Friday, April 17, 2015

Mulholland Drive to Hollywood Sign



There it is! The famous "Hollywood" sign - we have arrived!

Good morning folks!  Back to California this morning. Oh I do have a lot of photos and videos to post of our adventures in Los Angeles this past January.  By the way, yesterday Pat finalized his plans for visiting me here in Delaware at the end of next month. Hopefully my leg is back to normal then. So now I have my plans finalized for visiting Pat in Tornonto at the end of August and of course next January we're back out in Los Angeles to pick up where we left off this past January.

Today's installment of "Ron and Pat's Excellent Adventure in La La Land" takes place on Mulholland Drive.  That's right folks, the fabled Mulholland Drive.  To actually drive, walk and see these famous iconic landmarks of Hollywood history was such a thrill for both me and Pat. Every day, a new adventure. Today we wanted to see the Hollywood sign.





First we had to drive up Mulholland Drive to get to the top of the hills to see the Hollywood sign. We weren't the only ones driving up the Hollywood hills that beautiful, sunny, glorious, spectacular January day in Los Angeles.  What a wonderful way to have a vacation, no set plans, no particular place to be on a certain day, just get up and take off wherever we felt like it. What a pleasure it was to travel with someone like Pat who didn't have another agenda to meet someone else and had all the time in the world to spend with me.  Someone who appreciates the same things that I do, like visiting all these Hollywood landmarks. 




One thing that surprised me where we visited was all the hills in Los Angeles.  I guess I've just gotten used to the flat coastal plains of Delaware where I live now.  When Bill and I took our trips south we encountered mountains, very little flat land.  Los Angeles is interesting because there is this vast valley and the hills (Hollywood) surrounding it.  I may have this wrong so feel free to correct me for those of you blog readers who know more about Los Angeles (Tony, Jon) than I do.




We were looking for a place to park at the end of this day so we could see and take our pictures of the Hollywood sign.

We finally found a place to park.  Then we continued our trek to the top of the mountain to get a good view of the Hollywood sign.  We were at the end of a perfect weather day and we wanted to see the sign before the sun set. 

 

 The last time I climbed a "hill" like this was when Bill and I visited the Pisgah Mountains of the hillbilly country of western North Carolina to see my great grandfather Isaac Lewis's grave at the top of the mountain. Just about killed me then to climb that mountain as it did this day. Pat didn't seem to have any problem though bounding up the "hill." All that yoga training he's had was paying off.  


We're at the top of the hill! Pat points to the Hollywood sign.

And then we finally arrive at the top of the hill and see the sign.  What a magnificent view!  Look at all those homes in the Hollywood Hills.  What a wonderful place to live.  Of course there is drought of the century going on in California now.  They're running out of water but hey, look at the view.  Don't they have fires up here too because of the dry brush?  Oh well, at least they don't have to worry about hurricanes like I do here in coastal Delaware.  Everywhere you go in the United States, even Hawaii there is some risk.  But one thing is for sure, those Hollywood Hills sure are beautiful.  




I guess if you lived there, you would get used to it. I don't know though, I think I would luxuriate in this beauty every day and never take it for granted.  I am so glad I took Pat's suggestion to visit Los Angeles and disregarded all those who advised me against visiting L.A., most with the common refrain "There's nothing to see and you'll need a car!"  Well, we got a car and had a LOT to see. So there you naysayers (you know who you are). 



Of course we weren't the only folks on top of that vantage point in the Hollywood Hills that day taking in the views. I'm pretty sure all of the other people up there were young folks. Pat and I were the only two old geezers who made the climb that day. Proving yet again that although Pat and I may be as old as the hills, we're still young at heart and always will be.


One of the young people that day doing his Leonardo DiCaprio Titanic "King of the World" impressions

22 comments:

  1. Mulholland drive is pretty but you went so far away to see the Hollywood sign. It really wasn't that far from your B & B. You will have to go the Griffith Park Observatory next year. I don't know why people bad mouth L.A. It certainly is big, crowded and it is better if you know your way around but it really is not a horrible city! A 1 or 2 day visit is not enough to give you an idea what a city is really like.

