June 17th - Monday- Day 15
So after an amazing Sunday of seeing old friends, great food and some sightseeing we work up Monday to start all over again :) Bob would be our tour guide today, as Andrea had to go back to Reality and work at Naked brands (a division of Pepsi that owns Naked Juice, Izze soda and ONE coconut water). To start things off Bob made pancakes and sausage for everyone, so nice, the kids were so happy of course. Mom decided to sleep in giving how comfy the bed was, and the fact it is virtually impossible to do in the RV. This gave the kids plenty of time to cuddle with Zane and Diamond. Despite the fact that Zane weighs 85 pounds and Diamond 65, they are lap dogs and love to cuddle. And of course my kids love to do this, and don't get to often as Henry is not allowed on beds or couches. Check out these adorable pics.
Diamond and Ben
We decided we would do the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Warner Brothers VIP backlot tour. I booked our tour for 3:30 to go until 6pm so we would be home to have dinner with Andrea. The walk of Fame is not quite as glamorous as they make it seem on TV. Think of putting it in the cheesiest tourist area of town and that is what you have. We did enjoy some of the shopping, we purchased
- the Oscar for Best Nanny to give to Pat
- Sarah purchased the Oscar for best friend to give to Emma
- Some I heart LA t-shirts for the girls
- And M&D got some stuff for my nieces
The kid didn't know many of the names which was sort of depressing and brings me back to another funny story. We had stopped at a rest stop somewhere in Kansas to have dinner and were sitting at a picnic table. Out of an RV comes a beautiful collie and my dad says "look guys he looks just like Lassie" and of course the response was "who's Lassie?" My dad was so upset it was all he could talk about. He was at least happy they knew who Benjie was. Then I rattled off to him all the things/people they have no idea who they are and it sort of sank in - The Brady Bunch, Fonzie, Black Beauty, Laverne and Shirley....never seen any of them. We did take some pics of the ones the recognize, hopefully they will make you chuckle.
Well at least Mom and Dad have educated them on the Beatles and what good music is! Most of the people they recognized where either because:
a) they had been on Dancing with the Stars (Kirstie Alley, Florence Henderson)
b) They had been a mentor on American Idol (Stevie Wonder)
c) they were the voice in an animated movie (Mike Meyers) and so forth...very funny!
The other highlight was the fact that Hollywood boulevard was closed for the Monsters University premiere that night. Of course the kids wanted to go, and perhaps we could have figured out how to get tickets, but it was my last night with Andrea and that was way more important. So we just too some pics and told them it was for the people in the movie only.
From there we headed towards Burbank home of many of the TV and Movie studios. Thanks to Yelp we found a great Italian deli/restaurant to have lunch at. Mario's Deli and Pinocchio restaurant (I hope that is right). The food was pretty good, huge portions like a good Italian, but very authentic look - it must have been there for 50+ years, reminded me a lot of NY. We were all way too full after lunch, but of course made room for the Gelato, which has become a favorite on this trip for sure. Bob even found Andrea's favorite olive oil, which ironically is from Spain in their little store. Off we went to the Warner Brothers studio.
I was not fully aware of what WB produced. Of course they did all the cartoons from when I grew up that you can't forget - Bugs Bunnny, Daffy Duck, Roadrunner and so forth. In fact that is who greeted us when we arrived on the campus.
We learned a ton about Warner Brothers in our 2.5 hours. I didn't know much about it prior. First it was started by 4 brothers. Their first huge hit that paid a ton of bills was Rin Tin Tin. The lot and it's back lots can be used by any production house, not just WB. So there are always people on sight scouting out the locations. They showed us how they do the fake facades, truly amazing, pressed bricks, etc that look so real. When someone uses the lot they can do anything they want to it including blow it up, they just have to replace it and put it back to close to normal (it can change that is ok). Their biggest TV hit was Friends, right now they make $1B per year in syndication....I guess they were all worth the $1MM (that millions within P&G) per episode they got paid in the end. The only show that was in production right now was Pretty Little Liars, they were filming when we were there. WB is also home to Chuck Lorre productions (you know the guy Charlie Sheen went off on), he was there when we were, as evidenced by his very BIG Mercedes sedan, quite nice. All of his shows are filmed there, they call his part of the lot Lorre-land, he has 4 of the stages (I think 24-27) for Big Bang Theory (we got to go into the stage, but all the sets were covered with plastic so it doesn't get dusty), Mike & Molly, 2 1/2 Men and 2 Broke Girls. Every stage lot has a sign on the outside that list every show that was filmed there, it is pretty cool.
There current shows are PLL, Heart of Dixie, Game of Thrones, Ellen, all the Lorre shows and just finished Gossip Girl. The big movie they are promoting now is Superman coming out. We got to see the suit he wears in the museum, each one costs $1.2 million and he ripped through two of them because he worked out and got bigger as production went on, so they needed 3 to film the entire movie. They also produced all the Harry Potter films and we got to see an amazing amount of costumes and props in the museum, the entire second floor. I believe they have won around 8 best picture Oscars for things like Casablanca. We also got to see all the great cars from movies like Batman, Scooby Doo, Harry Potter, Austin Powers movies and so forth. Here are some of the favorite pics.
the Grand Turino from the same-named movie with Clint Eastwood - one of arnie and my favorites, I cried my eyes out. That is his actual real car that they used in the movie. He lets them keep it in the museum there, but will come and take it out when he wants it. They said he just drove it off the lot last month :)
Ben and one of the four batmobiles they had there, they all drive and work and were so cool!
Yes, this is us on the actual Central Perk set that they re-built on sight and will have forever!
So we had a great time in LA and it was hard to leave, but nature was calling again and we were ready. Next we would head to three national parks - Kings Canyon and Sequoia which border one another, and then up to Yosemite. These are all new to Arnie and I as well as the kids, so we were all looking forward to it. As we said goodbye to LA I will leave you with one last photo of Claire and her best buddy that she misses so much from Cincy.