Brown Bones and Pink Stars (La Brea Tar Pits and Hollywood Walk of Fame)

Our family’s back in California for summer break, and here I am still blogging about our trip from last year (*hides in shame*).  But this is my last entry from our 2013 US vacation, yay~

On our last week in California, Ezra asked Kurt if he could take us to La Brea Tar Pits.  My uncle took us there in 1996, and we haven’t been back since.  Back then, Ezra and I were a little too young to appreciate the displays so we wanted to revisit the place now that we’re older.

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 Cute prints on the ground

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 Museum entrance

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 I dug up our old albums in the attic to look for our photos from 1996.  I found this:

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 Same museum, same entrance, with a few minor changes 😀 There were a lot of us back then.  From left to right we have Tito Willie, Tito Edgar, Lolo, Tio Ben, Kuya Wibet, me, Mama, Mama Darling, Ezra, Ninang, Bam, Tita Lynette and Raffy.  (I had to blur Raffy a bit because his pose is a little inappropriate for this blog XD)

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 Cute saber tooth cat on the museum doors

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 And another cute yawning/growling kitty to greet us at the entrance. Plz excuse Ezra’s photobomb.

Inside the museum they have different fossils and bones on display.  These have been dug up from the numerous tar pits around the area.  Many animals get trapped in these pits, and die.  The tar helps preserve the bones and turn them black (or dark brown).  Some of the fossils and bones that have been uncovered from these pits are ancient! The oldest known material to have been found is about 38,000 years old.  These pits still exist but they are now fenced to prevent animals (and humans) from getting caught in them.

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 Here’s a skeleton of a ground sloth on display

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 Kids enjoy going to this museum because they have a lot of interactive displays.

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Like this one

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 These are containers of tar with a metal pole dipped in them.  Visitors can try to pull the pole out of the tar pit to see how much force it actually requires

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 Pulling one pole out takes a lot of effort, so I can only imagine how it would feel if I fell in.  They say it only takes about 2 inches of tar to immobilize an animal as big as a horse.

The museum isn’t that big so it didn’t take that long for us to see the whole place

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 Random bones and fossils

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Saber tooth cat

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 An illustration of what happens to the trapped animals in the pits

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True to scale display of a dwarf antelope

 

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 Look how small they are!

 

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A scaled animatronic model of a mammoth

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 This is how big they actually get

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 Pointy finger bones 😀

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 Check out those tusks

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 I’m guessing they needed to put this sign up because kids would jump up and try to touch the tusks.  (It’s what I would do anyway XD)

IMG_9996a (17)Those things behind me are dire wolf skulls.  There were a lot of them uncovered from the pits.  Wolves are known to hunt in packs, so that might be why.

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 Here I am posing next to a model of what these dire wolves look like when they’re alive

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 And here’s Ezra and Kurt in front of the wolves’ skeletons on display

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 Ezra with a giant jaguar skeleton

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 You can also take a peek into their paleontology lab

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 Scientists hard at work

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 The sign next to this says “Zed’s skull”.  I had no idea who or what “Zed” is so I checked online, and according to this websiteZed is the nickname given to the first near-complete, semi-articulated skeleton of a Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) from Rancho La Brea (RLB), and is one of the biggest fossil finds from Project 23.” Cool

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 Ezra and I in front of an animatronic display of a saber tooth cat attacking a sloth

And look what I found again in our old album:

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 Ezra, Raffy, Bam and me in front of the same display almost 20 years ago 😀

They had a mini garden outside, which we decided to visit

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 Ezra and Kurt resting on one of the benches there

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 Kurt had his glidecam with him for most of our trip last year.  Ezra kept complaining that he loves it more than he loves her, and that they should just start dating XD

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After this we went to the rooftop

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 The place reminded me once again of the training center in Balamb Garden 😀

And look:

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 Another photo from 1996 of our family at the same spot 🙂

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 Since Ezra couldn’t cling on to Kurt and his camera, she kept directing her neediness to me

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View from the roof deck

Inside the museum we watched a short documentary about La Brea Tar Pits.  The video talked about Pit 91, so we decided to go and see it for ourselves.

