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Here follows my recap of the Best Trip to L.A. Ever. Featuring famous knitting stores, cake, dead bodies, and Brian Baumgartner (times two!).

austin360 and I arrived at LAX Thursday afternoon, found mikijean and checked into our hotel. Then we spent a delightful evening with tlbelle, bgirlla, and ja_is_my_muse, full of catching up, knitting and dinner at Versailles (mmmmCubanfood).

Friday morning we all met up for a late breakfast/lunch at an adorable little place near Beverly Hills. While we were there, Rachel Nichols walked in and we spent a few minutes trying to remember what shows we'd all seen her on. Then, a few minutes later, Brian Baumgartner arrived and sat down at a table near us, which was a weird coincidence because we were going to be seeing him at the Paley Festival later that night. We also spotted Janine Turner walking by with bright red hair, so already we were off to a terrific start at celebrity bingo.

Then it was off to visit a couple of yarn stores. We started with Knit Cafe in West Hollywood. It was an adorable place, really well decorated, but their inventory was pretty limited. Suzan Mischer was there, though, and she was very friendly. Then we headed back out to Venice to check out A Mano Yarn Center, which was great. They'd just gotten in a lot of new inventory, so you had to navigate around boxes and piles of yarn all over the floor, but they had a great stock and the women who worked there were all terrific.

After that we chilled and knit for a while until it was time to head out for dinner. We decided to eat at the Farmer's Market at The Grove, and on the way to meet up with the others we're pretty sure we walked by Ashlee Simpson and her new nose. And then when we did meet up with the others they said we'd just missed Eric Millegan, which was another totally weird coincidence because some of us were going to be seeing him again later on the Bones set that night. It's like fate! Also, I had some truly fantastic crepes for dinner. Seriously, I haven't had crepes this good since I was in Paris.

Then it was off to the DGA for The Office panel at the Paley Festival. There was assigned seating this year, which meant that we didn't all get to sit together, but it also meant that four of us were sitting front row center. Literally the entire cast was there, with the exception of John Krasinski, and I'm sure most of you know how much that had to hurt austin360's heart.

They showed "Cocktails," a hilarious gag reel, and a sneak peak at half of the next new episode (which apparently isn't airing until like, forever). Then the 23 panelists filed up on stage, and the introductions alone took up about half the panel time. The moderator wasn't great, but at least she mostly asked questions that we didn't all know the answers to already from listening to the DVD commentaries. There are probably better and more detailed accounts of the panel on the net than I could attempt here, but suffice it to say that it was a fantastic panel. Also, Steve Carell is way handsomer in person than he is as Michael Scott. He has kind eyes.

Afterwards the actors came forward to sign autographs and since we were in the front row we were immediately caught in the crush and only narrowly escaped with our lives and persons intact. I didn't try to get any autographs, but I did manage to take some pictures through the crowds, which I will post as soon as I get them uploaded.

And then it was time for our Bones set visit! It just so happens that the lovely mikijean is friends with the show's director of photography, Gordon Lonsdale, and while she was in town he invited her to bring two friend with her to visit the set. So she, austin360 and I headed over to the Fox lot. After receiving some bad instructions from the guards at the gate, we drove in frustrated circles around the lot for a while until we finally stumbled across the right stage.

As we made our way through the set we passed Tamara Taylor and she greeted us with cheerful hellos and welcomes, even though I don't think she had any idea who we were. Inside, we met Gordon, who'd already had chairs and headsets set up for us by the monitors. Mikijean and I had generic Bones chairs, but austin got to sit in Emily Deschanel's chair!

Gordon was amazing. So nice and friendly, and he made a point of introducing us to everyone who came within arm's reach, including, but not limited to, Hart Hanson, co-exec producer Tony Wharmby, and the director, Jeannot Szwarc. They'd been on location earlier that day, shooting with David and Emily, and were now back on the set for a scene in the autopsy room with Cam, Angela and Zack. We watched a few takes, then Gordon had one of the stand-ins give us a tour.

The set is even more beautiful in person than it looks on television. And it looks pretty damn cool on TV (largely thanks to Gordon and his mad cinematography skillz). We got to wander around in all the rooms and I made sure to memorize where everything is in relation to everything else, which is going to be handy info to have for my spec. There are some interesting touches that you can't really see on TV. Like the fact that there's a window in Brennan's office that looks onto a vivarium with a big iguana in it. Also there are these gorgeous gigantic chandeliers at either end of the lab that I've never noticed before.

Angela's office was full of random pieces of furniture because they'd been shooting inserts in there. Basically, whenever they need a close-up of someone's hand or a prop, they shoot it with the second unit and use the stand-ins as hand models. So there was a table from the diner and some other stuff all crammed in there next to the Angelator.

