GBTA 2013 Convention in San Diego! (Global Business Travel Association)

GBTA 2013 Convention in San Diego! (Global Business Travel Association)

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NOTE: For ThrowbackThursday and FlashbackFriday we found this Blog draft. We laid out all the type and captions back in 2013 and never added the pics or details. So we went to the files for collateral from the convention, found old travel picture files on our other laptop for pictures that were never seen and also went hunting for the pics that we had already downloaded or posted, then we filled in all the details we could remember and constructed this Blog! And even though the event happened in 2013 we still hope you will enjoy this Blog for TravelTuesday in 2017!

We were invited to attend the GBTA 2013 Convention as a “Hosted Buyer”, but we had prior commitments and could only attend the first and second day of the event. So we made a one-night hotel reservation and arranged to attend the “preview day” on Sunday and the first day on Monday.

GBTA 2013 Convention Schedule for Sunday and Monday:
(Vendor Parties not shown) CLICK to SEE A LARGER PIC!

Road Trip to San Diego! – Ride along with me!

It was a foggy Sunday morning when we woke up very early and hit the road to San Diego. We left the San Fernando Valley at 7am to avoid traffic and drove south on the 405 and 5 freeways for about three hours. We were successful and drove fast (we also took pictures as we went) but other drivers were driving really fast! We were really amazed at the speed of some of the cars passing us at very high speeds like we were parked.

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GBTA 2013! – On The Road to San Diego (405 freeway south to 5 freeway south)

Ride along with me to San Diego, just click on the pics below:

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GBTA 2013! – Downtown San Diego

Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego (A Hilton Hotel)

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GBTA 2013! – Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego

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GBTA 2013! – Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego Atrium & Skylight

We arrived in San Diego and found our hotel, the Embassy Suites Downtown, sometime after 9am. We found metered street parking two blocks away from the hotel which was FREE and available because it was Sunday. We walked over to the hotel, had breakfast at the complimentary buffet and got an early check in.

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GBTA 2013! – Breakfast Buffet at the Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego

We went up to the room, checked it out and dropped our luggage. We set up the laptop, hooked into the hotel’s wi-fi and did our morning business via the internet and cell phone.

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After a short time in the room, we walked over to the Hyatt Regency and caught the Free Shuttle to the Convention Center.

Sunday was a “preview” day, so it was not very crowded, just busy. There were a lot of people checking in and the vendors and staff were making preparations for the week ahead. The Exhibition Hall didn’t open until Monday, but we were invited to the “First-Timers” lunch and the Welcome Party at the Hilton on Sunday evening.

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GBTA 2013! Global Business Travel Association Convention in San Diego

We rode the shuttle to the Convention Center, walked to Check-In, checked in and got our credentials, and then we walked to the “first timers” lunch in an adjacent meeting hall.

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GBTA 2013! – San Diego Convention Center

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GBTA 2013! – “First Timers” Lunch, Orientation and Welcome

On The Menu: Turkey sandwich with mozzarella cheese balls, lettuce & tomato and a slice of apple pie with iced tea, water and coffee

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After lunch, we attended the “Going Global” session, walked around the Convention Center and then we walked to the shuttle pickup point, rode the shuttle back to the Hyatt and then walked back to our hotel. We cleaned up and enjoyed a free cocktail and complimentary appetizers at the Embassy Suites’ afternoon Happy Hour downstairs.

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GBTA 2013 Welcome Reception Party Buffet at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront

After the Happy Hour we drove over to the Hilton Bayfront Hotel and paid $15 to park for the Welcome Reception and Party on the Great Lawn which runs along the Marina.  An outdoor evening buffet for 7000 people or so, with beer/wine and magaritas at the bar.

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GBTA 2013! – Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

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GBTA 2013! – Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

NOTE: It was a huge convention! Every hotel in San Diego remotely close to the Convention Center was at capacity and filled with Travel Agents, Vendors, Travel Writers and other attendees from all over the United States and other parts of the world. We commented on the size of the crowd to a staff person at the Convention Center and they just laughed because Comic-Con had been in town the week before and the size of GBTA convention wasn’t even close to the overflow crowd for Comic-Con.

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GBTA 2013 Welcome Reception Party on the Great Lawn – the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

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GBTA 2103 Welcome Reception Party on the Great Lawn – the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

On The Menu at the Welcome Reception Party Buffet at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront:
Buffalo chicken meatballs, lamb meatballs in a tomato sauce, pasta in lobster sauce, pita chips and a bunch of types of hummus, prime rib sliders with cheese, chicken potstickers, veggie potstickers, pork potstickers, other stuff too, and then on to the dessert table! Nice truffle selection, chocolate covered strawberries, candy lollipops in a bunch of weird flavors and mini-pastries…

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GBTA 2013! – Sunset Over A Sea of Travel Industry at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

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We walked to over to Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant for the next party. It was a long “Las Vegas” walk just after dark along the Marina and Bayfront to get to Roy’s, but it was worth it! We immediately regretted eating at the Welcome Party Buffet, because there was an amazing assortment of incredible food at Roy’s!

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GBTA 2013! – The Kitchen at Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant in San Diego

There were all kinds of sushi and cut rolls, egg rolls, chicken and beef satay skewers, Hawaiian style ribs, other tasty appetizers and finger foods, fresh fruit and a lot of fancy desserts. We ate and drank and networked until it got too crowded inside the large restaurant and we didn’t take any pictures (except the one of the kitchen above). We left the party early and took a little food “to go” for later at the hotel. We didn’t want to do anymore walking or make the long dark walk back to the Hilton parking structure, so we negotiated with a pedal cab guy and survived a really fast and wild nighttime ride back to the hotel along the Bayfront for $10+tip.

We walked to our car and drove back to the Embassy Suites. We valet parked our car at the hotel and retired to our hotel room. We did some work, ate the “to go” food (ribs, sushi and little chocolate balls) after midnight and went to bed.

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Monday morning, we were up early and we enjoyed the Embassy Suites’ breakfast buffet again. We took the food up to the room, ate and did some more work, and then packed up our stuff, went downstairs and had a second breakfast. After eating again we got our stuff and checked out of the hotel. We picked up the car from the valet, drove to over the Convention Center and paid to park there. Parking was $15 for all day until midnight.