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    1. Nadege,
      We went to the Griffith Park Observatory the next day. I'll post those photos and videos in a few days. We didn't know we were that close.
      I don't know why people bad mouth L.A. either. I was so pleasantly surprised every day we were there. There was nothing that disappointed me about L.A. Yes, the L.A. Freeways were packed but I expected that. One of the most pleasant surprises was how close all these well knowns locations are to each other, like Santa Monica and Burbank. Closer than I am to Rehoboth Beach where I live now. Of course the best thing about L.A. was meeting nice folks like you and Tony. We'll have to include Tony in one of our lunch dates when we come back next year. You're right, a day or two is not near enough to get an idea what L.A. is like.
      Ron

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  2. Los Angeles is indeed a valley surrounded by a mountain range. It was known as "Valley of the Smokes" back in the days of the Indians because it would trap the smoke in the basin. Which is why the smog at times gets so bad now. But Los Angeles city is not thought of as a valley, the San Fernando Valley is called "the valley", and it is on the north side of Mulholland Dr. It looks like you got into Runyon Canyon Park, where there are great views, both of the city and the young men with their shirts off. You could have gotten closer to the sign had you gone to Griffith Park by the Observatory, but you can save that for next time. There is quite a controversy with the people living near the sign getting upset about all the tourists clogging up the streets in the hills. They have a point, I suppose, but I am not sure why wealthy people complain more than others--they must think they deserve more! I have ridden my bike several times to within 100 feet of the sign, and I still get awestruck by it, even though I have lived here for 25 years. It is just our little slice of history.

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    1. Tony,
      More good information! The next day we went to the Griffith Park Observatory. The weather was perfect, no smog in the valley. At the Griffith Observatory was where yet another stranger asked us if Pat and I were brothers.
      Next year we'll try to get closer to the Hollywood sign. By the way, residents who live near iconic places like the Hollywood sign always get very possessive. We have a Cape Henlopen Bike/Walk trail down here and some of the well to do residents don't like anyone going down that trail, even though the trail isn't on their property. That's just the was some people are, selfish and only thinking of themselves. Wealthy people do think they deserve more, that's probably why they are wealthy.
      Ron

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  3. So much to see, and so little time

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    1. David,
      You got that right!
      Ron

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  4. I thoroughly enjoyed the videos. It was just like being there - - except I didn't have to worry about driving. What a beautiful January day! Newcomers are often amazed at how rustic the terrain is only a few miles from Hollywood. Southern California has an over-abundance of treasures to discover. I lived there for thirty years and never got tired of it. In fact, I was homesick for a decade after I left California.

    As for the Hollywood sign, I actually WALKED up the hills to see it with a friend and we went at sunset! I was only about 22 years old and it nearly killed me. I sure as hell couldn't do it now. We walked via Beachwood Drive. That's the street that fledgling actress Peg Entwhistle lived on in the 1930's. She's the woman who climbed the Hollywood sign and jumped to her death. I wrote a blog post about this a long time ago. If I can find it, I'll re-post it. (it was still the Hollywoodland sign back then).

    The Hollywood Sign didn't have a fence around it when I was there. Now it's not only fenced, but also equipped with all kinds of security devices - - not only to preserve the sign, but also to discourage any more potential jumpers.

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  5. Jon,
    I'm so glad you like the videos and photos. I think of you when I post them and wonder if they bring back fond memories of you.
    I would like to walk up to the Hollywood sign but I don't know if I could do it now. Just going up those hills where we went just about did me in. Did you see how Pat was bounding before me?
    I read your post on Pet Entwistle. Very interesting and fascinating. Hollywood dreams of stardom and fame, broken.
    Ron

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  6. Ron - that video really shows well what Jon mentioned. The juxtaposition of rugged landscape to huge metropolis. Mulholland Dr was a pleasure. Great scenery - well kept road. I remember that day we met two couples from (I think) states nearby - at one of the lookouts. That what you mentioned about everything being nearby really surprised me the first time I was there. I didn't visit all the cities but Burbank, Pasadena, Malibu, Santa Monica and Santa Barbra etc and neighbourhoods like Beverly Hills and Bel Aire are so within reaching distance.

    Pat

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    1. Pat,
      We have a lot to cover when we return next year!
      Ron

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  7. Pat definitely has more energy than I do. I would have been gasping for breath and lagging behind with you.