Afterwards, we watched a few more takes, then Michaela Conlin came by and Gordon introduced us to her. Seriously, she couldn't be nicer. And she's even cuter in person than she is as Angela, if you can believe it. She was wearing Angela's lab coat, so I got a good look at all the little embellishments on it.

Then Gordon took us into the autopsy room where they were shooting. We got a close-up look at the body of the week and he even let us look through the the camera. Speaking of the body of the week, they were shooting episode 20, which is called either "Spaceman in a Crater" or "The Man Who Fell to Earth," I'm not sure which. And I didn't get a good enough look at the sides to see what it said. So anyway, the body we saw was one that had fallen from a great height. And it was not pretty, ya'll. Ick. Also, apparently the fake bodies always smell like Orange Glo.

The stand-in who showed us around (who was delightful) said there were going to be 24 episodes this season. Also, Emily's father, Caleb Deschanel, is directing episode 21, which was supposed to start shooting yesterday.

I think that's most of the highlights. Everyone we met was really lovely and I am incredibly grateful I had the chance to visit the set.

Saturday was the day of tlbelle's engagement lunch, so we picked up the cake (from Sweet Lady Jane's, of course) and headed over to the restaurant. We sat outside to enjoy the gorgeous weather, the food was fabulous, and a great time was had by all. Also, Bryan Cranston was lunching a few tables away.

After that ja_is_my_muse's friend Kirsten invited us all to come hang out at her house, so we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening lounging and chatting and eating and generally having a great time.

Sunday was also nice and low key. austin360 was off doing her own thing, so the rest of us met for breakfast and then headed over to the Beverly Center for a little shopping, which mostly turned into sitting around in the food court and talking. Not a single celeb sighting there, though. Then we had to drop mikijean off at the airport, which was sad. We ended the day with knitting, watching some Buffy, eating In & Out burgers and watching BSG. (No, I do not want to talk about the episode. Grrr.)

And that's pretty much it. austin360 and I were really bummed to leave. Oh, and when we got back to my house we spent the evening watching Bones reruns and exclaiming "I was there!" every time they showed another part of the set. Because we're big fricking dorks. Mr. Sus spent a lot of time laughing at us.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 7th, 2007 03:12 am (UTC)
As a matter of fact, I totally did mention it!
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 7th, 2007 03:45 pm (UTC)
He really does. Not only is he obviously a talented cinematographer who's made a huge difference on the show, but he's just about the nicest guy who ever niced.
Mar. 7th, 2007 03:22 am (UTC)
That Bones tour is incredibly cool. It sounds like so much fun.
Mar. 7th, 2007 03:55 am (UTC)
Wow, you just have the coolest life ever. I'm so jealous, but adore living it vicariously through you. I'm *loving* that the bodies smell like Orange-glo. Did you get a chance to pick up any good tidbits for your spec?
Mar. 7th, 2007 03:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, I don't think my life is especially cool, I'm just blessed with really wonderful friends.

Being on the set did help me think of a couple of things I want to change about my spec, mostly to do with the rooms I use for the various scenes. Now that I've finally been inside all the rooms and know what they're all used for and where they are I'm going to adjust some stuff.
Mar. 7th, 2007 03:59 am (UTC)
It really was the most awesome weekend ever. I'll try to dig up that celeb spotting list, since I think I packed it.

*hugs you*
Mar. 7th, 2007 06:02 am (UTC)
Sounds like an excellent trip. Glad you all had such a great time!
Mar. 7th, 2007 06:04 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for the updates and all the news.

For me, your visit to the Bones set was marvelous for you to have shared. It's my favorite show, and I love everyone there.

Thanks again!
Mar. 7th, 2007 06:09 am (UTC)
Hope you don't mind, but I posted a rec of this posting to my LJ, for Bonesfans.

If you'd like me to delete the rec, just let me know - no problemo. :-)
Mar. 7th, 2007 01:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the rec, but the post is flocked, so not everyone will be able to read it.
Mar. 9th, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
I just sent an e-mail to this effect, but we are blog approved, so if you wish you should feel free to unlock this or make a public post on the set visit.

Now I have 3 Dog Night in my head again! :)
Mar. 9th, 2007 09:56 pm (UTC)
Now that I've gotten permission from certain folks involved I've unlocked the post so anyone can read it now.
Mar. 7th, 2007 03:49 pm (UTC)
It really feels good to meet the people who work on your favorite shows and discover that they actually are really nice folks. I don't have to feel like my admiration is misplaced because they're really egotistical asswipes. :)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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