Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Grand Day Out

The last weekend was so busy, full and out of the ordinary, I don't really know where to begin. I suppose at the beginning. I was told my sister had an audition for a student film in Burbank and Dad was taking her and invited me to go. The call time was at 10:30 AM and I don't know why my dad and sister wanted to leave so early. We can drive to the LA area in less than six hours usually, but they wanted to leave at 2 AM. So after getting less than an hour of sleep, we took off. We arrived at 7:30 in the morning, way early for a 10:30 call time. Dad had a few bucks so the three of us found a Denny's to have a bite to eat and to change and do our make up.
McKenna was dropped off an hour early for her audition and I learned that she was filming a student film and she would be done after six hours. Because she was early, that meant Dad and I had 7 hours to play around with.

I have been to the LA area many times, Anaheim, Ontario, Northridge, and a little of the Hollywood Area. Only this year have I had the opportunity to really begin exploring the LA area.
Starting in Burbank, Dad and I drove 4 miles to our Mecca of sorts, the Walt Disney Studios.

My Instagram photo (purplediego on instagram)

I think the only other person I can  really share my fascination with Disney is my dad.  He and I get it. We have read countless biographies on Walt Disney, the company, his friends and coworkers etc. I know I'll have to write out that story sometime.

Dad and I parked across the street from Walt Disney Studios and it was amazing, seeing in person the very land and buildings Walt purchased and built with the money he earned with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The land where Walt taught his daughters and grandchildren to ride bikes. It felt...almost like holy ground. There is just so much history that happened on those lots, not to mention the countess movies and television shows filmed and animated there. A few include Mary Poppins, Pirates of the Caribbean, Boy Meets World, Lizzie McGuire, Home Improvement, Tron, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Dad's photos
From across the street (Alameda Blvd. in Burbank)

From the front, you can see the main ofices to the right with the seven dwarfs acting as pillars.

Close up of a few of the pillars

Even the gates were decorated with Mickey

This is the inspiration for the hat at Disney's Hollywood Studios, where I once worked.

Compared to DHS in FL:

This water tower was recreated again in DHS

As seen here in FL, complete with ears: 

Another take on the water tower:

Mickey rain gutters.

After Dad and I walked the perimeter of the studios, and took a lot of pictures, as if you couldn't tell, we
drove down the street to a Starbucks to get a drink and figure out what we were going to do next.

We decided on a place in Los Angles I'd been wanting to visit for quite some time called The Grove. It is part outdoor mall and part marketplace. I much preferred the Marketplace. It was full of little shops and mostly food venues. I want to go there sometime with a full pocket and empty belly.

As Dad and I were planning on making our way back to the car, I found a place that looked familiar. I realized that it was the model for the Sunset Ranch Market I worked at in Disney's Hollywood Studios. Small world huh?
Here is The Grove:

Where I worked at Walt Disney World

Next stop on our list was Rodeo Drive. Dad had been there a few weeks earlier to check out cars, and I was excited to see another famous spot in LA, in this case, Beverly Hills. I like shopping, and clothes and fashion, and seeing some of the highest end brands in the fashion industry was amazing. It was a lot of fun to see these stores I've only previously heard about in person. I also realized through the thrill of Rodeo, everything I was seeing was just stuff in the end.

Dad's thrill on Rodeo came from the cars. He was going crazy over Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and we even saw a Bugatti...something-other. Dad said it had a value of $2 million.

We also went to a Ferrari dealership in Beverly Hills and here are some of the yummy cars we saw there:

The last stop was Millions of Milkshakes in West Hollywood. I heard about this place a couple of years ago and I follow them on twitter. They are known for having celebrities stop by and inventing their own milkshakes, and they are amazingly yummy. Here is a video telling a little about it: "Millions of Milkshakes Promo."
I got the Miley shake: cookie dough and Reese's peanut butter cups. It was absolutely amazing. The shakes are incredible.  I tweeted to Millions of Milkshakes (@MILKSHAKES247) and I was retweeted three times. I am still excited over this, because they have almost half a million followers.

McKenna told us she would be done around 4:30 so we headed back to Burbank and waited around until almost 8. I'll let her share her experience on her blog.

Anyway it was a super long day, but it was amazing, wonderful and memorable.

We got home around 1:30 in the morning. I was woken up the next morning at 5:45 by McKenna asking if I wanted to shower before church. Though I can't say much at this point, we had a camera crew at our house from 5 AM-3PM. They filmed us getting ready for church, going to church, lunch after church and various activities. I'll make a major update on that when I can. The family will be in Hollywood and Burbank later this week and I promise I'll take pictures.

Talk to you soon!

Credit to my dad, Tom Hardy for most of the pictures.

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