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GBTA 2013! – Embassy Suites Hotel Breakfast Buffet (in the room)

We arrived in time and got a pretty good seat for the Keynote Address and Lunch for 6000 people with a presentation and performance by singer/songwriter Jewel. All of the front area tables were “Reserved” so we took a seat at a forward table in the first section behind the front area. The hall at the Convention Center was massive! Lunch for 6000 is not an easy task!

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GBTA 2013 Keynote Lunch with Jewel at the San Diego Convention Center

Monday’s GBTA 2013 Keynote Speaker Jewel performs
“Who Will Save Your Soul” live at the San Diego Convention Center

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https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=703198789706690&set=vb.337421319696080&type=2&theater (facebook video)

On The Menu: iceberg lettuce salad, bread & butter, stuffed chicken breast with pesto sauce, vegetables, a fruit tart dessert and iced tea.

After lunch they opened the massive Exposition Hall which ran the entire length of the Convention Center and was filled with Vendors and Suppliers. There were also Vendor meetings scheduled for the afternoon. We walked a portion of the Exhibition Hall, collected brochures/information/swag and received invitations to events later on that evening and later in the week. It would have been impossible to cover the whole Exhibition Hall in one day, so we didn’t try. Instead we did what we could between 3-6pm and dropped all the promotional material in our car before beginning the evening activities.

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GBTA 2013! – The Gaslamp District Sign in San Diego

The Gaslamp District!
The Historic Heart of San Diego is located across the street and train tracks from the Convention Center. Bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels and plenty of gift shops are within easy walking distance (unless you’ve already walked all day).

Let’s get this party started!
We were invited to eight different parties happening at different locations around the Gaslamp District and the Bayfront near the Convention Center.

Monday Party # 1 – Sunset cocktails and dinner at the Altitude Lounge

Our first invitation was for a party at the Altitude Lounge on top of the Marriott Gaslamp Hotel. We walked over to the Marriott Hotel next door to the Convention Center, but it was the wrong Marriott. So then we walked over to the Gaslamp District and found the right hotel. We ate and drank and watched the sunset from the rooftop patio.

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Excellent view of San Diego and Mission Bay from the outdoor patio!

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GBTA 2013! View from the Altitude Lounge in San Diego

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GBTA 2013! – View of Petco Park from the Altitude Lounge in San Diego

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GBTA 2013! – Sunset in San Diego from the Altitude Lounge

On The Menu: tray passed appetizers and a buffet with eggrolls, beef on toast, beef and chicken satay, tuna on wonton crisp, crab on cracker, pita bread and hummus and more… catered by Flemings Steakhouse!

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Monday Party #2 –
We crashed The Parking Spot Party at Lou & Mickey’s at the Gaslamp

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GBTA 2013! – The Parking Spot Party at Lou & Mickey’s at the Gaslamp

We left the party and walked across the street and crashed The Parking Spot’s party at Lou & Mickey’s restaurant. We ate and drank and met the nice folks from The Parking Spot and told them we crashed their party. They didn’t mind. Their party ended early, and the place emptied as the crowd left for other parties that were just getting started.

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Monday Party #3 – GBTA 2013 “AMPED” Party at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego!

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GBTA 2013! – Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Guitar at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego

We walked over to our next event: the AMPED party at the Hard Rock Hotel! We ate and drank and met a bunch of really nice people. It started slow but soon the crowd at the main bar was five people deep, the music was rockin’ and it got pretty hopping.

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This party was on a very large rooftop patio, with several permanent bars, a couch area with fire pits and portable heaters, several floating bars and a bunch of buffet stations with a great selection of food. There was good music, of course, and a stage was set up for performance, but it didn’t get used until later. There was even a photo booth for taking pictures with silly wigs, hats and props.

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GBTA 2013! – Buffet Station at the AMPED Party at the Hard Rock Hotel

We asked permission before taking these pics of one of the Go-Go Dancers on a raised pedestal (there were several). She said “Go ahead, I don’t see why not” and posed for the first one. And she was a fantastic dancer too!

Monday Party #4 – Level Skye Club at the Andaz Hotel in San Diego!

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GBTA 2013! – The Bar at Level Skye Club at the Andaz Hotel in San Diego

We had one more party to check out or we would have just stayed at the Hard Rock, instead we left the hotel and walked over to Level Skye Club at the Andaz Hotel. We walked a lot and we were wearing our dress shoes, so by the end of the night our feet were really hurting. We were also tired from a long day at the convention and a long night of partying.
When we got to the club the upstairs was deceptively quiet because downstairs in the basement it was raging! The party at Level Skye was really “off-the-hook” with funky dance music and lots of light and a lot of drunk travel agents. Travel industry people love to party! Thanks American Express!

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GBTA 2013! – Big Party at Level Skye Club in the Andaz Hotel Basement in San Diego

We didn’t eat or drink anything alcoholic because we still had to walk back to the car and drive home to Los Angeles. So, Monday late night we walked back to the car on sore feet before they closed the Convention Center Garage for the night (at midnight).

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GBTA 2013! – San Diego Convention Center Parking ($15 all day – closes at midnight)

We drove back to Los Angeles on the 5 freeway north after midnight and hit a impossible “Stop-and-Go” traffic jam along the way because of construction at 2am in the morning.

When we finally made it home after 3am, we unloaded the car and crashed hard. We had a really good time, did a lot of business and networking, saw Jewel play live music, enjoyed our “budget” stay at the Embassy Suites, and ate and drank and danced and partied in San Diego for two days.

NOTE: We did a lot of walking, a whole lot of walking in our dress shoes, so next time we bring and wear more comfortable walking shoes.

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GBTA 2013! – San Diego Convention Center Stairs at Night

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GBTA 2013! – We did not attend GBTA 2014 in Los Angeles

FINAL NOTE: We finished this Blog and hit “PUBLISH” and it did not. WordPress lost the Blog and the draft(s) totally disappeared! We had to use Google Cache to rescue it and then we had to start over and rebuild the original Blog again. Total waste of time. There is a flaw (BUG) in the wordpress program, because when we went looking for help we found that this has happened to other people as well. So, please ENJOY THIS BLOG, a lot of time went into it.



