Santa Monica Pier

OK….for those of you who DIDN’T scroll down enough at the end of my previous post, the answer to my question is:  GENE AUTRY.  (See previous post titled “LA Bound and Come On Down!”

After our Ultimate Hollywood Tour and eating some lunch at the mall on Hollywood Boulevard, we decided to take an Uber drive out to Santa Monica Pier.  I just couldn’t be this close to the coast and not see the Pacific Ocean (to be truthful – I wanted to see the Santa Monica Pier the most).

We arrived in Santa Monica around 3:45 p.m.  Of course, we walked to the pier first.  To say it was windy on pier is an understatement!!  You can tell by the pictures of us and the wind blowing Zoey’s and my hair straight back!  😂 It was a little cool with the wind and all, but I couldn’t believe the number of people IN the ocean on the beach next to the pier!

We just walked around on the pier and looked at all the shops, restaurants, and local artists and entertainers.  We found a restaurant with outside seating that allowed pets, so we had our supper of fish and chips on the pier.  The pictures don’t really do the pier justice because you can’t see, smell, or hear everything that’s out there.


We got out of the Uber a couple of blocks from the Santa Monica Pier.



This busy highway goes right along the beach.



This tiny Airstream trailer was on the pier and was transformed into the cutest little gift shop full of Route 66 items.



It was really windy that afternoon, as you can tell from the whitecaps.



Look at Zoey’s and my hair! It’s “slicked” back by the strong wind. I had to hold my visor down (this visor snaps onto my glasses) so it wouldn’t blow off my head and take my glasses with it!


After supper we walked along the ocean in Palisades Park.  This park has big, grassy spaces, palm trees, lots of benches, and walking trails all featuring expansive, beautiful ocean views.  It even has a unique monument honoring all the branches of the military.  I also wanted to stay long enough to see the sun set over the Pacific Ocean.  I tried to take the sunset pictures every few minutes.



Each branch of the military had an inscription on it thanking its dedicated members. You can’t read the inscriptions very well in the pictures, but the tributes were lovely.



The sunset was MUCH prettier in person!

We waited a little longer for it to get darker.  I wanted to see the pier all lit up at night.  It really is beautiful with all the lights.


Did you see the bird in this photo? That was lucky! Look to the right, just above the yellow part of the sky.


The Uber driver that took us out to the pier gave us some advice about returning.  He said with rush hour traffic, it would be beneficial for us to wait until at least 8:15 p.m. before sending for an Uber.  During high traffic times the fare is MUCH more expensive.  Well, he was right!  I started to send for Uber at 7:45 and the price was ridiculously high ($20-$30 higher than when we came out!.  At 8:00 p.m. it was up to a little over $65!  I had to talk Jack into waiting another 15 minutes.  By now it was dark, and he was wanting to get back to the hotel.  By 8:10 the price had dropped to a little over $30.  I sent for the Uber, and I was so glad we waited!

The next morning we were up fairly early.  We grabbed some breakfast in the lobby of the hotel, loaded up, and were headed back to Twentynine Palms where our RV was.  We had a great time in Los Angeles!


Bye-bye downtown Los Angeles!

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”


LA Bound and Come On Down!

On Sunday, March 25th, we packed our bags and headed to Los Angeles, California, for several days. It was about a two and a half hour drive, however, with traffic it took us about three and a half hours. Let’s just say that traffic in LA is nothing like I have ever seen! After finally arriving at our hotel, we decided that we would take Uber to where ever we wanted/needed to go in Los Angeles.

Monday, March 26, we had tickets to go to a taping of The Price Is Right. We didn’t have to be at CBS Television City until 1:00 p.m. (they taped one show that morning). We got there pretty early so we had some time to stroll around the nearby Farmers Market and grab some lunch.



Waiting in line to get in to the CBS studio lots.

The registering, screening, and interviewing process takes about three hours. Yes, you read that correctly: THREE HOURS! It was well worth it, though.  Around 4:00 we were finally lead into the studio.  It was around 6:00 p.m. when everything was finished.

Did you know that the stage they use for The Price Is Right is the same stage on which The Carol Burnett Show was filmed? Yep. That alone was pretty cool to think about Carol Burnett being on that stage.

The actual filming of the episode is super exciting.  There were 270+ people in the audience for our taping, and, believe me:  they keep everyone really hyped up with clapping, yelling, and screaming. There are only NINE people that get called to “Come on down! You’re the next contestant on The Price Is Right!” We can all do the math; our chances of being called down were pretty slim.

After we filled out all our forms, they stand you in front of a green screen and take your picture. One nice, normal photo; and one showing how you would react if you won a car or trip to Hawaii. These, of course, are pictures you can purchase for the small fee of $20 each. We have no other photos of our visit to The Price Is Right (they don’t allow pictures of any kind), so we bought them. Here’s our “normal” picture.


That’s my “homemade” backpack that says “Pick Me!” It took me FOREVER to make that dollar sign! I had to cut very small (half inch or less) pieces of the washi tape in order to make it curve.

They do not allow cell phones in the studio. They don’t want people googling the prices of products.  That makes sense.  Therefore, we had to check our phones before we entered the studio. PLUS, you are not allowed to leave the studio once the taping begins, so at the last staging area they emphasized: GO TO THE BATHROOM NOW!

