With our Buffy route planned, we headed out at about 10ish to our first destination, Angels Gate Park in San Pedro where the scene where Buffy and Angel watch the snow was filmed.

The view from Angels Gate Park San Pedro

We struggled a little to work out where in the park they actually filmed, but it was pretty anyway, with gorgeous views over the ocean, so we took lots of pictures. Technically our next stop was going to be Sunnydale High School (aka Torrance High School) but we thought that taking pictures of a High School during school hours made us look a little dodgy, so vowed to come back later on. If taking pictures of a high school is creepy, what about taking pictures of someone’s house? It was Buffy’s house in the TV series (interiors and exteriors) so they must be used to this.

Buffy's House!!!! Shame about the car outside.

We didn’t stay for long, Lizzie pulled up across the street and I jumped out to take photos, all the while getting dirty looks from the neighbour watering her lawn next door. It was definitely worth it though, the house looks exactly as it did on TV, and it was somewhat surreal to be standing outside taking photos. Back in the car, our next stop was Sony Pictures Plaza aka Wolfram and Hart (from Angel).

Wolfram and Hart

Parking, once again was not particularly easy, so this time I stayed with the car, while Lizzie dashed off with the cameras to take pictures, and also to call her dad, who was a little concerned that he hadn’t heard from her since we had planned to go to Mexico and was wondering if she was still alive. By the time Lizzie arrived it was definitely lunchtime and Dominos Pizza was in order, we programmed in one close to our next destination and ordered our pizza to share. It was too hot to eat straight away, regardless of how hungry we were, so we drove on to our next destination and ate our pizza in the car when we arrived. Once finished, we drove around the Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery, where they filmed some of the cemetery scenes (those not filmed in the car park of the studio). Finding a place to park, we took a leisurely stroll around the cemetery pointing out various unusual tombstones and mausoleums that we recognised from Buffy. Leaving the cemetery the next place on our list was an Angel rather than a Buffy location, Los Altos Apartments, aka the Hyperion Hotel.

The Hyperion Hotel: Headquarters of Angel Investigations

Parking was remarkably easy and we took photos of the courtyard, getting suspicious looks once again from residents, before crossing the road to take pictures of the whole building, managing to find the exact angle from which it was shot in the TV series.

...and again.

Our next destination took us up a winding steep hill in a residential area quite near to theHollywoodsign, in search of the Ennis House, featured as “the mansion” where Angel lives in the second and third season, and where Buffy has to kill him at the end of the second season.

Ennis House courtyard

Rounding a corner, we caught our first glimpse of it, over the top of some rather Hogsmeade-esque houses, perched on the hillside. Although there were big gates and some no parking signs, Lizzie jumped out with both cameras to take pictures while I hovered in the car.

...and again, with the Hogsmeade-style houses in the foreground.

As we went back down the hill we stopped for some more pictures before following the GPS to the Griffith Observatory. Griffith Observatory was on our list for two reasons; firstly we had been told that it offered great views over LA and of the Hollywood sign and secondly, in keeping with our theme of the day, it was used as a filming location in Angel. Driving up the hill to the observatory we discovered a tunnel which looked a little familiar – was this where they filmed a scene in Roswell High? Unfortunately, the internet cannot answer my question for once, perhaps unsurprising when the series was cancelled 9 years ago.

Griffith Observatory

Back to Griffith Observatory, filming location aside, the views over LA were stunning, if a little hazy, but the views of the Hollywood sign were not as impressive as the official website would have us believe, the observatory is rather too far to the right of the sign for a great view. We climbed to the roof of the observatory for better pictures and after several failed attempts at taking a picture of ourselves, some other tourists offered to take the picture for us, provided that we took one of them too, was it that obvious that we were struggling?! Our final Buffy location for the day was just down the road from the entrance to Griffith Park, the apartment complex used to film exteriors of Giles’ apartment.

Giles' Apartment

Staying in the car, we took a couple of photos through closed gates, hoping, not for the first time today, that no one would notice us. Driving on we headed to the car park at the base of the only legal hike up to theHollywoodsign, which takes you up behind the sign itself. There are plenty of illegal hikes, but with the threat of arrest, imprisonment or deportation, we decided to go for the legal one. The hike itself was pretty steep, but on well trodden paths and roads so not too difficult. When we were almost at the top one of the helicopter patrols went past overhead, but quite close so I waved. In answer to this he turned on his siren briefly in order to “wave” back, although this made both of us jump a little.

Sign + View

Finally reaching the back of the sign, we took pictures through the fence of the back of the famous letters and of the sign. We had been there for some time when a man told us that if we climbed up the bank behind us then we could take pictures without the fence in the way.

Me + sign + view

We tried this, but both decided that the earlier pictures had actually come out better.

...oops!

We could have stayed up there for longer, but time was marching on so we hiked back down to the car to drive back to Long Beach. We were not home long before heading out for dinner with Maria and Galina to a restaurant called BBC (I kid you not!) which was also a brewery, where we shared a couple of pitchers of beer with our dinner. The restaurant was really nice, with an outdoor terrace looking over the sea and the lights of Long Beach. A mention must also go to the delicious, warm homemade sourdough bread that they served with a honey butter, which was to die for. After dinner Maria decided that we should go to sing karaoke, something that I wasn’t overly keen on given my planned early start tomorrow to visit the Getty Villa. But without much of a choice, we went along. Once we were there it wasn’t a case of whether we would sing, but what. Suffice to say it was the most humiliating karaoke experience of my life, and we will leave it at that. Ah well, of all the people there I will only see Liz again, and if she was going to judge me, she would have done so by now. At about half past 12 I decided that I was going to head home, and Galina would not hear of me getting a taxi but drove me back, all the while telling me how drunk she was, something I hadn’t quite realised when I got in the car. Luckily, we made it home in one piece and I went almost straight to bed.

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