I can't believe how long it has taken me to get around to this. But since I hardly write in a paper journal anymore I'm forcing myself to go ahead and record it before I forget it. This is day 1 of 3. And all my pictures are up on Flickr.
First, this is Jan, my hostess for the weekend and one of my best friends. We've known each other since a French class the first semester of college.
D.C. had a true blizzard on the Wednesday before I was scheduled to leave, resulting in one cancelled flight and one near nervous breakdown. I got lucky, however, and was able to book a different flight only an hour after my original, and made it through the mountains of snow to the airport and out of Dodge. I got to L.A. late Thursday night, greeted by weather in the high 50s, which felt more like summer after the week I'd just had.
Paramount studio tour
A few weeks before my trip, Jan and I were emailing back and forth about things to do. She asked about doing a studio tour and when we were deciding on which one, she sent me the following thought process:
"We should do a studio tour. Hm. Bonnie will want to do Paramount - because it will have [the] most Audrey stuff there."
She knows me so well. So to Paramount we went on Friday morning. From those recognizable gates, to the iconic symbol on the water tower, it was perfection.
Our tour guide, though his nametag identified him as being from Kansas, was at least one part typical Hollywood fast talker. Very informative and sarcastic, but as Jan put it, she kept waiting for him to say "that's beautiful" or "let's make it happen." (Which, thankfully, he did not.) He drove us all around the lot, stopping at different soundstages for us to take a peek and filling us in on Paramount history along the way.
We saw them setting up for My Boys and Hung. We also got to go on the set of Community, which was interesting because it was the most put together of the ones we saw. We saw an outside lot used for water scenes, one of Forrest Gump's benches, the studio movie theatre, some buildings that used to be major star offices and dressing rooms (including Audrey), the set of two Nickelodeon shows, and more. We also had a whopping 4 star sightings. (Jan said the chances of even one are rare, so to have four is just unreal.)
Our guide tried to make it to the New York lot, but sadly we could only glimpse it from afar as Desperate Housewives was filming there. We did, however, use an alley to turn our golf cart around. At the time I thought it was just an alley. Later, however, and only because Jan asked, we discovered it was the alley used from the final scene of Breakfast at Tiffany's. (AKA MY FAVORITE MOVIE!) It would have been nice to know that at the time, but still, just knowing I was there is nice.
Oh yes, those. We saw:
Matthew Morrison and Jayma Mays from Glee and Chevy Chase and Alison Brie from Community. (She's also in Mad Men.) Everyone on the tour was freaking out, but Jan and I kept our cool. And were the only two who even realized it was Matthew Morrison. Everyone but Chevy Chase smiled and waved at us, but he might have, Jan and I were just too busy looking away as everyone in our cart screamed "That's Chevy Chase!" These were my only celebrity sightings of the weekend but I'd say that's ok.
Jan had a very long list of places she loves that she wanted to take me to eat. We started with In-n-Out. I love a good burger and fries and these were excellent.
After lunch I saw more of downtown Hollywood and we stopped on Hollywood Boulevard to do a little shopping and walking and looking. We went to Zara, which is a store I love and went to a lot in London and now in D.C. Funnily, I haven't bought anything there since London, but I found tons to buy at the one in L.A. I only bought one top, however, and Jan ended up with the same one. We are different in a lot of ways, but some times we are just so much alike, it makes me feel really good.
While here we also went by the Kodak Theatre, where many events are held, including the Oscars in just a few weeks. The space leading up to the theatre has columns with all the Best Picture winners. They have space up until 2050, after which I'm not sure what they'll do.
Our last stop in the area was Grauman's Theatre to look at all the hand and footprints of stars past and present. I can't believe how tiny some of the women's footprints were! Natalie Wood's especially, I really should have measured against my foot since mine are quite small too, but hers looked minuscule. I believe my favorites were Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, simply because they shared a block and wrote "his" and "hers" beside them, which I thought was sweet.
More shopping and dinner
We then went back to Burbank where Jan lives and wandered around downtown. I bought a very cute jacket and shirt at a consignment store, and then we had sushi at one of Jan's favorites. Then it was back to her apartment to get ready.
The L.A. Carolina Club (UNC has alumni clubs all around the country) happened to be having a mixer that night and we decided to go. It was fun to get dressed up to go out, reminded us of our last year of college, but not so fun once we got there. We had to realize that we just aren't go to a bar to meet people, people. Whether it's being incessantly talked to by someone you barely know, (Jan), or hit on by someone who can't even read your last name off a name tag correctly (me), we just don't have a lot of patience for it. We had a drink, left, and then Jan drove around L.A., showing me different views of the city and several landmarks.
And that was day 1 and just the beginning...