A few weeks back my son and I decided to take a road trip from our home in Chicago to Los Angeles. We knew there were quite a few miles between here and there but we really wanted to see the country at sea level rather than through the porthole of a commercial jet. My seventeen year old son, Nick, was on his summer break and because I'm retired we weren't worried about how long it took which made for a leisurely and enjoyable voyage. We spent the first couple of night's at the Loew's Hotel in Santa Monica and a few more at The Beverly HIlls Hotel. While we were in L.A. we spent a couple of days just hanging at the beach and enjoying the awesome weather. On the second day in Santa Monica we found a place that rented Segway's. It was right off of the boardwalk and literally right next to the hotel so we decided to give them a try. I required a lot more practice than my son before I was comfortable taking them out into a public area but once I got the hang of it, they were really a lot of fun.
Around about the fourth or fifth day we decided to take a tour of the Sony Studios. They used to be MGM and some other major name that I can't recall at the moment but never-the-less, it was very, very cool. So much so that when the tour was over and we were still on Sony Studios property we called over to Universal Studios to inquire about this VIP tour that we had read about. As it turned out they had a tour scheduled to start in about 45 minutes from the time we called. We reserved our spots during the call, hopped in the car and made a mad dash to Universal. The tour was phenomenal and lasted nearly eight hours. It included and started with our own private Universal guide taking us to the best rides in the theme park. Now I'm not much of an amusement park fan, mainly because I hate to stand in lines with thousands of people breathing down my neck. And, at the beginning of the tour when the guide informed us that part of the experience is going on the rides, I have to admit that I was trying to figure out a way to just cut to the studio tour and avoid the rides. Sooo glad that I kept my mouth shut because the rides were incredible and beyond description. The best part was that the guide walked us past all the lines and right onto each ride. No waiting at all! I will never do an amusement park any other way. Awesome, awesome, awesome!
The next day we woke up with no plans and were trying to decide whether we should pack up and ready ourselves for the trek back to Chicago or look for more fun in L.A. I cannot remember what motivated us to go see where "The Office" stages were but I think we were just curious about which of the studios it was filmed at. We had no idea that it was in a couple of buildings in Van Nuys until we looked it up on the internet. Once we discovered where it was and that we could actually see some things that we would recognize we were rolling. Once we got to the address we immediately recognized the building as the workplace of Michael Scott, Dwight Schrute and the rest of the gang and couldn't wait to get out of the car. We saw so many things that made the trip so worth it. I think the best part was seeing many of the cars that the characters have driven over the years. Meredith Palmer's Ford Aerostar, Jim's SUV, Pam's little eco-car, the Cadillac SUV that Angela used to chase Dwight in, Jan's Volvo wagon that Dwight spied from the office window the night that Michael and her spent together and, last but not least, Dwight's Trans-Am. I was almost star-struck by a car! We also recognized the warehouse entrance and bench where Michael, Darryl and his crew have done a few scenes from. My God, I hate to admit this but because I love "The Office" as much as I do, this visit was the best part of the trip for me. I could go on about this for pages but I imagine that anybody reading this is also a big fan and there's nothing that I could tell you that you don't already know. Besides, pictures speak a thousand words so feel free to look at the pics I've posted in my gallery of the buildings and all the cars. And, by all means, feel free to ask any questions if you'd like. I'd be more than happy to talk more about it. Also, just fyi, I have a bunch more pics that I didn't post of the stages and everything on and around the property (I didn't want to chance anything to memory) and would be happy to share. Thanks for stopping by.