 

UPDATED Wednesday March 29, 2017 – We posted this Blog yesterday!

We collected a bunch of FREE stuff in the short time we were there, two bags full of stuff actually! Most was promotional “paper”: sell sheets, pamphlets, maps and brochures. But there was some fun giveaway stuff and cool “incentives” for visiting certain booths.

We were given a “Swag” bag at check-in provided/sponsored by Delta and the padded bag was very nice. We recently found it in Storage (see our previous Blog about Storage) and we are now using it as a laptop bag.

UPDATED April 5, 2017 – TRAVEL TIP!
We found these “hospitality cards” (restaurant and bar coupons, freebies, come-ons, etc.) from the San Diego trip. We had so much FREE food and drink and were only in town for one night, so we didn’t use any of them. They can be found at the Concierge Desk at the San Diego Convention Center (and these are just a few of the ones available).

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Hospitality Cards (Restaurant and Bar Coupons, Freebies, Come-Ons, etc.)

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Mitch Hedberg RIP – “Club Sandwich”

Thinking everyone could use a little humor right about now.
Here’s a funny from the late Great Comedian
Mitch Hedberg RIP – “Club Sandwich”:


“I order the club sandwich all the time, but I’m not even a member, man…
I don’t know how I get away with it.
How’d it start anyway?
I like my sandwiches with three pieces of bread.
So do I!
Well let’s form a club then.
Alright, but we need more stipulations.
Yes we do; instead of cutting the sandwich once, let’s cut it again.
Yes, four triangles, and we will position them into a circle.
In the middle we will dump chips. Or potato salad.
Okay. I got a question for ya, how do you feel about frilly toothpicks?
I’m for ’em!
Well this club is formed; spread the word on menus nationwide.

[ I like my sandwiches with alfalfa sprouts.
Well then you’re not in the f*ckin’ club!” 
]

Join the Club Club!

We joined the Club Club!
Late Lunch delivered from The Nook Restaurant in Encino on Tuesday Afternoon!
On the Menu: Turkey & Bacon Club Sandwich (no tomato or mayonnaise, with yellow mustard, and we also took off the lettuce) on toasted garlic sourdough bread with salted and seasoned fries, a dill pickle and an iced espresso. Yes, frilly toothpicks included.

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Turkey & Bacon Club Sandwich w/Seasoned Fries from The Nook Restaurant in Encino

The Club Sandwich first appeared in 1894 at the famous Saratoga Club-House (originally called Morrissey’s Club House) an exclusive gentlemen only gambling house in upstate Saratoga Springs, New York where the potato chips was created.

The oldest recipe for the club sandwich was published in the Good Housekeeping Everyday Cook Book, by Isabel Gordon Curtis in 1903

The 1904 Worlds Fair in St. Louis helped popularized the club sandwich with four of the restaurants including a version on their menus.

The Nook Restaurant17316 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91316 (CVS Shopping Center)
818-385-1271  www.breakfastatthenook.com
NOTE: Open for breakfast and lunch Only!

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Read the Previous Blog! 
“National Donut Day and a Tribute to Mitch Hedberg” >
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1zk

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33 years ago! Do you know where you were?
Grateful Dead Recorded Live: 12/28/1983
San Francisco Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, CA
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30000 Hits! THANK YOU! http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com
(unsolicited and not “promoted”,  all unpaid for!)

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30000 Hits! THANK YOU! Another Benchmark!

Many thanks to our loyal readers and all the “drop-in” visitors since February 2013!

There are almost 600 Previous Blog Posts (BLOGS) archived for your enjoyment!
Use the Search Box at the top of the page or just read though (there’s an “Older Posts” link at the bottom of the page) to find fun and interesting stuff.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! More to come!

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THANK YOU!

Travel Answers: Los Angeles!

Travel Answers: Los Angeles! (from a previously saved draft)

These are Travel Answers about Los Angeles saved from another website:

Best views in Los Angeles?

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Downtown Los Angeles from up high!

Q: Best views in Los Angeles? We will be visiting LA and want to take in the views! Ocean views, city views..from restaurants, hotels, parks, etc. Where are the best places to take some photos in LA? Thanks!

A: Great views of Los Angeles day or night?

The Standard and Skybar on Sunset Blvd and the Rooftop Bars/Pool Decks at the London West Hollywood Hotel, Montage Beverly Hills and Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive all have great views along with cocktails and food.

Nice views of Downtown at WP24 from the 24th floor bar and 25th floor restaurant (the WP stands for Wolfgang Puck), both the Elevate Lounge and the Rooftop at The Standard Downtown LA have excellent views.

If you can get into City Club on Bunker Hill (a private club on the top of the Wells Fargo building) there’s a men’s restroom with the best view!

The Music Center plaza has great views of DTLA, Cityhall and the DWP Building. The dancing fountains, the PEACE statue, and the architecture of Disney Hall, the Ahmanson, Mark Taper Forum and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion provide great scenery.

There’s a picnic area at the top of the Hollywood Bowl that has great views and it’s open during the day as a city park. You might also catch a (free) rehearsal if it’s the musical season.

Visit the Getty Museum for amazing views and amazing art. FREE just pay $10 for parking. Open late on Fridays.

Take a slow drive along Mulholland Drive for great views of the San Fernando Valley and West L.A. day or night. There are numerous turnouts and vista points between Hayvenhurst and Runyon Canyon Park.

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The View of the San Fernando Valley from the Top O’ Topanga

Free things to do in Los Angeles?

Q: My girlfriend and I are traveling to LA for 6 days and we would like to know what free or cheap things there are to do in Los Angeles? We are kind of on a budget! We would also like to find out the best mode of transportation and areas to stay in!

A: “Cheap” thrills in L.A.? There’s so much stuff you can do that is free or “on the cheap” in Los Angeles! The Getty Museum is FREE, it cost $10-15 to park.

The Beaches in Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach are FREE, pay only for parking.

Griffith Park and the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area have hundreds of miles of hiking trails. Parking and park fees vary. There are also many other places in L.A. for hiking, biking, picnicking, etc.

