Hooray for Hollywood (aka "Is This Really what Hollywood Looks Like??") - Elias and Carrie's Excellent Summer Vacation Day 5

June 10th, 2012

I knew my sunburned scalp was going to blister. I just didn't know when (answer: this evening). So I spent the day with my hair parted on the other side. I just had to make that known as my hair was being a little weird today.

We must have still been on Chicago time, because we were both up earlier than we needed to be. Chris wasn't coming until around noon, so we had some time to kill. We knew we could take advantage of the morning by making a Starbucks run and looking around the Promenade we saw the day before. Shopping did happen during this time as Elias found J. Crew. He's right at that age/size where he can fit into certain kid clothes and certain adult clothes. At J. Crew, he can fit into both. So he found a pair of seersucker shorts and was happy as they were 20% off. We also stopped in this British store to see if there was anything we had to buy (answer, no). By this time, Chris was on the way.

We decided the night before that Sunday would be our Hollywood day. First stop, Pink's Hot Dogs. This is something Elias really wanted to do. Done. Again with the long line for food, but it also moved really quickly. There were all kinds of dogs to choose from, plus celebrity (inspired?? created??) dogs. Elias ended up with an Emeril dog (jalape├▒o, mustard and coleslaw). I had a Giada dog (roasted peppers, onions and mushrooms with cheese). Chris had a Philly Cheese Steak dog. Not bad. It isn't a place we could go to often, but we definitely ate heartily. Chris did get an order of ranch covered bacon fries. I couldn't go down that road, but Elias dug in pretty hard.

On the way to Pinks, Chris pointed out landmarks. We saw the Jim Henson Studios (formerly Charlie Chaplin Studios). Then once we were completely full, we did some heavy driving. We saw the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Chinese Theatre, the Kodak Theatre (where the Oscars are held). We saw Kat Von D's tattoo shop. We saw the Hollywood sign (more on that in a bit). We saw a bad looking Marilyn Monroe (complete with back tattoo). There was the Hollywood Tower Hotel (the basis for Tower of Terror). Just tons of things we never would have seen without Chris.

We stopped for something to drink (plus a macaron) at an area that Chris was dying to show us. It was a copy shop where Walt Disney had his first animation studio. There's just a little sign showing what this is, and no one else was around. It was very cool to see. And it seemed to connect our whole trip.

The next item on our list was the Griffith Observatory. This was where we knew to go to see the Hollywood sign. And that we did. It's also a place with an actual Observatory. Go figure. We didn't climb up to see the telescope (kind of couldn't find it, but also wasn't looking too hard), but we saw some of the exhibits. The building itself is beautiful. And it was such a wonderful day to be there.

We ended up in Malibu for Cuban food for our last meal. It was a lovely last meal on the patio. This is what I dig the most. It's that everything is so outdoors. We have such a short window of time in Chicago to spend outdoors. The weather goes from so cold to so hot very quickly, so to spend any time outside (especially eating), I appreciate it quite a bit. And as always, the trip needs to end with a cupcake. There was a Crumbs next door, which we do love. I would have liked to try a local cupcakerie, but it wasn't meant to be this time. Next time though...next time.

There was a little adventure in our room when we made it back to the hotel. First, we decided to go to the water to see everything and to put our feet in the sand. Unfortunately, the beach got really sketchy, really quick. We went outside for a few minutes and I watched a guy peeing and another guy talking about the state of his finances ("I'm tired of being broke. I'm tired of the white man keeping me down!!"). We took off pretty quickly after that. But once we got back to the room, we noticed it smelled like someone was smoking. Being the narcI am, I called the front desk to say someone was smoking in the area. (Look, I paid a lot of money to have a room that should never smell like smoke.)

Soon enough, a little guy came to our room. He said that the people next to us were smoking and they were asked to stop it. Our vents were connected, so the smell came into our bathroom and wafted into the bedroom. The guy said, "The hallway smells even worse.". They opened a few doors to get some cross winds going and after a while, we lost the smell. But we did hear people next door (cause now we were listening). They were complaining because "underwear was everywhere" and then they broke a glass. Classy folks.

We are on the way home tomorrow. It's good, but bad. I think we're both ready to go home. I'd like to not have to go back to work so early on Tuesday, but I don't think there's much I can do about that one. Unless I quit my job. And I like my job too much to do that.


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