One Last Stop

I’ve been home for a few days now.  All unpacked, laundry is all done, slowly catching up on sleep, and some friends and family have already been made to look at my 650+ photos.  But, I wanted to tell you about the last stop on the big tour, Los Angeles.

Let me start by talking about Air New Zealand.  Really enjoyed their hospitality for my flight from Auckland to Los Angeles.  The flight attendants were lovely, the plane was new, the movie selection had over 50 movies from “When Harry met Sally” to “My Week with Marilyn” and one of the best things of all, they played music in the toilets.  It’s amazing how such a little thing could mean so much to me.  It made the whole experience very relaxing and the washrooms were spacious (for a plane) and decorated nicely.  One had wallpaper with a chandelier on it.  Really made you feel like you were not being rushed, like I normally do.  Thanks for the little things Air New Zealand.

But, on to the last stop of my journey.  Let me just say, I like the word journey more than vacation or trip.  Because that’s what it was, a journey.

Los Angeles, like always, was an interesting place.  It was made so much better this time with a few good friends to travel with, Joe and Stephanie.  Thanks so much for joining me.

As I’m a creature of habit, stayed in the same Holiday Inn Express (free breakfast – it’s the little things that are important) and rented the car from the same Budget.  If you’re happy with the service and experience, why change it when it’s such a short trip.  After luckily getting to check in early, it was off to Hollywood and Highland and the walk of fame.  Had to leave Stephanie there, while I headed off to a meeting.  But, quickly returned and checked out a few things.  Included purchasing a very yummy cupcake from Crumbs Bakery.  That wouldn’t be the only one I enjoyed on my short visit to LA.

After Joe’s arrival, very early Tuesday morning, and some sleep, we were off on our day of studios and tv shows.  We enjoyed a tour of the Warner Bros Studios in the morning.  I had been sad that my favourite show, “The Big Bang Theory” was on hiatus that week, so I couldn’t get tickets to a taping, but luckily we were at least able to go and check out the set.  Also, the set of “Mike and Molly” since they were also off.  All in all a great tour.

We had to then kill some time before going to “The Ellen Degeneres Show”.  Interesting though, we almost missed it.  Let me tell you the story.  We received a call on Monday night saying that the time we needed to be at the show to check in had moved from 2pm to 3:30pm.  So we showed up at 3:25pm, thinking we would be early, but not the case.  The waiting area was already full.  We headed over to a security guard, they told us we were early for our show taping and that we were in the second taping of the day, so to just sit over there and wait for this group to leave.  We did what we were told.

The “other” group was getting their numbers etc.  Luckily, Stephanie decided to go and check.  After being yelled at by another security guard for not doing what he had told everyone to do by getting in line for numbers, we rushed over and got the last 3 guaranteed seating numbers.  We explained to the girl what happened and she told us that the security and the show don’t work together, so they don’t know what the security is saying.  Okay, a little confused.  The only people were saw or were able to speak to when we arrived were the many security guards, no show staff.  Might be a good idea for them to all be on the same page, especially for them to know that there is only one show taping that day.  But, I still wonder why I received a call to say come at 3:30pm, when it looked like others had been there for hours before us.

Oh well, we got to see the show and the guests were great this time around.  Jonah Hill was there talking about the new movie he wrote and stars in, 21 Jump Street.  Additionally we had a guy from “X-Factor” and this amazing guy who taps on the NYC Subway to make money for his Penn State education.  Good show!

Did I mention that all this was on my big birthday.  Awesome day.  We topped the day off with a great dinner at Il Cielo in Beverly Hills.  Check out the decor.

Il Cielo











After a lovely meal with great company, it was time to call it a day on the actual birthday, but don’t worry like usual my birthday will continue for at least a few months or a full year this year.  We all deserve nice long birthdays.

Our next day was all about being tourists, doing the hop on and off bus tour.  We got down to Santa Monica where I got to stand on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.  Pretty cool to stand on so many sides of the Pacific Ocean on one trip.  Plus a few dips into it.








Luckily we went to Santa Monica, because we got to see our fill of C and D list stars.  Started with Kevin Sorbo shooting some movie.  Might have been this one, The Whole Banana . And then a major highlight, we saw the one and only, The Hoff.  Yes, David Hasselholf and he didn’t seem drunk or anything.  Just wearing some bad long, white socks.  We continued to hope and dream that we would see at least one A or at least B list actor, but nothing.  We do think though that we saw this guy at The Grove.

After all of our touristy stuff, it was time to pack up and head back to reality and home to see my family and other friends, plus sleep in my own bed again!  I had a wonderful home coming with my family and some friends.  Thanks for the great Arrivals welcome from my favourite girls, my sister and my two nieces.   Always, dreamed of one of those.  It is after all the happiest place on Earth, according to Hugh Grant in the movie “Love Actually”.

Will probably do one more blog post about the trip to share some interesting observations about other travelers and general over all thoughts.  Keep an eye out for that one.