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Just inside the Hollywoodland arches is My Fair Lady flower shop

Flowers in Her Hair, Flowers Everywhere – Perfect

for Our Private Tour

Hollywoodland – that part of Hollywood just above the old Hollywoodland arches – has marvelous businesses in a tiny retail area and one of those business for several years has been My Fair Lady’s Flowers.  Colorful and aromatic, we now like to stop our custom luxury van here to walk around and explore for a short while.  There is a lot of history at this location where empty lots were being sold to the new residents of Hollywood back in the early silent film years of the nascent entertainment industry.  Besides the large stone arches that mark the entrance to the Hollywoodland community, there are buildings and homes dating back to that period.  But there are also businesses worth visiting on a private Los Angeles tour like the flower shop.  Driving up the tiny roads above the village our guests will finally get to see what they were waiting for – the Hollywood Sign.

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A double photograph in the vineyard, the selfie and us

The Santa Ynez Valley Is Calling All Wine Lovers

for a Private Tour

How many wineries can we visit on our “Sideways” tour of the Santa Ynez Valley up the California coast past Santa Barbara? Always enough to satisfy our guests.  There are plenty to choose from as anyone knows who has visited the area or remembers the movie.  We offer our guests the opportunity to watch the film as we drive up from Los Angeles.  We can then visit the wineries used in the making of the film.  Or, we can defer to suggestions given to us by Rex Pickett, the author of Sideways, about places to visit and where to eat and drink (wine).  Our most recent favorite stop is Transcendance in Lompoc, a small custom winery with great atmosphere.  We love to find new places to visit every time we do this custom luxury tour.

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3:00 19 August 2014

A Tour for a Demi and Miley Fan

The gate to Demi Lovato's house

Stars Home Tour Fit for a Young Fan

Our private Los Angeles tour guides would run out of voice before they could drive around and point out all the celebrity homes they know in Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills, Bel Air and Brentwood alone.  There are just too many to name.  That means we pick and choose which homes to visit and discuss based on the interests (and demographics) of our guests.  We can highlight the classic homes of the great stars of the silent and golden eras of Hollywood or quickly switch to the new faces arising from the studios at Disney and Nickelodeon.  And, as you can see here, our very discrete custom black luxury van can make quick stops for photo ops in front of Demi Lovato‘s home (above) or Miley Cyrus‘ place (below).  Now that makes a good snapshot to go into the tour photo album that we provide to our guests at the end of every tour.

A quick stop in front of Miley Cyrus' house

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3:00 18 August 2014

Richard Gere Stood Here

Our guest at Richard Gere's handprint really looks like the star

All Our Tour Guests are Stars

Some of them, however, really do resemble the movie stars whose handprints we visit in the historic forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.  This private Los Angeles tour was particularly fun for all of us because people around us were doing double takes as we walked through the crowds along the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  There are too many handprints to count going back to 1928 when Norma Talmadge made the first print until last July when Melissa McCarthy dipped her hands and feet in the wet cement.  As for our guest Richard Gere doppelgänger, he was considering how lucrative it might be to join the costumed characters in front of the theater and pose for photos with the tourists.

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3:00 15 August 2014

The Redbury Guests Love Our Tours

Our luxury van in front of Hollywood's Redbury Hotel

Hollywood Sleeps Late But Our Private Tour Can Start Early

One of the newest hotels in Hollywood and located right at that iconic corner, Hollywood and Vine, practically across the street from Capitol Records, is The Redbury.  The all suite hotel offers a number of delightful hospitality packages that entice guests from all over the world.  What better place to get to know Hollywood than from right in its historic center.  As we usually are a bit early to arrive at the hotel to pick up our guests for a private Los Angeles tour we took this photograph with our custom luxury van alone in front of The Redbury before the neighborhood became its usual busy self.  The hotel is close to restaurants and clubs, theaters and bars, all within walking distance.  Even so, The Redbury hosts The Library, it’s own specialty bar so suited to the spirit of contemporary Hollywood.  If you need to pick a corner to enjoy all that Hollywood offers and want a place to stay then The Redbury should be the first hotel you call.

