Archive for September, 2012
PAW (Pet-Friendly Accommodations Worldwide), started through the efforts of Janine Franceschi (and her Irish Setter, Beau) and provides a curated list of high quality hotels and services around the world that will happily host you and your canine best friend. Visit the website to research and plan your journeys and activities, even book your hotel. Janine and Beau are both experienced travelers and Janine is quite familiar with the luxury real estate market so she immediately saw a need for centralized information about luxury hotels with welcoming pet policies.
We at Elite Adventure Tours are knowledgeable about pet-friendly hotels in the Los Angeles area. After all, we have a special canine tour that is a private, luxury and custom tour that shows our guests and their dogs around Los Angeles, Hollywood and Beverly Hills with special attention to places to walk their pets (celebrity dog parks, anyone?) and take fun and fantastic photos. We highly recommend that discerning travelers who want to take their dogs on vacation visit the PAW website right away (bookmark it as we have) and find the perfect hotels for their journey.
Young lovers in Hollywood, just below the famous landmark, marked this eucalyptus tree with their initials, perhaps inspired by the countless love stories filmed just down the hill. Then again, maybe not. Still, our tour specialist, Jeff, took this not so obvious photograph of the Hollywood Sign while showing his private luxury tour guests around the area with other stops in Beverly Hills and west Los Angeles. Each of our guests receives complementary photos of their tour, perhaps even a complete photo album with 50 -100 images depending on how much time they are with us.
This coming weekend, September 29th and 30th, the 405 will be completely closed — again! Starting around 10 p.m. on Friday and lasting until 5 a.m. on Monday, 10 miles of one of the busiest sections of one of the nation’s busiest highways will be empty. No cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles — nothing. Quiet. No fumes. Everyone hopes that like last year when the highway was cleared for the first part of the Sunset Boulevard overpass demolition everything will go better than planned, that the freeway will open earlier than expected and that Los Angelenos and their visitors will find things to do close by and use public transportation whenever possible. We had several private luxury tours by helicopter last year because our guests wanted to see a long and empty stretch of major highway. I think we might do the same thing this year. It’s easy to get from Hollywood to Beverly Hills to Malibu to downtown Los Angeles in a helicopter.
All of our tour specialists carry a high quality camera to take photos for our private luxury tour guests so we are not surprised that one was able to pull over and capture a clear image of the space shuttle Endeavour over Hollywood as the air convoy arrived in Los Angeles. The specially equipped NASA 747 carries its honored passenger escorted by two fighter jets in a dramatic looping and swooping exhibition of engineering marvel over many parts of the city before landing safely at LAX where the shuttle will be prepped for its upcoming 2-day road journey to the California Science Center museum in Exposition Park. Below the airplanes are seen as they pass over the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, just north of the Rose Bowl stadium.
One of the most popular series on CBS is NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigation Service), a police procedural with a military flavor. Mark Harmon plays the stoic but caring head of the investigative unit, Leroy Jethro Gibbs. After a lengthy and highly regarded TV and film career Mark Harmon is being recognized on Monday, October 1st at 11:30 a.m. with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Look for our private luxury tour black van near Hollywood and Vine at that time because we will certainly direct our guests to this event. The ceremony will be on Hollywood Boulevard in front of Dillon’s Irish Pub. Mark’s star will be number 2,482 on the Walk of Fame, but who’s counting? This is a wonderful and completely free event and a terrific opportunity to enjoy something that only happens in Los Angeles. Don’t wait to see it on Entertainment Tonight. Be there!
Do you remember when Mark was a celebrated UCLA quarterback? Did you know he is married to Pam Dawber who played opposite Robin Williams in TV’s Mork and Mindy?
Visiting the many celebrity cemeteries in Los Angeles can mean an entire afternoon for a private luxury tour with us though generally, if our guests are interested, we will stop only at one burial ground. If we are in Hollywood then our preferred visit is to Hollywood Forever right behind Paramount Studios. This beautiful spot in the middle of Hollywood is where great Hollywood personalities are interred from Cecil B. DeMille to Peter Lorre to Peter Finch and Mel Blanc. The photograph above is the Douglas Fairbanks (Sr. and Jr.) memorial at Hollywood Forever. During the summer, the mausoleum wall just behind the Fairbanks Memorial is used to show outdoor films in a wonderful and appropriate use of this special place where the living and those gone before can enjoy a warm evening together watching a movie.
If you have a chance to drive through the Baldwin Hills area of Los Angeles, southwest of downtown, maybe on the way to the airport, the beach or Kenneth Hahn Park, you will see a very large area of undeveloped property given over to the pumping of oil and gas. This vestigial oil field reminds historically minded residents of the days early in the last century when Los Angeles was rife with large oil fields in Hollywood, Beverly Hills and up and down along the coast. An industrializing nation needed fuel and Los Angeles was providing it. Our private luxury tour guests might be interested in knowing that L.A. Confidential was shot at this particular location but we also inform them of the importance of oil in the history and development of the region. With the high price of oil right now there is increasing interest in resurrecting many of the closed down wells and utilizing modern, more effective means of getting the oil and gas up out of the ground. Perhaps pumping will begin anew at the Beverly Hills High School well.
Some of us would look at this classic automobile and think, “OMG! They have wrecked that beautiful car!” but, on the other hand, it gets a lot of attention and for marketing purposes that’s what you want. Hästens on Beverly sells luxury bedding in West Hollywood. Porsches are just one brand of expensive automobiles likely to be seen parked in front of the store. Just not blue plaid. And, as any of our private luxury tour guests being guided through Hollywood and Beverly Hills and other parts of Los Angeles will acknowledge, this is a car town and you never know what you are going to see or who will be driving.
Hästens on Beverly
8827 Beverly Blvd
West Hollywood, Calif. 90048
Kerry Simon’s signature restaurant, Simon – LA, is located downstairs at the Sofitel Hotel near Beverly Hills, right across the street from the Beverly Center. We pick up many of our private luxury tour guests at the Sofitel and so are around the restaurant at both lunch and dinner time and witness a very nice, very happy crowd of diners at all times. That, and our guests’ recommendation, led us to come back for dinner one evening. We were very pleased with our meal. Service, something we know a lot about, was excellent! But you go to restaurants to eat so we wanted to be pleased with the food. We were. You get what you pay for and we would say we might have gotten a bargain. Fine, fine dinners for all of us (we all had steaks). But the hamburger at the table beside looked good and we had heard about it before. Next time. Lunch maybe. If you get a chance, make reservations for Simon – LA the next time you visit Los Angeles. Elite Adventure Tours will be happy to show you around town before or after your meal.
Simon – LA
8555 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, 90048
310 358 3979
How often do you drive past something odd yet never really give it any thought until someone points it out to you? Anyone in Los Angeles who has driven past the old Warner Hollywood Studios on Santa Monica Boulevard just west of La Brea has seen this unusual garage door with no driveway leading into it. There was a time when there was a driveway here and the garage was the private studio entrance for Howard Hughes to gain access to his offices just above the garage without having to pass through the studio gates. The studio dates back to 1919 and was the first home of United Artists when Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin formed that innovative filmmaking organization. We at Elite Adventure Tours make it a point to show our private luxury tour guests this great old studio every chance we get because much of it (the Hughes garage, included) are slated for demolition soon as the present owners prepare to enlarge and modernize the facility.