Quick Overnight Trip to Hollywood, California
Odometer (Legend): 534,436
Odometer (ILX): 140,832
Trip Distance: 796 Miles
Happy hump day!
It wouldn’t be a proper 3-day holiday weekend if I didn’t try and squeeze a little roadtrip in somewhere. A friend of mine who I hadn’t seen for about a year and a half was playing at the “WeHo Sports Festival” at the University of California – Los Angeles campus and I took the opportunity to cruise out to LA and meet up with him for a night on Saturday. WeHo is short for West Hollywood, and the WSF event attracted a total of over 2,000 athletes competing in 10 different sports. My friend, Jeff, had flown in from Calgary, Alberta, to play soccer.
The 400-mile I-10 westward voyage on Saturday morning was uneventful and even a little boring – my only two stops were for fuel and snacks at 339th Avenue in Tonopah, Arizona, and then again at Washington Street in Palm Desert, California. I did roll 140,000 miles though, so that was exciting.
I found my way easily to the UCLA campus off Highway 405 and Sunset Boulevard. UCLA has over 43,000 students, making it nearly twice the size of the student body of my undergrad institution in Utah. The campus itself sits at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains and covers 419 acres of land. I thought it was very well laid out and clean.
Unfortunately, Jeff’s team didn’t perform all that well but I still enjoyed spectating from the sidelines in 80-someodd degree weather. It’s the first time I’ve been able to use my cheapo $6 foldable camp chair that’s been rolling around in the trunk of my ILX for the last six months. After fighting Highway 101 traffic for about 45 minutes en route to our hotel (welcome to LA!), we met up with our other friend Jack, then enjoyed a night out in Hollywood glamour (or lack thereof, in our case). I talked a little about Hollywood during my blog post from last August when I attended a party out there.
On Sunday morning, Jack and I wandered from our hotel down Hollywood Boulevard to the TCL Chinese Theatre. On the way, we crossed the “Walk of Fame.” Even by 10:00 in the morning, the streets were already bustling with selfie-stick-wielding, foreign tourists. For a minute, I felt like I was on The Strip in Vegas, because there were guides passing out pamphlets and trying to sell me on a $49 tour of the city. I respectfully declined (I had to get my car out of the paid parking lot by 11:30).
The Walk of Fame consists of over 2,500 pink stars embedded into the sidewalks along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard. Each one contains the name of someone famous, and I recognized the names of a few actors, musicians, and directors as we wandered around. About 20 new stars are added each year.
TCL Chinese Theatre dates back to 1926 and has been home to hundreds of movie premiers over the years. It’s currently home to the third largest commercial movie screen in North America. But what brings thousands of tourists to the facility every year is the concrete out front: Here, you can see over 200 handprints, footprints, and autographs of famous people that have been immortalized on the ground.
Beverly Hills, 90210: It’s a location that’s been made famous thanks to TV and movies, and it’s pretty posh for sure. Driving along westbound Sunset Boulevard, you see posters alongside the road frequently saying “STAR MAPS!” and encouraging you to pull over at some roadside stand and get a guide to (I’m guessing) where the movie stars live. I didn’t take the time. Even as I type this entry, Weezer’s song “Beverly Hills” is stuck in my head. I was surprised to learn that the median income there is only about $90,000 – I might have expected it to be at least in six-figure territory.
As has been widely publicized in the news, California is experiencing a huge drought right now, and the impact is even hitting the folks in Beverly Hills. The streets’ medians have had their sprinklers shut off, allowing the grass to die off and turn gold. I saw a huge billboard along one of the interstates that said, “Let Your Grass Go California Gold” with a photo of a dead/dying lawn.
I rolled home Sunday afternoon, exhausted from such a quick adventure: Arrival in LA at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, departure at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday. Would you expect anything else from me? In & out. Places to go and people to see. Thanks for joining!
A rare sight of traffic freely flowing on northbound, 8-lane, Highway 405 in Los Angeles
Meeting up with Jeff at the UCLA campus
Route (really round-about route, suggested by my phone) to our hotel from UCLA
Anddddd, of course. Parked traffic on the 101 freeway thanks to an accident.
ILX street parking
Wandering past the Hollywood Wax Museum on Sunday morning
Following Jack’s red IS300 on Hollywood Boulevard – and he happened to be next to an ILX
Spotted a Prius towing a U-HAUL trailer on eastbound I-10 on my way home. I wonder how many MPGs he was getting.
Coming up soon: The Legend coupe and the NSX are heading to Torrance, California this weekend for a special event at Honda Headquarters. You’ll read about it here before too long!
In preparation, I hauled 2 new rear tires over to Discount Tire for install…
Rolled 101,010 miles…
And fueled her up!