Thursday, September 22, 2005

Day 104 - Los Angeles, California, USA

Day 104 – 20th September 2005 -8:00 GMT

Woke up quite late so had breakfast and then we headed out. I said to Jill you can’t be in LA and not see some film crew recording something and you can’t not meet someone famous (and how right was I). So we took a drive to Melrose Avenue and wandered up and down the street looking at all the alternative shops. After an hour or so we drove on and stopped outside The Viper Room and Whisky A Go Go so jill could take some photo’s,

The Viper Room

Whisky A Go Go

then we drove into Beverley Hills.

Me outside Beverley Hills

we thought we would stop and by a Hollywood Stars Map showing where everyone lives but changed our mind, so we thought we would visit the Playboy Mansion. We found it quite quickly it’s on Charing Cross Road just off Sunset Boulevard once your in Beverly Hills. A quick stop outside to take a photo and who comes past us… Hugh Hefner in his nice car with Registration plate "1 HEF". We were blocking his driveway..

Gates to the Playboy Mansion

Anyway we drive on through Bel-Air and past the John Paul Getty Centre, a fabulous building and art gallery which is free and contains over $3 Billion of art. We drive back along Mulholland Drive stopping at the scenic spots and admiring the huge Mansions.

View from Mulholland

We find a news crew filming the view of LA. We then go to Visit the Chinese Theatre of Hollywood Boulevard. This is where all the famous hand and foot prints are.

Mel Gibsons Prints

We then take a look at some of the stars in the pavement along Hollywood Boulevard.

Tom Cruise Star

We thought we would get a bite to eat at the newly Hollywood-Highland mall next to it. This is the Kodak Building which was all built to Host the Oscars. It has Big marble staircase in the centre of the mall leading up to the theatre.

Kodak Theatre

Anyway after we have eaten we are heading back to the car and they had laid out a red carpet and a big advertising board and there are loads of Photographers on one side. So after closer inspection we find out the World Premiere of Johnny Knoxville’s (also in Dukes of Hazzard and Jackass etc) new film is being shown "Daltry Calhoun"

Daltry Calhoun

Jill gets all excited as she would love to see Johnny Knoxville. So we decide to hang around and see if we can catch a glimpse of him. After an hour people start to turn up for the premiere, David Koechner (Anchorman, Austin Powers, Dukes of Hazzard) comes over and starts chatting and we take a photo. We are then all moved as we are not allowed to stand in that area as we are blocking the mall corridors. So we relocate to the other side of the area unfortunately with lots of other people. We can still see but not in a position to meet or take good photo’s. Then Quentin Tarantino (Director, Actor) turns up and I’m not close enough to get a good photo.

Quentin Tarantino (Director and Actor) Posted by Picasa

This gets us wondering who else will be there. Then the man himself Johnny Knoxville shows up. Several people have moved back to our original viewing position and seem to be aloud to stay by the security, so I go back around and take a few photo’s.

Johnny Knoxville

Johnny Knoxville

Next Leonor Varela (from Blade 2) shows up and comes over for a chat.

Leonor Varela (Blade 2)

Then Chris Pontious, Wee Man and Loomis (Jackass and Wildboyz) come over and chat and have photo’s.

Loomis (Jackass)

Then we see Meredith Monroe (Andy in Dawsons Creek). Then Ethan Suplee appears (Amercian History X, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma etc).

Ethan Suplee (Amercian History X, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma etc).

Then one of the organisers approaches me, I thought he was going to move us on, but no he says I have some spare tickets for the premiere if you want one. (Is he talking to me) I say but there are three of us, He says Ok have three tickets. I run over to tell Jill and Reece and present our Premiere Tickets.

My ticket to the premiere of Daltry Calhoun

So we go inside the theatre and lots of famous people are gathered in the foyer, so we buy a bottle of water and go inside and find our seats. Jill turns around and gets Excited as Jack Black is sitting a few rows behind. Anyway the film starts and was quite entertaining although is not going to be a box office hit. After the film we go back in the foyer and after standing around for a bit I thought it would be rude not to Mingle. So have a chat with Meredith Monroe, Chris Pontius, David Koechner, Wee Man.

Me and Meredith Monroe (Andy in Dawsons Creek)

Me and Chris Pontiuos (Jackass and Wildboyz)

Me and David Koechner (Anchorman, Austin Powers, Dukes of Hazzard)

Me and Wee-Man (Jackass and Wildboyz)

Meredith Monroe (Andy in Dawsons Creek)

Then we see Juliette Lewis (co-star of the film) chatting with Quentin Tarantino. Jack Black is standing on his own so we go up and talk to Jack Black and Jill gets her photo taken with him.

Jack Black (Tenacious D, School of Rock, Shallow Hal)

Jill and Jack Black

There are also several directors here who I recognise but can’t put any names to faces. Then I finally get to meet Johnny Knoxville. We know feel we had a pretty good free ride today so decide to leave and head back to the hotel.
Info on film at this link
Like I said when I woke up we have to see a film crew and meet someone famous. The film Jerry Maguire was just starting so lay in bed and watch it until I fall asleep.