There are also any number of free public parks and other unique spaces to visit! Bergamot Station and The Brewery Artist Loftshave art galleries in addition to numerous other galleries throughout the city. Check and see if you’ll be in town for “FREE MUSEUM DAY” which varies by location, and some museums are always FREE, but alway encourage donations. The museums also have relatively inexpensive entry fees.

Visit the Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Pier, Downtown Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, NoHo Arts District, Universal CityWalk, Old Pasadena, Venice Beach Boardwalk, Hollywood and West Hollywood. No entrance fees. Pay for parking and other activities.

UCLA, USC – University of Southern California, Art Center College of Design, California Institute of the Arts and other colleges have museums, art galleries and events that are also worth looking into too.

See my other answers for more things to do in Los Angeles!

I recommend that you rent a car rather than uber/lyft/taxi/public transport if you want to see and do a lot while you’re here. You really need a car to navigate the city.

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Malibu Beach – Malibu, Los Angeles, California

Where is the walk of fame and how far is it from the airport in L.A.?

Q: This is my first time to LA and I was wondering where the walk of fame is and how far is it from the airport?

A: Where is the “Walk of Fame”? Hollywood Blvd in Hollywood!

The Walk of Fame runs from LaBrea to Gower and up Vine to the Capitol Records Building. You can see the stars’ hands and feet in concrete in the courtyard of (Grauman’s) Mann’s Chinese Theater, visit the Kodak Theatre and shop at Hollywood & Highland. Also in the immediate vicinity are Ripley’s, Madame Tussaud’s, Max Factor and the Hollywood Wax Museums. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the El Capitan Theatre and the Jimmy Kimmel Live studio/offices are just across the boulevard. There are also many restaurants, clubs, bars, retail and tourist gift shops in the neighborhood. The Musso and Frank Grill, Frolic Room, AVALON Hollywood (the old Hollywood Palace Theater), Pantages Theatre and The Egyptian Theatre are all very historic spots along the Walk of Fame.

How far is it from the airport?

Los Angeles International Airport in Inglewood is far away. And depending on the time of day, traffic and your chosen route, it can take 20 minutes or two hours. The LA Flyaway recently started a Hollywood Shuttle, but it’s timeliness because of traffic has been problematic.

Bob Hope Airport in Burbank is closer and the 170 and 101 freeways provide a direct route which can take 20 minutes or an hour depending on time of day, traffic or an event in Hollywood or at the Hollywood Bowl.

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Hollywood & Highland on the Hollywood Blvd Walk of Fame

Best Steakhouse in Los Angeles?

Q: My first question would be about food! I’m searching for the best steakhouse that’s at par with CUT. Aside from Lawry’s, Morton’s, Mastro’s and Ruth Chris, do you know of any? Thanks in advance!

A: Great Steakhouse in Los Angeles? So many… here are a few:

BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood and Santa Monica

Craft in Century City (and CraftSteak at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas)

Le Sanglier in Tarzana, Larsen’s Steakhouse & Delmonico’s Steak and Lobster House in Encino and the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Arnie Morton’s The Steakhouse – Burbank and Woodland Hills

and the Côte de Boeuf at Mélisse is exceptional!

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Dinner Party at n/naka in West L.A. (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

The typical great night in bars and then club in LA

Q: We’ll be a bunch of friends and we wanna experience the now famous ‘LA Style’ nightlife! So let us know, no restriction at all. Where could we start to drink? Then have a cool dinner? Then drink again? And finally be in a nightclub all night long? Or in a house? or swimming pool? or… I don’t know, you’re the one. Thanks!

A: So you want a great night bar/club hopping in Los Angeles? I suggest you pick the nightclub first depending on your taste in music, atmosphere and cost. Check the LA Weekly for listings and reviews.

Pick your location: Hollywood or Downtown Los Angeles, Silver Lake or Koreatown (Los Angeles), West Hollywood or Beverly Hills, Santa Monica or Culver City? Staying in one area is easier than trying to motor from place to place on a busy night.

There are any number of bars and restaurants in all of the locations, again depending on your taste in food and drinks, atmosphere and cost. Pick your restaurant, most have a bar or beverage service. Pick your poison, designer cocktails or craft beer, absinthe or single malt whiskey?

Cover charge, cost of drinks or bottle service, parking and tips add up quickly. Choose nearby bars and restaurants, within walking distance if possible, to avoid traffic, parking charges and/or a DUI. Designate a sober driver or get a limo. Choose a supper club where dining at the restaurant gets you admission to the club.

Contact local club promoters and restaurants and let them know you have a group party, and see what they’ll offer you! VIP treatment, free drinks, bottle service, and other perks can be negotiated with a large party. Make sure you have reservations and are “On the List” because waiting in line to get in sucks.

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Lucy’s 51 in Burbank (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Nice LA beach for swimming in July

Q: I will be staying in the Hollywood area for 5 days in July.  Any recommendations on a nice beach for swimming?  Thanks.

A: I recommend Zuma Beach and Malibu Beach north on Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Monica. There’s no beach close to Hollywood! Drive Sunset Boulevard from Hollywood to the Pacific Ocean and you’ll pass through West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, Beverly Hills, UCLA, Brentwood Villageand the Pacific Palisades on your way. When you get to PCH turn right and head up the coast to Malibu. Avoid “rush hour” or you’ll get caught in heavy traffic!

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Malibu Beach – Malibu, Los Angeles, California

Bachelorette in LA

Q: Hi – I am looking for some advice on a killer bachelorette weekend in LA. 7 of us will be traveling together, and I would love recommendations on a good location, any bars or events, as well as hotels. At lot of us are from cities that provide accessible public transit – so if possible, we’d rather save on cab money and be in a central location. I’ve heard West Hollywood and Los Feliz are good neighborhoods. Has anyone had luck finding a hotel that accommodates a large party like ours? We would ideally like to spend about $1K for the two nights. One random note – the bachelorette really likes Harry Potter. Know of any “entertainers” that could accommodate? Thanks!

A: So you want a great Bachelorette weekend in Los Angeles? I suggest you pick the hotel and nightclubs first depending on your taste in music, atmosphere and cost. Talk to the Sales Manager at the Hotel to arrange a Group Rate! Check the LA Weekly for club listings and reviews.

Pick your location: Hollywood or Downtown Los Angeles, Silver Lake or Koreatown, or Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, or Culver City Staying in one area is easier than trying to motor from place to place on a busy night.

