Hollywood Sites and Bites Tour with Trish, I hurried to book it for his birthday.
Our six-person tour started at the iconic Roosevelt Hotel
that was built in 1927 and according to our guide, Trish hosted the first ever Oscars in its Blossom Room.
She told us how the late Marilyn Monroe had her first ad gig at the pool at the age of eighteen and that the hotel even has a suite named after her.
We looked around the hotel lobby to discover where scenes of ‘Catch me if you can ’ were filmed, and our son got quite the kick out of hopping up and down the very same staircase Shirley Temple practiced her dance moves on.
As we crossed the street, we stopped by the newly renovated TCL Theater
for a glance at the sidewalk in front covered in celebrity hand and footprint before making our first stop at ‘Crumbs’ the famous cupcake store to enjoy a mini cupcake.
Fortified by the sugar rush, we continued to our next stop, the Dolby Theater, of Academy Awards fame with its outstanding Babylon Court based on Griffiths’ famous movie ‘Intolerance’.
I have to admit I had passed by the theater on numerous occasions but never actually stopped to see what was inside.
Trish filled us in on informational tidbits we found interesting: the nominee staircase was built to resemble a woman’s silhouette while the rotunda is supposed to look like a camera lens (I still didn’t see it after staring at it for five minutes, but never mind).
While the rest of our group got a good gawk at the iconic Hollywood sign as seen from the second story balcony my son (the Wizard of Oz aficionado) traced the movie quotes on the court’s bottom.
By then everyone in the group was tired from the walking in the hot LA sun and thrilled to be escorted to the well-chilled minivan waiting to take us to our next destination.
Having been on many tours before I was impressed that Trish’s took the time to explain where the van exit doors and seat belts were while her driver AJ handed out cold bottled water.
After driving down Hollywood Boulevard (caught a glimpse of Capitol records and Raleigh Studios ), we stopped at Grub restaurant located on Melrose Boulevard.
We got to try their tomato bisque soup and crack bacon quesadillas (both excellent) along with their homemade berry lemonade (a bit too sweet for me.)
In less than 20 minutes we were out the door and on the way to Mozza2Go where we were treated to a slice of Mario Batali’s thick crust pizza (choice of Margherita or Garlic–Oil).
The pizza was top notch but a bit hard to enjoy while standing up especially for my special needs son.
With the third spot down we raced to the fourth up on Sunset Boulevard where we stopped to sample Greenblatt’s Deli’s pastrami sandwich accompanied by the obligatory coleslaw and pickle spears.
My son looked distraught, as he abhors pastrami.
Here again, I was impressed with Trish’s professionalism and autism awareness when she immediately suggested substituting Jeff’s sandwich portion for a potato pancake complete with sour cream & applesauce!
We were all starting to move a bit slower from the excess of calories we had just ingested and debating whether we still had any place left for dessert when we reached our next spot –John Kelly Chocolates.
Here, the owner took us for a quick tour of is the facility to showed us how his chocolates were made and treated us to slices of their famous truffle fudge.
Our last stop, almost four hours later, was Mashti Malone
the friendliest and most sample generous of all the venues we visited.
Jeff asked to try most of the Middle Eastern flavors displayed, and the girls serving were only too happy to oblige. He enjoyed their ice cream so much we ended up ordering two full sized cones to eat there as well as and two containers of cucumber ice cream for home.
All in all, we both had a good time!
Between Trish’s entertaining stories and the introduction we got to food venues we hadn’t known about before the tour, it was a fun way to spend a summer morning and bond with each other.
Autism travel tips
Bear in mind, though the actual tour doesn’t involve much walking, it can include some periods of standing and it can get hot in LA especially during the summer
If your child is a picky eater or on a special diet, you should contact Trish in advance and hear her suggestions since she is quite flexible and accommodating to special needs clients.