A Hollywood Visit

WB-watertowerLast month, hubby had a conference in Los Angeles for a week. I thought it would be fun to fly out on that Friday evening to meet him and hang out for the weekend.

I got there late by Center Time standards, but early for Pacific Time. And I was STARVING because my plane left at 7 pm and I had to be at the airport by 6 pm. Anyway, we hung out in the hotel lobby that night while he fed me and I had a martini.

Our plan for Saturday was visit a movie studio, Hollywood and basically just see where the wind took us. Because my husband is a Boy Scout, he did some recon before I got there. It was rather brilliant. I purchased tickets to Warner Bros. tour before I got there, so all I had to do was give them my name and ID and we were in. We were going on the 8:30 tour, but there was room on the 8:15 because we got there so early. Turns out that was the exact right thing to do.

There were ten of us on the tour. The guide asked where everyone was from, because it’s LA and there are lots and lots of tourists. The first couple was from England, the second from Paraguay, the third somewhere in Europe (I can’t remember… Estonia? I’m not sure), another couple from Cayman and then he gets to me and my hubby. He asks where we’re from and we both say, “Texas,” at the same time.

All the heads snap around to us. There is a fascination with all things Texas, I’m learning. The Japanese, especially, love all things Texas. We are TEXANS. YES. Born and raised and damned proud of it. When I die, I want Texas soil over my grave. But I digress… The guy grins and asks where in Texas, so we tell him Dallas/Fort Worth area.

So the tour continues. We went to the back lot at Warner Bros and saw all sorts of cool stuff. Remember the alley in Blade Runner that was supposed to be Chinatown? That was filmed there. The Spider-Man upside down kiss with Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst – that was filmed there. The musical Annie was filmed there. All the Batman movies. The Maltese Falcon with Humphrey Bogart was filmed there (I walked where he walked).

The Big Bang Theory is filmed there. We are fans of the show, so this was really fun. Remember the episode where Sheldon steals Raiders of the Lost Ark and runs out of the theater?

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theater

We stood in front of that theater. It’s almost like hallowed ground. *grin* It’s not quite the same angle, but you get the idea.

One of the highlights of the movie studio tour was getting to visit the set of Big Bang Theory. We weren’t allowed to take pictures, but we sat in the audience seats and could look out on the set. It was so incredibly, cool. The sets that they always have are Penny’s apartment, the hallway with the broken elevator and Leonard’s and Sheldon’s apartment. Since they aren’t filming right now, everything was covered with tarps (boo). On the ends they have what are called swing sets, where they do Howard’s mom’s house or Raj’s apartment or some other set that they don’t use in every episode.

There’s an episode early on when Penny gives Sheldon a napkin signed by Leonard Nimoy. When the late, great Leonard Nimoy saw the episode, he signed a napkin and sent it to the show. It’s displayed in the studio as you walk in the door. I loved it.

After our tour, we headed to Hollywood. We’d heard there was a good place to eat. We parked and started walking up Hollywood Blvd. Turns out we went the wrong way to find the restaurant. But it was a happy accident because I found several stars on the Walk of Fame right away that had me squealing with delight. I even touched the disgusting sidewalk for this picture.

Mik-HFAs we continued on, we were handed every sort of flyer for tours possible. The place smelled like piss with homeless crouched on the sidewalk. By the time we got to Hollywood and Vine, we turned around, crossed the street and headed back. There was a homeless woman sleeping on the corner of a very busy street and people were just stepping around her as if she wasn’t there.

We made our way up the street, trying to figure out where the hell we were and where this famed restaurant was when I glanced up and saw The Dolby Theater. I grabbed my husband and dragged him across the street. He didn’t know what the big deal was but I told him this is where the Golden Globes were held earlier this year. Turns out, we could see the Hollywood sign from there.

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We also found a great little restaurant and were happy to be off our feet and resting while we ate lunch. We did some light shopping and then headed to the Hollywood sign. Hubby found a way to get to it along with 45 million of our closest friends. Okay that’s an exaggeration but it felt like that many!

He drove us up to the observatory where we could get a clear view of the Hollywood sign. It was cool and rainy that day so I was glad I had a jacket. We went into the observatory and there were so many people jammed in that small space, it was claustrophobic. We stopped in the café to rest and drink some water and then it was off again, this time to Rodeo Drive.

Google Maps did not want to cooperate much but we finally found Rodeo and that famous street lined with the palm trees – the name escapes me at the moment.

Shrek-DonkeyWe walked up and down Rodeo and went in and out of stores for some high-end window shopping. It’s a good thing I left all my plastic at home, or I would have left with a brand new Coach bag and some Jimmy Choos. Sadly, the Louis Vuitton store did nothing for me.

By late that afternoon, we were beat and hungry. So we headed back downtown to the hotel, parked and walked to a nearby Italian place which was pretty good. By the time we hit the room for the night, we were dead tired. Since we both have a Fitbit, we knew we’d walked over 8 miles and nearly 20,000 steps EACH. No wonder we were tired!

Sunday morning, we got up early again and headed to the airport. I will just say that LAX is the WORST airport for security processing I have ever been in. It took nearly 45 minutes to get through security. I hated it. O’Hare wasn’t bad at all. We pretty much walked through with no wait time. And DFW is a freaking dream compared.

The best part was landing at DFW, walking out and having the valet ready with my car. No waiting for shuttles or searching the garage. I will definitely do that again.

We had a really great time but it sure was nice to be home!

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.