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Calendar

September 2016
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3:00 26 September 2016

Chewbacca for President

Chewbacca campaigns for President on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Our Los Angeles Tour Guests Are Undecided

You might think that a visit to Hollywood‘s historic center would be a good way to avoid the presidential campaign and all the craziness surrounding our upcoming election.  Turns out that is not the case.  Chewbacca is mounting a third party campaign of his own and attracting a good amount of support.  We think the major party nominees should pay attention to this particular dignified and patriotic appeal to potential voters who are staring at the stars on the Walk of Fame or trying on the handprints at Grauman’s Chinese Theater.  Chewbacca is a being of few words but they are always meaningful and heartfelt.  His imposing presence brings comfort and a huge sense of security and well-being to ordinary voters enjoying their time in Tinseltown.  Our private tour group seeing all of Los Angeles and not just Hollywood were photobombed at one point by the publicity seeking Chewbacca whose fur won’t support him wearing his own campaign buttons.

Chewbacca photobombs us as we set up a picture of our private Los Angeles tour guests in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater

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3:00 23 September 2016

Come Fly with Us Over Malibu

This strange Malibu bird is really a parasail on the nearby bay

Paraplane or Parasail Our Private Tour Guests Wonder

This strange bird that we encountered above PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) in Malibu is technically a PPC (powered parachute) or a paraplane in less abbreviated parlance.  Seeing something strange in the air near the ocean is not exactly unusual anywhere in Southern California including the chic zip code of Malibu.  These aircraft (?) are somewhat tricky to operate and require some practice in maneuvering a parachute and operating a small and noisy internal combustion engine.  Much easier than this and an activity we can include as part of a private tour of Los Angeles (the adventure part of Elite Adventure Tours) is parasailing.  This kind of flying is much easier and more passive.  Just let the motorboat drag the parachute behind it and enjoy the cool breeze in your face and the extraordinary views of the Santa Monica Bay from Point Dume to Palos Verdes.  Look out below you surfers, dolphins, sea lions, seals and whales.  Hello squadron of pelicans sharing the air.  Surrounded by sea gulls you might feel that you are in a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and you are one of the sea gulls over Bodega Bay.

A frame from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds

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3:00 22 September 2016

Nickelodeon Still in Hollywood

The Nickelodeon Studio on Sunset in Hollywood

Let’s Get This Private Tour to Where the Kids’ Film Studios Are

We meet lots of families and enjoy carloads of children over the summer when mostly everyone is out of school.  We also see them during winter and spring breaks.  Parents of those families joining us for a Los Angeles private tour regularly question us before the tour about making the sightseeing interesting for kids.  We assure them that our G-rated tour covers all the bases.  We get the parents over to Paramount Studios and the Culver Studios and talk about kid-friendly productions associated with the old studios at the same time we talk about the history and the movie and tv stars familiar to the adults.  But then we venture over to studios like Nickelodeon on Sunset, a former night club and then legitimate theater with a wonderful Los Angeles history that today is the home of a number of “Nick” presentations like Henry Danger.  There are other Nickelodeon locations around that we can visit for the young folks aboard as well as the Jim Henson Studios (originally Charlie Chaplin’s studio) just around the corner in Hollywood from Nickeldeon on Sunset.  Also, we make it a point to explain to everyone what a nickelodeon is.  That’s right, it’s a thing, a place from the very earliest days of the movie industry.

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3:00 21 September 2016

Jazz Hands, Rock and Country, Too

Handprints of musical artists greet visitors to the Hollywood Guitar Center

The Rockwalk ROCKS Says Our Private Tour Folks

There was a time when the Rockwalk, a cement portico at the entrance of Hollywood’s Guitar Center on Sunset Boulevard, was a true tourist draw.  Induction ceremonies were pretty regular and well attended by local rock stations and music industry people.  There were crowds like there were for Tim Burton at Grauman’s Chinese Theater recently when he embedded his hands and feet in movie’s famous floor show.  As you can see above the Rockwalk is tidy and leads you right into the store where there are other treats for music lovers to enjoy when visiting Los Angeles.  When we have a private tour in Los Angeles and sense our guests still adore their childhood music heroes we will often make the Guitar Center a destination as we explore Hollywood.  Everyone expects to see the Grauman’s theater courtyard but the Rockwalk is a real surprise and treat.  Of course, the musicians with us will want to spend time in the store and brush shoulders with other musicians.  We never know who we might run into as long as we aren’t there in the morning.

