Today we decided to leave the car at home so to speak and take a day long guided tour sightseeing around Los Angeles. We had done most the sights last year on a self driven tour but not knowing the city very well we found it difficult to park and make our way round Beverley Hills etc. The Los Angeles city tour with The Anaheim Tour Company also took in the Warner Bros studio tour and lots of other sights.
We were picked up by our driver and guide, Cody at 8:30am and we were on an 8 seat mini bus with another English family of 4. After a 45 minute drive into Los Angeles (quicker than normal as it was a Saturday morning) our first port of call for the day was the expensive shopping street in Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive and the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel featured in “Pretty Woman”. Oz recognised the area straight away from GTA V.
We had a half hour wander and did some window shopping though to be truthful you would of had to pay me to get me to wear some of the godawful clothes for astronomical prices that were on display. It would appear that the second you become a “star” in Los Angeles and Hollywood your fashion taste falls straight out the window.
We then had a tour around the houses of the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. We saw Mick Jagger’s gaff, Michael Jacksons house (well the gates of it), Jennifer Anniston, Clark Gables, Ozzy Osbourne, Lucille Ball and many other American stars who i hadn’t a clue who they were. we passed some amazing mansions and ended up at Greystone Manor which was a private estate that was donated to Beverly Hills as a public park. Its also been used in several films such as X-Men, Rush Hour, National Treasure and loads more.
From Beverly HIll’s we headed into Los Angeles proper and down onto Sunset Strip and passed the Viper Rooms ( where River Phoenix died on the pavement), The Whisky A Go Go (LA home of The Doors and the birthplace of 80’s Metal), The Roxy etc. We ended up at the rather tamer Carneys. Carneys is a converted Pacific Railroad train carriage that sits proudly on the strip and houses a quirky diner serving chilli dogs, Train Wreck Fries, Hamburgers etc. Its also apparently Sheldon’s favourite restaurant ( from the Big Bang Theory) according to Oz.
After lunch we made our way across town to Hollywood Boulevard. Nothings changed much since last year, we wandered along the Walk of stars, Oz prayed to Nicholas Cage, we visited the tat stores and brought some souvenirs, Oz joined a street rally for jesus and danced till he almost got beaten by them ( he gets worse by the day) and then it was off for a drive up to see the Hollywood sign and then onto the Warner Bros Studio Tour.
The Studio Tour was ok. It had some interesting points but the majority was centred around shows we hadn’t heard of or seen. We got driven around the back lot and various streets and houses they had in place for use in filming everything from the Spiderman Movie to Casablanca and various Friends scenes. We then went in to a sound stage where the interior recording takes place. We actually visited the set of The Big Bang Explosion, though i wouldn’t of recognised it had it not been for the signs telling me that and Oz’s excitement. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take any film or photographs of probably the most interesting bit.
After that it was off to an exhibition of props and costumes from the new Suicide Squad film, Harry Potter stuff and lastly some Bat mobiles. All in all it was a good couple of hours spent though its not something id rush back to do again and id hoped there would be more about the animation side of Warner Bros as Looney Tunes is what i really know them for.
After we had finished at Warner Bros we started to head back towards Anaheim via Griffith Park and Downtown LA. We stopped at the Bonaventure Hotel where True Lies, In the Line of Fire and many more were filmed, passed the Staples Centre, USC, The LA Coliseum ( home of the 1984 Olympics, the LA Raiders and now the LA Rams) and eventually got back into Anaheim around 6:30pm. All in all a good day out and it was nice to be driven around and not have to worry about Los Angeles traffic and parking etc.
That evening we walked into downtown Anaheim and decided to see what all the fuss about the Cheesecake Factory was. The food was very good and very tasty and the cheesecake was to die for, so id say the fuss is warranted.