Archive for April, 2014
Spring Fog Does Not Deter Los Angeles Tour
At least it was not unpleasantly hot up at the Hollywood Sign this day. An early morning start to accommodate the plans of our private Los Angeles tour guests had us up above Hollywood before the morning fog had completely lifted. The still shiny letters of the recently renewed and repainted Hollywood Sign (thank you Sherwin-Williams) glowed through the misty morning moisture. These are the kinds of mornings when we encounter the mountain wildlife of the area – coyotes, deer, raccoon, skunks and the occasional bobcat. Other nearby wildlife areas host mountain lions and bears but Griffith Park is city-locked so the larger animals do not get here. But, who knows what, or who, lurks in the Hollywood fog. After all, Batman’s cave is very near where we are looking.
Los Angeles Tour at the Beach Pauses for Surfers
Summer is coming and visiting surfers are on the way to Los Angeles. Wanting to protect this important variety of sportsperson our private Los Angeles tour guests are amused to see caution signs along the sidewalks and bikeways in several of our beach communities warning cyclists and skaters that long boards might be ahead. It is the perfect weather, the miles of beaches and the laid back atmosphere that necessitates thoughts of saving the surfers and the requisite signage. We blog about other crazy signs we encounter along our custom tour routes because our guests note them and we photograph them for their tour photo albums. Join us this summer for a tour of the beaches, maybe a bike ride along the shore or a session of inline skating. Even better, become a surfer yourself after a Santa Monica beach surfing lesson.
A Glamorous Place to Start a Los Angeles Tour
The London Hotel in West Hollywood is not only one of the finest and most hospitable hotels in Los Angeles it has the best location for lively guests wanting to explore Los Angeles from the center of its notorious entertainment district. Located right on the Sunset Strip just outside of Beverly Hills the London’s guests are a hop, skip and jump from famous, infamous and historic night spots providing music, food, drinks and diversion throughout the year and all through the years that Hollywood has needed a playground. The hotel is regularly mentioned in entertainment news pieces for the events and guests to be seen at all hours enjoying the comforts and glamour from the lobby to the suites. The rooftop swimming pool and Gordon Ramsay‘s signature cuisine makes guests will feel like A-listers even without the paparazzi following them around. Of course, our private Los Angeles tour guests will have a photographer capturing their special moments for a photo album of their excursion with us so they can smile for the camera and not hide. The London even has a Topless in L.A. special – a convertible Mustang to rent for drives along the Strip or the shore in our perfect weather.
Body Art on a Los Angeles Tour
As we mention to all our guests before they join us and while their private Los Angeles tour is ongoing, a custom private tour means we can go anywhere they wish and do anything they want while we are sightseeing through Los Angeles, Hollywood and Beverly Hills. In more than 10 years of touring Los Angeles we have gone to some very interesting places and done some remarkable things. This tour family was looking for something different to celebrate their 13-year old’s birthday – an ear piercing. Right away that meant a stop along the famous Melrose Boulevard shopping district and a visit to Freak Chic, an acclaimed tattoo/piercing business between Hollywood and West Hollywood. Experts in “subcutaneous decoration” they are also handy with an ear-piercing tool. The process took no time at all which meant we were very quickly back onto the Melrose mile of style for some glam shopping to compliment the new fashion accessory.
Inside Art of a Favorite Los Angeles Tour Outside Muralist
For the next month Subliminal Projects (1331 Sunset Boulevard near Elysian Park) will have on display works of Shepard Fairey, an artist inspired by his love of music and music album cover art design. The 50 works available to see in this new exhibit will be set in a record store installation with a hands-on feature for visitors – a selection of the artist’s own record collection and turntables to play the albums. Internationally known, Shepard is a Los Angeles resident these days and familiar to guests on our private Los Angeles tour when we swing by the West Hollywood Library to show off his very recognizable mural on the side of the building. Graphic art and recorded music go well together at all times and when an artist of the caliber of Shepard Fairey combines them that makes for an exhibit much worth visiting.
