Who: Lori, Theresa, Laura and a whole lot of TV producers

What: 4-day, 3-night LA adventure

Where: Los Angeles, Burbank, Studio City, Altadena, Pasadena, South Pasadena, Beverly Hills

When: April 23-26, 2015

Why: 42nd Annual Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards

Sites Visited:
The Brady Bunch                 Modern Family
The Wonder Years                New Girl
Ellen                                   Vanderpump Rules     
Friends                               The Bachelorette              
Beverly Hills, 90210             Pretty Woman
Father of the Bride                
My So-Called Life
13 Going on 30
Step by Step
Melrose Place

I have wanted to visit Los Angeles for the majority of my life. The Hollywood sign. Hollywood in general. A sea of celebrities congregated together in one tiny area. It was everything I could ever ask for and more. For years I've tried to organize trips and convince people to go with me, but plans always fell through and nothing ever happened.

And then I got nominated for an Emmy. 

The show where I was lucky enough to be a producer was one of only three shows nominated in its category, and as a producer, I was not only eligible to win an award, but the ceremony was in Los Angeles and I WAS GOING TO GO THERE. To congregate with celebrities in one tiny area and to celebrate a job well done in the industry. Then, almost importantly, if not even more so...


TV houses.

We had just a month to get everything planned, so with every single moment of free time I had, I mapped out an itinerary that would include the realization of all my hopes and dreams in a matter of 2 and a half days. Tours. Photo-ops. Celebrity hotspots. Houses, houses, and more houses. There was nothing Los Angeles had to offer that I wasn't going to take full advantage of.

California, here I come!

My fellow producers and I left work on a Thursday evening and hopped off the plane at LAX around 9pm with a dream and our cardigans, making our way to the prestigious Hollywood Roosevelt hotel where we would be spending the next couple days. I'm not one for fancy-pants hotels and I'd rather sleep on a cot on the floor to have more money to spend on obnoxious souvenirs, but when you're in LA and you can stay on Hollywood Blvd where the first Academy Awards was held and where they film episodes of Entourage, you have to do it. There isn't an option. 

The next morning, because it pays to have friends in high places, we were able to get a private tour of the Warner Bros. studio lot, driving around on golf carts! Being big-shots! Seeing studios! Before this was set up, I had already had the commoner tour on my agenda. I've gotta say, saving $50 and going private is world's better.

We were scheduled to get to Warner Bros at 11am, but because I'm super fun, I forced my good friends, Laura and Theresa to make a few stops in the area.


                          11222 Dilling St, Studio City, CA
                                            (The Brady Bunch house location)

The Brady Bunch house now adorned with a gate to keep out friendly visitors such as myself, looked pretty much exactly the same as it did back in the 70s when that lovely lady and man named Brady each raising three kids on their own realized that this group must somehow form a family and became the Brady Bunch. 



                           516 University Ave, Burbank, CA
                                 (The Wonder Years house location)

The Wonder Years located in Burbank just 10 minutes away from the Warner Bros. lot is exactly how I'm sure it looked in the 60s and definitely how it looked in the 1980s' portrayal of the decade. Not one change has been made to that Arnold house and I half expected Fred Savage to come sprinting out the front door in short shorts and knee-his. 

If only...



After that, it was tour time! Gate two was awaiting our arrival and we were going to tour this mo-fo like nobody's business!!


We got our golf cart!!


And saw where golf carts get gas!!

And went a whole bunch of other places I'm afraid to post pictures of in fear of copyright infringement!



If there was ever a reason to watch Ellen every afternoon, it's so that over 10 years later, you can freak out inside her studio and sit in her chair. I highly recommend it.







Success!


Part of the Creative Arts Daytime Emmys instead of the regular Daytime Emmys, where the major awards are handed out, we had a long night of technical awards to get through before good old #66 out of 66 awards was announced. Unlike the awards usually shown on TV where everyone sticks around 'til the end to see who won Best Picture, at the Creative Arts, once your category is announced, you peace the hell out of there. Every ten minutes as people hugged and cheered with excitement or sulked with annoyance, the room's population got smaller and smaller... and we were stuck there at #66.


