Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hollywood tourists

Wow, here it is March and it doesn't even really seem like February happened, it went by so fast. Let me fill you in a little on what we were up to last month.

In the Avila house, we had sickness after sickness after sickness with a nice little vacation thrown in the middle. Everyone, literally, passed around whatever virus was in our area. We all thought we were finally past the bad stuff so we decided to go to Disneyland one more time before the kids' annual passes expired and we thought we'd throw in some additional Los Angeles sight seeing as well. We only had one issue with the youngest son's asthma flaring up, but other than that, it was a great long weekend as a family!

We finally were able to see some sights in Los Angeles that we hadn't visited before. Neither myself nor the kids had ever been to the walk of fame or Grauman's Chinese Theater and I knew that they would enjoy it, so we went and took a stroll up and down Hollywood Blvd. It was definitely a tourist trap, but something I think California residents should do at least once. We also saw several film studios while we were down in that area too. The kids were very excited to see the Nickelodeon building where they film iCarly and some of their other favorite shows. If it hadn't been a Sunday, we would have looked into a tour. Maybe another time.

We got some pretty cool photos as well... The kids love their Chuck Norris "facts/jokes." Like, Chuck Norris  once killed 20 men just by shouting "bang!" You know, those sorts of things. Hahaha. So they were  really happy to see his star.

They just thought it was cool to stand in the exact spot as the celebrities had once been.

We happened to be there on the day BEFORE Alec Baldwin was scheduled to get his star. Oh well...

I did find Marilyn Monroe's foot and hand prints in the cement in front of Grauman's theater and was completely shocked at how tiny they were. You always hear that she was a bigger girl but it is hard to believe when you see such tiny prints. I was cracking up at my foot in comparison to hers. I mean, I do have bigger feet, but  mine look completely ridiculous compared to hers. Seriously funny stuff. Here is proof:

Don't say I didn't warn you. ;-)

I had also never really been able to fully see the Hollywood sign and as we were walking, I looked up and low and behold, there it was! Not too impressive, if you ask me. It was kind of like, yep, there it is. Not sure what the draw of it is. Just another LA thing, I guess. Still glad to see it better. I tried to snap a photo and couldn't get a great one, but here is something at least.

Yes, it is the tiny white words on the mountain in the middle of the photo. More interesting to me, is if you will notice on the upper walkway, at the top of the photo, there is a film crew. Still weren't able to figure out what they were filming, but we were there the day of the Grammy's so we were fantasizing that they were filming some additional footage for that and we were just "lucky" enough to see it. Made us feel better anyway.

While we were in tourist mode, we thought we would try to locate the famous Pink's Hotdog stand. Heard about it a lot and have seen in profiled in plenty of Food Network shows so we thought we would give it a shot. We found it. We did. I promise. But my camera didn't cooperate and I was trying to drive so we didn't get a great shot. What we did discover is that the line is ridiculously long ALL THE TIME and if you have 4 hungry kids, you just smile and keep on driving to the nearest Burger King. Sorry Pink's. Maybe next time.

We also thought a good and educational thing would be to take the kids to La Brea tarpits and the Natural History Museum, so we headed out in that direction. I had no idea it was located on the USC campus. Did you know that? We spent a little bit of time driving by and ooohing and ahhhhing at the coolness that is an actual well respected college (hint hint kids...) We talked about what it would take to be able to attend such an awesome establishment. The kids were not very impressed. Shoot. It was worth a shot at least. ;-)

As it turns out, there are lots of really cool things surrounding the Natural History Museum that we hadn't counted on. In fact, we never even made it to the museum we were looking for. (Typical for us Avila's.) We did, however, spend our time at a cool place called California ScienCenter. Super interesting exhibits and the kids thought it was amazing. One of the best things about it was that it was FREE. Yep. Free. We just gave a donation of $4 because that is what we had handy. They had a walk through aquarium, and exhibit with crash test dummies, all kinds of really really cool things. My favorite was probably the science of fear exhibit. Talked about why we are afraid of things and the processes our bodies go through. They allow you to proceed with facing your fears in monitored ways. Like, for instance, if one of your fears were the fear of falling, they had this one display where they could secure you to a padded table, raise you up and then drop you down onto a big pillow like cushion. I guess that was to prove to yourself that you could fall and not be injured. Fascinating to watch the people go through it. Then they took video during the experience and you were able to view their faces on a screen outside the room. Pretty interesting, if you ask me.
I would definitely recommend checking it out if you are ever in the area. We will just have to schedule another trip to see the tarpits. We had too much fun at the ScienCenter. Loved it.

One of the kids favorites was the weather exhibits. In it, they had a hurricane simulator. For $2, you could be encapsulated and subjected to hurricane force winds. They all wanted to see what it was like, since we don't get hurricanes in the central valley of California. We just had to let them try it. Pretty intense looking, but they said it was fun. Go figure. Don't think they would feel the same way in a real one. ;-)

Got a cool photo of them "enjoying" themselves. Notice the 67 MPH winds on their way up.

So along with a couple of typically beautiful days at Disneyland, we finally got to see some of the other things that are down in LA. Plenty of other things to see down there too. Can't wait to get a chance to go back. Love that city. :)


  1. Interesting blog! I love the pictures of the kids having so much fun !

    You are really a very gifted writer, Jen.

  2. I think I'd have barred the door and put $20 in the machine.
    Then the kids might have been much mellower during the rest of the day!


Powered by Blogger.