Let's take a moment to give praise to Jerry and Bev's favorite invention of the new millennium - the GPS. We drove around LA like pros due to the GPS. No more trying to figure the correct exit, the best highway, or where to turn. With a few exceptions, such as the time it tried to get us to turn through a fence in North Las Vegas, it has been an outstanding addition to the traveling experience.
We drove across LA to Hollywood. It should have taken about 30 minutes, but it took about an hour due to traffic. I will admit, I am not sure where LA begins and ends. This whole area is referred to as LA, but bits of it like Beverly Hills seem to be independent. The highways (called
freeways) are large and go everywhere which is a
good thing because people seem to be completely dependent on their cars.
We parked on Hollywood Blvd., where the stars on the sidewalk begin. That part of Hollywood is, to be nice, seedy. About every other shop was a downscale version of Victoria's Secret. A few homeless people seemed to be wandering around and all of the bathrooms were out of service. We had to pay a quarter to use a restroom, which tells you about the neighborhood. As we walked west it got better. Blair bought a pair of shoes, and Beverly, Molly and Brooke bought t-shirts. We decided to take a Beverly Hills celebrity tour to get the full Hollywood experience. We rode around for two hours with a European tour guide who pointed out the homes of Mel Gibson,
Julia Roberts, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Angelina Jolie, the Playboy Mansion and lots of others. People out here pay crazy amounts of money to have a home across the street from another celebrity. Some of them hardly live here, they just keep a home and a staff to attend to it. Apparently Stephen Spielberg has a house on
top of Hollywood Hills just for parties. The big stop of the day was at one of the homes of Michael Jackson. People were standing around it, there were posters, cards, stuffed animals, the usual memorial accoutrements. I wonder what happens to all of that stuff? Does it wind up on Ebay?
We also saw the shopping district. Beverly pointed out the Tiffany's store to me, giving a hint
that went unnoticed until Molly explained it. On the whole trip no celebrities were spotted, only lots of lawn care workers and cars that the tour guide promised belonged to the celebrities. When we were finished we walked back to the van and drove to the next stop, Santa Monica.
The trip to Santa Monica took about forty minutes. Traffic wasn't too bad, even though it was after 4:00 PM. Tonight's hotel is near the famous Santa Monica Pier. After unloading our stuff we walked over to the beach and the girls played in the Pacific Ocean for about an hour. It was a much nicer place to be than Hollywood. Total driving for the day - 56 miles.