** In this part of my trip, I mention reference to a couple of shows I saw filming or sets I visited. Please note, there are NO SPOILERS **
After a very busy and late night entertaining Saturday, Sunday (12/9) seemed hard to get started. I had no plans and well, was pretty lazy most of the morning. I then decided to take a drive to Hermosa Beach. I have been ordering online the most amazing bath products for a few months now called Bath Bar - http://bathbar.com/ and also at @bathbar on Twitter. Anyway, they opened a flagship store just recently in Hermosa Beach. I took a drive to check it out. It was a beautiful day. I had brunch right on the beach at a place called Good Stuff. I walked around, checked out the beach and some of the little shops and then went to check out Bath Bar. It is a beautiful shop and not only does she carry the products you see online, you can also create your own fragrances right there in the store. They have a custom fragrance bar! Admittedly, I am not creative; however, the woman there very nicely created some scents for me to smell and most were beautiful. It is a great treat. I highly recommend checking out this store.
After Hermosa Beach I made the traffic filled trek back to LA. A couple of suggestions had been made to me and as I had no plans that was my next move. I made the attempt to go check out LA Live to look around and such. Well, when I got down there it was impossible to get around anywhere (partially due to the LA Auto Show) so I ended up just leaving. The next suggestion was to check out The Grove. So, I headed over there (yes, I now know they are no where near each other). The Grove was also beyond crowded and I was about to give this up when I found a parking spot. Still, it was crazy with people. The stores are nice and the Christmas decorations were beautiful. I didn’t do any shopping. I just browsed a bit at the stores and people watching. As I mentioned it was VERY crowded. I wasn’t there real long before I decided to go. I headed back to the hotel, changed and headed out to supper.
I went Sunday (12/09) night to the Rick Bayless restaurant Red O on Melrose Avenue (http://www.redorestaurant.com/). I am a bit of a Rick Bayless fan although I have never had the chance to eat in one of his restaurants. The atmosphere was phenomenal. The staff very on top of things and still provided lots of attention to me even though I was a solo traveler. They have an extensive menu and it was hard to decide. The food is great. Everything was terrific and if I am in LA again, I will definitely revisit. I also felt the pricing was not too bad either. Worth checking out IMHO.
After supper I went back to the hotel to relax and think of something to do on Monday (12/10)/. All of a sudden I decided I wanted to do the WB Studio Tour. I checked online and there was availability so I went ahead and booked it. That was my Monday. I ended up on the Deluxe Tour that is about five hours long and includes lunch. It is an amazing tour truly. Our guide Thom not only was extremely knowledgeable, yet seems to love his work and that made the tour even better. About half an hour or so into our tour and our guide Thom got a call. *NO SPOILERS* Evidently the “boys” from the Big Bang Theory were filming a pre-shoot scene for an episode in January on a different soundstage and it was decided that they would like to have a mini-audience. So, off we went. Yes, my group and I got to go watch Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj in a scene to air January 10th. It was a very funny scene and fascinating to watch filming so up close. It was explained that during the live audience show Tuesday night, the audience will merely watch the scene we saw live on a monitor. It was seriously one of the coolest things I have done. That is all I will say about that.
Back on the tour we visited all sorts of on the lot locations, Thom told us many stories and many pictures were taken. We got to tour the room where the final products are mixed (the last step before airing). We got to into the room where sound is mixed in and/or where stars go if they have to say their lines over as the mic didn’t pic it up or whatever. We were all over the place. We had lunch in the fine dining room and the food was very good. We toured the behind the scenes production areas, set building, props, transportation, etc. It was all very interesting and fascinating. We were also able to tour the soundstage where Two and a Half Men shoot in front of a live audience. We also saw a place where they now have the Friends show set up exactly as it was. The Central Perk that is. It was very cool to see it setup just as it was for the show. A big treat also for me was touring the soundstage where The Mentalist shoots. They were on location off lot and Thom took us over through their soundstage. We got a grand tour of CBI headquarters, saw the white board with the latest case on it. It was extremely cool. There was just so much on this tour that I can’t even go into it. Take the tour! It’s worth it.
After the tour, I headed back towards the hotel. As I sometimes do, while I was still in Burbank I took a turn to check out some of the neighborhoods and beautiful houses. They have some gorgeous big houses there I must say. I was meandering along the streets when I passed a street with a bunch of trailers and such. I turned around and drove back down the street. They were obviously filming something. I parked the car around the corner and walked over towards there to see what was going on. There were three women standing across the street from filming. I approached them and they informed that the tv show Castle was filming there and what the filming was about. *NO SPOILERS* You could not see anything really. Occasionally you’d see Seamus Deaver or Jon Huertas come out, yet that was about it. (We learned that Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic were not there then.) They were shooting in a big house behind a big wall. It was fairly exciting to be on a live set, yet since you could not see anything it was also a bit boring. The ladies I met were great to talk with. The couple of crew I spoke with were very nice and didn’t seem to mind chatting. I wanted to be respectful as afterall, they are working. It is so funny to me that you can be driving down the street and one of your favorite shows can be filming. Guess if you lived out that way, it becomes “old hat.” Not for me though. I still found it exciting. Anyway, I was there a little bit, drove a bit more looking at now Christmas lights (as it was dark now) and headed back towards West Hollywood and my hotel.
Near my hotel, I stopped at Nobu to try it out for a late supper. Nobu is in a word fabulous. The staff is terrific, the ambience is great and the food is delicious. It is VERY expensive however I thought. I tasted a lot of little bites and I had no idea it would create such a big bill (and I don’t drink alcohol). Anyway, loved the food and enjoyed trying it out; yet I doubt I’ll go back due to the cost. It’s not THAT good.
Tuesday was the trip home - waaaaaah. I must admit that this trip more than most, I really hated returning home. Hated returning to my current reality and the job hunt. Good thing I have The Thrilling Adventure Hour podcast to keep my spirits up and my soul laughing!
Until my next travel adventure…