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A funny picture while waiting for lunch at Pink's Hot Dogs in Hollywood

Pink’s is One Special Place for Lunch on a Private Tour in Los Angeles

We try to make every moment of our Los Angeles private tour fun.  From picking up our guests at their hotel to dropping them off after sightseeing in Hollywood, Beverly Hills and whatever other destinations are of interest to them we want the entire time to be informative, interesting and most of all … fun!  Now this includes our stop for lunch.  One of the funnest places we can offer to go with our guests is Pink’s Hot Dogs just around the corner from the Melrose Avenue shopping district.  If Hollywood is our morning visit then Pink’s is the perfect place for a lunch break before spending the afternoon in Beverly Hills.  Are the hot dogs good at Pink’s?  If they weren’t you can bet this little stand wouldn’t be so popular still (fast moving lines since 1939 from opening to their late night closing) and highly regarded.  Favored by Emeril BAM dog at Pinkscelebrities and studio workers alike there is always a raucous crowd chowing down on Pink’s kosher hot dogs and assorted side dishes.  Making the food choices even more difficult are the regular specials.  This visit we had the chance to try out the new Emeril BAM Dog.  For those of us who are regulars here the specials tempt us away from our favorites and often become our new favorite dogs to order.  Pink’s is only one of the terrific places we can take our guests for lunch.  There are other famous food stands, small cafés and even posh restaurants that can make lunch very special when getting to know Los Angeles.

 

 

 

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3:00 19 September 2016

Tim Burton Was Here

Tim Burton to gets his hands full of cement in Hollywood

Grauman’s Chinese Theater Continues Tradition in Hollywood

Our Los Angeles private tour guests suggested it was a coincidence that the Hand and Footprint ceremony for Tim Burton at the famed Grauman’s Chinese Theater was just before the opening of his newest film, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.  Their very knowledgeable tour guide, a former film marketing specialist at one of our great studios, informed them that these ceremonies are just part of the film marketing machinery that we are so familiar with here in Hollywood.  Tim is in town for the premiere of the film and will appear on late night television, radio shows and a blitz of media meetings to promote his new movie.  That he is also being honored among almost 100 years of great movie stars and directors in the courtyard of Sid Grauman’s movie palace (now TCL Chinese Theatre) is just a nice touch and probably a fun interlude in the crush of appointments with entertainment writers and broadcasters.  When we schedule our custom tours of Los Angeles for guests we always check to see if something like this is scheduled and suggest to our guests that we time our excursion to be able to participate.

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3:00 16 September 2016

Young Man Wants Tour in a Ford

Special tour vehicle request - Ford F150

We Answer Car Requests for Our Private Tour

We love to make it known to our guests that they can enjoy a private luxury custom tour of Los Angeles in our fancy SUV or in any car they want that we can get ahold of in time for their tour.  Rolls Royce Silver Shadow?  No problem.  Sebring convertible, got that.  Late model muscle car, sure thing.  Mercedes, Bentley…we’ve gone sightseeing around Hollywood and Beverly Hills in many different cars over the years.  This tour, though, was different.  The young lad told his dad he wanted to see the town from the cab of a Ford F-150.  He liked big pickup trucks.  New, fully-appointed trucks were even better.  As you can see, we obliged and we had one happy boy aboard as we drove up into the Hollywood Hills to Our young guest loves the Ford F-150 he toured L.A. invisit the Hollywood Sign and Lake Hollywood and then over to walk around the Hollywood Bowl.  What is even more interesting is how much fun the tour guide had.  He returned to our offices with all sorts of accolades for the workmanlike vehicle even suggesting that we consider adding one to our fleet of SUVs.  If we have one more special request for an F-150 maybe we will.

