Thursday 12th August 2010:

On the morning of our final day in LA, Emily and I headed down to the Fashion District… It was in the downtown area and was certainly a little shifty, especially as it was still quite early when we arrived. We wandered around and scored a few cute bracelets and some cheap socks, wondering why the travel guides raved so much about this area if all we could see was dodgy iPod cases and plastic figurines… We quickly realised we hadn’t quite hit the fashion district yet, but were still in generic Downtown.

The Fashion District is great… if you like rummaging for hours, but we had done so much of that at It’s a Wrap, where everything was so incredible, that the so called Fashion District felt like a little bit of a let-down – although I did buy a pretty sweet-deal headband at one little store.

We wandered a little more before realising it was high time we found a bus, as we had to get to Paramount Studios for our tour!

This was easier said than done, although we eventually hopped on a bus that told us it was going to Melrose Place (where the studios are located). It did get there… after a million years of driving through the underbelly of LA. We were concerned we were going to be late, and after accidentally hopping off the bus a stop early, found ourselves sprinting to the gate as we didn’t want to miss a second of the tour!

Well the fates looked kindly upon us that day and we arrived with time to spare – allowing Emily to buy a coffee and me to find some water.

Our tour guide was from Ohio, and one of the first things he did was list of the shows currently filming at the studio, Emily and I only knew Glee, but this was ok because we LOVE Glee and the tour guide was more than willing to indulge our obsession, pointing out everything Glee-related. It was great too, because the rest of the group were pretty passive and didn’t really seem all that interested in anything – we weren’t sure why they bothered to show up!

We were taken around the studios, saw the filming of a television program, met an actor from a new show that hasn’t aired yet (turns out he was the nephew of one of the families in our tour group) and saw sets being dismantled and reassembled.

We saw where Marcia Brady had her nose famously crushed by a rogue football in the Brady Bunch, we saw where Norma Desmond famously said “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” in Sunset Blvd and we sat on the bench from Forrest Gump. We were also lucky enough to walk through the set of a new show starring Chevy Chase and saw a small section of Law & Order (or was it NSIC?) being filmed.

But this was not nearly as good as the fact that the Glee Gods blessed our sick obsession with a day full of Glee-filled moments: our first was when we saw a truck labeled “Glee”, which was shortly before LEA MICHELE (Rachel) cycled by on the pink bicycle often seen in the show.

We were thrilled enough with that that we didn’t mind if we didn’t see anything else as exciting… but as our tour guide was explaining to us how the studio used a carpark as a “sea” or “river” (in films such as Benjamin Button), the Glee Gods blessed us again first with a sighting of Dianna Agron (Quinn) and Naya Rivera (Santana), both in Cheerio’s uniform (spoiler perhaps? as Quinn was kicked off the squad), and then Cory Monteith (Finn) wandered past…

But that wasn’t the end of our jaw-dropping, squee moments, no. Mere minutes later, most of the rest of the major cast (Kevin McHale – Artie, Jenna Ushkowitz – Tina, Amber Riley – Mercedes, plus Other Asian) drove by in a golf cart, before running onto set.

Unfortunately Em and I couldn’t take photos, but those moments are burned into our memories so well I hardly care that there is no physical record.

The only thing that could have made it better would have been a Chris Colfer (Kurt) or Jane Lynch (Sue Sylvester) sighting… But I’m not complaining.

After that we joked about sneaking onto the Glee-set, but it is so tightly patrolled it would have been impossible. Oh well…

We continued the tour, saw Ryan Murphy’s office (with his Golden Globe in the window), which is located right where many Brady Bunch scenes were filmed, and heard lots of really cool stories about how they adapt different parts of the film studio (like office fronts and staff car parks) into movie sets with little or no effort. (The main carpark is used as the McKinley High carpark in Glee)

Our tour ended with our guide (and new best friend) showing us the exact bench that Principal Figgin’s sat on to film the Mumbai Air DVT socks ad… Needless to say Emily and I felt compelled to sit on the bench, and we got our photograph taken.

Unquestionably, our day was pretty freaking perfect… Until we looked at the time and had to run back to the hostel, grab our bags and run to the train station to get to the airport. Our feet, backs and legs were nearly destroyed by the time we made it to the airport.

We finally got on the airplane and watched the Disney Channel on our way to San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO: Thursday evening.

Our first few hours in San Fran was probably the lowest point of our entire trip. The directions to the hostel suggested the walk wasn’t very far… But they lied. It was right up ontop of some of the steepest hills in the city, and with our heavy bags, we struggled to make it to the top. It felt like a thousands years before Emily finally spotted the GREEN TORTOISE sign. We were so excited… only to find we had to get up three more flights of stairs with our shit. Thank god the people inside were so helpful. (I totally recommend the Green Tortoise Hostel, just don’t walk from the train, pay a bit extra and take the shuttle! Your back will thank you!)

After finally being able to dump our luggage, Emily and I wandered down the road into a little burrito shop… that served $6 burritos as big as our forearms. Neither of us finished.

We called it quits not long after, exhausted from everything about the day gone by. Goodbye LA, hallo SF!