A Private Tour of Catalina Means an Introduction to Old Ben
For twenty-two years, Old Ben the sea lion swam ashore Catalina Island and shared his thoughts with the kind citizens of Avalon. Or, he was just begging for handouts. Either way his friendly ways endeared him to the island population between 1898 and 1920 so that when he swam off never to be seen again Stanley Rosin sculpted a cement likeness of the great creature and placed it out on the end of the pier where other sea lions would bark at it. Over time, however, the sculpture became weathered and damaged and so Stanley had a bronze cast made. The new Old Ben now holds court in the center of town. When we have our Los Angeles tour guests over to the Catalina for the day (snorkeling, swimming, ziplining, and hiking are some of the fun activities we enjoy) we always mention Old Ben’s film acting debut in Sea Nymphs (1914). Yes, he really was a famous sea lion.
Our Private Los Angeles Tour Downtown Visits Chinatown
The history of Chinatown in Los Angeles is both heartbreaking and inspiring. We find it well worth a walk through the district and and a stop at one of the outstanding bakeries for a timely snack as we talk with our private tour guests about Los Angeles in the mid-19th century when California was just becoming a state and a new Chinese population was taking root where Union Station stands today. The small population, mostly men, provided labor for building and rail projects in the booming city. Over time the group flourished but were dislocated when the great train station was constructed. It took creativity and effort by supporters in the business community to envision, finance and build a New Chinatown along Broadway just north of the city. Today this community is robust and vital, a major part of the cultural heritage of a city even more connected to China than ever before.
Our Littlest Los Angeles Tour Guest Loves the Mice
And the mice love him. Disney is all around Hollywood, not just at Disneyland to the south of the city. Disney Studios is just over the hill from where Mickey and Minnie ply their mouse pads on Hollywood Boulevard so these large rodents had a short trip to work. Walt’s original garage studio is nearby in Los Feliz and his large scale model train is set up in nearby Griffith Park and open for visits by the public once a month. Just to the left of the frame of the above photograph is Disney’s El Capitan Theater and the Disney Store. The street also harbors other famous Disney movie characters who will pose for photographs with our private Los Angeles tour guests while we snap the photo. We wondered how the human souls of these two costumed figures manage in the rising heat as summer approaches. We kept watching and then we knew. Convertibles. Just put the top up.
Our Los Angeles Tour Guests are Uncertain if He is a Costumed Character or Not
Readers of our Los Angeles tour blog know that we photograph our guests and their surroundings every day as we sightsee through Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hills and along the beaches. Our readers also know, as does anyone who has visited Hollywood, that along the Walk of Fame you will see super heroes, cartoon and movie characters and street performers. And then there are the characters. Like Jesus. In the case of the above gentleman our guests got into a lively discussion. Was it Zach Galifianakis or just a lookalike? Was it an actor working for tips or someone with an odd sense of humor roaming Hollywood Boulevard? It is a mystery. We have not seen him since this day.
Add Even More Excitement to a Los Angeles Tour
We offer our guests several points of departure for a helicopter tour of Los Angeles. North city airports (Van Nuys, Burbank), the shoreline (Santa Monica) and the Grand Kahuna of them all, lifting off from atop a downtown Los Angeles skyscraper. While many of our guests have flown in helicopters before the exhilarating view as we rise off the top of a building surrounded by other tall buildings and see the streets suddenly far below makes this a much more powerful experience. Even better is witnessing the envy of the office workers watching us hover in front of them as we wind our way between the buildings admiring the city sights all around. Our private Los Angeles tour guests enjoy the VIP treatment and security entourage getting them from our custom tour vehicle to the rooftop helipad. After a one-hour flight over the city, the beaches, Beverly Hills and Hollywood, our guests will be taken to some of the same major sights on an accompanying ground tour. It’s a grand way to spend a day sightseeing in Los Angeles.