There are any number of hotels, bars and restaurants in all of the locations, again depending on your taste in food and drinks, atmosphere and cost. Pick your restaurant, most have a bar or beverage service. Pick your poison, designer cocktails or craft beer, absinthe or single malt whiskey?

Cover charge, cost of drinks or bottle service, parking and tips add up quickly. Choose nearby bars and restaurants, within walking distance if possible, to avoid traffic, parking charges and/or a DUI. Designate a sober driver or get a limo. Choose a supper club where dining at the restaurant gets you admission to the club.

Contact local club promoters and restaurants and let them know you have a group bachelorette party, and see what they’ll offer you! VIP treatment, free drinks, bottle service, and other perks can be negotiated with a large party. Make sure you have reservations and are “On the List” because waiting in line to get in sucks.

NOTE: Avoid going to Comedy Clubs, most hate bachelorette parties.

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The Roof on Wilshire (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

See my other Blogs with more answers about fun things to do in Los Angeles!

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Echo Park, Los Angeles, California

Best “Weekend Getaway” From Los Angeles?

Best “weekend getaway” from Los Angeles?

Here’s a Q&A from another saved draft. This is a Travel Blog.

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Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Q: My mom is coming to visit me in Venice for a week in April and we want to getaway! We’re looking for a destination to relax, hit up the spa, wine taste or have a great meal, do some boutique shopping, and maybe go for an easy hike? Since this will be for 1-2 nights, would like to keep it within 3 hours (one way). Out of all the amazing places, if you have to pick 1 destination for a visitor to see, what is the best destination for a weekend getaway from L.A. and why?

A: A fantastic Spa Weekend “Getaway” that meets your description can be experienced at the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village. It’s a beautiful full-service, luxury four star resort just north of Los Angeles with free self-parking.

The hotel has an amazing spa and pool facility with all the amenities. There’s fine dining on-site and in Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Agoura, Moorpark, Malibu or the Pacific Palisades (and the hotel also provides a shuttle that will take you to the beach).

Watch the sunset and enjoy a cocktail on the deck at Moonshadows Malibu or have an amazing $u$hi meal at Nobu Malibu. Enjoy a sumptuous dinner at the Saddle Peak Lodge, Cafe Firenze or one of the many fine restaurants nearby. We’ve heard about (and seen pictures of) the fabulous desserts at CHOCOLATINE Café French Pastries.

There is great easy hiking nearby in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. We recommend the Paramount Ranch (“Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” filming site), Malibu Creek State Park (“MASH” filming site) or Point Dume State Beach.

There are also some nice wineries to visit nearby: Malibu Wines, SIP Malibu, Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate Vineyards, Cornell Winery & Tasting Room and others are open to the public.

Horseback riding, shopping of all kinds, beach activities, nightlife options and more are all available locally. The hotel also offers cooking classes, other educational programs and fun activities.

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Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Good hikes in LA or surrounding areas?

Q: I have done a few in Malibu and Hollywood but looking for more ideas!

A: A great place to hike in Los Angeles is the Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills and other trails in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Park entry and parking are free! Topanga State Park, Malibu Creek State Park, Rocky Oaks Park, Stunt Ranch State Park, Will Rogers State Historic Park, Temescal Canyon Park and Point Dume State Beach all have great hiking. Entrance fees and parking vary by location.

To Paramount Ranch: Exit Kanan Rd off the 101 freeway, turn left towards the beach, just past Agoura Rd make a left on Cornell Rd and drive to the park entrance. Park near the Ranger Station and enter through the Western Town film location.

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Paramount Ranch Park in Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Downtown Los Angeles 2013

Well, I just found a draft of a Downtown Los Angeles Blog from 2013 and the pictures were all laid out with captions. So I thought for the third year anniversary I would work it up a little and publish it for your entertainment.

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Los Angeles Times Travel Show (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

I was invited down to L.A. Live in DTLA for lunch and a private tour of the Grammy Museum courtesy of AEG. I was working a deal to package their events with travel and destination specific tours. At the time when this was written I was a newbie travel advisor and set this deal with AEG up for the agency immediately. This lunch meeting was to discuss all the details and I’ll write more on the outcome later in this Blog.

The day included freeway traffic in both directions from the San Fernando Valley, driving around DTLA, parking at Staples Center and L.A. Live, a nice lunch at Rock’N’Fish and a private tour of the Grammy Museum and the AEG offices.

Here’s the Blog and please note the pics were shot with a Blackberry camera.

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There was traffic on the 101 Freeway heading Downtown (as usual).

101 Freeway Traffic - Downtown in the Distance (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

101 Freeway Traffic – Downtown in the Distance (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Downtown - This is where once got a flat tire at Midnight (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

101 – 110 Freeway South Exchange – Downtown, Los Angeles – This shoulder is where I once got a flat tire at Midnight (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

110 Freeway south - Downtown, Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

110 Freeway south – Downtown, Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

110 Freeway South

110 Freeway South

110 Freeway South

110 Freeway South

Convention Center or Staples Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Convention Center or Staples Center?  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Los Angeles Convention Center

L.A. Convention Center

L.A. Convention Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

L.A. Convention Center

L.A. Convention Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

L.A. Convention Center

L.A. Convention Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center

Up the Escalator - L.A. LIVE (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Up the Escalator – L.A. LIVE (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

L.A.'s Finest at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

L.A.’s Finest at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Ritz-Carlton and J.W. Marriott Hotels at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Ritz-Carlton and J.W. Marriott Hotels at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center - Chick Hearn Plaza

Staples Center – Chick Hearn Plaza (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center - Chick Hearn Plaza

Staples Center – Chick Hearn Plaza (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

L.A. Live

L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lunch at Rock'N'Fish - L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lunch at Rock’N’Fish – L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lunch at Rock’N’Fish!  We shared a Calamari appetizer (no pic, but it was good), then I had the 1/2 rack of Baby Back Ribs with fries and a salad, and Creme Brulee for dessert.  The food was excellent!  The calamari and ribs were tasty and cooked perfectly, and the creme brulee was delicious too.

Luxe Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Luxe Hotel Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live – Would you like a private tour?