 

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3:00 15 September 2016

Seeing Stars in Hollywood

Could that really be Samuel L. Jackson heading to the Hard Rock Café in Hollywood?

Our Private Tour on a Star Search

No matter who is with us on a private tour of Los Angeles, no matter how far they have traveled to get here, if they arrived on a private jet or drove to the city, or even their generation and experience, it seems that our most common request is that they want to see a movie star and where can we go to make that happen.  Ah, the world remains starstruck and Hollywood is their Mecca, their Shangri-la.  After all our years in business there are, in fact, ways we can increase the chances of crossing paths with a celebrity.  Say, Samuel L. Jackson, right?  Just walking alone down Hollywood Boulevard and heading to the Hard Rock Café.  Fooled you, didn’t we?  That’s just a celebrity lookalike (striking resemblance) plying his trade on the Walk of Fame and being available for visitors to stop and take their picture with him.  There are many such actors along this strip of roadway.  Now if that doesn’t count, and we agree it doesn’t count even though you can fool a lot of friends and family back home with pictures of these folks, we do know restaurants and stores to go to, hotel lobbies, automobile dealerships, and even parks and neighborhoods where there is a good chance a familiar face will be out and about doing their business, strolling, watering the lawn, eating lunch, or simply buying a Bugatti.  The advantage of a custom tour is that we can take you where the stars might be out.

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3:00 14 September 2016

Visit Venice in the Fall

Summer weather persists in Venice, CA

Enjoy Los Angeles on a Private Tour After School Starts

We in beach communities can always tell when summer is over and school has begun.  The weekday crowds thin out greatly and we have the beach and the coastal businesses to ourselves once again.  Parking is easy and lines are short if there are lines at all.  And finally, there is all the empty beach one can desire.  Venice is still a favorite for us and our Los Angeles private tour groups who want to enjoy some sand, surf and sun and who wish to fully understand the lure of the Southland.  There is much sightseeing around Venice for those interested in Los Angeles history and culture.  The Venice Hotel and Danny’s Deli pictured above take us back in time to the great filmmakers, raconteurs and personalities that once inhabited this part of Los Angeles.  The boardwalk entertainers are few and far between on weekdays but on weekends the boardwalk is full of life and entertainment.  If walking the boardwalk is not fun enough we can rent bikes or skates and enjoy the winding path along the beach that runs from the Palos Verdes Peninsula to Malibu.

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Fun and elegant shopping at Fred Segal in W. Hollywood

Our Private Tour Helps Family Prepare for School

We do not offer Back to School Specials or anything like that but towards the end of the summer we do have lots of families coming to Los Angeles with their recently matriculated teenagers ready to start at any number of our well known colleges and universities.  We think of our Los Angeles private tour as an orientation day for the new students.  In fact, the late summer tours we do are often an extension of tours we did the previous year when high school seniors and their families were visiting here to inspect potential campuses for study.  Now, though, that school is about to start we are looking more at neighborhoods and getting some pre-school shopping done.  Here we are on a sightseeing adventure with a new UCLA student and her mother about to enter the lovely environs of Fred Segal.  First will be lunch at Mauro, the divine café in the store.  Look at the familiar faces many with their offspring also preparing to begin a new school year.  Jeans, tops and accessories all bagged and stowed in our SUV we can explore some more of Melrose Avenue‘s Welcome to UCLAfamous storefronts offering chic nightclub wear to t-shirts and shorts.  Melrose offers everything and is truly a Mile of Style.  Then we can head over to Westwood for some serious street-by-street looks at the various neighborhoods and show our young student where everything is that she will need to know right away.  We envy her good times ahead but traffic and tales of the city keep us focused on this orientation tour.

 

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