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Fact or Fiction

Svend Slipper
Celebrity, Fact or Fiction, My LA story, Posts

Fact or Fiction: Svend Sipper

I’m retiring my Fact or Fiction section, not because it’s not full of interesting material but because hardly anyone is voting.  Buzzfeed this aint!

So, here is the answer to the last Fact or Fiction post.

The Svend Sipper is named after its long-serving Pool Manager.

The answer is Fact.

Svend is somewhat of an institution at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

“Svend Petersen, the Danish-American pool manager at the hotel for forty-two years, became a Hotel Ambassador in 2002.  He had notably opened up the pool after hours for The Beatles and taught Faye Dunaway to swim a freestyle crawl for Mommie Dearest.  He was also known for warning Southern California newcomers in drastic and memorable language about the scorching sun.”

As my treat to you you can create one of my favourite drinks at home as I have the recipe.  Thanks so much Beverly Hills Hotel for sharing!

Svend’s Sipper

2 oz Ultimat Vodka
10 halfmoon cucumbers
2 oz coconut water
1 oz simple syrup
Top with club soda

You’re welcome.  Cheers!

xx It Started in LA xx

BHH
Fact or Fiction, Posts, Visiting LA

Fact or Fiction: the Svend Sipper is named after Beverly Hills Hotel’s long-time pool manager

God I miss the Beverly Hills Hotel.  There hasn’t been a lot said about the boycott lately except it’s still on.  I keep wondering how they’re doing and what effect (if any) the boycott is having on the hotel.

I heard on Mothers’ Day that it was reasonably full but this article in the New York Post (all in the name of research I’m sure) says otherwise.  Here’s another article summarising what’s going on by Time Magazine.

I searched availability on its website and there are obviously more rooms vacant (I regularly search availability of the bungalow rooms to tick off my bucket list!).  I think I need to make a trip to check it out myself–purely in the name of research and to give a first-hand report to my faithful readers of course.

So, in memory of my beloved memories at the hotel here’s my latest Fact or Fiction (that has been MIA).

The Svend Sipper is named after its long-serving Pool Manager.

 

Results from the last Fact or Fiction: Yosemite National Park

I hope you weren’t holding your breath for the answer to this one.  The answer required first-hand research.

The answer to this one is a tough one.  It seemed to me when I posted it that the answer was yes.   I called the number that has visibility over all the accommodation IN the park and there was essentially no room at the Inn.  I was told to continually check back because as the time gets closer there are generally cancellations.  Let me also say I was booking for two families (nine of us).

I was also warned by those I’d asked for advice that if you haven’t booked by now (some six months in advance) you wouldn’t get a room–specifically but not limited to the Ahwahanee.  Even as I write this post I tested a number of dates in July and came up blank.  I tried it for two families and one with the same result: nudda.

So, we booked an RV (the only one left) and a site outside the park (the only one left) and the nine of us bunked in for two nights.  Hysterical.

When we got there there seemed to be a scattering of vacancies around the park.  There was one room left at the gorgeous Ahwahanee (but none at the time I called) and a couple we sat next to at the bar had only just booked their room the day before.  Hmph. I felt bad because this was our Yosemite experience and I wondered where–how–I went wrong.

The beauty with this booking link is it covers all accommodation throughout the park.  There is also a phone number to call and their helpful people gave me the same result.

All I can say is plan as early as you possibly can for the high summer months.  It is busy.  If you’re coming from overseas you could take the chance and book something last-minute but if you’re anything like me that’s a huge risk and one I wasn’t willing to take.  I’ll leave it to you and … good luck!

If you want more detailed information on our Yosemite experience stay tuned for my Blog.  It’s coming soon.

xx It Started in LA xx

Yosemite
Fact or Fiction, My LA story, Visiting LA

Fact or Fiction: Book 12 months ahead for a spot inside Yosemite

Here’s a question for you, a very important question if you’re planning a US or Californian holiday that includes a visit to the stunning Yosemite National Park.

You need to book 12 months ahead to get a cabin or even camping spot at Yosemite in summer.

The answer to the last Fact or Fiction:

Is the pool covered over for Golden Globes after parties?

Is Fact.  It is now!  There was a time, however, when it wasn’t.  Read this story about Angelina Jolie jumping into the pool when she won her second Golden Globe before it was covered.

You may have noticed that once again Fact or Fiction skipped a week.  I got caught out with the dramas surrounding the Beverly Hills Hotel.  In respect for those trying to boycott the hotel I’ve held back a Fact or Fiction piece.  It’s such a shame because it’s a beauty.

