LA Bound and Come On Down!

On Sunday, March 25th, we packed our bags and headed to Los Angeles, California, for several days. It was about a two and a half hour drive, however, with traffic it took us about three and a half hours. Let’s just say that traffic in LA is nothing like I have ever seen! After finally arriving at our hotel, we decided that we would take Uber to where ever we wanted/needed to go in Los Angeles.
BEST. DECISION. WE. EVER. MADE!!! 😂

Monday, March 26, we had tickets to go to a taping of The Price Is Right. We didn’t have to be at CBS Television City until 1:00 p.m. (they taped one show that morning). We got there pretty early so we had some time to stroll around the nearby Farmers Market and grab some lunch.

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Waiting in line to get in to the CBS studio lots.

The registering, screening, and interviewing process takes about three hours. Yes, you read that correctly: THREE HOURS! It was well worth it, though.  Around 4:00 we were finally lead into the studio.  It was around 6:00 p.m. when everything was finished.

Did you know that the stage they use for The Price Is Right is the same stage on which The Carol Burnett Show was filmed? Yep. That alone was pretty cool to think about Carol Burnett being on that stage.

The actual filming of the episode is super exciting.  There were 270+ people in the audience for our taping, and, believe me:  they keep everyone really hyped up with clapping, yelling, and screaming. There are only NINE people that get called to “Come on down! You’re the next contestant on The Price Is Right!” We can all do the math; our chances of being called down were pretty slim.

After we filled out all our forms, they stand you in front of a green screen and take your picture. One nice, normal photo; and one showing how you would react if you won a car or trip to Hawaii. These, of course, are pictures you can purchase for the small fee of $20 each. We have no other photos of our visit to The Price Is Right (they don’t allow pictures of any kind), so we bought them. Here’s our “normal” picture.

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That’s my “homemade” backpack that says “Pick Me!” It took me FOREVER to make that dollar sign! I had to cut very small (half inch or less) pieces of the washi tape in order to make it curve.

They do not allow cell phones in the studio. They don’t want people googling the prices of products.  That makes sense.  Therefore, we had to check our phones before we entered the studio. PLUS, you are not allowed to leave the studio once the taping begins, so at the last staging area they emphasized: GO TO THE BATHROOM NOW!

When you fill out the paperwork to be considered as a contestant, you sign an agreement that you will not tell whether or not you were called to “Come On Down!” or whether or not you won anything.  SOOOOO ….. you will just have to watch The Price Is Right on Tuesday, June 12th, on CBS to see if either one of us was called down.

I can tell you we are in the audience on the right side when viewed from the stage (where the cameras shoot the audience from).  We are about halfway up the right aisle; on the left side of the aisle.  We have on black t-shirts with the show’s logo on front in red (shown in the photo above).

We had booked a bus tour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills with Ultimate Hollywood Tours for Tuesday morning.  They allowed us to bring our little Shih Tzu on the tour, and she was so good the whole time.

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HOLD ON, Cardinal fans! Jack forgot his cap that morning and he went to quick shop next door to buy one. THAT was the only decent cap they had. It’s going to Goodwill as soon as we get home.

It was a great tour and we saw so much in a short time.  I wish I could remember everything we saw, but that is impossible.  Our tour guide, Ryan, was excellent.  He, of course, is an aspiring actor who works at the tour company when his acting can’t pay the bills.  It was an open air tour bus, but I loved the fact that they gave Bluetooth headsets to everyone on the bus so we could hear the guide clearly and as loudly as you chose to set your volume.  Here is Jack and Zoey in the tour bus.

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Our first stop was high up in the hills overlooking downtown LA.  It also had a great view of the famous “HOLLYWOOD” sign. They don’t allow people to climb up on the hill by the sign anymore.

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We drove by the entrance of the Hollywood Bowl.

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Our first glimpse of the Hollywood sign. You might need to zoom in.

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Downtown LA in the distance. That is VERY LIGHT traffic on the freeway down there!!

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You could see the seats of the Hollywood Bowl from this lookout point.

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Some nice people offered to take our picture after I took their picture. They almost didn’t get the Hollywood sign in the photo.

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Here are some of the people whose homes we saw (more like just the entrance gates) as we drove through the hilltops above the valley and Beverly Hills (some were presently living in the home; some were the former owners of that home):  Aaron Spelling, Al Pacino, Ron Howard, Lucille Ball, Captain America, CeeLo Green, Randy Jackson, Katy Perry, Sylvester Stallone, John Stamos, Elvis Presley, Hugh Hefner, and Michael Jackson (the home in which he died).  Now, looking back on all of my pictures, I don’t remember whose home is whose.  😂 😝

I won’t bore you with the zillion of pictures I took … mainly because I don’t know which home belongs to whom.  I’ll just share some of the better pictures I snapped while driving by.

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The “valley” from the hills where most of the television/movie studios are now located.

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“Captain America’s” house.

