for quite some time to look for a place until we found the same parking building we used the last time I’ve been to the place in 2007.  It is at the corner of Hollywood Blvd and N Orange Drive which is next to Madame Tussauds

Los Angeles Area

Janine with Mickey statue in Hollywood Blvd

Los Angeles Area

Janine trying to match her hands with Emma Watson’s

Los Angeles Area

Foot and hand prints of stars in front Grauman’s Chinese Theatre

Los Angeles Area

Steven Spielberg’s star on the Walk of Fame

Los Angeles Area

Schwarzenegger’s hand and foot prints

We walked along the Walk of Fame on the boulevard and took some shots of the stars on the sidewalk.  We also stopped for a photo with a Mickey Mouse figure.  Since we were hungry by that time we looked for a place to eat and we found a McDonald’s restaurant across the Wax Museum
Los Angeles Area

at the Kodak Theatre

Los Angeles Area

The Road to Hollywood

Los Angeles Area

a scene shot for the Muppets Movie

After lunch, I led everyone into the Kodak Theatre area for some photos and in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.  During that day, aside from the common pack of tourists taking photos of the names with signature and foot and hand prints of stars, there was something filming on the spot as well.  The film crew do not allow tourists to take photos but I was able to snap some shots.   They were filming the Muppets Movie.  Back then I thought it was for a TV show but now I realized it was for the movie.   The scene showed two cabs on collision with one of the old muppets showing in the middle.
Los Angeles Area

Rodeo Drive street sign

Los Angeles Area

family picture in Rodeo Drive

Los Angeles Area

Bijan Pakzad’s car

Next we drove further west to Beverly Hills to check out Rodeo Drive.  I parked our car in one of the car parks along Santa Monica Blvd and we simply walked through Rodeo Drive famous for its posh and luxury shops.   Well aside from the fashionable shops there, one thing caught our eyes that is parked along the road.  It is this yellow top-down Rolls Royce car with plate number BP111.  It is parked in front of the exclusive boutique of Bijan Designers for Men owned by Bijan Pakzad who owns the car as well.  We then proceeded on walking around this shopping area taking some photos.

Los Angeles Area

Beverly Hills

Los Angeles Area

the dusk is coming over Beverly Hills

Just before we leave the area, we crossed the Santa Monica Boulevard to also take some photos of the big signage of Beverly Hills.  Too bad the sun started to set by that time so we decided to go ahead home.  We were all tired from all our walking and the long day that we opted not to head to Santa Monica Pier anymore and just planned it for another day. 

Oh while we were around Los Angeles, we also took our opportunity to visit California’s main theme parks specially Disneyland, California Adventure, Universal Studios, and Knott’s Berry Farm.  We also visited the nearby Long Beach Aquarium.

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