But then, three hours later, it all didn't matter because when our category was announced, WE WON.

WE FREAKIN' WON.

I WON AN EMMY AWARD.



Words will never be able to express the excitement and gratitude that comes with your work being acknowledged in such a prestigious manner, so I won't even try. Just know that it was an incredible moment and I was honored to be a part of it. 

So... it was time to celebrate...

At In & Out! 




(Beverly Hills, 90210 Walsh house location)

I knew that if I was going to hit as many houses as I needed to hit, I couldn't sit around waiting for my no-doubt extremely hungover and overly exhausted friends. So at 7am, on about 4 hours of sleep, I took my selfie stick and my rental car and I hit the open road. 

The plan was to start out at the furthest point and then slowly make my way back to the hotel by the time everyone started to wake up. Then we would go have some breakfast... and go to more TV houses.

Brenda and Brandon's house in Altadena, CA was the furthest up north, and thus first on the list. Hello, Walshes!!!

(Beverly Hills, 90210 Walsh house location)

I started watching Beverly Hills 90210 in the 4th grade on VHS tapes after my mother had viewed each episode and approved it for my pre-pubescent eyes. I read every article about the show, had every T-shirt and poster, and when Dylan and Brenda broke up in the summer of 1991, I added asking for their reconciliation to my nightly prayers to Jesus.

Getting to see this house in person, absolutely BLEW. MY. MIND.

If any changes had been made to the house, I sure as heck didn't see them, and I held my selfie stick in the air, careful to be on the look-out for any joggers who might get in my way. 50 photos later, I got what I needed to get.

And then, I went to Dylan's house.

(Beverly Hills, 90210 Walsh house location)

Located literally 20 seconds away via car, the house sits on the exact same street on the exact same side, just across a tiny avenue. Over twenty years later, kudos to the location scouts for making it easy on the production staff. Brenda sure didn't have to go far to make out with her boyfriend.



(Father of the Bride house location)

Much smaller than I'd imagined, the house is on a semi-small street with loads of trees and leaves making as picturesque a street as the Father of the Bride movie would need it to be. With my selfie-stick in hand, I tried desperately to get the whole house in the shot just as it was shown in the movie, but didn't end up being so successful. Also, I look like I just photo-shopped myself into this photo. #selfiefail.



When I came down the street, I happened to be on the opposite side of where the house was located so when I saw an empty space on the sidewalk I turned my wheel and started making a U-turn. 

I'm not sure how I ended up getting my phone charger tangled up INSIDE the wheel to the point that I was completely perpendicular to the house and unable to move my wheel at all, but that's exactly what happened. At 8:30am. By myself. In the middle of a stalking adventure.

"Uh, officer, I'm just here because you see, this house was on a 1994 TV series that only aired 19 episodes and I drove all the way out here so that I could stand in front of it and take a picture of myself..."

If any car wanted to get past me, it couldn't. I was completely blocking the street. If I wanted to move my car at all, it would go straight into Angela Chase's driveway and there would be a very special episode about the dangers of driving while stupid. 

I spent about 2 full minutes staring directly at the house, panicking and praying no cars would come by before figuring out a plan of attack The plan of attack -- yanking the cord as hard as I could while scraping every piece of wire covering I had along the way. 

But it worked.

And I got this photo:

(My So-Called Life house location)


So it was worth it.


(13 Going on 30 house location)

Back in good ole NYC, I had been to a site from the movie with Laura, but it was early in my stalking days and we could never get the angles right.

West 4th St/Bank St, New York, NY

At least I had something salvageable now. I could finally watch the movie in peace.