Day 103 - Los Angeles, California, USA

Day 103 – September 19th 2005 -8:00 GMT

Had a lie in then had a nice bowl of all-bran with fresh Banana’s and some strong coffee, makes a change to have a kitchen. We then went and had a drive along Hollywood Boulevard and through Beverly Hills. We had a drive around Beverly Hills and looked at all the very expensive houses. Then drove onto Santa Monica. We parked by the Beach which is huge and has the most wonderful golden sand. Off came the sandals and I walked barefoot along the beach to the pier.

Santa Monica Beach

We then walked to the end of the pier and had a look at all the fairground rides.

Jill on Santa Monica Pier

We then walked to the shopping centre of Santa Monica which is 3rd Street this is pedestrianised and is full of really cool shops. We then walked back along the beach and drove back across LA to the hotel.

Me on Muscle Beach

I then cooked Bacon, Sausage and eggs and we ate and had a beer or two. Everyone was very tired so we stayed in and watched a couple of films, “American History X” and “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Day 102 - San Diego - Los Angeles, California, USA

Day 102 – September 18th 2005 -8:00 GMT Total Miles 16487

Had to check out before 10am so an early start for us. We picked up the car and had an argument with the parking attendant. We were told it would be $7 for 24 hours to park and when we came to leave they tried to charge us $44 as ball game had been on for the last 2 days and it is an extra $10 for the space during a ball game. No charge information was displayed. Anyway we came to an agreement and we were on our way. We drove along the coast and along route 101 passing some fantastic beaches and lovely areas. Then drove up the I-5 into Los Angeles. We checked into a Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard and got a premium room with a separate kitchen/dining room. We then went shopping at the local supermarket and then had a drive along Mullholland Drive.

View of Hollywood Sign from Mullholland Drive

Jill overlooking LA

Drive looking at all the posh houses and the view across LA. We drove back down Sunset Boulevard. I then cooked a vegetable chili for Jill and Reece and we opened a nice bottle of wine.

Day 101 - San Diego, California, USA

Day 101 – September 17th 2005 -8:00 GMT

Went to a little café next to the hostel for breakfast only a couple of bucks for bacon, egg, sausage, hash browns and toast and coffee. We then walked up to Balboa park which is huge. Had a look at the museum of man building which is allegedly the most photographed building in California.

The Museum of Man Building

Balboa Park

Balboa Park

Baloa Park

I then left Jill for the day as she wanted to wander around the shops and I wanted to see the Zoo. San Diego Zoo is famously known as one of the best in the world. I first had a guided bus tour around the park which too about 40 minutes then I walked around. I saw the Tigers, Lions and Bears. The Polar Bears were cool. They had panda’s including one that is only 5 weeks old. I also saw the Elephants, Koala’s, The Tree Kangaroo’s and some amazing Anteaters. They had a lot of snakes which were cool and quite lively. I left the zoo just before 6pm and caught the bus back to the gas lap quarter where our hotel is. We then went out to a local bar for some food and a beer. I headed back to the hotel as I need an early night, so watched a couple of episodes of the TV series Lost and went to sleep.

San Diego

Day 100 - San Diego, California, USA

Day 100 – September 16th 2005 -8:00 GMT

Went out around 11am and walked along the water front, we have now made it back to the Pacific Ocean. We walked around the seaport village and had some lunch.

A plant caught in the light

The Seaport Village

Then went to the Museum of Contemporary Art which unfortunately was shut until 29th September. So we decided to go on a two hour boat cruise up and down the coast. We all got half price tickets and boarded the boat. The Guide was a bit dull and obsessively talked about his time in the Navy. The coastline of San Diego is filled with Navy boats, planes and helicopters. There are several Aircraft carriers and battle class destroyers and submarines docked.

A Battle Class Destroyer

USS Midway Aircraft Carrier

We all got a bit sun burnt on the boat as the wind cooled us down while the sun burnt us.

San Diego view from the boat

Some Seals

San Diego

We then got a train to Old Town which is the oldest part of San Diego and has been reconstructed to how it would have originally looked. They still have tinsmiths and town grocers etc there.

Old Town Market

Old Town

Old Town

We then got the train back to the Gas Lamp Quarter and chilled in the Hostel for a couple of hours. We then visited a great Indian Restaurant on 6th Street called Monsoon I had a Chicken Mint Curry. We then had a couple of pints at a local bar before turning in for the night.

Day 99 - Death Valley - San Diego, California, USA

Day 99 – 15th September 2005 -8:00 GMT

Left Ridgecrest around 11am and drove south along highway 395 then along the I-15 we stopped on the outskirts of Los Angeles for a spot of lunch at a Deli. The drive took about 4 hours and we arrived in San Diego around 4pm. We checked into the hostel on 5th Street which is in the Gas Lamp Quarter. The hostel is very clean and seems good and friendly. After a couple of hours rest we headed across the street to a micro-brewery called Rock Bottom. We had dinner here and drank some beer and played pool, well until they closed the bar and told us to leave.

Me Eating Dinner
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