Thursday June 26, 2008

Ok Ok….I know, I’ve been back from LA for almost a week and still no post. Well, I’ve been busy catching up with work and I have so many pictures I didn’t know where to start. I’ve finally uploaded all the nicer ones, which are more than enough for a substantial picture blog. So enjoy!!

Day 1
Arrived about 6pm in the evening. Got to the hotel by about 9pm. Exhausted, went to sleep right away.
My nice lil suite at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills. Everything else was paid for by the picture house but tipping alone in this 5 star hotel cost me a bomb!!

Oh, by the way, just in case you guys haven’t been watching the Quickie this whole week and haven’t heard me gloat enough, this junket was for the movie “Wanted” starring Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy and Morgan Freeman. I got to interview James McAvoy(Wes), Thomas Krechtmann(Cross) and Timur Bekmambetov (Director). Angelina Jolie was too pregnant to make it and Morgan Freeman was tied up with another project.

Day 2
Woke up early to catch the Red City Sight-Seeing Bus. It’s a hop-on hop-off kinda concept and a ticket worth US$30 is valid for 24hrs.
Part of the view from my balcony.

We’re in Hollywood, baby!!

The Kodak Theatre, which hosts the Academy Awards every year.

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. If you guys were wondering what this building is, well, it’s basically a cinema, but in its compound, you can find foot prints of stars all the way from the 20s, like Mary Pickford, and even Marilyn Monroe.

Hollywood Boulevard

Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard

Ryan Seacrest’s Star!! He’s my American Idol….

Spot the Hollywood sign! There’s actually a tour for you to get to the sign on top of the hill, but honestly, why the big fuss over a couple of letters, they’re not even alligned properly…

To be honest, I was actually quite disappointed when I got to Hollywood, specifically Hollywood Boulevard. I was expecting so much more and it was just that one block, consisting of the Chinese Theatre, Kodak Theatre and Hollywood and Highland mall. Beyond that block, there’s nothing else, no lights no nice buildings, just rows and rows of plain looking shops….I guess it’s that hype about being in ‘Hollywood’- the film making capital of the world, and since we’ve heard so much about it in movies, on TV, it was hard to find it anything less than glittering lights with celebrities everywhere.

Beverly Hills~ That’s where I want to be!

The tree-Lined residential street of Beverly Hills. Each residential street here is beautifully lined with a different type of tree!

Rodeo Drive…where all the big brand names store are located…

A cobblestone street up Rodeo Drive…more high end shopping

This is the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, where Pretty Woman was filmed. There’s still a suite in there named the Pretty Woman Suite.

A very retro looking petrol station. If you guys are still fuming over petrol prices, well in the States, they’ve been paying over 4USD a litre for a while now. If you convert that, that’s about RM12 a litre!!

**Correction: Thanks to all the people who corrected me, I checked again and yes, it is 4USD per GALLON, not per litre like i said above. So….fume away about our petrol prices!!

our little tour around LA, we got back to the Hotel just in time to check-in to the Wanted Hospitality Suite, washed up and off we went to the press screening for the movie. I was expecting a really violent and grusome movie since it was rated R, but surprisingly, it was really quite funny, and the only thing that was abundant was the F-word and bullets flying through heads. While watching the movie, I thought that this movie in Malaysia is totally going to be a different movie because they’ll have to cut so many scenes, but apparently, according to my colleagues who went for the Malaysian premiere, it was censored really nicely, and all the F-words were just bleeped out not cut out, so that’s good. But for the full “Wanted” experience (and have a peep at Angelina Jolie’s sexy backside) maybe you’d want to wait to get the DVD.

Day 3
The interviews started early in the morning. Spoke to Thomas first, then Timur then James. We only had about 6 mins on each interview so it went by really quick. Thomas’ favourite line was ‘you know’ in a funny german accent, which he repeated a lot throughout the interview. Timur the director is a man of a few words, his answers to all my questions were really short and he doesn’t elaborate on it so it was quite a difficult task to get him to explain things further. James however was the perfect interviewee, he answered all the questions precisely but manage to elaborate on all the interesting parts without giving too much away. He even thanked me and called me ‘darling’ after our interview and he has the bluest set of eyes I’ve ever seen! *swoon*

After the interviews, we continued on shooting some LA scene, went back to Rodeo Drive coz we didn’t hop off there on the first day, shopped a bit and continued on shopping at Robertson Boulevard, where we were told all the nice boutiques are located at and also it’s a great place to spot a celebrity or two.
The Rodeo Drive guide..

