Los Angeles : Trip of a Lifetime

Hello, it’s good to talk to you in my first ever blog post!! Extremely new to this, but excited to give ‘blogging’ a good go. Just a quick introduction from me, I am Sarah – an 18 year old living in North Yorkshire and hoping to study Journalism this coming September. Most of my posts will be pretty informal, but for issues that are more serious I may have some formal posts (like politics which I really quite enjoy but hate to admit.) So, here is to a successful blog (fingers crossed) and if you are reading this I hope you like what you see!

So, at the beginning of February I visited Los Angeles with my film studies class, although it was lots of fun, I did learn a lot about the film industry and their functioning studios.

Day 1: Sony Pictures and Santa Monica

Me and my friend on Santa Monica beach.

After a lot of travelling the day before, (around 24 hours) and a quick rest up our group was ready to see what America had to offer, and by 9am we had got on a coach to Sony Pictures. During the tour at  Sony the tour guides showed us their collection of Oscars over the years, and the beautiful gardens surrounding the studios. We visited the sound studio for The Goldbergs, and although I had not seen the series at that point, it was pretty cool to see the spaces, lights and cameras. We also took a look at Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, and although these are very popular TV shows in America, none of the group had ever heard of the TV shows (youtube wheel of fortune). To conclude the tour at Sony the group got to see ‘famous wheels’ such as cars from 21 Jump Street and the caravan from Breaking Bad. We were all parched after the tour, so quickly got some drinks ( mine iced tea because hot tea was hard to find in America.. ) and boarded the coach again, this time to Santa Monica beach.

WOW. That was my first thought when we arrived in beautiful Santa Monica, the sounds, sea, view, everything was perfect. Walking on the sand bare foot was so relaxing, it seemed the sand was cuddling my feet. The views from the beach were phenomenal, whichever way you chose to look you would not be disappointed, it was paradise. After the beach me and my friends went shopping ( of course ) down 3rd street promenade. I was especially excited to go into Sephora, as many of you know it is a shop full of make-up you cannot get in the UK. I spent way too much on the first day, but I got my hands on Make-Up Forever HD and some Anastasia Beverly Hills,  so i guess that makes it okay right??

Day 2: Paramount Pictures and Glendale Galleria 

Paramount Pictures was a great tour.  LA is not as glamorous as you may think before you have visited it, if I have learnt anything from the trip it was about how hard the actors and the behind the scenes do work towards a particular project. The highlight of Paramount for me (apart from finding a hot tea..)

I found some tea!!!

was walking around the ‘fake New York’ set where Jessie J’s Bang Bang had been filmed among many other films and music videos. Seeing the facades and fake stairs that lead to no where did take some magic away from films I have watched, but also made me intrigued to know more about films and how they make them. After Paramount we were on our way to a shopping mall, which I was dreading as I had already spent too much money the day before! I visited Bath and Body Works, a store we do not have in the UK and bought some really cute hand soap and candles for my mum, they smelled gorgeous! A funny moment at the shopping mall occurred when when we stopped to eat some food and my friend ordered a large fizzy drink.. the drink was a whopping 40oz and nearly as big as her head! I think she may have forgotten she was in America when she said large..

Day 3: Universal Studios Hollywood

I really enjoyed the day at Universal Studios, we managed to get on all the rides seeing as it wasn’t peak holiday times and watched a show performed by the Universal Studio’s cast ( unfortunately can’t quite remember the name) and it was very good! The only disappointing thing about Universal was the fact most of the rides were simulators, this meant that they weren’t rollercoasters. I didn’t mind too much though because the Universal tour was soooooo good!!! The tour goes through several 3D scenes and it does actually feel real. Also, we witnessed Bates Motel and Norman Bates’ house in the original Psycho which I was very excited about because I love the film and the new series on Netflix ‘Bates Motel.’ There were so many good aspects about day 3 I couldn’t put them all into this post, but, the meal at Hard Rock Café and the cute chats with my friends ( you know who you are ) while the Hollywood sun set was one of my favourite moments of the trip.

Day 4: Warner Brothers Studios

This was by far the best tour of the week as one of my favourite TV shows was being filmed there (Pretty Little Liars). Our group was on the set of TV shows and we looked at the way Warner Brothers made their films/TV shows. Their prop store was vast and filled with anything a film could ever need to create a masterpiece. Directors would come to the prop store and pick items they wanted for films and put them on hold for certain periods. What was really exciting was the Ellen Degeneres show was being filmed a few meters away from me with the special guest of… Barak Obama!! I mean how amazing is that? Barak Obama only a few meters away from me:( so close yet so far. Oh and how could I forget the Harry Potter and Batman museum where I was sorted by the sorting hat into Gryffindor? Or, where me and my friend took to Harry Potter’s broom with a green screen behind us, which meant he had to skip the gift shop.. sorry James!

Day 5: Hollywood Walk of Fame (last day)

The Hollywood Walk of Fame is not as enchanting and glamorous as it seems on the TV and in films. I’m glad to say I have been, but Santa Monica and other places in Los Angeles are much more beautiful. It was exciting to see the hand and foot prints outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and I placed my hand into Michael Jackson’s handprint (mine was only just smaller).  After Hollywood, we visited Santa Monica for one last goodbye and soaked up as much of the 30 degree weather as we possibly could before returning to LAX.

Then, a flight back to London Heathrow, where we were reunited with the rainy reality of the UK.


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