I'm Just Sayin'
Random Thoughts from a Random Guy

Hooray for Hollywood

Me in front of the Hollywood sign

I think it’s fair to say that most of us have a “bucket list”, a list of things we want to do before we meet our maker.  Last week, I was able to cross one of the things off my “list” when I visited Hollywood.  Until Thursday, I hadn’t been any further west in the United States than Colorado.

I had always wanted to travel to California, specifically, southern California and Hollywood.  I’ve always been a bit of a pop culture geek, I enjoy movies and television and always wanted to see the famed “Hollywood” sign on the hill.  Look closely at that picture to the left and you’ll see it over my shoulder.

My friend Chad moved to Hollywood a few years ago.  We travel to Wrestlemania together every year and this year it was being held in Phoenix (more about that in a future blog) and so I decided to fly to Burbank a day early and hang out in Tinsel Town and then we would drive that long desert highway to Phoenix.  Again, I’ll get to that in a future post.

I flew in early on Thursday morning, with a quick layover in Vegas and continuing on to the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank.  I must say, when I stepped outside, I was a bit shocked.  It was much cooler there than I had expected, but it quickly warmed up that day.

After loading my luggage into Chad’s Prius (which did have functioning brakes) we headed to In ‘n Out Burger.

"Animal Style" Burger & Fries and a Chocolate Shake

I have never been to In ‘n Out, but it came highly recommended from many of my friends.  Not sure what to order, Chad suggested getting the double “animal style”.  I’m not exactly sure why they call it that, but that’s what I ordered.  It’s loaded with sauteed onions and Thousand Island dressing (something I’m not a huge fan of), but the burger was great.  And yeah, those fries in the picture are drowning in cheese and Thousand Island dressing too.  And of course I washed it all down with a healthy chocolate shake.  This vacation I threw all my healthy eating habits out the window.  Later that night we had dinner at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles.  Yes, I had a fried chicken breast and a waffle for dinner.   It was pretty good too.

RIP Farrah

So with all the eating, we did a lot of walking to burn off some of those unwanted calories.  Kinda morbid, but we stopped at a Hollywood cemetery.  I got to see the grave sites of Marilyn Monroe, Rodney Dangerfield, Dean Martin, Don Knotts, and the recently departed Farrah Fawcett.  The interesting thing about this place is that it’s just there.  Seemed like we were in a neighborhood and then bam, here’s a cemetery.   It’s actually called Westwood Memorial Park.

At first I thought it was weird that we were there, but then I saw other people doing the same thing, looking at the tombstones and taking pictures.  It wasn’t just a celebrity grave yard either.  There were other folks buried or entombed in the wall there.

There is nothing more written on Farrah Fawcett’s tombstone, but some of them were pretty funny.  Rodney Dangerfield’s says “There Goes the Neighborhood.”  Merv Griffin’s says “I Will Not Be Right Back After This Message” and Jack Lemon simply says “In” under his name.  Good stuff.

I was also able to walk Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, see the Nickelodeon Studios, Jim Henson Studios, Mann’s Chinese Theatre, the Walk of Fame, the Viper Room (where River Phoenix died), and my favorite stop, Madame Tussauds.  You know, the famous wax museum.

Thinking things over with Charlie Chaplin.

My first impression of the place was excellent.  That’s because the woman at the cash register didn’t charge me the $25 fee to get in.  Instead, I got the “local” resident discount and saved $7.   So that was a bonus.  This place is awesome.  There are wax figures all over the three floors of the museum.  And they are so life like.

The next American Idol judge

The fun part about the place is you can act like a total goof ball and strike different poses with the figures.  They even have some of the figures with props and you can touch them as well. Although they ask that you not touch their faces or hands.  So I was able to strike a pose with everyone from President Obama, to Charlie Chaplin, to the Rock.

Just next door to the palace of wax figures, is the famed Mann’s Chinese Theatre.  We walked around outside it and looked at the famous hand and foot prints immortalized in the cement out front.  I was pretty impressed with some of the old ones that have withstood the test of time.  But a personal favorite for me had to be the cast of the Harry Potter movie.  They even made wand prints in the cement.

Outside the theater you’ll find out of work actors impersonating celebrities.  We saw a couple of different Michael Jacksons and there were guys there dressed like Edward Scissor Hands, Batman, and Spongebob Squarepants.  We actually walked a block or two with Spongebob.  Kinda weird.

Towel, please.

So I spent less than 24 hours in Burbank before heading to Phoenix, but it created a lot of great memories for me.  Where else can you step in the shower with Alfred Hitchcock standing by?

I love this place!

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