I have officially been in California for two weeks, and let me tell you I am already so L.A.... Nah, just kidding. But, I was lucky enough last weekend to spend the day with my cousin who lives in L.A (this is the same cousin who I went to Amsterdam with). She offered to show me around for the day. And when she asked what I wanted to see or do, I said, "you know, L.A. things." She laughed and went with it.
She knows me well so she took me to a lot of amazing photo spots, typical tourist spots, and, of course, shopping. We started our day at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), which has a lot of great contemporary art and some fun installations outside, like the famous light poles. From there we headed to the Grove for a coffee and Nordstrom break. Did I mention she is a stylist? She knows all of the good shopping.
After a little retail therapy, we headed to Melrose for more shopping and photos ops, and for a stop at the adorable, and oh-so-pink, Alfred Tea Room (Alfred Coffee is equally adorable). At that point my cousin got a call for work, which sent the day in an amazing direction. She had to stop by the NBC/Universal costume warehouse to pull looks for a commercial and asked if I wanted to tag along. A real studio lot? An industry costume warehouse? A behind the scenes look at Hollywood magic? I could not say yes quick enough.
We had planned on going by the famed Grauman's Chinese theatre and Hollywood Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard. Obviously, I wanted a behind the scenes peak more, so we did a quick drive by and I hopped out of the car to snap a few shots lol (zero shame). From there we headed into the Hollywood Hills, where I had my first Hollywood Sign sighting, before arriving at the back entrance to the Universal lot.
You guys, the costume warehouse was a dream come true! I got to wonder around (the 70s lougewear and kaftan section is where it is at btw), ask a million questions about how it all worked, and I even saw Mindy Kaling! My cousin told me I had to play it cool since she was working, and let me tell you it took every ounce of self discipline not to lose my $hit when I saw Mindy.
After my cousin pulled what she needed, we decided to sneak onto the back lot so she could show me the amazing New York set. Inadvertently in the process, we stumbled on the set of Kristen Bell's new show, The Good Place... Cutest. Set. Ever (see the last photo).
At the time, however, neither of us had seen the show. So we walked around the set marveling at its cuteness and wondering what it was. Then my cousin noticed all of the yogurt shops, which reminded her of the show's preview. Once we figured it out we were so excited. When I finally got around to watching the show, I realized they also shoot at The Huntington! I am basically best friends with Kristen Bell.
I have to say exploring the NBC/Universal backlot and costume warehouse was a total Hollywood pinch me moment. Definitely, the ultimate tourist experience and a day I won't forget.
Any other sights I should not miss in L.A.? Next on my list is the hike to the Hollywood sign.