March 13th, 2022
Today was a bit of a failure. We have had a really busy trip, and it really got the better of us today and the desire to get out and “smash it” really just wasn’t there. The plan was to get up and use our Go City Los Angeles Pass, but the energy just wasn’t there.
The clocks had also changed last night and this didn’t really help but having come from the UK to Las Vegas, then Hawaii, and now back to L.A. Time was pretty irrelevant! But Jet lag was real and we were just physically, mentally, and emotionally drained.
This meant we got up way later than we wanted and just didn’t get going. But eventually, we dragged ourselves out of the hotel and headed for Hollywood. We Parked in the Hollywood & Highland Parking lot which is savagely expensive, $6 an hour, but is only $3 for 2 hours with Validation.
Go Los Angeles Explorer Pass
We had a Go Los Angeles Explorer Pass – 3 attractions and planned to see how the Pass performed in the post-Covid world. Looking again at the Passes was one of the reasons for this trip so it was really important we gave it a go.
The first stop was the Big Bus Ticket Office to book a Hollywood Homes Tour. This requires booking and we advise booking the day before or at least several hours before, however, we were cutting it fine due to our tardiness in getting going for the day. However, they were able to get us booked onto the 1:30 pm tour which was about 1.5 hours away.
While we waited we grabbed some lunch, literally just a sandwich from the nearby CVS (Parking Validation), and then headed over to Madame Tussauds. This is an incredibly touristy thing to do but hey we are in Hollywood and being tourists is kind of our thing.
The L.A Outlet of Madame Tussauds is one of our favorites. We are not always fans of this attraction and some outlets are pretty shoddy (New York!) but the L.A. location was really good. It hits the Hollywood Vibe perfectly and has tons of A-list stars from both the past and current crop of Hollywood stars!
Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Craig, Jim Carrey, Jennifer Lawernce, Jackie Chan, Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts, Merely Streep, lead up the A-listers
Charlie Chaplin, Judy Garland, Howard Huges, Fred and Ginger, James Dean, Clark Gable, Racheal Welch, Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Kathrine Hepburn are among the Golden Age Stars
Alfred Hitchcock, Stephen Spielberg, and Quentin Tarantino appear for the Director’s team.
There is a cool Monster Section with Frankenstein, Dracula, a mummy, Hanable Lector, and Johnny from the Shining!
Then there are the Character models, Danny Zuko from Greece, Forest Gump, Rainman, Patrick Swayze from Dirty Dancing, Captain Kirk AND Picard, Jay from Men in Black, Rocky, Ed Scissorhands, Et, John Mclane, James Bond x2, Buffy, The Terminator, and The Godfather.
There is a selection of Music and Societal Celebs, including Rhianna, Beyonce, MJ, Shakira, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, several Kardashians, Brtiney Spears, 2Pac, Arina Grande, Justin Timberlake, and Demi Lavato
And Finally, there are the Avengers, wh seem to appear in every Tussauds just down to sheer popularity.
It’s a huge exhibit ad well worth checking out.
After this, we headed back to the Big Bus Office to check-in for the tour
Big Bus Celebrity Homes & Lifestyle Tour
If you think Madame Tussauds is a Tourist Trap then Hollywood homes tours must be the corniest, shallowest, Tourist trap of them all. But if you take them with a pinch of salt and a whole heap of irony they really are great fun. They also take you to some really great paced in and around Hollywood.
The small open-top vans are great for cruising around the hills, just looking at people’s homes, and seeing the finer side of Hollywood. The route we took went straight up Mulholland Drive and into the Hollywood hills. There was a brief stop at the Universal overlook where we got a chance to see where we had been yesterday! Then the tour takes in the Hollywood sign and some great views of Downtown L.A.
The route runs right over Mullohalnd which provides stunning views and showcases dozens of celebrity homes. Some of which we know is out of date, and some are a bit tenuous, to say the least! But it’s great to see the homes, or former homes, of Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Simon Cowel Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Samual L Jackson Ect… We also pass Laural Canyon and Laural Canyon Dog Walking Park where we definitely may have seen a celebrity dog along with their celebrity dog walker!
From here the tour runs down Coldwater CAnyn Drive past several homes including the late CArry Fisher and her late mother, Debbie Reynolds. At the bottom of the drive, we are now in Beverly hills. We pass the Beverly Hills hotel and take a drive-by Micheal Jackson’s old house and the house of Howard Hughes. Along with the gates of some very prestigious gated communities.
The tour then takes a look around some of the various old Hollywood homes of the golden age. This is big less glitzy than the earlier part of the tour and on the whole, feels like a drive around the burbs.
From here the tour hits Sunset Boulevard and then down around Rodeo Drive and North Beverly and to the Beverly Hills sign. before heading back to Hollywood via Sunset and all the famous locations along the route such as Whiskey A Go-Go and the El Pollo Loco Chicken shop where Brd Pitt worked before making it big!
Overall it was a great tour and we had a blast seeing all the homes and famous sights of Hollywood. We have done loads of these before, but it’s still fun and a great addition to the Go Los Angeles Pass.
After this, we were pretty done with Hollywood so we decided to head back to the Hotel. We had one last shopping trip to so headed off to a giant Walmart in Burbank.
After the shopping trip, we headed back to the hotel with a few gifts for back home and a truckload of Mac and Cheese (we just don’t get the “real” Kraft stuff back home). The Hilton has a nice little Terrace bar overlooking the valley and seemed the perfect spot for some sunset drinks.
The waiter arrived with some pan-seared nuts that were on the house and we just relaxed for an hour or two watching the sun dip over the San Fernando Valley.
For dinner, we headed across the freeway to the Strip Malls of Universal City. There are several chain restaurant options here, but in the end, we just wanted In-N-Out, so that’s what we went for! Double-Doubles with Cheesy Fires around!
Then back to the hotel to prepare for tomorrow and another Re-Location.