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Our tour bus broke down right below Captain America’s house. It took them about 15-20 minutes to send another bus, however, our driver, Ryan, kept us thoroughly entertained with his stories of encounters with various celebrities.  Besides, the view from here was gorgeous!  I don’t know why I didn’t snap a few pictures of it. Duh!  I guess Ryan’s stories were more fascinating.

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The entrance to Runyon Canyon Park where our tour guide said a lot of stars take their daily runs.

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Now into zip code 90210 … the MOST EXPENSIVE zip code in the USA in which to live, AND where the area with the 4 million dollar homes is considered the “slums.” Geesh!

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Even the people who live in the 20-30+ million dollar homes have TRASH. The actual home structure may not be worth that much – it’s the LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!

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I do remember this home: That balcony and French doors lead to the bedroom in which Michael Jackson died. Believe it or not, they had trouble selling that home after his death. It took over five years to find a buyer.

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And now on to the famous Sunset Boulevard.  For those of you my age and older, you might remember the television show called “77 Sunset Strip.”  Yep…part of this street is the area on which that show was based.

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I certainly wish we would have had time to stop at Wahlburgers and get one of their famous hamburgers. Oh, well. Maybe next time.

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Next we drove down the infamous Rodeo Drive (pronounced:  roh-day-oh).  I’m not big on brand name clothes or any other brand name merchandise, however, this street was amazing to see.  And, NO, we did not do any shopping there!

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The last item on our tour was Hollywood Boulevard and the Walk of Fame.  Our tour just drove us through the blocks where all the stars are on the sidewalks.  After our tour was over, we decided to walk the two blocks north and walk along Hollywood Boulevard.  It’s definitely a “tourist” attraction as you can see from the crowds of people along the sidewalks.

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Did you know that the Dolby Theatre where they have the Academy Awards is in a big shopping mall? Yep! We even ate lunch at one of the food stores there. They take red velvet curtains and cover up the store fronts, and the “red carpet” area is just a mall hallway.

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It was fun seeing all the celebrities’ stars on the sidewalk.  Did you know there are five categories in which a celebrity can be nominated for a star on the Walk of Fame?  They are: movies, television, music, theater, and radio.  There is only ONE celebrity in all of history (at this time, anyway) that has a star on the Walk of Fame for ALL five categories.  Can you guess who that is?  The radio catagory might make it a little hard to guess.  Hint:  It’s someone who started out in radio (because that is pretty much all there was back when HE started); he’s also well-known for his western roles.  I’ll let you think about it for a short while.  I’ll give the answer in my next post.

So for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

>>>>>

>>>>>

>>>>>  OK!!!!!    I’ll tell you now:  GENE AUTRY has a star on the Walk of Fame in ALL five categories.

Fun Day Monday!

Before I tell you about the FUN DAY we had on MONDAY, I’ll give you quick overview of our super busy Tuesday:

Tuesday, November 28, was a day of chores.  We found a DIY doggie wash, so we took our little Miss Zoey there and gave her a bath.  We always gave her baths when we were living in a house, but in the RV, it’s a lot more difficult.  Anyway, she did fine and everyone there thought she was SO cute.  When we got home, we grabbed a quick sandwich and some fruit for lunch.

Then it was off to the laundromat to do laundry.  On the way home from the laundromat, we stoppped by the local grocery store and bought a couple of steaks.  After that, back at the RV, we set up outside (temperature that afternoon was around 74 degrees ☺️) and I groomed Zoey.  I used the clippers to trim her body hair and my new dog scissors to trim around her paws, tail, and ears.  Her face is another story.  She HATES the scissors coming close to her face; mainly she hates it when they come close to her eyes (I can’t say I blame her).  She usually fights Jack and me pretty hard, but today she wasn’t too bad.  I’m not as good as Miss Frankie at Pretty Paws Parlor in Bloomfield, MO, but here’s a picture of her after her hair cut:

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After all that, we put away the laundry, put the sheets back on the bed, and fixed supper.  We had grilled steaks, baked potatoes, and salad.  The steaks were delicious!  Jack just HAD to take a picture and text it to some friends of ours.

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Now ……  FOR OUR FUNDAY MONDAY ADVENTURE!

Monday morning we drove a little over an hour to Plano, TX.  We had a special place we wanted to visit.  This place is known worldwide and has a unique place in the entertainment culture of this country, as well as many countries around the world.  This TV show is notorious for one of the biggest “cliff hangers” ever, and everyone was talking about that cliff hanger all summer long —  in reality they kept us in suspense for EIGHT long agonizing months until the fourth episode of the fourth season!  Here’s a little hint:

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YEP!  You guessed it!  We visited Southfork Ranch where all the outside scenes of the TV show DALLAS were shot!

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It is a beautiful ranch even in the late fall/winter when the grass is brown.  I can only imagine how beautiful it would be in the springtime when the grass is green.  There are several barns, smaller houses, pastures, and the rodeo area where they shot all the rodeo scenes when Dusty Farlow and Sue Ellen were together.

