Warner Brothers Studio
Trip Start Jul 15, 2008
21Trip End Jul 30, 2008
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After cheating death once again on the LA freeways we arrived in Burbank around 11:00am. Shocker, my $20.00 guide book sent us to the wrong place. It was right last year but Warner Brothers moved the meeting point to a different building. Obviously I was not the first person this had happened to since the guard immediately handed me a paper map directing us to the new location. We used the paper map and Pat guided us to the new location. It was so last century using a paper map instead of Miranda, but it worked. We had to turn Miranda off during this little trip. She was getting a bit naggy telling us we were going the wrong way.
Once at the studio we paid our fee, watched a short WB propaganda movie, and it was off to a stretch golf cart. Everything is bigger in LA. We had a good tour guide and a pain in the butt tourist know-it-all from Connecticut. In other words your standard tour group.
The tour took about 2 and half hours, and it was pretty complete. We spent a lot of time on the outdoor set of ER, which of course neither Pat nor I have ever seen an episode of. Around the corner though they showed us the outdoor set where parts of Friends episodes, Casino, Annie, and countless other movies and shows were taped. They said this particular outdoor set is used to represent Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, and other East Coast big city places. If you don't look over top the buildings the illusion works. If you look over top the buildings you see the back of Mt. Lee. Here is a Jeopardy type useless trivia fact. Mt. Lee is where the Hollywood sign is located. The sign is on the other side of the mountain. It cannot be seen from Burbank.
I did not realize untill this tour how much all of the studios support each other. Apparently, if Universal needs something WB will rent it to them, and vice-versa. For example; because of the Universal fire, Universal needs to film some outdoor stuff for the show Ghost Whisperer at WB. That was filming when we were there. Whether it is props, equipment, or sets they will rent it to each other. For all the world leaders that are hanging on every word in my blog there is a lesson in this paragraph.
After seeing the outside of several other sets and studios if was off to a mini museum. Some of the important artifacts on display was the rifle used by John Wayne in True Grit and The Searchers and the dress Sandra Bullock wore in Miss Congeniality. I could make a comment here, but I will keep my mind and my blog out of the gutter. There were also several items from lesser actors like some guy name Johnny Depp and other B actors.
One of our last stops was the set of the coffee shop from Friends. It was pretty cool being on the set. It is amazing the detail used in creating the set.
After the tour was over we ate lunch and headed to Beverly Hills to look at some star houses. That was pretty much a bust. Pat did a great job reading stuff to me out of the $20.00 guide book. The first houses we saw did not look all that fancy. When we got to the bigger houses they all looked the same. Green. As in big green bushes hiding large fences so that there was no way to see the fancy house. After a half hour we gave up and braved LA traffic at afternoon rush hour to head back to our hotel.
We learned a valuable LA traffic lesson on this excursion. LA drivers don't use surface streets. The 405 was jammed bumper to bumper and not moving. Miranda suggested an alternate route, and I took it. I then told Miranda to get us to the hotel using the least amount of freeways. It worked. We were back to our hotel in a half hour or so. I have no idea how long the it would of taken had we stayed on the highway.
Yesterday I notice the change oil light was coming on in the van we rented. We decided it would be best to take this to Alamo and get a different vehicle before leaving the area. Since we had some time, and Alamo is close we decided to do it today. The rental car gods were smiling on us. We parked the van after talking to the nicest employee and went inside to swap out the van. We locked the Chrysler van with the electronic lock. It should be noted here that the electronic key fob lock is the only access to the vehicle. When we returned to the van to retrieve the last of our stuff to put in the new van guess what quit working? That's right - the electronic key fob failed. No access to the van. They had to use a slim jim it to open it. Had we been in Yuma, AZ or some other far away place that could have caused a certain amount of difficulties I would not have wanted to deal with. The whole process took about a half hour, which in and of it's self is quite an accomplishment. End commercial for Alamo.
Start commercial for Paco's Taco. We asked the concierge for a list local restaurants. He must read the bubble above my head that said Mexican food. He sent us to Paco's Tacos. From the outside it looks like a hole in the wall. Once inside it is big, colorful, and most importantly, the food is excellent. The waiter was super, the food was great, the Margarita large. So when in the LA area, rent from Alamo and eat at Paco's Tacos on Manchester near LAX.
Tomorrow is Disney.
Type to you then,
Where I stayed
Radisson LAX, Los Angeles Calfornia