LA Tour and Warner Bros

Trip Start Jul 02, 2012
Trip End Oct 04, 2012

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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happily Richard was over his tummy upset, so at 8.30 we climbed in to our waiting shuttle and headed off on our LA tour.

We had a fantastic driver who talked non stop from the moment we left and didn't stop until he dropped us off 9 hours later.

We drove throughout Bel Air and saw the house where Michael Jackson died, past lots of famous people's mansions including Bill Cosby, Barbra Streisand, Walt Disney and Lucille Ball.

Strolling down Rodeo Drive was fantastic, if only I had the millions you would need to be able to shop there!  

We went in to the Beverley Wilshire hotel where Pretty Woman was filmed and used the restrooms... very flash!

Driving through Beverly Hills we saw the Beckham's mansion, and the houses of Madonna & Denzel Washington.  We walked around Greystone Manor, a 32,000 sq foot mansion built in 1923. It was the biggest place in LA until a guy on the next hill bought up 7 mansions, demolished them all and built an 80,000 foot mansion.  It has taken 7 years to build and is close to completion. It looks amazing but seems ridiculously excessive.

We stopped for lunch at Carneys which is a train converted in to a diner and is where James Belushi ate his last meal before going home and taking a drug overdose.

Next we headed up Sunset Boulevard to the Chinese Theatre and took the obligatory photos of the stars and hand/footprints. On the advice of our tour guide we avoided the guys dressed up as Batman, Zorro, Michael Jackson etc who would offer to have their photo taken with you and then demand a $5 tip.

On our way to the Hollywood sign we stopped in at the Hollywood Bowl where the Beatles performed in 1964. It's an amazing place and we even saw a guy running upand down the hundreds of steps in true Rocky style.

Next we stopped in at Warner Bros studios to take their tour around the 14 acres of movie studios.  It was mind blowing, complete streets of houses and sets for hire to production companies.

We saw the Bat Mobile, the piano used in Casablanca and the car Harry and Ron flew in to Hogwarts when they missed the train.We also drove thru the only full jungle set in LA where they shot some of Jurassic Park and also True Blood.

We went in to the sound studio where they do the live studio audience tapings of The Big Bang Theory and the best of all was walking in to the Central Perk which is still set up exactly as it was when Friends was taping.

After a couple more stops at 2 breathtaking hotels, we headed home. It was a fantastic trip and gave us a great taste of the LA we see on TV.

Arriving back at our hotel we thankfully managed to sort out the rather pressing issue of a passport left at LA airport and thanks to our super travel broker, Elaine (sorry about the VERY early morning call!) and some excellent detective work, we managed to track it down and a 'quick' 3 hour round trip to the airport and all 3 passports were happily reunited. Long story, not worth repeating here, the 2 main points being it was customs' fault, not mine (of course!), and I never ever want to go thru that stress again!!

Some interesting facts we learned today:

A billboard in downtown LA costs $25,000 a month to lease and the big ones on the side of the building cost $95k.

If you lined up the shoes in the costume dept at Warner Bros, they would stretch 3.5 kms, the clothes would stretch 12 kms.

If you are in the studio audience and you have a funny laugh they have a 'laugh master' who will either edit your laugh out or turn the mic beside you off!

Each member of the Friends cast still earn $20 million a year in syndication fees

And one from yesterday...Rubbish stays on the ground for no longer than 30 secs at Disneyland before it is picked up.
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Helen/mum/granny on

Ooooh, brought back memories as did Disney photos, from 20 yrs ago!!!! Love you x

rebecca on

aaaahhhh, Friends, and the Central Perk. Love it. And Harry and Ron's car - that's great!

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