Andi used to get sent all over by State Farm and while she had to work, I often tagged along for a free hotel room. This led to a lot of me "doing my own thang". Which as a 2nd shift worker, doesn't bother me to do things by myself. You get used to it. Last year, they sent her to California and since I had never been, I jumped on that one. We were staying in San Diego in a very nice hotel on the bay, but my sightseeing heart belonged to Los Angeles. So, I rented a car, pardon me-a sweet car, for the 2 hour drive to L.A. that I did twice. Today, I will just cover the San Diego part of the trip and the Los Angeles sights that I saw not at Universal Studios.
This is me in the Mustang Convertible. I originally was too cheap to pay for that the whole time. The plan was to take the cheap rental back half way through the trip and then just have the good car for the last half. When I saw how far the car rental place was from the hotel, I talked myself into the convertible the whole time (I wasn't too hard to convince).
The Manchester Grand Hyatt on the Bay in San Diego. There was a Navy base across from it and I was able to plop myself in front of the window with beer and watch war ships go in and out all day. It was a beautiful hotel that overlooked a decommissioned aircraft carrier that was turned into a museum.
Now for the wild part. This is the exact aircraft carrier that Andi's dad served on for 4 years in the late 1950's and early 1960's. Everything we saw and touched, we wondered if he had saw and touched the same things so long ago.
The museum actually just let you wander around through all of the little tunnels all by yourself. That was really a cool way to see all of the little nooks and crannies. Did I just say "nooks and crannies?". This was one of the several mess halls.
These were the tiniest bunks EVER! I can guarantee that I would barely have fit on this and ALL of your belongings had to fit below the mattress.
They were filming an episode of "What Not To Wear" on the deck while we were there. I don't know. She looked okay in that. Me? I'm not so sure.
We thought this sign was funny.
I went to the Beach by San Diego while Andi was working. The concierge directed me to Coronado Beach at the Coronado Hotel on Coronado Island. The water was freezing in May so I just got in for little spells. The hotel was a really old-time looking, fancy hotel with lots of history. I didn't find out until I got back that this is where Marilyn Monroe's "Some Like It Hot" was filmed. Other than losing the convertible underground for an hour (I couldn't find the underground garage-yes, I am a dork), it was a great day. At the end of the trip, Andi was finally done working so we headed to L.A. for one night. It was tough leaving the Hyatt for the Motel 6. Don't ask about that one. The check-in desk was behind bullet proof glass. We survived.
This is the Capitol Records building. They say that everyone has recorded there from the Beatles to Everclear. It was just a hop, skip, and a jump from our 1 night in L.A. hotel.
How would you like to own this house? It really looked like the sign was almost sitting on top of it in person. That song where they say "There's a party on the rooftop. Top of the world tonight, tonight. And we're dancin' on the edge of the Hollywood sign" always makes me think of this house.
This look familiar to anyone? It's from "The Naked Gun" when Frank Dreben tells Ed that everything reminds him of Jane. HA HA. It actually is the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in San Clemente, CA.
Of course, we had to go to Grauman's Chinese Theatre and see the footprints and handprints.
You would think he could have left a little room for his costar in his square (see "The Informant" post).
They should have put a cuckoo on there instead of a record.
I wasn't always this cool. It's taken me years to reach this level of coolness.
And now for the highlight of this and anyone's trip. It is me at the REAL Brady Bunch house. No, there was no real filming done there. It is just the house that they show between shots. In fact if you look at the picture and then watch the show, the layout on the inside doesn't match the design of the outside. On the show, the front door opens to be facing the stairs to go upstairs but as you see here, the door opens to face the back of the house (which in real life was the Los Angeles river or the giant concrete storm sewer). Also, the window on the front on the upstairs was just a fake that they tacked on for the shot for the show (they thought it looked like it needed one there). If you ever go, the address is revealed on my last photo of the "Now and Then" shot.
We drove for what seemed like forever to get to this and actually find it. Andi was less than thrilled and impressed to see the "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" house (maybe it's our 5 year age difference). Now this house is where a large portion of the film was actually filmed. It was amazing that they could pull this off as this was in a very tight residential area. Right in front of that white car is where Mark and Damone peeked over the fence to go back and swim. I would have killed to go back and see the pool where Phoebe Cates took her . . . uh, never mind. The window right there is where Jennifer Jason Leigh crawled out to go meet Ron Johnson the stereo salesman. The following picture is a montage of "Then and Now" Brady and Fast Times houses with the addresses.