Grammy Museum at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Grammy Museum at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

In the Lobby of the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Janis Joplin’s Porsche 356 in the Lobby of the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Photographs are not allowed inside the museum., but I was able to take a picture of the Janis car in the Lobby before taking a private tour. It’s a great space and the permanent and visiting exhibits were pretty spectacular!

NOTE: Dec. 10, 2015 – A 1964 Porsche 356 that once belonged to the rock singer Janis Joplin sold at auction for $1.76 million. The car had been expected to sell for between $400,000 and $600,000. The sale price includes a 10% commission for Sotheby’s auction house.

The Plaza at L.A. Live

The Plaza at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Plaza - L.A. Live

The Plaza – L.A. Live

The Plaza at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Plaza at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

J.W. Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

J.W. Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Downtown Los Angeles

Condo

717 Condo – Downtown Los Angeles

Downtown

Downtown Los Angeles

Downtown

Downtown Los Angeles

Westin Bonaventure Hotel

Westin Bonaventure Hotel and the Wells Fargo Towers

Wedbush Building - Downtown Los Angeles

Wedbush Building – Downtown Los Angeles

Four Level Freeway - Downtown Los Angeles

Four Level Freeway – Downtown Los Angeles

Under the Freeway - Downtown

Under the Freeway – Downtown Los Angeles

Under the Freeway

Under the Freeway – Downtown Los Angeles

 

NOTE: As you can see, there was a lot of the Blog laid out but never finished.

The meeting was a great success! I had a terrific lunch and a private tour of the Grammy Museum. I was gifted a couple of FREE tickets to return another time on my own. I wasn’t able to tour the Staples Center because Rihanna was rehearsing for her concert that night (if I remember right, and we would get a private tour of Staples Center on my next visit). It was a good day downtown and they did comp my parking!

The deal included access to the Grammy Museum and the 200 seat performance space, AEG events at L.A. Live and Staples Center including the Kings, Clippers, and Stars games; the BET Experience and other concerts (including corporate CLUB BOXES) and the L.A. Galaxy soccer (fútbol) games. It was a major score! But, the best laid plans….la la la.

All photos copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel

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Here are a couple more recent picture of DTLA from the Echo Park Blog:

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US District Court Building & Los Angeles City Hall

 

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Echo Park – Downtown Los Angeles, California


“Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city
Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty
How can you lose?
The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares and go
Downtown, things’ll be great when you’re
Downtown, no finer place for sure,
Downtown, everything’s waiting for you
Downtown!”

Downtown Los Angeles is the central area of the Los Angeles metropolitan area and features many of the city’s major arts institutions and sports facilities, sightseeing opportunities, a variety of skyscrapers and associated large multinational corporations, and an array of public art and unique shopping opportunities. Downtown Los Angeles is the hub of the city’s freeway network and Metro rapid transit system.

Staples Center, opened in 1999, has contributed immensely to the revitalization of Downtown, adding 250 events and nearly 4 million visitors per year to the neighborhood.  Since the opening of the Staples Center, the adjacent L.A. Live complex was completed, which includes the Nokia Theater, the Regency Theaters and the Grammy Museum.

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Downtown Los Angeles from up high 2014 (taken from WP24)!

Travel Answers: Las Vegas!

Travel Answers: Las Vegas!

NOTE: These answers were originally posted on another site, and some may have been posted in previous blogs. I am posting them again here for easy access for my readers.

Welcome to Las Vegas (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Welcome to Las Vegas (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Free Stuff to do in Vegas?

Q: Are there free things to do in Vegas?

A: Lots of Free Things to do in Las Vegas!

Walk the The Strip and the Fremont Street Experience downtown. Lots of “Only in Las Vegas” things to see day or night!

Visit Circus Circus Hotel & Casino (great for kids).

Watch the Fountains of Bellagio (and visit the Bellagio Gardens) and catch the Volcano eruption at The Mirage. Walk around the The Venetian, the MGM Grand Las Vegas, The Cosmopolitan or any of the other large resorts.

Most of the Casino lounges still have live entertainment. The Carnaval Court at Harrah’s is happening. The Rio Hotel & Casino has live music in the Masquerade Bar on Friday and Saturdays.

Art and architecture at City Center, the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign, Wildlife habitat (flamingos) at the Flamingo Las Vegas, Auto collection at The Quad Resort & Casino (get free tickets on the website), the Downtown Container Park giant treehouse, and visit the Ethel M Chocolate Factory & Cactus Garden.

Window shop at Forum Shops at Caesars, The Grand Canal Shoppes or the Fashion Show mall.

Visit the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, Red Rock Canyon or The Valley of Fire.


ACES! Video Poker at the MGM Grand Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

4 ACES! Video Poker Win! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Best tips and casinos for first time gambler?

Q: First trip to Vegas, and I have some money set aside to gamble. I’m fairly new to gambling, so what’s a good overall strategy for a first timer? Best casino’s and games to play? Any tips to help my luck? Thanks!

A: Most of the Casinos in Las Vegas have programs where they will teach you how to play the table games and basic strategy. Just ask at the “Player’s Card” desk and always get a Player’s Card at the casino to earn “Comps” and other freebies while gambling.

Read a few good books, watch a DVD or two, go online and learn from the pros via youtube, etc. before you go!

Craps!

Craps!

Best games to play: Blackjack, Craps and Baccarat have the best odds for the player with basic strategy. Keno, Slots and Video Poker will give you the longest play for your money. Again read a book or watch a tutorial to learn about finding the best odds on the games!

Worst games to play: Roulette, Spin the Wheel/Wheel of Fortune and all the other weird table games. And any game where you don’t know the rules, basic strategy and the odds against you.

Best advice for the first time gambler: set a budget for how much you are willing and can afford to lose! Leave your ATM card at home and win or lose just have fun. (Losing sucks)

NOTE: The Big Las Vegas Strip casinos require larger minimum bets for table games, and the table minimum will increase depending on time/day/crowd/event. Find lower table minimums Downtown on Fremont Street and at the smaller “off-strip” casinos. Your money and your play time will last longer!

The Race & Sports Book at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas

The Race & Sports Book at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas

GOOD LUCK!


Las Vegas Blvd "The Strip" at night

Las Vegas Blvd “The Strip” at night

Birthday weekend in Vegas- where to stay?