This is The Ivy, ‘THE’ eatery to go to if you want to bump into celebrities. It’s on Robertson Boulevard, next to this boutique called Kitson, also a celebrity hound. Didn’t see anyone though. I did see Ashanti at the hotel later in the evening. She looked beautiful in a white long dress and huge sunnies. She came in a black Escalade fully tinted accompanied by a small entourage. Didn’t dare approach her for pic…

Day 4

It was my producer’s final day here so we decided to go for a studio tour. And the cab driver highly recommend Universal Studio so off we went. We were cheated of 40 dollars though because we were told the normal ticket which was 79dollars did not include studio tours, so we bought the 129dollars premium ticket. Only to find out inside that the premium tickets only allows us VIP access for the studio tour, that’s it.

The Universal Studios Globe

The set of King Kong

Part of Wisteria Lane. Desperate Housewives and CSI:NY are among the many TV Series being filmed at Universal right now.

Who-ville. Made of Styrofoam

The set of War of the Worlds. Spielberg actually bought an actual 747 and wrecked it for the set.

Appuuu! Kwik-E-Mart at Krustyland

Spongebob, meet Spongebob Jr

Ms Marilyn Monroe in her pink cadillac.

Day 5
Stayed the night at Karen’s place. The next morning, we took off to the beach!!
How LA. Driving with the top down….on to the beach!

I don’t understand why the colour of the sky here is so much bluer?

Santa Monica Beach

Wispy clouds on a clear blue sky..

Beach…Behind these doors are all tattoo parlours..

V for Venice….A lot of homeless/hippytype people hang out here..

Muscle Beach

Chilling by the beach with Karen…it was great to catch up with you again!! Miss you already!

Kites and Spinners

We’ve been on the run, driving in the sun, cruising down the 101, California here we come~

LA’s Chinatown

Union Station, LA’s train station, it’s really lovely inside, looks like the typical station we always see in movies. Took the train down to San Diego to meet up my Aunt. It took about 2 and a half hours. Very pleasant ride with nice ocean views all the way.

Me and Aunt Dolly, who came to pick me up from the station…

Day 6
San Diego

I took this hop on hop off tour here in San Diego as well. They’re called the Trolley Tours. It was a really good way of checking out the whole of San Diego and just get off where you want to.
The Star of India at the Maritime Museum

Yachts all parked in a row…

San Diego city skyline from Coronado island

Balboa Park

Old Town Market

The whole architecture of this place is very Mexican. They made it so it looked like how the place started out in the 1800s. You can get a lot of Mexican traditional arts and crafts here as well.

Outside the Old Town Market

Day 7
Took the train back from San Diego and got into LAX 5 hours before departure time and guess what! The line was already so so long!! Remember next time if you ever go to LA, please leave for the airport way earlier because the crowd is just crazy! You have to line up to check in, and then you have to line up to check in your bags! And then you have to line up to go through security and there’s nothing inside the terminal but some duty free stalls and some coffee carts! Very disappointing. And the flight back for me was horrible because I sat next to this Indian man who didn’t stop talking! Turbulance was bad as well, especially after the transit in Taipei.

All in all though, I enjoyed my first visit to the USA. The interview was definitely one of the biggest highlight of my career so far. And they had the summer sales on so I went a bit impulsive and bought a RM600 dress. It was USD190, didn’t seem that much when I bought it and when i calculated again, I nearly had a cardiac arrest! Anyways, I’m glad I finish posting up this blog finally because you know what?? In another few hours, I’m flying off to KOREA with my family! It was a vacation long planned, and the LA trip was the new addition to the schedule so it does seem like I’m travelling a whole lot this year. Actually, I will be travelling a whole lot this year…so look out to my other travel post, alright? This site might turn out to be Bel’s Travel Blog from now on….

Take care people, will update again when I get back next week. Peace and Love!


0 comments on “Thursday June 26, 2008

  1. mofaza84

    I believe at some point during this experience, you must think that the whole thing is just a dream and when you wake up, everything is back to normal…

  2. burnburn

    Wow, great weather in LA!
    I was there for winter, and it wasn’t that nice. Yup, Hollywood Boulevard sure is a disappointment.
    Oooh, the IVY. See anyone there?

  3. Anonymous

    I don’t mind a travel blog by you…. i don’t have the chance to travel the world, couldn’t even afford to leave malaysia to go to the next island, Singapore.

    I love that I could travel around the world with your eyes and photos. It makes me feel good! Thanks, Bel!

  4. Anonymous

    Wow. Wow. Wow! Looks like you had heaps of fun!!
    I’m so jealous you get to travel around so much 🙁
    I wish I could find a job that pays me to travel. Boohoo.

  5. Anonymous

    cool…. but you might want to correct something…. gas here is actually around usd$4.50 a gallon which is about 3.8 liters. thus, we are paying around rm$3.50 per liter if conversion rate is still usd$1 = rm$3.

    anyway, glad to hear that you enjoyed your trip. yeah, hollywood is just so so… next time visit the sub urbs in LA, you might find some quaint little towns with coffee shops, little boutiques, book stores and etc more interesting. however, if you are in NY, just give me a holler, i can give you some pointers on where you should go during what season.

    have fun in korea.


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