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    1. Jon,
      Pat is a slow riser in the morning but once he gets going, he's indefatigable.
      Ron

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  8. Anonymous8:17 PM

    Ron, I'm sorry if you've already mentioned this, but did you all go to the La Brea Tar Pits? It's a fascinating place if you can stand the tar smell. The fossils they have recovered so far are amazing.

    Also, there are so many museums there that one could basically make that a week-long visit. Depending on your taste, you should at least try the Getty and LACMA, MOCA, or the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Here's a handy list from Wikipedia (source of all empirical knowledge in the universe - ha ha ha): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_museums_in_Los_Angeles

    O/T, I hope your leg continues to heal. I knew that compression stocking would be a good idea. I've got my fingers and toes crossed for your MD visit next week. ~~~ NB

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    1. NB,
      The La Brea Tar Pits was on our list of places to visit along with Disneyland, Universal Studio Tour, Paramount Studio Tour, and Westwood Cemetery (where Marilyn Monroe is interred) along with several other places of interest but we just ran out of time. We will attempt to visit those places next year on our return trip along with some other venues of interest, especially the museums. We did go to one museum in Burbank, across from the Disney Museum or theater and saw an Andy Wharhol exhibit.

      I put my compression sock back on my bad leg/foot and the pain is significantly reduced. Maybe when I get this leg brace off, that is acting as a tourniquet to my leg, the numbness will go away. I am anxiously looking forward to my visit to my doctor next Monday.
      Thank you for your concern.
      Ron

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    2. I certainly do like that last picture! HAHAHAHA

      More fun in the sun! Great post!

      Peace <3
      Jay

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    3. Jay,
      That young guy wasn't posing for me. He didn't even know I took his picture. He was with friends and when I heard him said "I'm the king of the world!" I turned around, looked and took this quick picture, which I think is a wonderfully iconic photo of the time and place. I'm glad you saw that and appreciated it.
      Ron

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    4. Thank you for mentioning La Brea Tar Pit "NB". It is so close to "The Grove", we could have walked there. You will have to see the Getty villa in Malibu and the Getty museum next year.

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  9. Back in the eighties I met a guy on a trip to LA. He gave me a tour of the hills in his Porsche with the top down. It was so much fun. He knew the hills like the back of his hand so it was like being on an amusement park ride. That fling only lasted a weekend but the memories live on forever.

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    1. rjs8878,
      What a wonderful memory! Thanks for sharing. Pat and I were saying that riding around those hills (Mulholland Drive and the Hollywood Hills behind where we were staying) was like an amusement park ride. I know what you mean about "memories lie on forever." One week in Provincetown I met a California guy (Nick Brown). We had a wonderful week but when we parted at the end of my vacation I never heard from him again. But the memories do live on forever.
      Ron

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  10. Taken me a little time to get round to commenting on this one, Ron. The reason, which I shan't bother to repeat, but was brought about by this very blog of yours, is now under Anne Marie's post of today.

    So, Mulholland Drive - it's much longer than I expected it to be (as the actress said.....).
    That rough path in any other location looks like it could have been a bust cruising area, but I'm sure it isn't. (Or........)
    Scenery and view are mightily impressive.
    Isn't there some story about the Hollywood' sign having the 'land' removed from the end because that made a 13-letter word and it was felt to be was contributing to a situation where it was being used as a site for a greater number of suicides than might have been expected - and if so whether it made any difference? I can't think why anyone intent on ending it all would necessarily want to cast themselves down from a 13-letter sign especially. They either want to do it anyway or they don't, I would have thought.

    Btw: When you re-visit these parts in 2016 are you going to retrace your steps, go for 'pastures new' or a bit of both?

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    1. Ray,
      I don't understand the reference to Anne Marie's post. You'll have to clarify that for me.
      When Pat and I return to California next year we will revisit certain places and seek out new places that we didn't have time to visit during our last trip. When Pat and I go someplace, we don't plan much in advance, we just go with what we feel like doing that day. I'm glad Pat is a spontaneous person like I am. We're loosey goosey on our vacations.
      Ron

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    2. It's what I wrote under Bob's comment under A.M.'s blog of yesterday, Ron, (i.e. the first one posted) - namely that your visit to Mulholland Drive made me curious about watching the David Lynch film again on DVD, and my failure to get Real Player to work causing a log-jam in my reading other people's blogs. Sorry about my unclear intention but I'll put it to bed now.

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