Warner Brothers Studio Tour: Los Angeles, California

Winding our way down the PCH along the coast of California was, in reality, a last minute plan. Lorenzo and I had decided on the train when a status update from Spencer went astray into my newsfeed and a new idea was born. Most of the planning was my job, minus the awesome B&B’s that we stayed at along the way (thanks Spencer!), and Lorenzo more-or-less simply didn’t give a shit what we did. He wanted to see San Diego and say that he’d been to yet another U.S. State. When we arrived in L.A., he suddenly changed his mind. An Italian friend of his is currently living in the city and working on films, and he recommended that we do a Universal Studios Tour. I hadn’t even considered it; apparently there is only room for so much in my head and when in that close of a vicinity to Ryan Reynolds, most else gets pushed out. I divulged this idea to Jade and Bobby and they suggested that we check out Warner Brothers instead. They had done both Universal and WB, and found Warner Brothers to be more interesting and exciting. We booked the tour for our last day in L.A. and set off to explore the city. When the day finally rolled around, the upcoming tour was a nice distraction from the reminder that I was not only about to leave my family again for an extended period, but that I was about to endure a fifteen hour flight with a nervous traveller who happens to have a bad case of motion sickness. Bring on Warner Brothers! I was sure that How I Met Your Mother was filmed on the WB lot, but after going through the entire tour without a mention, I’ll venture out and say that I was mistaken. Anyway, dreams of running into Barney and Ted were floating through Lorenzo and my head as we buckled up into our multi-seated golf cart. Strangely, our tourmates were all family members from a small town in Eastern Washington. Ironic. Most of the tour was spent talking about shows that we didn’t know much about; Mike and Molly, Heart of Dixie and Pretty Little Liars but there was some fun mentions in there. We drove by the pond from which George Clooney saved a drowning boy in an episode of ER nearly fifty years ago! Oh wait, I…

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StayOn Beverly: Luxury Hostel in Los Angeles, California

The words budget traveler and luxury generally don’t go hand in hand, especially when you throw Los Angeles into the mix. However, luxury in a cozy sense of the word is exactly what you’ll be welcomed with when you punch in your personal door code and step into the StayOn Beverly located right on the edge of Korea Town in Los Angeles. Please bear in mind however, that luxury when referring to a hostel does not mean the kind of five-star service you expect to find in Hollywood’s top hotels. As we pulled up into one of the five parking spaces (already this hostel gets bonus points) in front of the Beverly I already had an idea of what to expect since Spencer had stayed at the hostel previously. Still, when I walked through the front door and onto the clean, wooden floors of the hostel, I felt as if I’d stepped into a newly built apartment complex rather than a travel accommodation. As we walked the length of the hallway in an attempt to find our room, we kept shooshing each other because the place was so quiet we felt like, even at 8 o’ clock in the evening, we might be waking someone up. Finally, we arrived at our door and I eagerly punched the code in, curious what was on the other side. As I opened the room to find a beautifully laid out double bed with a sea foam green blanket, I couldn’t help smiling. The presence of the mini-fridge, complimentary water bottle and flat-screen TV on the wall, begging to be watched, made me instantly relax. It was as if I was coming home rather than booking into a $50 per night hostel. I’ll be the first to admit that after a drink and dinner at the Bier Garten just down the street I was quite happy to come back and settle into catching up on some American TV and cuddling into my memory foam mattress. Usually, when you book into a budget accomodation, you can’t be exactly sure what you might find. In the U.S. you are pretty hard-pressed to find any room for $50 a night, let alone a room that is both private and fully-equipped. While we were traveling in Europe we booked many private rooms in hostels and often found ourselves shivering under the covers each night and creeping along concrete…

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