I’m a bit mixed on the boycott though.  I in no way condone the laws enacted by Brunei.  However some people don’t care about boycotts, whether they’re stubborn or too wealthy for it to affect them there could be many reasons.  I would hate to see such an iconic hotel ruined by someone who is not in touch with our society nor cares to be.  Not just that I feel for the staff of the hotels, not necessarily the management but the workers.  I’m sure their owner doesn’t think about them.  Sad.

I also don’t think people should stop the boycott either because then Brunei wouldn’t feel any pressure and continue to do what it wants to do without consequence or second thought.

If only life was simple.

Here’s some reading to catch you up on the issue.

NPR.org

BBC

I hope the situation doesn’t last long anyway and it can be quickly resolved.  And hopefully the result will be the right thing morally.  Call me a little cynical but somehow I don’t think so.

On a happy note Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums in the world.  Even you in the UK who celebrated Mothering Sunday in late March.

No one would be here if it wasn’t for our mothers.

xx It Started in LA xx

PS: If you were paying close attention I incorrectly called it the Beverly Hills Hotel pool (obsessed by that place I swear!).  It is actually the Beverly Hilton. Shame on me.  Anyway, it’s erased now there’s no evidence of the mistake :-).

 

Beverly Hilton Pool
Fact or Fiction, Posts

Fact or Fiction: Beverly Hilton Pool

It’s the ANZAC Day long weekend in Australia where we remember those that served our countries (Australia and New Zealand).  While the spirit of ANZAC Day encompasses all Australians who served and died in war (and peace-keeping missions) it especially represents the landing on Gallipoli in 1915.  One of the most moving ceremonies we went to was in Shanghai where the Australian and New Zealand communities get together to commemorate the Day.  Likewise we will be attending a ceremony here in LA.

So … straight onto this week’s Fact or Fiction where I posed the statement:

At one point Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie & Kim Kardashian all went to the same school here in LA.

The answer is correct: Fact.  Nicole, Kim & Paris all went to school together in their younger years–at the very same school my kids go to.

And 75% of you got it right!  Well done!

I’ve been excited over the last couple of weeks to be visiting Beverly Hills’s iconic hotels.  So I thought I’d pose this week’s questions about one of those hotels.

The Beverly Hilton pool is known as the largest heated pool in Beverly Hills, it is just about as famous as the hotel itself.  You know the Golden Globes have been held at the Beverly Hilton since forever so …  My question is:

Is the pool covered over for Golden Globes after parties?

 

Careful: it’s a yes or no question this time.

Enjoy your weekend guys and keep smiling!

xxx It Started in LA xxx

Reality TV Stars at school together?
Fact or Fiction, Posts

Fact or Fiction: Paris, Nicole & Kim

updated October 8, 10:00 LA time with new info on The Slap.

Happy Easter long weekend (although it’s now the tail of it).  And, of course, Happy Passover.  I love that we’re in a melting pot of religions here in 90210 and being exposed to Judaism and all its associated traditions.  I knew, of course, that there were many Jewish people in Hollywood and TV Shows like The OC celebrated Hanukkah and “Chanukkah” but didn’t even think about it when we were planning to move here.  I have to say that’s what’s so great about being an Expat and immersing yourself in other cultures, even if it’s fundamentally similar to your own (ie. not like our move to China!).

I love that I’m learning so much, too, about things like kosher food.  When I first got here I was having two friends over for lunch.  I sent them an email wondering if I needed to use kosher salt in my cooking as I’d seen it all over the supermarkets.

Knowing me they knew I was serious but a friends’ husband thought I was taking the piss (taking the mickey, joking).  Now I know why–if you’re truly cooking kosher it has to be that the whole kitchen is kosher and I actually even think that you then have to be practising kosher yourself.  Not sure I’ll have to look that one up.  You get the gist though … salt is not going to miraculously turn the meal kosher!

Anyway, onto this week’s Fact or Fiction question:

At one point Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie & Kim Kardashian all went to the same school here in LA.

 

Vote away!

Results from last week

 

The US is remaking The Slap for US TV.

 

The Australian cast featured a stunning line-up including Melissa George, Sophie Okonedo, Essie Davis, Alex Dimitriades and Jonathan LaPaglia producing an incredible mini-series that absolutely nailed it.

