Friday, June 24, 2011

California Day 3: Hollywood

I'm currently on the coast of England writing this, waiting for a helicopter to take me to the Isles of Scilly (pictures to be uploaded at a later date, of course). I'm extremely nervous and can hardly sit still. However, I'm trying to keep myself busy. I'm going to try to narrate the remaining pictures here but doubt I'll have time to do it all. So please consider this post UNDER CONSTRCTION!
The third day we were in California Brandon arranged for us to tour Paramount Studios. Immediately I felt THIS was Hollywood. We parked here at the Visitors Entrance and I loved the gates but as you'll see later, nothing quite compares to the main entrance.
When walking into the entrance you are immediately asked for your ID and your name MUST be on the tour list. Thank goodness Brandon did this, cuz I'm not a planner. After making sure you're on the "list" you have to go through metal detectors. And as we waited I found this sign... And then I became a BIT nervous, lol. Read the bottom...
As we walked from check-in to the cafe to wait for our tour and purchase the tickets I saw this sign posted. Some of my favorite shows are taping here!! (Too bad it was early summer and only Rizzoli and Isles were filming, though).
Saw the famous tower! (No longer in use but it's a National Landmark so it can't be taken down, thank goodness).
Once we got a little history on Paramount we headed into the actual studios area. Our first stop was right inside where they start. If you look at the top of the photo there's the Hollywood sign. Got a lot of history on the sign, too. Very interesting!
Our first major stop was this backdrop of old apartments. After our guide (there with the microphone on her mouth) told us about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez and made Desilu Productions (or some sort) then after their divorce made Lucille Ball the first female in charge of a studio. Amazing, really, inspired me to get her biography. However, after showing us the area, taking pictures, and giving us the history the guide used her iPad to show us clips of the tv shows that used the area for productions. All I remember was BRADY BUNCH!! I love that show...
The grassy area here is used continuously because it's easily accessible and the weather here is amazing. Glee even shot some football game scenes here. How??? Well, I guess it's just the short shots that have a little view point of a catch or tackle.
The next major part of our tour was Dr. Phil's studio. We went inside and sat in the audience (was NOT taping) and we talked a little about what it's like to be an extra or audience member for a live television show. It got me COMPLETELY pumped for the Voice taping we had the next day!!!!
What I really liked were these plaques that were outside each of the studios that had the significant television shows and movies that were filmed there.
And lastly we went to their major backdrop. The guide showed us plenty of commercials that we shot here...and even a Seinfeld episode where the lady steals the rye bread or Jerry steals it...etc. Most notable would be the life sized hamster Kia commercial, lol. I had never actually seen it, though. Since then I've seen it almost everytime I turn on the television.
The last thing we saw that was significant would be this blue parking lot. "What?!?" you say. No, really. The parking lot actually is mobile and can retract and fill with thousands of gallons of water. In fact, parts of Titanic were even filmed right here!
And at the end of the tour we are taken to the front of the actual studio where pictures are snapped...
The Paramount Theater which shows films for free to employees after they come out.
Our guide in front of the Forest Gump bench!!!!!! Awww, "Life is like a box of chocolates..."
After the Paramount Studios tour we went to famous Pink's Hotdogs. Famous because it's been around for ever and rumor has it, all the stars love it!
The line is supposedly always crazy. And yes, at lunch time, it is. But it was pretty late in the lunch hour so we only wated 20-30 minutes... I needed that long to decide what I wanted though.
After a very grueling decision-making process I chose the Martha Stewart dog. Let me see if I can name all these ingredients: hot dog, mustard, sauerkraut, tomatoes, sour cream, bacon. Dang, it was good, though. But it FELL apart...instantly. Impossible to eat, really. The fries were not very good but the onion rings Kathy ordered were awesome.
We ate outdoors on the patio. Very, very pleasant! The weather was ohhhhhhh so nice. I miss it! (It's freezing here in England.)
See, it's really just a stand....with seating behind it. And yet, with parking attendants, lol.
And after hot dogs.......Hollywood Blvd :) I have to say it was much more attainable that I expected. I didn't know what to think. But in daylight it was nice. I wouldn't be very afraid....but I guess I didn't stray too far from the main area around the Kodak Theater (home to the Academy Awards).
