It's always sad to drive away from family. My sister and I spent a lot of years not being very close. With 5 years separating us, I remember looking forward to the time when I could leave home and not have to "take care" of her anymore. Fast forward through the Army, college, marriages, kids, moves and you find us as adults who actually enjoy our time together. She is often times my voice of reason and a trusted friend. We even lucked out and like the spouses we each chose and have kids we like being around. Very lucky indeed.
Driving from Escondido to L.A. isn't very far on a map but inevitably, traffic is slower, there's more of it, and a myriad of options to get there. We have great friends who live in Studio City which puts us in a prime location really. He was able to get us tickets to view a live taping of The Voice! on our arrival day. Once we unloaded at the apartment we were quickly off to Universal Studios. So surreal being there at all, not to mention being a guest of someone who works there. We almost didn't get tickets but someone else couldn't use them and we were happy to accept.
Phones aren't typically allowed but they give friends and family a little leniency if you are subtle about its usage and avoid flash. Before the show started he was able to come say hello, bring us some fresh baked cookies and take our photo with the stage and all in the background.
Needless to say, that whole experience was pretty cool. It's actually hard work doing the stand up/sit down, cheer, clap and be excited all on command. FOR THE ENTIRE 2 HOUR SHOW! They run a tight ship so that everything runs smoothly. Those set changes happen in real time during the commercial breaks. Really quite amazing. Ellie's favorite part was having Carson Daly look over to her and ask how she was. She now has a crush.
One added bonus. The tram that drove us from the holding area to the studio detoured through the Universal Studios' back lots. Giving us a mini tour of movie sets and general movie facts. The highlight for me was the JAWS set. It's my all time favorite movie and here we are, driving by two iconic movie props of the shark out of water and hanging from it's tail (neither of which I have photos of). This memory will have to live in my own head. I'm okay with that though.
I realize not everyone can get onto a taping of The Voice but there are other shows that film in town of course, so it's worth asking friends/family if they have any connections. At the very least, pay to go to Universal Studios to do the official tour. If you like movies at all, I think you'll find it worth your time.
Tomorrow....we hit L.A. proper.