(Step by Step house location)

Once that was done, it was back to Los Angeles to be rejoined with society and my Emmy-winning co-workers for a fun-filled day of tourism! While most of the group was fine lounging around and enjoying a bevy of brunches, I had a lot of sites to see and limited time. Because they're good people, Laura and Theresa agreed to be my captives.

We went to the Hollywood sign!




(Melrose Place apartment location)

Theresa, a huge fan of this FOX melodrama actually got excited for this location, which was on a tiny street nowhere near Melrose. For reasons unknown, we let Laura sit in the car and we selfie-sticked ourselves in front of the famous apartment, waiting for Amanda to come by from her important job in advertising and try to sleep with Allison's soon-to-be boyfriend Billy who would eventually knock up Amanda before the trio went on to marry/sleep with/seduce an entire apartment-full of people. Goddamn it, I miss that show...


Once that location was complete, we decided we were hungry and went to get fancy food (Chipotle) in Beverly Hills where we would be able to walk Rodeo Drive like a rich person in the 90s and see where Julia Roberts became a Pretty Woman.

A few hours before, my brother had texted me asking if I had met any celebrities while I'd been in the celebrity capital of the world. When I told him no, he told me I was a disgrace to the family. But the minute we turned onto Rodeo Drive -  BOOM. Celebrity.


Character actor, Jere Burns from the great Judd Hirsch sitcom of the 80s, Dear John... among other things.

He was talking to a young couple and admiring their child when we walked past him. While I wanted to stop him, point and scream, "Celebrity!", I realized that a) I didn't have the balls to do so and b) He was busy. So we continued on and I saw the great Beverly Wilshire Hotel where a lot of prostitutional sex went on between Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, and Laura and I realized that a great way to stop Jere would have been to tell him we were in town for the Emmys and had just won one the night before. Industry people love industry people! We had missed the opportunity! I was pissed! We were stupid! We moved on!

Then on the way back to the car, as a miracle of all miracles, coming up on the other side of us just happened to be.... Jere Burns. Laura was walking a little in front of us and when my mouth became muted, I hoped she would find the balls to stop him and give me the one celebrity encounter we would have this whole trip.

Laura stopped dead in her tracks and lifted up her sunglasses, "Jere???"

This was why we were friends.

Jere stopped and seemed confused, like he should have known her from somewhere and didn't realize.

"Oh no, you don't know us!" I blurted out before I could stop myself. "We just know who you are from television! HI! We saw you before and then wanted to say hi then but didn't, but now here you are, so hi!!!" The words were just spilling out of my mouth. "We're in town for the Emmys. We just won one last night! Can we take a picture with you???" I was unstoppable.

"Congratulations! That's incredible! Bring it in!" We all came together and I handed the camera to the woman he was with while the child he was with got in the photo with us.


Rodeo Drive, baby. My brother was so pleased. 


Hello, Dunphys!! 

                     10336 Dunleer Drive, Los Angeles, CA
                                      (Modern Family Dunphy house location)



Hello Mitch and Cam!!!

                       2211 Fox Hills Drive, Los Angeles, CA
                        (Modern Family Cam and Mitch house location)


             (New Girl apartment location)



But the place was nice! Dark! And a bit loud! But nice.

And a waitress brought over this guy when Theresa told her she was a fan of the program.


I still have no idea who it is. But Theresa ate it all up. Literally. The food was excellent.


(The Bachelorette film location)


Because sometimes things are just meant to be.

The next morning, we stayed local and became super tourists.


Photos at the Mann's Chinese Theater!



Photos on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!




(Pretty Woman film location)

Then for just $19, we got to take a tour of the Dolby Theater and pretend to be Neil Patrick Harris on the stage where he hosted the Academy Awards.



With that, our whirlwind 2 and a half day trip to Los Angeles was over. I did my studio tours, I met my one celebrity, I saw every house I could ever think of to see, and all my entertainment dreams came true. 

The Emmy didn't hurt either.

 

Thanks for the mem'ries, Los Angeles!
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