Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer Bucket List 2012: Hollywood, Michael Jackson and Ice Cream

It was June 25, 2012 and it was three years to the date that the world said goodbye to the King of Pop. We decided to head on out to Hollywood to see his star and his hand and footprints.

We took the Metro Red Line because it's just plain easier. If you have ever been to Hollywood, you are probably familiar with the crazy traffic, the tons of pedestrians, the lack of free parking and the uber expensive parking structures in the vicinity. So off we went to Hollywood and Highland via the Red Line.

The first thing we encountered was a man, his guitar and his trusty dancing puppet. Gotta love LA.

Upon our arrival, we headed straight to Chick-fil-A. It's the only one in a 25 mile radius and therefore a rare treat for us. Waffle fries! Nom nom!
Hollywood and Highland is a very interesting hub of activity. Here you can meet a slew of folks dressed as your favorite movie characters, meet a host of anti-abortionists with picket signs and flyers, hang out with the homeless, get in lots of shopping, eat until your hearts content and peruse the stars of the rich and famous on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. It's also the home of the famous Kodak Theater (you know, the place for the red carpet and the awards shows) and a gazillion souvenir shops.

So what did we do? Shop! Hey, we live in L.A. There is nothing here that we haven't seen before. Here I am in the dressing room with about fifty-eleven different outfits. I even bought a few including this cute chevron top!
We ate Big Fat Ice Cream Sundaes at Cold Stone Creamery... it is part of our Happy Family Movement Summer Bucket List, ya know. 
And the MJ fans were out in style! We headed over to see his star and his prints in front of the Chinese Theater. Mind you, there were so many people out and so many dressed up like MJ, I couldn't possibly capture it all, but you'll get the drift.
This guy looked most like Michael Jackson, but still not quite... and when we tried to take a picture with him, he asked us for money. (I guess he needed to earn back the money he paid on plastic surgery. Yes, he has actually had surgery to look like MJ! Talk about being a die hard fan!) Um...yeah we snapped this when he thought we walked away. Oh well.
We stepped on over to the front of the Chinese Theater where you can see the hand and foot prints of many stars, but we were only interested in Michael Jackson's.
So funny because once we were spotted taking this pic, a random stranger dressed like MJ decided to lay on the ground next to his prints...and she didn't ask for money! And come to think of it, I am not even sure these are MJ's actual prints. What can you do? It's a typical day in Hollywood. All illusion and grandeur.
Did I mention that Hollywood is full of interesting things to see?  What many people don't know is that Hollywood is not the place to be if you want to spot a real celebrity. And it's not as glamorous as it looks on TV during the award shows. It's actually quite busy and dirty most of the time but it can be a fun place to visit if you are a tourist and a nice outing to take every now and then if you are a local.

So that was our mini-field trip. We weren't gone for long but it was a nice little break in the middle of our day to enjoy a part of the city usually appreciated by tourists more than locals.

To learn more about the Happy Family Movement Summer Bucket List Challenge, you can follow them HERE on Twitter

See you next time!

xoxo, tami

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Summer Bucket List - LACMA

We kicked off our summer by crossing off "Rooftop Dinner" from our Happy Family Movement summer bucket list a couple of weeks ago. I promised my kids we would move full force on the bucket list this year and I intend to keep my promise. So the next thing we decided to do was head on over to LACMA with a pit stop at the food trucks that are always parked across the street.
About 2 years ago I discovered a food truck called the South Philly Experience. I have had MANY "authentic" Philly Cheesesteaks only to be majorly disappointed, but trust me when I tell you...this is the REAL DEAL! So of course, the choice was easy for me. One Philly Cheesesteak "wit" onions please! Add broccoli rabe!!! Nomnom! NEED to hunt down this food truck.  It does not disappoint! {Matter of fact, I think I need to hunt it down again soon!}
After we chowed down, we headed around to the backside of LACMA where we could hear Latin music playing. People were camped out in the grass all around a stage area, a DJ was playing music and a whole host of Los Angeleans were dancing to the beat. How fun! {I completely forgot to take a picture or video of this, but it was quite fun to observe!}

Next we headed on over to the box office. Kids under 17 generally visit for free, adults are $15. But as I spoke to the box office attendant, I quickly learned that we could both visit the museum for free! How, you ask? Well,  there is a really amazing program at LACMA for kids called NexGen. With this program, you sign up your child and they receive free general admission and so do you as their accompanying adult. SWEET! This was turning out to be a lesser expensive outing that I planned for. CHA-CHING!

My little girl is so silly on the escalator!
We really enjoyed the art installation by Chris Burden entitled Metropolis II. It's  an intense kinetic sculpture, modeled after a fast paced, frenetic modern city. Hot Wheels are set in motion to zip through a dense network of buildings. The noise, the speed and the constant flow produces in the viewer the stress of living in a bustling 21 century city, much like Los Angeles. What a unique experience!

We decided to save some of the other exhibits for another day. What a fun day out with my little girl. Hoping next time, that my adult daughters will be off work to have a good time with us as we venture off to Hollywood!

To learn more about the Happy Family Movement Summer Bucket List Challenge, you can follow them HERE on Twitter

See you next time!

xoxo, tami