Our California Coastal Cruise adventure continues, today in Los Angeles. The LA basin is surrounded by the San Gabriel Mountains, a haze hanging over the cities due to smog! We actually docked in Long Beach. There are two ports that cruise lines use to visit or depart from in the LA area. Long Beach and just four miles away, the port of San Pedro.
Long Beach is the home to the Queen Mary, the most luxurious and fastest Transatlantic cruise ship of her era. She is now a hotel, restaurant, and bar as well conducting tours of this marvel of the Golden Age of cruising. The white ship with her distinctive black hull of Cunard Line is permanently docked right next to where the Grand Princess was docked for the day.
Across a short walkway is a large white dome. This is now is the cruise terminal, once the home of Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose”, the world’s largest wooden airplane (to avoid radar detection). The inside of the terminal rivals any of the Florida cruise terminals specifically built for cruising unlike after thoughts like Pier 35 in San Francisco and other cruise ports.
Today’s excursion was taken primarily for one reason, to visit Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, recently renamed TCL Chinese Theatre. That had been in the plans fom over a year ago when first planning this cruise. In addition to the foot and hand prints in cement of about 2000 Hollywood celebrities, past and present, the sidewalks for blocks and blocks contained the stars of about 2500 celebrities of all entertainment fields. Almost next to the theatre is the Dolby Theatre (formerly Kodak Theatre) where the Academy Awards are held every year. The entry and several levels contain retail shops. Kind of makes the theatre unattractive. TV can sure make things look good. This was alo a good photo opportunity of the HOLLYWOOD sign from here as this was as close as we would get to it. It was way up high on the hillside and even with a telephoto lens the picture will be questionable.
In addition to this iconic Hollywood tourist spot we visited other Los Angeles highlights. Drove by the Los Angeles Coliseum, home of two Olympic Games. Stopped at the Disney Concert Hall with it’s unique stainless steel exterior, Staples Center, etc. Stopped on Olvera Street and Olvera Square, the area first settled and the start of Los Angeles. Drove down Sunset Boulevard with the famous nightclubs like the Viper Club, Whiskey A-go-go, the Roxy and lots of famous restaurants like Wolfgang Pucks, through Beverly Hills on Rodeo Drive with it’s high end shops and car dealerships.
Our last stop was at the famous Farmers Market with it’s eating establishments and permanent stalls, for lunch before heading back to the ship through the heavy traffic and freeway jigsaw puzzle. A five hour tour turned into about six and a half hours and the sight of the ship was a welcomed sight indeed.
Until next time