Please also visit my Author's blog at

Friday, March 12, 2010

Trip to Hollywood for Awards Ceremony

On February 24, 2010, I drove down to Hollywood for the awards ceremony for the Los Angeles Book Festival and the DIY (Do it Yourself) Book and Film Festival. "Renting with Rex" won two awards in these contests in their "How To" categories

I had originally intended to drive down on Highway 5 through the valley. However, a close friend who does a lot of RV driving, suggested that I reroute to Highway 101 since she had been stuck in snow over the grapevine north of Los Angeles.

Since the award ceremony was at 6 PM on Thursday, I wouldn't have had enough time to drive all the way down on Thursday, especially since I was taking both dogs and Mercury, the cat. They definitely need time to have a break.

I decided to drive the first part on Wednesday and stay the night in Pismo Beach on the coast. I had never taken the drive down to LA on 101, so the whole drive was brand new, and I had never stayed in Pismo Beach. What a beautiful town. It is right on the coast and the cliffs. I got to town around 4 PM, so I decided to find a nice beach and let the dogs and cat out and give us all a nice time on the beach. Mercury, of coarse, stayed in the van for the trip walking around and down to the beach

Here is the slideshow for Pismo Beach:

The next day I drove down to Hollywood. Along the way I lost a hubcap. There were parts where the road was so rough, I am not surprised I didn't loose more.

I got to Motel 6 around 3 PM. Due to the size of my van and the size of their underground parking lot, I had to find street parking to park for overnight. I found another lot but they wouldn't take overnight parking. I found another lot that had a higher ceiling, but that was full. After around a hour of driving around, I finally found a spot on a steep hill about four blocks away. At least I didn't have to pay because the other lots wanted to charge me $20. I put on my alarm and steering wheel lock and prayed hard that my car would be safe.

I had just enough time to bring all my stuff in and park the car, relax a bit  and watch a little of the Olympics and then walk to the hotel where the awards ceremony was being held. What I didn't know realize was that the street where the hotel was is on Hollywood Blvd, where all the Hollywood Stars are on. I promised to check out all the stars and take some shots after the ceremony.

The ceremony was nice. They showed several of the short films that won awards. They were very creative and fun to watch. The people running the event said that they would have links to all the awards and the films. As soon as that is available I will post those.

Here is a shot of my certificate:

So, after the ceremony, I walked up and down Hollywood Blvd and Vine Street and photographing as many stars as I could before my cell phone battery died. I had to do a lot of post processing to the images because I shot them at night, and the lighting was very bad. Plus, there was a lot of traffic on the sidewalks, so I had to work around shadows and blocked lights. There are several that were right in front of Capital Records. Those were a nice surprise. The big surprise to me was that Paul McCartney didn't have one but John, George and Ringo did. Now, I could see those stars were very new, so maybe Paul's is coming along soon.

Some of the images in this slideshow are taken from large paintings that are on role up doors that are up and down Hollywood Blvd. Those were great. Some had some graffiti, like Gracie Allen's, but most were in good shape, especially with the very large amount of traffic on that street.

If anybody wants copies of these stars, please email me at:, and I will email them to you if you have a favorite star I have photographed here.

Here is the slideshow for Hollywood Stars:

I drove back home the next day, which was a nice drive. I only hit rain when I got back to around Monterey and then all the way home. That was tough because we could only drive slow.