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 On the way there, we passed by this bear statue, which we rushed to take pictures with

Because we had a memorable photo with him years ago:

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I remember that our mothers got mad at us for getting tar on our clothes when we climbed the bear.  I also remember that Raffy wouldn’t stop crying because he was too small to climb with us.  Kuya Wibet tried to make him feel better by carrying him, but he wanted to be on the bear.  Eventually Tito Edgar carried him and placed him up there.  He ended up having a solo picture in front of the bear, but I couldn’t find in our albums.  My dad probably gave it to my aunt.  (Photos were very precious back then, and we usually only had one copy of a shot.)

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 Eventually we made it to Pit 91

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We weren’t allowed inside the actual pit of course, but they had a viewing deck for visitors

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 There weren’t any people working there at the moment though

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This is what happens to clothes after working in Pit 91

We were pretty hungry after this so we decided to look for a place to eat.  Ezra wanted to try eating at Hooters so Kurt searched for one nearby using his GPS.  We found that the closest one was in Hollywood

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 In case you can’t tell, these ladies aren’t real police officers. We saw lots of people dressed up as different characters.  You can ask them for a photo in exchange for a small tip.

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 We spotted this Ikemen ramen shop.  I wonder if the people who work there are really ikemen? 😀

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 Finally we arrived at Hooters

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 Ezra and I shared an order of these delicious boneless chicken wings

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 and curly fries

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Happy girl

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 Our waitress was very sweet.  We told her that we were tourists and she wrote this on our receipt

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Afterwards we asked if we could take a picture with her, and she said yes.  She even asked some of her friends to join us.  (She’s the one standing between Ezra and me – isn’t she super gorgeous?  She’s like a living doll.)

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 Kurt looks very happy to be surrounded by these beauties

Since we were already in the area, we figured we might as well check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame before going home

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 I got all giddy and excited when I saw the Backstreet Boys’s star 😀  I was a major BSB fangirl back in the day.  I wouldn’t sleep until I listened at least one of their songs on my walkman XD

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 We also found Johnny Depp’s star

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 Here’s Kurt with Samuel L. Jackson’s star

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 And Tom Cruise’s

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 Ezra was more interested in the cartoon character’s star.  Like Snow White’s

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And Winnie the Pooh

IMG_9996a (68)Here’s me again with Hans Zimmer’s star

We spent the rest of the afternoon just walking around and taking in the sights.  Occasionally we would stop by the stores in the area to check out the souvenirs they had for sale.

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We saw this strange looking Hello Kitty

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 And these cat women.  They thought Ezra was adorable so they asked if the could take a photo with her (free of charge of course :D)

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 We stopped by this mall and looked around for a bit

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 We also spent some time in front of the Dolby Theater (formerly known as the Kodak Theater)

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 This is where they hold the Oscars (Academy Awards) every year

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 We stopped by Mann’s Chinese Theater to take pictures of the signatures, footprints, and handprints of famous stars there

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Why thank you Mr. Clint Eastwood XD

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Twilight cast

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Harry Potter!!!

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 It had to be done 😀

We came across Madame Tussauds wax museum

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We didn’t go inside though, we just posed in front of the displays in front

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 I had to wait in line to get my photo taken with Johnny Depp.  It was worth it 😀

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 On our way back to the car, we passed by this interesting structure.  I’m not sure what it’s for though

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Kurt was pretty tired since we woke up early to go to the museum, so we decided to go home and rest after this.  We weren’t planning on going to Hollywood this day, so we didn’t really expect to be out all day.  Nevertheless, I’m really glad we got this chance to go sight seeing.  Like I said before, our vacation time is very limited, so every moment counts 😀

And of course, here’s a video that Kurt made of our visit to La Brea Tar Pits:

So this officially ends my US 2013 blog entries.  Finally!  There were a lot of them this time, mostly due to our 7-day Yellowstone tour, and our 5 days in Hawaii 🙂  I think I wrote almost 20 entries in total.  (You can check them all out by clicking HERE.)  It seems a bit much, but these are all precious moments that I want to cherish forever.  I thought about compressing all our activities in just a few short entries, but it didn’t feel right.  It will all be worth it in the future, when we look back at these posts to reminisce about all the good times we had 🙂

Thank you to everyone who made our summer break amazing!  And thank you of course to my parents for making this trip possible 😀

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6 thoughts on “Brown Bones and Pink Stars (La Brea Tar Pits and Hollywood Walk of Fame)

  1. “They thought Ezra was adorable so they asked if they could take a photo with her” — Nice! hanggang sa US may nagpapapicture kay Ate Ezra. naalala ko lang ung Ozine Fest. hehe.

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