So here is our 'L.A. Story. '
We left last Sunday and had an easy, quick drive from S.J. Here is miss P and I doing some calisthenics at a rest stop. We're not fans of Biggest Loser for nothin'!
When we pulled into town, I found I had to adjust my expectations a bit. I had such an elevated view of what certain parts of the city would be like, from watching certain shows. That there would just seem to be some magic along Melrose, Rodeo Drive, the Sunset Strip, etc. I'm sure a lot of people would contest this, but I found that a lot of the streets looked just like San Jose - basically, your typical city. I also think that in the back of my mind, I really expected that if I hit some major hot spots, I was sure to bump into some at least c-lister. I quickly realized that I am not good at recognizing people, and despite the fact that US magazine shows stars all over LA in the 'see, they are just like you' spread - my chances were tiny! I'm a dreamer! Anyway. Once I had my reality check, I settled in and enjoyed the trip.
Our first stop was Villa Blanca - Lisa Vanderpump of BH Housewives' restaurant. Villa Blanca is located smack dab in Beverly Hills. The place did not disappoint. Gorgeous! We had a reservation and were seated immediately at a good table. The place was crawling with style from the darling servers (who all could have been models) to the patrons. That is one thing I noticed that is very different than San Jose - the focus on fashion!
You can't even tell where we are here - but this is our table. It was evening and candle-lit. Miss P took this picture. So sad you can't catch the ambiance. We even had a lively group of gay men seated next to us, and a 'The Hills-ish' large crowd of partying twenty-somethings across from us, with a lot of drama. Something else I noticed, at many places we went to, was the amount of complaining and demanding people did to staff about their tables/accommodations. Clearly, my life is lacking excitement. : )
The next day, Miss P was chomping at the bit, for 'her turn.' Off we went to The Grove,home to the West Coast American Girl Place. Miss P had fun exploring the store, and we picked up a few 'essentials.'
We enjoyed more of The Grove, had lunch at Marmalade Cafe, watched Mario Lopez do some filming and saw Jared Leto being interviewed.
Then, that night, we went to The Ivy for dinner. Where was the paparazzi? Again, I was denied. The restaurant, though, was utterly charming. That was another take-away from the trip - all the places we ate were fantastic. This is E below enjoying his Ivy Gimlet.
The decor, is very preppy, shabby chic. There are a few little rooms, awesome fireplaces, and a covered patio out front. Again, great wait staff, yummy food, to-die for desserts.
Are you still with me? The next day, we headed to Burbank for a Warner Brothers studio Tour. I knew E would get a kick out of this. This was a big highlight of the trip. Miss P reached rock star status in our eyes, as she kept up with all the action with zero complaining. (We had to fudge her age a little bit, but I knew she could handle it.)
Below is the Gilmore Girls house. I am such a fan! Our tour guide, Andy, was the best. It was so interesting to see all the sets and learn the details of how various shows are made. We saw how a small slab of grass is able to look like central park, with the right visual tricks. (Sort of like me with spanx and black pants?) : )
And the Friends' set!!
After the tour, we headed to Santa Monica and the Third Street Promenade.
Checking out the beach was another big highlight for Miss P. Nice break from the 'city' stuff.
Rest of the trip coming up in part two!