Loved the Walk of Fame! "Show meeeeeeeeeee the moneyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy"
I'm every tourist trap, souvenir shop's DREAM. I love my souvenirs!!
Awwwwww, was so excited for Disney soon!
So famous......yet so....... (insert any word here that you're thinking) So soon!!!!! Wow, on my laptop right now "Disneyland" is not that visible. But this is right in front of the Disney Soda Shop and store on Hollywood Blvd right beside El Capitan theater where the new Disney movies are always premiered.
Although my friends didn't want to appear as tourists (hello?? you're on Hollywood Blvd, thanks) we totally posed with Mickey...outside the Soda Shop.
Totally laughed at this bogus idea.....Who knew I'd be riding in one an hour later? Thanks, Brandon, thanks. :)
A far away shot of Hollywood Blvd around the Jimmy Kimmel side, looking at Grauman's Chinese Theater (sorry for any spelling errors).
Yep, right there, where I was standing to take the previous picture :p
In front of the Kodak and Chinese Theater were more stars I recognized. Hubba, hubba!
Ultra bright star!
My childhood idol!
Grauman's Chinese Theater (yes, at this point I've used the name enough I need to Wikipedia it, but I'm exhausted and my laptop battery isn't going to last forever, so just go with it, please).Awwwwww, always has something uplighting to say.
Jerry, you make some kick ass television shows, just saying!!
The hillllllllllllllllls are alive. Julie, if you ever read this I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I've sung so many of his songs, in my bedroom, to my hairbrush......
And, the famous Roosevelt Hotel just across the street from the foot prints...
Then we got in the dang buses. They really weren't THAT bad. It was a good respite for my feet and the seats were pretty comfortable. Sat by some people from England so we actually had a fun time talking about my current location (Cornwall, England).
While on the bus got a great shot of Hollywood Blvd. Just have to edit out the cars...
Saw the synogague where Liza Minelli married her Jewish husband and Grace from Will and Grace got married in the show.
We soon entered Beverly Hills (and although started our morning here) got a great shot of the sign!
Oh, crap, I forgot who lives here......It's not Ashton Kutcher, I don't think. Cher is one, I know that! But there's a guy, famous, who has a condo here...I need to look at Kathy's FB. She has it on there.
Can you guess which Beatle star this is?? Yes.....Ringo STAR. The homes tour was silly. I mean, it was fun for a bit. But after a while there are no real houses, just gates.....and gates......and then I started thinking maybe he was just lying to us, you know. Hey, look over there, that's Big Bird's house and we'd all snap a picture and ooh and ahh. Hmmmm
This was the house where The Osbornes were shot. And now it's Christina Aguilera's house, although Brandon said she's selling it since the divorce. (He is a huge Christina fan.)
Simon Cowell's LA house.
Rodeo Drive....I wanted to jump out and go shopping but.....I didn't. A bit of composure I guess.
A great view of the sign (though I have 10 of this particular sign since we passed it so often on our trip).
Jim Henson's studio...
And the finale of the tour was heading up the hills to get a stellar view of Los Angeles... Wonderful, really....
And on the other side....the Hollywood sign. :)
After the tour dropped us back at Grauman's Chinese Theater we went to the Coffee Bean to go to the bathroom and get a cappiccino. And, lucky me, I got to have a coffee with Tinkerbell, Elvis AND Jack Sparrow. :D
Sadly enough, that was all the time Brandon allotted for Hollywood Blvd. So I convinced him to stop for one more souvenir shop to get my "Best Mom" and "Best Dad" Emmys and a lot other silly stuff. A travel girl has to do what a travel girl has to do!
Then I begged William to drive by Capitol Records, which he so accomodatingly abliged to!
Then off to the Farmer's Market. We all decided a FULL day of the Market and (the upcoming) Grove were in need.
These were the BEST. Cherries soaked in!
Kathy got some interesting fruits and I tried them each with her. Delicious! Figs and apricots I believe...
Did an ITTY BITTY bit of shopping at the Grove shopping center.
Great shot of the lighting above the theater in the middle of the shopping area...
And their lghted fountain was very enjoyable!

Then we headed to The Abbey in West Hollywood (gay town) to have dinner and drinks for Brandon and William. I was a bit uneasy of the area but we ended up having fun. The drinks were strong (and not to my liking) but everyone else seemed to enjoy themselves. Got home a bit late, since we had to find a Denny's that served food, as their kitchen had a grease fire. But after a long day of sight seeing, anything was appreciated.

Next: The Voice!

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