 

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The Getty Villa seen from our helicopter

Private Tour by Helicopter and Luxury Van

We always try to arrange for the aerial tour of Los Angeles to precede the driving portion of our combination air + ground private Los Angeles tour.  That way we can know which parts of the city to return to in order to slake the interests of our guests.  After flying over the Getty Villa and seeing the exquisite blue pool bordered by the red tile roof our guests just had to make a visit back to the see the museum up close.  The Getty Villa houses the antiquities collection of J. Paul Getty.  The 64 acre facility in Pacific Palisades is home to more than 44,000 items of Greek, Roman and Etruscan heritage.  It was a showcase for J. Paul Getty that he modeled after the Villa of Papyri in Herculaneum.  In flying time it is not very far from the modern Getty Center atop a bluff overlooking the Los Angeles Basin in Brentwood.  And this is an extraordinary and attractive museum.  Our guests just had to get there again but on the ground this time and we were happy to make that arrangement for them.

Los Angeles tour guests by the Getty Villa pool

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Our corporate luxury helicopter lands on Catalina Island

Our Private Tour Guests Arrive Swiftly and

Comfortably on Santa Catalina Island

Most visitors to the island travel on one of several regular ferries from ports in and near Los Angeles.  The fastest ride takes more than an hour to cover the 23 miles from San Pedro.  While we often escort our guests on these fantastic ferries we can get them there even more quickly in one of our luxury helicopters.  Not all helicopters are rated to travel over water but all of ours have that capability.  As you can see above we land at a helipad near Avalon facing over the channel to Los Angeles.  Our French AStars are comfortable and quick but our new Sikorsky S76 luxury corporate helicopter is even more luxurious and faster.  While the flight is great fun the purpose of the journey is to explore this wonderful island with its beautiful landscape, unique ecology, Hollywood history and to enjoy all the fun activities that the island offers.

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3:00 12 August 2014

In Search of Buck Owens

We Head to Bakersfield on a

Buck Owens Private Tour

A look inside Buck Owens' Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, CAOur private Los Angeles tour group wanted to explore the world of Buck Owens and we were happy to show them around Capitol Records and other recording studios in Hollywood, visit Buck’s star on the Hollywood of Fame and then drive up to Bakersfield for brunch at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace.  This 550 seat music hall, restaurant and museum cost more than $7M when it was opened in 1996.  Elvis Presley's custom convertible Cadillac won in poker by Buck OwensMostly catering to the country music crowd this is a popular musical venue in the area and hosts a variety of musical styles.  Among the items available Bronze sculpture of Willie Nelsonfor the public to admire are the custom convertible Cadillac that Elvis Presley lost to Buck in a poker game and a bronze sculpture of Willie Nelson.  We relish the opportunity to put together special tours for our guests and were pleased to spend this day in the world of Buck Owens.  We thought of ourselves as the new Buckaroos.  Even more fun was the music we played on our custom van‘s impressive sound system.  It was good thinking of our guests to bring along tunes for the roadtrip back and forth to Bakersfield.  (You can click the photos for larger, downloadable images.)

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Smokey the Bear is important in Los Angeles

70 Years Old and Still Important for a Private Tour Message

Smokey Bear‘s initial advertising campaign to urge national park visitors to exercise caution with their campfires and cigarettes began on August 9, 1944.  Before that a campaign employing Walt Disney Production‘s characters from the animated motion picture Bambi served the U.S. Forest Service in their public service announcements targeting fire prevention.  But the Disney characters were only on loan for a year so a new character was developed.  The bear character was named in honor of “Smokey” Joe Martin, a heroic New York City fireman injured in a courageous rescue in 1922.  Over the years Smokey Bear has become a national icon seen in forests and woodlands everywhere around the country.  The Angeles National Forest occupies 700,000 acres bordering the city to the north and we travel in those mountains regularly on our private Los Angeles tour heading up to Mt. Wilson above Pasadena.  Throughout California woodlands will burn during our “fire season,” fires generally caused by lightning strikes.  However, Smokey’s message is still needed to reduce the number of other fires set accidentally by people.  Celebrating the exact same birthday as Smokey Bear is Sam Elliott who has also been the voice of Smokey since 2008.

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Supergraphics on this building announce the movie's arrival

Supergraphics Lead to Private Tour Discussion of

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Many of our private Los Angeles tour guests have not seen signs as big as the ones we are getting used to in Los Angeles.  This supergraphic announcing the opening today of the next adventure of these supersized amphibians with lots of attitude caught everyone’s attention on one of our tours with a family that had their own teenagers.  A discussion ensued (shared later in our office) of the different films, tv shows and cartoons, which was better, more accurate, more exciting (no consensus).  The conversation soon turned to the possibilities of turtles mutating and learning to talk versus alien turtles from another galaxy arriving here to find their brethren (after seeing the movie).  Our guide said it was quite edifying to learn so much about this franchise.  He believed his guests enjoyed learning about Hollywood history, too.

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