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I won’t bore you with ALL the outside pictures I took (Believe me! It was A LOT!).  Here’s something I didn’t know:  This is not the original house/ranch that the first five episodes were filmed at.  The series was only supposed to be five episodes long; like a little weekly mini-series beginning on April 2, 1978.  By the fifth week, the show ranked in the top ten of the week’s most watched shows.  The producers and “big wigs” at CBS decided to approve thirteen more scripts and Season One began the next full season.  When the owners of the original ranch where they were filmed the first three episodes were approached about extending the filming at their home into a regular series, they said “No.”  I bet they regret that decision now!  The producers were forced to find another ranch in the Dallas area.  They used a helicopter to do an aerial search and eventually found Southfork (that’s where they got the idea for the helicopter flying around for the opening of the show!).  The show ran for thirteen years, and, as they say….”The rest is entertainment history!”

The house was built by Joe Duncan and his wife in 1970 and was named Duncan Acres.  Their plan was to raise quarter horses on the ranch which was originally 200 acres.  The house they built was 5,900 sq. ft. with a 957 sq. ft. enclosed garage. Exterior scenes for the show were shot at the ranch from 1978 to 1989,  The agreement was that the Duncans would remain living in their home and interior scenes would be shot back at studio sets in L.A.  The show became so popular, and one day during an interview, a talk show host let slip the location of the ranch.  Soon after that Mrs. Duncan came home to people unknown to her swimming in her pool, paparazzi all around, and their lives changed forever.  An investor (I don’t remember the man’s name) bought the ranch and turned it into a tourist attraction.  He eventually went broke and had to sell it.  A dear friend of Linda Gray’s (she played Sue Ellen) purchased the ranch. It is not only a tourist attraction now but an event center as well.  In 1989 the show’s production shifted entirely to the studio sets built in California.

The inside of the house is nothing like the inside we saw on the television series.  Although the house is big (5,900 sq. ft.), it is not as big as the studio sets of the interior of the house led the viewers to believe.  However, it is a very eloquent house in it’s own right.  Here are a few pictures of the interior (the house is now decorated for Christmas):

The dining room:

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Miss Ellie’s kitchen:

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The living room:

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The bar just off the living room:

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Miss Lucy’s bedroom:

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Bobby and Pam’s bedroom:

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And believe it or not, there is only ONE bedroom upstairs in this house.  The TV series led us to believe all the bedrooms were upstairs.  When the Duncans built the house the only bedroom upstairs was the master bedroom and master bathroom.  So this is the upstairs bedroom – technically JR’s bedroom:

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The master bathroom was gorgeous but my pictures aren’t very good and I guess I didn’t take enough of them.  Mrs. Duncan was short, so her sink was lower than Mr. Duncan’s.  Back in 1970 they were one of the first to have two shower heads in their walk-in shower.  They each had their own toilet rooms (because Mrs. Duncan did NOT like Mr. Duncan leaving the toilet seat up!), and hers even had a bidet.  I’m just sorry I didn’t get more pics of the bathroom.

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This is the view from the balcony off the master bedroom upstairs.

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The front door/entryway and staircase:

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There is another bedroom downstairs that I haven’t told you about yet.  Down the hall after Lucy’s and Bobby’s bedrooms, on the left there is another bedroom.  The hall was painted a very dark gray and this bedroom was used to film a scene in the reboot series of DALLAS that ran from 2012 to 2014.  If you were a DALLAS fan, you’ll remember the scene in Mexico where JR set up his murder.  That Mexican hotel room scene was set up at Southfork and filmed here.  If you look closely, you can see the outline of JR’s body on the floor.  Here is that bedroom:

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At the ranch, they even had the actual car that the character Jock Ewing drove in the show preserved in a plexiglass storage garage:

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I have more pictures but don’t want to bore you.  I will tell you that the museum was also very interesting with lots of memorabilia from the show, videos running of cast interviews, scripts signed by cast members, the saddles they used when riding horses on the show, and much, much more.  Here are a few pictures of the museum:

Of course, they had life-sized cardboard pictures of the main characters:

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The saddles (from closest to farthest away): Larry Hagman’s, Linda Gray’s, Patrick Duffy’s and Victoria Principal’s:

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And, finally, the “piece de resistance” is ………..

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YEP!!  The actual stage gun used by the character Kristen to shoot JR at the end of Season 3 for one of the most jaw-dropping, “who done it” cliffhangers in television history!  Did you know that ALL cast members were filmed shooting JR so that they would not even know who shot JR until the episode aired?

There is so much more to this tour, but you will just have to come down to Texas and see Southfork and hear all about it yourself.  You are allowed to walk all around the ranch and spend as much time as you like.  They even have horse rides around the ranch that you can take, but we didn’t have that much time and you have to make a reservation in advance.  We had a great time touring Southfork and the weather was a little windy but absolutely beautiful.

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So for now …… “On The Road Again!”

Betty

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