Ms. Jeannie Goes to Hollywood!

Oh my goodness, dear readers, it has been weeks and weeks since the last blog post. What happened to Ms. Jeannie? Did she cook herself right into that big pot of homemade tomato sauce? Did she dig herself into a hole when she turned over her summer garden? Did she wrap herself up in a vintage book club package? No, no – not too worry. It’s just been a busy past few weeks but Ms. Jeannie is now back in the blogging saddle again.  Tally ho, she says! She has so missed you all.

Over this past holiday weekend Ms. Jeannie took a little trip to Los Angeles, where she attended the wedding of some very good friends. It had been a long, long time since Ms. Jeannie had been to California. Until this weekend, the city sat dreamy in her mind…


She remembered the palm trees that lined the Pacific Coast Highway and the beach that stretched far and wide on each side of her Santa Monica hotel. She remembered a pale pink glow that settled over the city at sunset and the noise of traffic and congestion, but other than that – it was such a distant faraway experience that, on this trip, Ms. Jeannie felt like she was seeing the city for the first time.

View from her friends' apartment.
View from her friends’ apartment.

Ms. Jeannie’s friends live in Culver City, which is about 20 minutes from downtown.  Both of her friends are actors who are making a creative go of it in the film capitol of the world. So this trip was a real life look at L.A.  from the perspective of two brave hearts chasing a dream. Theirs is not the lifestyle of a flashy Beverly Hills home and shopping sprees on Rodeo Drive. They don’t drive fancy cars or wear expensive clothes – but what they have done is carved out a humble little niche of a lifestyle for themselves, packed full with lovely friends and authentic experiences.

At the beginning of the trip she and Mr. Jeannie spent a few days in their friend’s neighborhood, helping them get ready for their big wedding day.  These are some street views of their neighborhood…



Surrounding her friends’ building are blocks and blocks of apartment buildings none taller than two or three stories. But every once in a while a little bungalow of a house pops in to break up the skyline. This one is barely visible – but Ms. Jeannie loved the little painted gate nestled in the flowering hedgerow….


When Ms. Jeannie arrived at her friends’ apartment, this guy was patiently waiting to say hello…


Such a charmer! It only took a second to overcome his shyness – then he was all lolling tongue and wagging tail for the rest of the stay. At night he slept on the bed, sprawled out like a person, between Ms. Jeannie and Mr. Jeannie. So cute! If Ms. Jeannie could have fit him into her suitcase bound for home she certainly would have!

Those last pre-wedding days were a whirlwind of activity, with few extra minutes to spare. A LOT of time was spent in the car driving from point A to point B. Sometimes it took hours to drive a mere 15 miles. Ms. Jeannie took the time to celebrity watch in cars and trucks that crawled by amid all the congestion. Her and her friend actually made a little game of it. I spy Steven Spielberg! I spy Jennifer Aniston! Really they had no idea – but Ms. Jeannie discovered a lot of people look famous when you view them from the freeway:)

Aside from look-a-like celebrities, mostly they saw views they like this…


Film production trucks on the move! Ms. Jeannie saw all types from makeup trailers to semis to catering trucks like this one. So many in fact, that by the time she left, she didn’t really even notice them anymore. Kind of like seeing castles in Ireland!

On Friday, Ms. Jeannie found herself with an unaccounted for hour – so she set out to explore downtown Culver City on foot, which actually turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip.


The small little urban area is a great mix of interesting architecture, sidewalk cafes, shopping boutiques and film studios. And it was really clean and pedestrian friendly, unlike downtown L.A. which was much more gritty and wild. The historic Culver Hotel, now a luxury boutique hotel, is pictured below. The building dates to the early 1920’s and was once a semi-permanent hotel residence of Clark Gable.


As Ms. Jeannie approached the downtown area, she kept seeing these signs posted on every block…


This meant that a film was in the making somewhere in the area. How exciting! Ms. Jeannie walked until she came upon this scene just behind the Culver Hotel…


The action occurred around the truck and two of the guys standing right in front of the driver’s door. Camera crews were set up to the left of the picture (just out of frame) and the production crew and various trucks and trailers were spread within a three block radius. Streets were blocked off, so Ms. Jeannie couldn’t get too close – but she did manage to zoom in a little bit more in hopes of seeing some famous faces…

The guy in the white shirt and black and white hat was one of the principal actors...
The guy in the white shirt and black and white hat was one of the principal actors….

Hmmm…Mr. Jeannie thought this guy might be Don Cheedle

Don Cheadle
Don Cheadle

but it is hard to tell with both hat and sunglasses on! This photo below is a second shot of the group standing to the left of the main action. Mostly they look like production guys – except the one in black sport coat and v-neck tshirt – he might be one of the actors.