The answer is indeed Fact, NBC is rewriting and adapting the quintessentially Australian show for US TV.  They’ve got a great team (Jon Robin Baitzwriter for West Wing and Brothers and Sisters) behind the project but I’m betting it won’t be anything like the Australian version.

We all know American and Australian culture is very different and no one is learning that more than me as I live and play here.  The Australian version is too raw and real that it couldn’t play out in its current form.  So I’m guessing we shouldn’t expect it to be quite as confronting as the Australian version but I look forward to seeing how it goes.  If nothing else I hope it will give me some fodder to be to eloquently isolate the differences between American and Australia.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, NBC announced it would take up the show in 2012 but it’s only confirmed that it will put it into production this year.  Watch this space …

Special thanks also to Pink is the New Blog for its digestion of the news.

Enjoy the long weekend!

xx It Started in LA xx

PS: October 8. I’ve just found out that Melissa George is going to reprise her role for the US version.  Wonder if she’ll play an Australian girl but speak with an American accent.  The mind boggles.

 

The Slap
Fact or Fiction, Posts

Fact or Fiction: The Slap is coming to American TV

Updated 4:50pm LA time due to poor editing skills. Must be time for a drink.

Welcome back to this week’s Fact or Fiction–a little late for me this week.

I have to fess up that the last topic on earthquakes fizzed.  Big time.

LA’s last big earthquake was ten years ago.

100% of people were right in saying this was Fiction.  The last “big” one was named Northridge and happened some 20 years ago on January 17, 1994.

I’m hoping we’re having a rest from earthquakes for a while and we move on to talk about brighter things.

It’s Pilot season here in LA where actors and actresses make sure they’re in town so they attend castings sessions and producers and networks are busy assembling their cast and shooting their Pilot waiting for the go-ahead.  Or not.  Many, if not most, of the announcements are out now so it’s a busy time.  Then there are the other shows currently on TV like my favourites, The Good Wife and Revenge that are finishing up their seasons ready for a well-deserved break.  I was hoping to get on the set of one of these Shows as they’re both post-produced by Mr H’s company but alas not this season.  I was lucky enough, however, to get on the set of Scandal so that’s pretty exciting.  (All these shows have already been given the green light for another season).

So … I was reading this morning after getting a rundown from the networks on Twitter that highly acclaimed Aussie drama The Slap is coming to US TV later this year in the form of an eight-part mini series.  Of course this was based on the highly successful book by Christos Tsiolkas of the same name.

My question is are they keeping our Melissa-George starring version or making a new one.  And if they’re making a new one, will they cast Melissa George as their lead?

The US is remaking The Slap for US TV.

Here’s the poll:

 

Go on, cast your vote, it’s a bit of fun.

That’s it for this week.  Next week I’m going to enjoy researching the iconic Beverly Hills hotels so will report back in a matter of weeks.

Enjoy the weekend!

xx It Started in LA xx

 

earthquake
Fact or Fiction, Posts

Fact or Fiction: LA’s last big earthquake was 10 years ago

Have you missed Fact or Fiction? Or noticed that the latest piece about Harry Styles has been going for two weeks?  Thanks to the Spring break we decided to carry it over.  Plus it was such a hot topic!

Before we reveal whether Harry Styles bought just up the road let me introduce you to the latest votable statement.

I wrote about the scare we had a few weeks ago when we had an earthquake that lasted some thirty seconds.  Then when we were away for Spring Break there was another earthquake, this time a bit stronger and a little more damage.  Lucky for us it was further South so didn’t really affect us.  There’s a lot of earthquake talk at the moment so it’s a bit freaky.  So, given all the talk about earthquakes, here is this week’s Fact or Fiction:

LA’s last big earthquake was ten years ago.

 

And now … the moment you’ve all been waiting for:

Has Harry Styles bought just up the road from us?

Yes he has!  A bit exciting.  75% of you went for it and said it was fact and only 25% of you are doubting Thomases thinking it was fiction.  I must confess since watching the One Direction movie I’ve had visions of giving him a home-cooked meal every Sunday night (roast beef & Yorkshire puddings of course).  Let’s see if that comes true!

Here are just some of the news stories about the recent purchase:

http://realestalker.blogspot.com/2014/03/british-boy-bander-harry-styles-buys.html

http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/harry-styles-buys-los-angeles-3243634

Stay tuned for more local gossip.  Have a great weekend!

xx It Started in LA xx

Earthquake image taken from Price of Oil.org.  Thank you :-).

