Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Blakeslee Girls Trip 2014, Part 2

Our second full day in Hollywood started off with a late morning Hollywood Starline tour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills to see where the Stars live.

We switched the night before to a very nice hotel in downtown LA that was within walking distance to where we needed to meet for our tour to begin.

As we were walking on the Hollywood walk of fame, we saw what looked like a riot/protest going on.  People were yelling and shouting and there were cameras recording everything.  

We asked a nearby police officer (there were quite a few of them standing by) what was going on.  He told us that the commotion was a TV commercial being filmed.  Cool!

Our tour group met at the historic TCL Chinese theater.  We were a bit early for the tour, so we spent a few minutes walking around the Hollywood walk of fame and looking at the stars' names.

We quickly encountered this aggressive Spiderman, who insisted that Amanda pose with him.

He posed her for this next shot.

Cath and I couldn't escape without posing with him too.

It was all fun and games until he practically insisted that we give him money, as this is how he makes his living.  We hated to break it to him, but we weren't all that anxious to pose with him in the beginning.  He was actually kind of feisty with us and rude when we refused to give him money.  We got smart after that and did not pose with any more characters after that.  (Rookie mistake).

The Academy Awards statue did not demand money when I wanted to pose with him.  That was nice.

Our tour finally started and it was so much fun!  Our tour guide was very fun, with a good sense of humor, and very knowledgeable.  (Come to think of it, we had no idea where or what anything was, so she technically could have been lying to us about everything and we wouldn't have known the difference!)  She showed us where Stars like Katy Perry, Danny Devito and the Spelling family lived.   We asked where Ellen lived and she drove us by one of her houses and pointed out the high rise apartment complex that her mother lives in.  That was the closest we got to Ellen all week.  :)

Beverly Hills!  Being among all the stars' homes was really fun, but some of the houses looked so old and run down and were not what I was expecting a $10 million home to look like.

One of the really cool famous people houses!

It was a beautiful sunny day and it was super fun riding around in a topless van.  We all had headphones in that plugged into a central system in the van where we could hear our tour guide loud and clear as she spoke into a microphone.

We drove by the famous cupcake store "Sprinkles."

And we of course drove by Rodeo Drive.

We drove up and up and up Hollywood Hills and had a number of nice views of the Hollywood sign. It was a very pretty drive.

Our tour was lots of fun.  Included in our ticket purchase was a pass to go to one of LA's wax museums.  We hit that up after lunch.

Carrie Underwood and Carrie Andros- hard to tell who is who. :)  (I texted this picture to Ben and the kids and when he told them who I was with, they said, "Who is Carrie Underwear?")

Simon Cowell was as friendly in person as he is on TV.

We had a brief conference with President Obama. 

The Prince of Pop taught me how to moon walk.

I actually helped Tiger with a putt shot.

Kobe Bryant is jus as cocky in person as I thought he'd be.

But when he asked for a hug, I had to oblige.

Amanda tried her hand at skateboarding with Tony Hawk.

Mom sat down for tea with Audrey Hepburn.

We found out that life really IS like a box of chocolates...

Cath picked out my jail sign- bootylicious is my other name, how did she know?

The Italian Stallion didn't have anything on Amanda!

The wax museum was fun.  Without our deeply discounted price to get in, it would have been $30 a person!  That seemed a bit steep for a wax museum.

Our next stop was the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.  We were very excited for this stop and the potential it held, but it was not what we were expecting.  You put on a headset and just listen to stories and walk around.  There wasn't many pictures and the information was not very interesting.  We have all been to the Holocaust museum in Washington D.C. and it was no comparison to this one.  We didn't feel like the information was presented here in a very organized or informative/interesting way.

For a pick me up, we found a nearby Target and hit it up.  Yes, we came all the way to Los Angeles to go to Target.  Don't judge us. 

After dinner, we went back to Sprinkles cupcakes.  Amanda is a huge cupcake fan and has always wanted to try Sprinkles.  We had been on the lookout all week for a good cupcake shop.  Yum!

The next day, Sunday, we got up and found the closest nearby LDS church.  When we got there, we were informed that church started later that day.  We found another one nearby, as we didn't want to wait around for the other one to start.