Q: My friends and I going to Vegas for my birthday over Labor Day weekend! We need a place to stay that isn’t outrageously expensive, but has a lot going on. We’d like to stay in a hotel that has daytime pool parties. There are 5 of us and we’re open to getting two rooms or a suite, if it’s worth it. Any suggestions?

A: Las Vegas on Labor Day Weekend?

Try The Cromwell, the newest boutique hotel on the strip. It used to be Wild Bill’s and before that it was the Barbary Coast. Located center strip at Flamingo and Las Vegas Blvd. Drai’s is located in the hotel, so you get your choice of pool party, club night or after-hours. Hotel guests get VIP line access.

Just fully renovated! Everything is fresh and new.

Las Vegas Blvd "The Strip" at night

Las Vegas Blvd “The Strip” at night

You’re across Las Vegas Blvd from Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino and The Mirage Hotel & Casino and the volcano. Next door to Harrah’s Las Vegas, Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, The Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino, The Quad Resort & Casino soon to be renamed The LINQ after the giant ferris wheel. Across Flamingo is Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, Paris Hotel And Casino, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, the Bellagio Hotel and fountain, and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

There’s lots to see and do within “walking distance”, which will save you on cab fare and waiting. Great restaurants, spas, clubs, shows and other diversions at any of the above resorts. you can also access the monorail at Bally’s or the Flamingo.

Las Vegas Blvd "The Strip" at night - The Flamingo

Las Vegas Blvd “The Strip” at night – The Flamingo

Make reservations in advance (and do it by telephone rather than online and always get the name of the person you talk to!) because everything will be crowded!

NOTE: Bring sneakers for walking and then switch to heels when you arrive at your destination. Use a Big purse and plastic bag.

Avoid the MGM, it’s too big and the service is only ok.


Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

The Bar at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

Bachelor party venues

Q: One of my best buddies is getting married next year and as a groomsman, I’ve been tasked being one of the organizers for his bachelor party.  Here’s the thing: none of us groomsman are really party animals, so we really have no idea where to start, but we just know that we want our buddy to have a good time and that we want to go to Vegas, just for the experience. Any ideas on which venues to start looking at and/or bachelor party-type activities?

A: Bachelor Party in Las Vegas! Do you want the full blown “Hangover, part 4” or just a good time?

First, how many people will be attending? Do you have hotel reservations? Do you want to have dinner, go clubbing, go drinking, go strip clubbing, hit an ultra-lounge or three, see a show, do some gambling, ride a roller coaster, or maybe shoot automatic weapons?

Or do you want to really get wild?

You can get a nice package deal with the hotels if you have a large group (sometimes, all you need is a block of five rooms). Hotel rooms, dinner, and entertainment can all be arranged, contact the group sales manager.

Rent a limo or party bus if you want to travel around, beyond walking distance. There are companies that can arrange the whole evening, just know that they are probably getting “kickbacks” from the party venues. NOTE: Be sure to shop around, negotiate for the best deal and extras, and always check safety and consumer reports before booking with any company!

You are on your own for strippers, escorts & hookers.

Good luck and be safe.


Las Vegas Blvd "The Strip" at night

Las Vegas Blvd “The Strip” at night

All photos copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 JoshWillTravel

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Las Vegas Blvd "The Strip" at night

“Vegas Baby! Vegas!” Las Vegas Blvd “The Strip” at night

 

 

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon (Upstairs in the old Alex’s restaurant space)

Change is necessary and inevitable. And for restaurants and bars in Ashland, change is a common occurrence. And so it goes, say goodbye to Alex’s and hello to the Brickroom!

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon – Upstairs!

Exposed red brick walls give this place it’s name, the wood floor and furniture with the granite bar and a lot of lights, give this place a clean and comfortable decor.

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon – A stage for performances in the corner

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon – full coffee service

I wandered in around 9:30pm on a Tuesday evening. Things were pretty quiet and there was a small crowd at the bar. The end of the Dodgers’ game was on television and the Dodgers were winning (oh, the irony).

BOYCOTT THE DODGERS AND CHARTER/TIME WARNER CABLE!

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The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon – full bar with “top shelf” liquors

I ordered a “Stoli rocks with a couple splashes of pineapple juice” and then ordered a small basket of fries to soak up the alcohol.

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon – cocktail $6.50

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon – Fries $2.50

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon – bowl of fresh fruit on the bar added “a touch of class”

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon – fresh fruit on the bar

The small crowd was lively but not unruly and everyone was having a good time.

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon – a nice and friendly Ashland crowd at the bar

I enjoyed being able to walk in and find a seat at the end of the bar. I’m told they have live music, and that the place gets crowded on the weekend or when they have a good band.

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon – more seating/dining in a quiet corner past the bar

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon – red brick walls, lounge space and a cozy fireplace

I stayed long enough (about an hour) to sip my drink, eat the fries and check out the new joint on the Plaza. It’s a nice place, not a dive bar, and it has a friendly vibe. The food and drink are reasonably priced, they have a good menu and non-alcoholic drink options. The drink was potent, the fries were terrific and the service was good.

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon – Cocktail point-of-view

There is also an outside patio upstairs on the backside of the building on Guanajuato Lane, a pedestrian walkway along Ashland Creek. It has awnings for shade and a nice view of the water and green landscape of Ashland Creek Park.

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon – Upstairs to the Back Patio!

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon – Upstairs Back Patio on Guanajuato Lane & Ashland Creek

Guanajuato Lane on Ashland Creek in Ashland Oregon

The Brickroom upstairs patio on Guanajuato Lane on Ashland Creek in Ashland Oregon

A very nice addition to the drinking, dining and entertainment options on the Plaza!

All photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel.

Brickroom – 35 N. Main Street, Ashland, OR 97520 – (541)708-6030 http://www.brickroomashland.com

NOTE: OPEN FOR BRICKFAST! 8am-2pm daily, LUNCH 11am-4pm & DINNER!

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Celebrity sighting in Los Angeles?

Q: Best spots for celebrity sightings?

“Taking my second trip to LA and I really want to see some celebrities this time around. I have no idea where that would most likely happen. What would you say are the best places, hidden spots, or parts of LA for spotting celebs? ” – Michelle R., Mesa AZ

HOLLYWOOD!