1D's Harry Styles
Celebrity, Fact or Fiction, Posts

Fact or Fiction: Harry Styles bought a house down the road

Welcome back to Fact or Fiction.  I’m a bit late this week, a pupil-free day caused the delay with me being disorganised in not having the post ready ahead of time and the kiddly-winks cramping my style and forcing me to play mother for once. (Well, that and tennis & lunch took up a lot of my Friday which makes me a very happy chicky-babe!).

This week’s question centres around the ever-popular Harry Styles.  Word is he’s just bought a house in 90210.

http://www.eonline.com/news/522004/is-harry-styles-moving-to-america-one-direction-singer-buys-la-home

Question is: do you think it’s just down the road and literally around the corner from us?

Lodge your vote now:

 

Meanwhile, the answer to last week’s Fact or Fiction:

Beverly Hills was named after the Beverly Hills Hotel

was fact confirmed by the hotel’s in-house PR.  The hotel was built by bizzillionaire developer Burton Green, President of the Rodeo Land and Water Company.  According to the Hotel’s website,

“By 1914, Beverly Hills had attracted enough residents to incorporate as a city.

“Then, in 1920, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks built their county home, Pickfair, in the nearby hills. Beverly Hills soon became one of the world’s smartest addresses. More stars followed, including Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson, Buster Keaton, Rudolph, Valentino, Tom Mix, and Will Rogers, transforming the bean fields surrounding The Beverly Hills Hotel into prime real estate.”

66.67% of you thought it was Fiction meaning only 33.33% of you were right.

Here’s a link to the Beverly Hills Hotel’s website:

http://www.dorchestercollection.com/en/beverly-hills/the-beverly-hills-hotel/hotel-services/about/hotel-history

The hotel has the most amazing history.  My tour of the hotel got postponed to after Spring Break so I hope to bring you a story or two in the coming weeks.

Don’t forget to put your votes in.

Spring break starts for us so yay us!  Enjoy your weekend wherever you are in the world.

xx It Started In LA xx

BHH
Fact or Fiction, Posts

Fact or Fiction: Beverly Hills was named after the Beverly Hills Hotel

I’ve got an appointment to check out my much-visited Beverly Hills Hotel next week so in that vein here’s this week’s Fact or Fiction.

 

Meanwhile, the answer to last week’s Fact or Fiction.

I met Robbie Williams at our local Starbucks.

Clearly everyone is starting to get the hang of this game and is starting to get the picture that we’re being exposed to some crazy scenarios. Yesterday my daughter and I were on our way home from a doctors appointment and we witnessed a very “possessed” pap clearly with his eye on his prize.  It’s everywhere here you just have to know what you’re looking for and be out and about to see it.  (Actually I think it was the same pap who told me I looked like “someone” the other week at my favourite restaurant.)

I digress … again …

66.67% of you thought that I had met Robbie (my wildcard) at our local Starbucks and 33.33% of you thought it was made up.

Well… only 33% of you were right.  Sadly I didn’t meet Robbie at our local Starbucks.  I don’t think he lives in LA anymore.  Bugger because he only lived up he road and apparently was often spotted at my local Starbucks so there was a chance I could’ve very easily bumped into him.

In fact, what spurred this Fact or Fiction on was a very vivid dream I had where I was coerced (by Robbie himself) into ‘fessing up that he was my wildcard celebrity shag.  I woke up in a cold sweat.

Enough dreaming, happy weekend & happy voting!

xx It Started In LA xx

 

RW
Celebrity, Fact or Fiction, Posts

Fact or Fiction: I met Robbie Williams at our local Starbucks

Robbie Williams

I’m very excited about this week’s Fact or Fiction :

I met Robbie Williams at our local Starbucks.

There’s a story to be told but you’ll have to wait until next week.  So get voting!

 

Meanwhile, the answer to last week’s:

Slash came to the kids’ school

is FACT! Slash did in fact come on a tour to our school.  In fact one of my friends took him on the tour.  I know lots of my friends back home who’d be jelly jelly (a bit like I was).  Actually, she then went on to not only see him in concert but see him backstage (and he of course recognised her!) but she managed to do a deal with him to hand over his jacket.  I know!  Only in LA can one of your friends have a much-treasured jacket of Slash’s!

Anyway, eighty per cent of you were on the money so well done.

Happy weekend & happy voting!

xx It Started In LA xx

Image taken from wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slash_(musician)

Slash--Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

Fact or Fiction: Slash came to the kids school

Fact or Fiction?

