Saturday, May 26, 2007

Warner Bros Studio Tour - Gilmore Girls and Famous Cars 15th Jan 2007

Our second major stop is at the Gilmore Girls set. The town was used in many shows - one of them being the "Dukes of Hazzard" TV series. We cldn't take pics as they were actually filming then -a few extras and Liz Torres at the shop!
We cld only take pics of the hse here.

Here's a bit of fun for movie vehicle props buffs!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Warner Bros Studio Tour - ER - 15th Jan 2007

I just couldn't stay in.
Our second day in LA.
We booked to go on the Warner Brothers Studio Tour at 10am and called for a taxi to get there. The trip took only 15mins and we browsed around the WB store. This is a great place to stock up on WB Dvds as the prices offered are cheaper and you know they are fair dinkum! If only we knew this before!
Our lovely guide was Aaron and he was absolutely charming and entertaining. We were first shown the outdoor sets where major movie scenes and tv series such as "Sex in the City" and "Friends" were filmed.
Whizzed around past the stars' car parking spots - "Two and a half men" star Charlie Sheen's car parking spot. Too quick and cldn't get a shot so here's Matt LeBlanc's.
Wld have loved the set of "Two and a half men" but most shows were still not back at work yet.

Our first major stop was ER. This is great! but eerie as well - it was so deserted and quiet. You cld 'see' the actors here in the oh so familiar scenes in countless episodes. The camera, lighting rigs and how they replicate snow, rain and Chicago's gloomy weather in this small area as Los Angeles's beautiful weather can be problematic for filming!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

City of Angels! 14th of Jan 2007

DH, DD and DS went to Universal Studios today while I stayed in the hotel and blogged.
They caught the subway at the cnr of Highland and Hollywood Blvd to the very next stop for only USD 1.75 per person! Universal Studios has free shuttles where the pickup point is near the station that'll take you up to the Universal walk/mall.
Here are their pics:
Desperate Housewives sets?

War of the Worlds set

On our way to LA - 13th Jan 2007

Woke up around 4am to get ready for our ride to Dulles Int Airport for our morning flight to LA. Didn't sleep too badly after an early light dinner in the hotel. I guess everyone was tired after all the excitement the afternoon before.
At first I was worried. All weary travellers are aware of the long airport queues. With added security, the lines snake all the way round to eternity. I could hobble but I probably need to sit somewhere close to the queues as my posse moves along.
Never had to travel like this.
All was quiet at Dulles - no queues - when we arrived and at our check in counter, we were asked if I needed a wheelchair. Hey! That's a great idea! After a few minutes, some from the airport staff came with wheelchair and to top it all off, we got priority in the security check queues. I'm not one to complain about travelling. I know It's a huge task for all involved to move all these people and luggage to their destinations and sometimes it's just bad luck.
By this time, I was over the moon with my wheelchair!
We were 'parked' at our gate with 2hrs to spare and we were all too grateful to be helped by the American Airlines and Dulles airport staff here.... :)
Got into LA by early afternoon. (Used Super Shuttles for our transfer in DC and LA. ). We checked into Orchid Suites in Hollywood and it is position perfect for those who want to avoid staying near Disneyland and anything else south of California. It's only 3 mins walk (10 mins hobble) to Hollywood Blvd, Kodak Theatre and Grauman's Chinese Theatre. It's still quite a way from Santa Monica as we found out a few days later. Pretty decent place and quiet considering that Hollywood Blvd and Nth Highland Ave is just bustling with traffic.
Had to ask a local where we could find pharmacy/supermarket on Hollywood Blvd so I called my cousin's hubby for directions (Thks, Mike!) and also to chat with my cousin (Hi, Yvette!) who are all now in Houston. I think it was called Long's Drugs. We stocked up on provisions to last us for the 5 days we were there. With hindsight, we were glad that we had this many days here. It wld have probably been too long if I was able bodied to be running around.
I stayed in and worked out the wireless internet connection while the troops bought food and found a chinese restaurant La Oriental Bistro on Nth Highland ave - great for takeaways but not very good at french or so my son tells me!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The US Capitol Building - 12th Jan 2007

Here is the Capitol building.
The architecture, design and detail is just magnificent as we were shown via the in-house tour. It was a short one and we were left to wander to the meeting chambers of the House of Reps and Senate. So much history happened in the rooms and corridors - one can't help but be overwhelmed.

