First of all, how can you NOT love the name of this private tour company?! I was drawn to it instantly when trying to decide how best to "do LA" for the first time with my wife and 14-year-old son as part of a weeklong trip to Southern California from Rochester, NY. So much to do, so little time...and no desire to navigate LA in a rental car or, worse yet, on a packed tour bus!
As the saying goes, Anne Block (the owner/operator/ and our private guide) "had us at hello." I was blown away by her responsiveness to my initial email inquiry a full six months ahead of our planned trip -- and liked (and trusted) her immediately. (The trust factor was a big thing for me, for obvious reasons!) Anne answered all my questions, was open to all of my requests, and offered many wise suggestions about what was doable and what may not be in a six-hour custom tour.
Since we were staying in Anaheim (at Disneyland), we took the train into Union Station in downtown LA. When we got off the train, there she was -- in a bright red hat -- and from the moment we met Anne, my wife, son, and I liked her immediately and spent a fun-filled day together that none of us will ever forget.
In addition to the terrific sites we saw (including "must-dos" that we requested like Hollywood and Beverly Hills, and some novel sites that Anne selected that we could have never known about), a few things really stood out about our day together:
1. Anne went out of her way to make sure she exceeded our expectations.
2. Her driver (Wendy) made it easy for Anne and us to "hop out" whenever we wanted for those perfect photo ops without us worrying (and wasting time) with parking. Anne even took pictures with my camera so we'd all be in them!
3. Anne ensured that our teen-aged son felt included throughout they day -- paying particular attention to him and his interest in film, and our desire to do "a drive-by" of USC.
4. She even agreed to drive us back to Anaheim (for an agreed-upon added fee in advance) since we didn't know where we'd be when our tour ended.
5. We never once experienced one of those "this is really weird / I don't know what to talk about / I want this tour to end" moments that could easily happen when you're "trapped in a car with complete strangers in a strange city" for six hours.
Our only complaint? The day went way too quickly and we needed six days -- not six hours! -- to see/do everything we would have liked. Nonetheless, I feel like we had a "crash course" in LA, made friends along the way, and definitely got a terrific value for the money spent (which, BTW, was handled easily via credit card...another one of my concerns beforehand. I didn't want to be traveling with tons of cash in my pocket!)
I would not hesitate to call on Anne again on a return visit to LA -- and cannot recommend her highly enough. We definitely were made to feel like VIPs, and you will be too!
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