We do want to see the sights, and we certainly have time for it, so let the sightseeing begin! But first things first – Facebook.
Now, I have a number of friends online who seem to have no qualms about posting statuses saying, “Heading out to Europe for two weeks!” I do appreciate the desire to share one’s life (read: “brag”), but I’ve also been in law enforcement long enough, and am just paranoid enough, to realize that that kind of status report is the digital equivalent of taping a note to your home’s front door saying, “Ethyl, we’ll be back in town next Friday. The key’s under the mat if you need anything.” Even if it had a Douglas-Adams-esque “P.S. Burglars please ignore,” it’s still advertising that your belongings are available to the first taker.
I decide to make a slight exception today, though, since this trip is so extraordinary, and we’re only gone overnight. I snap a picture of Becky with the Chinese Theatre behind her, and upload it to FB with the caption, “Out with Becky for dinner and a movie.”
This block certainly is the showbiz hub of Hollywood! On the north side of the street, besides Madame Tussaud’s and the Chinese, are the Hard Rock Café and the Kodak Theatre complex.
Yes, that Kodak Theatre, where both the Oscars and American Idol finales are held. There are lots of individual stores, and the Kodak entrance is basically a multilevel mall in and of itself.
On the south side of the street, the main attractions are two buildings owned or used by Disney/ABC. First is the old Hollywood Masonic Temple, which has red banners hanging between its columns proclaiming its current use: the studio for Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Just to its left is the El Capitan Theatre, which Disney operates and where many of their premieres and special events are held. And in that same building, the Disney Studio Store and Soda Fountain, where we’re meeting friends at 5:00.
All in all, it’s a dazzling place to be, but still a bit of sensory overload. We do thoroughly enjoy looking at the Walk of Fame, although I try to limit my picture taking – to get a photo of each and every star, or even just the ones whose names I recognized, would be overkill.
There is one star I want to see, and I know exactly where it is. We walk down to the entrance of the El Capitan, and… yep, there it is: John Lasseter’s star. If the name doesn’t immediately ring a bell, he is the director of Toy Story and Toy Story 2, Cars, A Bug’s Life, and other Pixar films, and is currently chief creative advisor for both Pixar and Disney Imagineering. He’s a guy I admire a lot, but the main reason I seek out his star is that it was just installed yesterday! I just saw pictures yesterday of he & his family kneeling in front of the star for the unveiling (surrounded by several actors and musicians who contributed to his films, including Owen Wilson, Patton Oswalt, Bonnie Hunt, Brad Paisley, Cheech Marin, and Randy Newman), and I knew I’d be able to go to the exact same spot today.
And here we are!