This week’s Fact or Fiction is back on gossipy things that may or may not have happened around us.  So this week’s statement is:

Slash came to the kids’ school.

Cast your votes now, it’s easy to do and you’ll either be right or wrong.

Eighty per cent of you were on the money last week with the answer to:

Bel Air is a suburb of LA with its own postcode.

Bel Air as an actual suburb of LA with its own postcode is indeed a myth.  If you see someone’s address as Bel Air then they’re just showing off.  Their actual address is Los Angeles and 90049 (for example, there are a few LA postcodes that cover “Bel Air”).

Here’s a good blog page I found with some good stuff on Bel Air, bit of light reading for the weekend.

http://www.theempressofdress.com/2013/03/13/bel-air/

Happy weekend & happy voting.

xx It Started In LA xx

Image taken from wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slash_(musician)

West Gate, Bel Air
Celebrity, Fact or Fiction

Fact or Fiction: Bel Air

Fact or Fiction?????

Welcome back to this week’s Fact or Fiction.  It’s good to see voting increased by more than 15% this week.  Get on board, it’s a bit of fun.

This week’s item drifts away from me being centre stage to an LA Trivia question.  And the statement is …

Bel Air is a suburb of LA with its own postcode.

 

Thanks to the people who responded to last week’s Fact or Fiction.  The answer to:

Rod Stewart’s son is in my kids’ swim team.

was: Fact.

66.67% thought it was Fiction
33.33% thought it was Fact.

I am unashamedly a Rod Stewart fan.  I remember when I was younger we were on holidays staying at my uncle’s house in Wales.  He used to get The Sun daily and one week it had a Rod Stewart spotlight–a series about him, his life, his loves, his career etc.  Well I was hooked from that minute on.

So, when we turned up at the end of last year to one of the kids’ swimming finals and I glance up at the bleachers and see Rod Stewart–complete with hair and pastels–I did little to stay cool.  I couldn’t take a photo, I wouldn’t go talk to him and I was a mess.  (So much for the motto of staying cool).  I couldn’t get my words out–I was standing a few metres away from the one and only Rod Stewart. Ahhhhhhhhh indeed!

His wife, BTW, is gorgeous.  We did talk to her.  That was surreal in its own way because (apart from being a former famous model herself) she was talking about the upcoming holidays and their plans like they were normal people.  Of course they were–are–but it was totally surreal.

I heart LA.  And that’s how this blog started with simple everyday, surreal stories like that.  I can’t wait for the swimming season to start.  I just hope he’s not in Vegas for most of it!

Answer to this week’s post will come next week as usual.  Happy Friday Australia (and Asia).  UK and Europe you’re somewhere in between so happy weekend eve!

I’ll keep the link up to his Vegas concerts (and others for that matter) in case you want to fly over and see Rod Stewart live in Vegas.  I’m certainly going to try to get there.

http://www.rodstewart.com/events/

xx It Started in LA xx

 

Rod Stewart
Fact or Fiction, Posts

Friday Funny, Fact or Fiction: Rod Stewart

Fact or Fiction?????

Welcome to this week’s Fact or Fiction: Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart’s son is in my kids’ swim team.

 

Thanks to the people who responded to last week’s Fact or Fiction.  The answer to:

Kim Kardashian lived just up the road from us (and a few doors down from a friend of mine). She moved out just as we moved in.

was in fact: Fact.

40% thought it was Fact

60% thought it was Fiction.

There you go!  Didn’t know it when we moved in but just heard a couple of weeks ago that she lived a few doors down from a friend of mine in her street which is just up the road in the same ‘hood as us.  The paps supposedly gave it away but we never saw them.  She moved out at the end of summer–just as we moved in so the likelihood is we never actually lived in the same hood at the same time.

Answer to come next week.  Happy Friday Australia.  Sadly we have to wait another day but I’m with you in spirit.

And because it’s Valentine’s Day and I had a “thing” for Rod Stewart here’s a link to buy concert tickets (that means you have to come to LA if you’re from Australia!)

http://www.rodstewart.com/events/

xx It Started in LA xx

 

KK
Fact or Fiction

Fact or Fiction: Kim Kardashian

Fact or Fiction???

updated February 6, 2014 LA time

Kim Kardashian lived just up the road from us (and a few doors down from a friend of mine). She moved out just as we moved in.

No cheating locals …

Answer on next Fact or Fiction post.

xx It Started In LA xx

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