HOLLYWOOD!

A: Celebrity sighting in Los Angeles?

The best places to see celebrities in Los Angeles is where they live, work and play. You have a good chance near the studios and in the more upscale neighborhoods.

Downtown Los Angeles near the The Music Center and Nokia Theatre LA Live – restaurants, bars and galleries in the newly gentrified downtown area. The Millennium Biltmore Hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles and the Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza.

Sony Pictures and Culver Studios in Culver City – restaurants, bars and shopping nearby along Culver Blvd.

Paramount Pictures Studio and Raleigh Studios Hollywood in Hollywood – Starbucks at Sunset & Gower, AstroBurger, W Hotel Hollywood, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the Farmers Market and The Grove in West Hollywood

The restaurants, (Dan Tana’s, Mel’s Diner, Katana) coffee shops, clubs, hotels and bars on Sunset Blvd – Chateau Marmont, The Standard, the Mondrian Hotel, London West Hollywood Hotel, and the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles At Beverly Hills, the Ivy and Newsroom restaurants, and shopping on Robertson Blvd in West Hollywood. Canter’s Deli and Genghis Cohen restaurant on Fairfax.

The comedy clubs: Improv on Melrose, the Comedy Store, the Laugh Factory, Flappers in Burbank and any of the smaller performance spaces. You have a pretty good chance of seeing someone from television working new material or watching a friend perform.

The restaurants, clubs, shopping and bars on Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood and in Brentwood along Wilshire and San Vicente Blvd. (Katsu-ya sushi in Brentwood, Hollywood, and Encino)

Beverly Hills – restaurants, bars and shopping on Rodeo Dr, Canon, Beverly and little Santa Monica Blvd. There are a number of hotels where they like to stay: Montage Beverly Hills, The Beverly Hilton, the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and the smaller boutique places in the 90210 zip code. The InterContinental Los Angeles, The CAA Building, the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel and shopping at Century Plaza in Century City.

Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City – restaurants, coffee shops and bars on Cahuenga Blvd West, Cahuenga and Lankershim. The Jon Lovitz comedy club at Universal CityWalk.

Warner Bros Studio, Warner Bros. Ranch and Disney Studios in Burbank – restaurants on Riverside (Bob’s, Paty’s, Mo’s, etc.) and in the general vicinity

CBS Radford Studio in Studio City – restaurants on Ventura Blvd (Art’s Deli, McDonalds, The Counter, etc.). Sherman Oaks Galleria and restaurants, bars, coffee shops and shopping along Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks and Encino.

Santa Monica – restaurants and bars near the beach, 3rd Street Promenade and vicinity. Venice Beach on Abbot Kinney Blvd.

Also dog parks and hiking trails (Runyon Canyon & Griffith Park) and in Malibu – restaurants (Nobu, Malibu Crossroads, etc.) and shopping near the Malibu Colony and in Pacific Palisades.

Just be aware of the people around you, you might be sitting next to someone famous in a baseball cap and sunglasses and not even know it.

NOTE: Please respect their privacy.
You can try to find celebrities, but in Los Angeles you can randomly encounter them almost anywhere! I’ve seen Quentin Tarentino, Kevin Nealon, Randy Jackson, James Cromwell and many others getting coffee or working at Starbuck’s. I see celebrities at Ralph’s when I’m shopping for groceries and when I walk my dog at the park. They eat and drink at neighborhood restaurants and bars. One time I heard Samuel L. Jackson’s familiar voice behind me at CVS, and I turned around and he was talking on his cell phone while shopping. Good luck!

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9039 Sunset Blvd on the Strip

9039 Sunset Blvd on the Strip – A Brief Photographic History:

If those walls could talk! This address was the home of Cafe LaMaze in the 30’s (with a lounge called the Key Club), Sherry’s in the 40’s (where Mickey Cohen was shot), the Plymouth House in the 50’s, Gazzarri’s in the 60’s-80’s, Billboard Live and the Key Club in the 90s until last December 2013 when it became 1 Oak Nightclub.

Exterior-view-of-the-Cafe-Lamaze-restaurant-West-Hollywood-1937

9039 Sunset Blvd – Cafe LaMaze 1930’s

mickey_cohen_sherrys_1949_0721_will

9039 Sunset Blvd – Sherry’s 1940’s (Mickey Cohen was shot here!)

9039 Sunset Blvd

9039 Sunset Blvd – The Plymouth House 1958

9039 Sunset - Gazzarri's Supper Club 1960's

9039 Sunset – Gazzarri’s Supper Club 1960’s

9039 Sunset Blvd

9039 Sunset Blvd – Gazzari’s 1970’s

9039 Sunset Blvd

9039 Sunset Blvd – Gazzarri’s 1980’s  Bill Gazzarri “See Ya Pal”

9039 Sunset Blvd

9039 Sunset Blvd – Billboard Live and then the KeyClub 1990’s- 2013 RIP

I used to promote club nights as Joshua 13 with Stephen Aquarius and Luis Q NightKing Productions at the KeyClub! “Cloud 9” on Wednesday and Friday nights, “The Indepen-Dance 1998”, “Midsummers Night Dream 1998”, “Saturday Nights in the Plush Room” and “The Resolution!” on New Years Eve 1998-1999.

MidSummers Night Dream Party at the KeyClub 1998

MidSummers Night Dream Party at the KeyClub 1998

Saturday Nights in the Plush Room at the KeyClub

Saturday Nights in the Plush Room at the KeyClub

"The Resolution" New Years Eve 1998-1999! at the KeyClub

“The Resolution” New Years Eve 1998-1999! at the KeyClub

 Now it’s the new 1 Oak Nightclub. (but for how long?)

9039 Sunset Blvd - 1 Oak Nightclub 2014

9039 Sunset Blvd – 1 Oak Nightclub 2014

UPDATE: Not too long after this Blog was posted, rap mogul/convicted felon Suge Knight was shot “six times” at a pre-VMA party at 1Oak nightclub. Lucky mo-fo will survive the shooting. Weird parallel to the Mickey Cohen shooting in the 40’s!

“And it’s all just a little bit of History repeating!”

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