28-Dec-2016 : So here we were cruising towards LA, first at great pace till Artesia , then the pace reduces till you reach snail’s pace from there till Commerce City as there is work going on here to expand I-5. But today was our day, so we were still moving like snail even as we passed Commerce City, then 101, then LA city, then entering the Hollywood section of the highway 🙂 As you are getting exasperated, you pass Alvarado st and you see the sign .. the famous sign !, yes you are there! We reached around 11:30 am and went straight to H&H parking.
After parking the car and yes parking is quite costly in Hollywood, we made our way to walk of fame. I still remember the first time we were here with G and Ar and sudden arrival of Spider man made Ar nervous. After that she stayed away from all characters that day. But next time around Ar was more forthcoming and she happily clicked pics with Miny mouse. This time around we had mainly come here for Ar as she had been talking about meeting Miny mouse since last few days, but when she meat her there she was not cozying up to her :), it didn’t help the matters that spider man dropped from nowhere 🙂
That’s when the idea of seeing a movie there came to me and we decided to let Ar settle down a bit and meanwhile decided to check at El Capitan theater about the running shows. There were couple of interesting movies running and G was interested in Moana and I wanted to see Star Wars: Rogue One which had just released. The Star wars show was at 12:30 pm just 25 mins away and the next one was quite late, so we decided to go for it. Now it was not very popular decision as we would be skipping the lunch, but we do regular lunch daily, we don’t come to Hollywood daily to watch the movie 😉 Now that’s my logic ..
This was one of the most unique movie watching experience of our life as not only we were seeing a movie in Hollywood, but as the theater belongs to Disney and the Start Wars movie is also produced by them, they had mad elaborate arrangements. Now before running ahead of the horse, let me describe the theater a bit. Its a old (Opened in 1926), Iconic and has great architecture which is mix of European and Indian influences. As you enter the lobby you are transported to a different era. Its painted vividly, with incarnate upholstery and and earthly oriental feel.
Now as part of special screening there were storm troopers to welcome us and to take pics with them in the lobby. Then we entered the theater itself, which again has high Indian influences in its design. One unique thing is that this theater is still one of the very few where you get reserved seats when you book the tickets. They still have Balcony and stalls and the old style of screen curtain etc, which transports you to good ol days! From the door, we were escorted to our seats by the helpful attendants. Then after the usual trailers and all which thankfully were very less than usual we were greeted by a host and he welcomed us, did some chit chat and then the movie began, so we thought, But suddenly from behind the screen the storm troopers came and they did a small live show and then the movie started. Truly impressive and memorable. We made do with popcorn and blueberries to pang the hunger !
The movie itself was good and we had a great time. Ar also seemed to have enjoyed the latter part of it. After the end, we went to basement gallery to checkout the exhibition of outfits worn by the stars in the movie. It was really a great experience. We were out of theater by 3:00 pm and Ar had another chance to take pic with Miny mouse which she did but rather grumpily. Then we pulled the car from the parking and headed towards our next destination Beverly Hills, where we were planning to have our home made lunch.
There are many tours which start at Hollywood to all these places like Beverly Hills to star homes etc, which we never thought of taking, but we always wanted to visit this place which is home to the famous Hollywood start. So we had planned to go visit couple of parks their one which has a lake and on the way just go through the area and see some homes etc.. But we were already quite late, so we decided to skip the lake and only visit the Beverly Hills gardens which has the famous Beverly Hills sign and is located in the center of the Beverly Hills.
The park is elongated small patches spread across blocks, one with a duck and Lilly pond at then center and many piece of arts located in its premise. We reached there in around 20- 25 mins and luckily found the parking spot at the very entrance. We were all quite hungry and first took care of that matter. G had brought in home made chapati wraps. Then we walked around a bit, saw the famous sign and decided to head out. Before leaving we rode through few of the streets of this famous place, which are wide and quite. Really liked this place.
It was almost 4:30 pm and we decided to head home. On the way back we took I-405, which I thought would be clear, but no luck, it was jam packed and we moved at snails pace for more than and hour, before it cleared after Artesea. We were back home by 6:30 pm after a usual but unique in a way, a place which we now know quite well 🙂
PS: When are we going next? And yes we didn’t spot any real stars this time either 😉