When you fill out the paperwork to be considered as a contestant, you sign an agreement that you will not tell whether or not you were called to “Come On Down!” or whether or not you won anything.  SOOOOO ….. you will just have to watch The Price Is Right on Tuesday, June 12th, on CBS to see if either one of us was called down.

I can tell you we are in the audience on the right side when viewed from the stage (where the cameras shoot the audience from).  We are about halfway up the right aisle; on the left side of the aisle.  We have on black t-shirts with the show’s logo on front in red (shown in the photo above).

We had booked a bus tour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills with Ultimate Hollywood Tours for Tuesday morning.  They allowed us to bring our little Shih Tzu on the tour, and she was so good the whole time.



HOLD ON, Cardinal fans! Jack forgot his cap that morning and he went to quick shop next door to buy one. THAT was the only decent cap they had. It’s going to Goodwill as soon as we get home.

It was a great tour and we saw so much in a short time.  I wish I could remember everything we saw, but that is impossible.  Our tour guide, Ryan, was excellent.  He, of course, is an aspiring actor who works at the tour company when his acting can’t pay the bills.  It was an open air tour bus, but I loved the fact that they gave Bluetooth headsets to everyone on the bus so we could hear the guide clearly and as loudly as you chose to set your volume.  Here is Jack and Zoey in the tour bus.


Our first stop was high up in the hills overlooking downtown LA.  It also had a great view of the famous “HOLLYWOOD” sign. They don’t allow people to climb up on the hill by the sign anymore.


We drove by the entrance of the Hollywood Bowl.


Our first glimpse of the Hollywood sign. You might need to zoom in.


Downtown LA in the distance. That is VERY LIGHT traffic on the freeway down there!!


You could see the seats of the Hollywood Bowl from this lookout point.


Some nice people offered to take our picture after I took their picture. They almost didn’t get the Hollywood sign in the photo.


Here are some of the people whose homes we saw (more like just the entrance gates) as we drove through the hilltops above the valley and Beverly Hills (some were presently living in the home; some were the former owners of that home):  Aaron Spelling, Al Pacino, Ron Howard, Lucille Ball, Captain America, CeeLo Green, Randy Jackson, Katy Perry, Sylvester Stallone, John Stamos, Elvis Presley, Hugh Hefner, and Michael Jackson (the home in which he died).  Now, looking back on all of my pictures, I don’t remember whose home is whose.  😂 😝

I won’t bore you with the zillion of pictures I took … mainly because I don’t know which home belongs to whom.  I’ll just share some of the better pictures I snapped while driving by.



The “valley” from the hills where most of the television/movie studios are now located.



“Captain America’s” house.


Our tour bus broke down right below Captain America’s house. It took them about 15-20 minutes to send another bus, however, our driver, Ryan, kept us thoroughly entertained with his stories of encounters with various celebrities.  Besides, the view from here was gorgeous!  I don’t know why I didn’t snap a few pictures of it. Duh!  I guess Ryan’s stories were more fascinating.



The entrance to Runyon Canyon Park where our tour guide said a lot of stars take their daily runs.


Now into zip code 90210 … the MOST EXPENSIVE zip code in the USA in which to live, AND where the area with the 4 million dollar homes is considered the “slums.” Geesh!



Even the people who live in the 20-30+ million dollar homes have TRASH. The actual home structure may not be worth that much – it’s the LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!


I do remember this home: That balcony and French doors lead to the bedroom in which Michael Jackson died. Believe it or not, they had trouble selling that home after his death. It took over five years to find a buyer.


And now on to the famous Sunset Boulevard.  For those of you my age and older, you might remember the television show called “77 Sunset Strip.”  Yep…part of this street is the area on which that show was based.



I certainly wish we would have had time to stop at Wahlburgers and get one of their famous hamburgers. Oh, well. Maybe next time.


Next we drove down the infamous Rodeo Drive (pronounced:  roh-day-oh).  I’m not big on brand name clothes or any other brand name merchandise, however, this street was amazing to see.  And, NO, we did not do any shopping there!


The last item on our tour was Hollywood Boulevard and the Walk of Fame.  Our tour just drove us through the blocks where all the stars are on the sidewalks.  After our tour was over, we decided to walk the two blocks north and walk along Hollywood Boulevard.  It’s definitely a “tourist” attraction as you can see from the crowds of people along the sidewalks.



Did you know that the Dolby Theatre where they have the Academy Awards is in a big shopping mall? Yep! We even ate lunch at one of the food stores there. They take red velvet curtains and cover up the store fronts, and the “red carpet” area is just a mall hallway.


It was fun seeing all the celebrities’ stars on the sidewalk.  Did you know there are five categories in which a celebrity can be nominated for a star on the Walk of Fame?  They are: movies, television, music, theater, and radio.  There is only ONE celebrity in all of history (at this time, anyway) that has a star on the Walk of Fame for ALL five categories.  Can you guess who that is?  The radio catagory might make it a little hard to guess.  Hint:  It’s someone who started out in radio (because that is pretty much all there was back when HE started); he’s also well-known for his western roles.  I’ll let you think about it for a short while.  I’ll give the answer in my next post.

So for now ….. “On the Road Again!”




>>>>>  OK!!!!!    I’ll tell you now:  GENE AUTRY has a star on the Walk of Fame in ALL five categories.