As we were leaving the lower ground rotunda area, we were rushing to make it to the National Archives before 4pm when disaster struck.
Just on the last few dark steps before the external doors, I missed a step. Felt my right foot twist inwards and the pain shot up the front of my foot towards my shin. I knew I was in trouble- it was excruciating and I had to lie down on the floor. I lifted my leg up and all that was rushing thru my head was that we had an early flight out of DC tomorrow and I swore when the twist happened! Had anyone heard me swear?
DH and a policewoman (where did she come from?) kept asking me where it hurt as everyone thought I had fallen and hit my head. Kept asking for my name and if I knew where I was. Then 4 very capable men came running down the stairs - the Attending Physician and 3 paramedics. eeek.
A wheelchair appeared. They helped me into it but the pain made me nauseous and I almost passed out. By now I was struggling to compose myself with the pain from the foot and pain of embarassment. Was wheeled to the Office of the Attending Physician with the Whole Entourage. eeek.
Dr Gutierrez was so very nice and good looking but I almost wanted to punch him when he pressed and probed my ankle and foot area. The front was quite swollen and I was going to pass out again. Everything seemed to point to an ankle injury.
Then he kept asking about why I was passing out......
(ok so i don't cope very well with pain but hey, I did have 2 babies the usual way. Didn't pass out then - DH would attest to that. Was conscious enough to tell him it was all his fault :) )
RIght... no broken bones. Looks like a very bad sprain but we could go to the George Washington Hospital to double check.
He gave me some Tylenol and taped an ice pack around the swelling. Lots of rest, foot elevated (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation???)).
They arranged for a taxi to pick us up just outside the building and it was starting to rain. They didn't have any crutches they cld loan me ( apparently they were all out?!)
At the time, I had thought it was a pretty bad sprain and chose not to go to the hospital. I cld hobble with our 2 umbrellas and my good left leg. (I know now that I tore something at the front of the foot where it joins the leg. Still aches and my niece and nephews reckon I should have an MRI for soft tissue injury as my scan and xrays were negative for broken bones etc.)
DH was chuckling away saying NOW we'd never forget DC for sure, DS was sweet and got me lots of ice from the ice machine and DD just smiled as she helped with opening doors for me - she never experienced something like this before....hee hee hee!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Union Station, The US Botanic Garden - 12th Jan 2007

We were going to cover the Capitol building end of DC on our last day. The kids had just watched "National Treasure" and with New York fresh in their minds, they wanted to see the Declaration of Independence.
Our hotel is really close to the subway as well so we took a train up to Chinatown and then across to the Union Station.
Here are some cool pics inside the subway.

The replica of the Liberty Bell outside the Union Station.

We made it thru to the Library of Congress but as it was raining, our photos are quite grey and depressing. We then made our way to the front of the Capitol building and waited to be taken in to the Capitol building tour. A great place to visit while you're waiting is the US Botanic Garden just next to the Capitol on the left side while facing the Washington Monument.
I've always loved Cattleya orchids - these blooms are beautiful bu the photos don't really show the intensity and the size of the lovely flowers. They were huge and absolutely magnificent!

Monday, May 07, 2007

More pics from the Trolley Tour...

Lincoln Memorial

View of the Washington Monument from the Lincoln Memorial (remember this scene from "Forrest Gump"?)
Abraham Lincoln

Korean War Memorial

Korean War Memorial

Vietnam war memorial

The WHite House

The Willard Hotel

Portrait of all the Presidents together