Either way, it was fun to see a movie being filmed while Ms. Jeannie was out and about. Other fun things she saw on her walk were…

Selznick Studios – the production studio of George Selznick – which appeared in the opening credits of Gone With the Wind. Now it is known as Culver Studios – a series of sound stages and production units that are available for both film and television productions.  Here is how Selznick Studio looked in the opening credits of Gone with the Wind, which was filmed in the 1930’s…

And here is how it looks now…




It was a little bit tricky to get a good shot because from one vantage point you were standing in the middle of the busy road and the other vantage point was blocked off for the film in progress. Wrapped around the left side of the block were the entrance gates to the sound stages and a little house with columns. All the columns reminded Ms. Jeannie of  life in Georgia:)




Ms. Jeannie’s friends were married on Saturday in Malibu, at the Malibou Lake Mountain Club, previously a 1930’s hunting/fishing lodge tucked into the hills. They exchanged vows outside in the garden, which boasted a collection of beautiful wild rose bushes…




This is the lawn where they were married…


And the view of the lake that the guests looked out onto…


And a picture of the happy couple:)


The reception was held inside the Club. Ms. Jeannie was part of the coordinating committee so there wasn’t any time to grab photos of dinner and dancing – but it was a pretty affair.  The table bouquets were especially lovely. They were exact replicas of the wedding party bouquets…

Sunflowers, kale, ferns, purple dahlias, a purple bean pod looking plant, shiny green leaves and deep red calla lilies made up each table arrangement. The addition of red and yellow striated tulips were added to the bridal bouquet .
Sunflowers, kale, ferns, purple dahlias, a purple bean pod looking plant, shiny green leaves and deep red calla lilies made up each table arrangement. The addition of red and yellow striated tulips were added to the bridal bouquet .

Sunday, the last day of the trip, was a little free day for Ms. Jeannie and Mr. Jeannie. They started out with breakfast in bed at the hotel…


And then meandered their way down the Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Monica…

Down the mountain they went! The topography was gorgeous!
Down the mountain they went! The topography was gorgeous!



To the ocean…





They spent some time on the beach,


and had lunch at the pier.




Even though it had been over 20 years since Ms. Jeannie was last in Santa Monica – surprisingly a lot of it still looked the same!

For the entire four day trip, Ms. Jeannie chased the elusive Hollywood sign so that she could take a picture for this post.  Sometimes she was too far away to really see it, sometimes she was way too close and sometimes there were buildings sitting right in front blocking the view. Who knew it would be so tricky! On Sunday they drove up into the Hollywood Hills hoping to catch a glimpse. Instead, another discovery was made. Those hills are really hilly! And curvy and narrow – sort of like the San Francisco hills – so it was a bit tricky to navigate. Now Ms. Jeannie appreciates pinterest all the more for photos like this…

Photo via pinterest.
Photo via pinterest.

Every day the weather was gorgeous. 75 degrees, sunny, slightly breezy.  But, to Ms. Jeannie, the real weather magic happened in the early mornings when it was a cool 55 degrees. A marine layer sits over the Malibu hills like rain clouds in the early morning and makes everything look spooky and dramatic just as the sun is coming up.  Driving to the airport on Monday was like something out of a gothic novel. It was moody and elegant all at once.




As the sun starts to rise in the sky, the marine layer slowly burns off, so that by about 10:00 am it is like the dark part of the morning never even happened.


Perhaps that is a little bit of movie magic on Mother Nature’s part!

Even though this was such a quick trip and laden with wedding frenzies, Ms. Jeannie felt like she was able to experience a big part of the Los Angeles culture. Next time she goes back to visit, Ms. Jeannie hopes it will be for the Academy Awards, where both her friends will have been recognized for their talents:)

Until then it is one great big giant cheers to them – for new beginnings and for continued strength to pursue their dreams.


6 thoughts on “Ms. Jeannie Goes to Hollywood!

  1. Thank you so much Ms Jeanie for sharing this trip with me I feel I was walking just behind you all the way seeing all that you see. So a great big thank you for taking me with you, I loved every second! xx Mary


  2. Well, my goodness! I feel like I was right there with you. It sounds like a lovely trip and I very much enjoyed your photos — most particularly, the one with little white flowers, a strip of beach and the sea. Beautiful. Your breakfast tray has inspired me, my tummy is growling – off to breakfast…waffles may need to be involved.


    1. Miss Elizabeth – you can never go wrong with a waffle! Hope yours is just as delicious! And thank you for your lovely comments regarding the pictures. Seeing the ocean was beautiful and then add wildflowers to the mix and it is almost too pretty for your eyes! It is amazing how different the US landscape is from coast to coast.


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