A Travellerspoint blog

Welcome to Hollywood

sunny 20 °C

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The irony of how our few days in LA ended last night is not lost on me. We found ourselves in the middle of the Beverley Hills Film Festival launch party. Enjoying a quiet drink and meal by the pool, we were eventually surrounded by producers, directors, actors and actresses all networking to promote and market “their” new film. There were beautiful people, there were old has been actors, young starlets, producers, writers and directors with their stars on the rise. The paparazzi were there (not photographing us) and it was lights, camera, action! We were like wall flowers except for the fact that a few lovely people came up and spoke to us, thinking of course that we were in the film industry (M is often mistaken for Tom Selleck!). Ric-producer and host of Digital Village KPFK radio show told us a bit about the way forward in digital radio; Pete talked to us about being a correspondent and producer. Read on......
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However, we spent most of the night with some very friendly people who wondered why we were sitting there with our laptop on. It turns out that they have a movie that is about to be shown in many countries around the world, including Australia. “Walk a mile in my Pradas” will have its premier screening tomorrow at the Festival and then around the world over the next few months. The executive producer Brian was a great guy –Finance/Economics background, so we had lots to talk about. Gregarious Jackie is an actor and also has an Accounting business; Rick the screenwriter has spent eight years developing the script for this movie and is also an actor and producer. We talked for hours and enjoyed the buzz of the night and learning about the film industry. It was a typical LA end to our stay here, albeit one that most tourists DON’T get to experience. (M was in heaven!)
Promo: Go and see “ Walk a mile in my Pradas” when it hits the big screen. The movie is about two guys, one straight and one gay who switch places one Christmas. It is a funny and heart warming film. It stars Tom Arnold, Mike Starr, Tom Archdeacon, Dee Wallace, Kristen Lea and Nathaniel Marston.

Posted by MandM Travels 11:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Los Angeles

Movie heaven

semi-overcast 20 °C

Universal_studio_278.jpgUniversal_studio_271.jpgUniversal_studio_095.jpgLA_2_025.jpgAnyone who knows M well, knows that he is a movie buff. He has always been interested in movies, especially the classics and has always wanted to visit Hollywood. His favourite movie is Casablanca and Humphrey Bogart is his favourite actor! With only a few days here, time is of the essence. We have a date with Universal Studios on our first full day. I have never seen M move so fast and i have committed to following him around all day. We go to every performance, (unfortunately for me) experience every main ride and take not ONE but TWO tours of the Studio. Actually, the Studio Tour is the highlight of the day. It is interesting, informative, fun and exciting. We see Wisteria Lane, where Desperate Housewives is being filmed as we tour; we also see old and new sets from many movies and films. It is exciting to see how special effects are done and to experience simulated floods, fires and earthquakes. The back lot is more interesting than the rest of Universal Studios as it is a working production area. We leave only at closing time, happy but tired.

Posted by MandM Travels 13:02 Archived in USA Comments (0)

San Simeon to LA

overcast 20 °C

san_sim_to_LA_046.jpgsan_sim_to_LA_048.jpgsan_sim_to_LA_069.jpgsan_sim_to_LA_075.jpgWe got up early to visit Hearst Castle here in San Simeon. Not many places are usually open at 8am but it is the sole reason for tourists pit-stopping here. The castle is on the top of a hill reached by taking the tour bus. Yet again the fog limits our visibility. As we get closer and climb higher the sun reappears and you look down onto blankets of fog. It's like Shangri-La. No wonder Hearst built up here. The property is huge and impressive, but the so called castle is really a huge mansion built with building materials such as the windows, gates, statues and doors acquired from almost every historic architectural period. Mad King Ludwig's Castle-Neuschwanstein- crosses my mind but the similarities exist only for the respective owner's eccentricities. The garden and grounds are incredible. Even more incredible are the priceless, exquisite antiques and artworks inside. This is what makes Hearst Castle worth a visit! It shows you what money/wealth can buy and reveals the power and influence that comes with being a billionaire.
We leave San Simeon and head to LA with the aim of getting there before it gets dark. Highway 101, heading South. This half of the drive is easier, less scenic and more dual lane highway. Santa Barbara is our next destination and we stop to admire the beaches and have some food in Montecito. I am a bit stressed about how we will go driving into LA to get to our hotel so the smart move is to use google maps and note directions. Easy! We follow the exact directions, experience peak hour traffic in LA and make it safely to Hollywood Blvd- mission accomplished! M is a great driver and has enjoyed every minute of this drive (well almost-except for my anxieties navigating!)
ps: he'd like to keep the mustang!

Posted by MandM Travels 12:34 Archived in USA Comments (0)

San Fran to San Simeon

Half way to LA

overcast 20 °C

SF_to_San_simeon_035.jpgSF_to_San_simeon_004.jpgSF_to_San_simeon_023.jpgSF_to_San_simeon_040.jpgSF_to_San_simeon_060.jpgSF_to_San_simeon_015.jpgSF_to_San_simeon_103.jpgSF_to_San_simeon_071.jpgToday we tested out our ability to drive on the öther side of the road in the first of 2 days we have given ourselves to drive to LA. On picking up a hire car, we were surprised to be given the keys to a Ford Mustang! M was thrilled while I was nervous. As we made our way to Pacific Highway No. 1 the road narrowed and the vegetation regularly changed. Tall pampas grasses, spruce trees, gum trees, cacti kept adding to the visual delight of the drive. Fields of pumpkins as well as regular roadside sellers of pumpkins, preparing for Halloween, really caught our eye. The colors, shapes and sizes were marvellousOne of America's food bowls was to be found either side of the highway as we travelled south. Thousands of acres of vegetables were in the fields- artichokes and spinach just two of them. Our first pitstop was in Monterey-a lovely seaside town. We had lunch on the pier at Fisherman's Wharf at Loulou's and enjoyed the food and sunshine. At the end of the pier the commercial fisheries can be found and therefore the clever pelicans, seals and pacific gulls await the scraps. Despite the promise of spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean as we did this drive, for most part, the sea and roads were covered in a thick blanket of fog. This was both disappointing and surprising. Sunny in Monterey, but foggy and quite eerie in Carmel. Strange being on the beach swimming and yet visibility being poor. The town of Carmel looked picture perfect but due to limited time we didn't stop there (unfortunately). So, here we are in San Simeon, pit stopping for one night. We checked in to a gorgeous hotel-The Morgan- which is both beautiful and cheap.

Posted by MandM Travels 23:06 Archived in USA Comments (0)

The streets of San Francisco

semi-overcast 20 °C

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The images we get from TV shows and movies on San Francisco are true. Very steep streets good for car chase scenes. Mean streets (in some places) due to a high level of homelessness, drug addiction and poverty. Alternative lifestyles leftover from the 60s in some areas. Some distinctive architecture (think Mrs Doubtfire) with beautiful houses lining some streets. Alcatraz located just out in the bay. The impressive Golden Gate bridge a definitive visual marker. Sun and sea attracting many tourists to the Fisherman's wharf area. San Fran is a surprisingly small city (800,00 pop) but a very popular city. It displays an easy, relaxed lifestyle; is very multicultural and has a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

Posted by MandM Travels 08:08 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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