The second one we found was in a beautiful tabernacle shaped building- it practically looked like a temple.

The inside looked nothing like the typical LDS church.  The chapel was beautiful.  The ceilings must have been 100 feet tall.  There was stained glass and beautiful wood working all around.  I've never taken pictures inside a chapel but couldn't resist here.  As the meeting started, we soon discovered that we were in a Spanish ward/branch.  The entire meeting was in Spanish.  We of course couldn't understand a word that was being said, but it was actually very beautiful and the thought came to me, while listening, that the church is true in any country, spoken in any language, by anyone.  I may have not understood the words, but I could feel the spirit and knew that everyone else in that chapel could understand what was being said and the words being spoken were true and powerful, even in Spanish.

Such a pretty building!

Back to our hotel to change into our matching Price is Right Shirts!  My mom had them made for us all before the trip and she and Amanda had secured us tickets to be on the Price is Right.  We were all very excited for this.  My mom has been a life long fan of the show, since it first aired in the early 1970's.  That is one of my fondest and most vivid memories growing up is of my mom exercising daily to recorded episodes of the Price is Right.  When I stayed home sick from school, I loved laying on the couch and watching Price is Right with her while she exercised.  She knows every game, inside and out, and knows the prices to all of the prizes.  I was excited to go and was very excited for her to finally be able to see a taping of it.

We passed this sign on the way to the show.  California, you must be proud!

We hit big disappointment- after struggling to find a place to park and literally sprinting to make it to the show on time, we showed up to find out that the taping for that day had been canceled.  We had been given no notice and there was nothing they could do.  We were all super, super bummed.  Really bummed.  It would have been so much fun, and we were sure that one of us was going to be called on stage and would win big prizes!  Drew Carey- we are not happy with you!

With our plans for the day canceled (that would have taken up the rest of our day), we suddenly had the whole day open and nothing to do.  We kept passing by signs for open houses and decided we would love to tour some hollywood homes.

We drove around and found one by address, but had the hardest time finding parking in downtown Hollywood (shocking).  The "house" was a 900 sq foot apartment for well over $300,000 and it was not in great shape with no upgrades.  Yikes!  Our plan was to keep touring open houses, but we quickly discovered that finding open and free parking was nearly impossible, and the houses were all in crowded parts of town where maneuvering a mini van on the tiniest streets you've ever seen was hard and scary, especially when you have no idea where you are going.  It was quite the adventure and we gave up after awhile, deeming it not worth it.

We did get pretty close to the Hollywood sign, though.

We had driven by two different Scientology buildings that day, so we decided to go in and tour the one called "Scientology Celebrity Centre."  It was big and looked interesting.  We had never heard anything about Scientology except through famous people like Tom Cruise and Leah Remini. 

Oh my, was that the most boring religious tour in the history of the world.  Based on that tour alone, I cannot understand how anyone is converted to this "religion."  I put that word in quotes because I don't think they even mentioned the word God once, anywhere.  It's more of a way of life, a way of thinking, then a spiritual thing at all.  Our tour consisted of walking around and stopping every minute to watch a video on the wall, while standing and having people walk past us constantly.  It was bad news.  And we didn't even get to see very much of the building which looked beautiful and interesting.  Just one boring video after another.

Our last station was one where you put your hands on some sensors and think about a person or thing.  The tour guide could tell by the meters on the dial if you were thinking good/positive thoughts or negative thoughts about this person/thing and that in Scientology, they can do some kind of therapy to help rid you of those thoughts.  Very, very strange.  We hated to disappoint our guide (who seemed to care less if we had a positive visit) that we would not be joining Scientology that day.  Maybe if Tom Cruise had walked by.... that definitely would have spiced up the visit, I'll tell you what!

Our day ended with some more sightseeing around LA and dinner.

The next day, Monday October 20 was the day we all flew home.  We checked out of our motel, drove back to Long Beach where we did more shopping, found another cupcake shop, and ate lunch, then caught our flights home that afternoon.

It was such a great 5 days with 3 of my most favorite people.  The trip flew by and we made so many new and fun memories.  Thanks Blakeslee Girls- it was a trip to remember and I'm so glad I could spend it with all of you!