11 Hollywood Inspired Must Do’s While Attending Gen Blue

Last year, my husband and I added few extra days to our Generation Blue Experience to make a little time for vacay. It was our first “us” trip without our two sweet minions (see what I did there?) since our honeymoon 5 years prior. Result = a HUGE success, which leads to our now 6 day venture in the land of the rich and famous – 6 days in Hollywood and the ‘Hills, SO much to do and so little time!

Our “itinerary” last year was inspired by some of our favorite flicks that took place around the Big Apple, so to keep the merriment going, we’ve revisited some of our favorite films that were filmed in (or around) Tinseltown to inspire us to make a few pit stops while we’re west coast bound.

1. Golf ‘n Stuff – Karate Kid
Location: 10555 Firestone Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90650
Karate Kid Golf n Stuff

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who hasn’t wished they could’ve tagged along on Daniel and Ali’s first date full of go karts, bumper boats, arcade games galore with a little hand holding in the photo booth? Ok, maybe not tag along, but definitely have your inner kid just dying to go there for yourself. Yeah, that’s me. Golf n’ Stuff is actually family fun park that’s still around today – and it’s on our hit list.

2. “McFly House” & “Enchantment Under the Sea” Dance – Back to the Future
Location: 9303 Roslyndale Ave & First United Methodist Church of Hollywood, 6817 Franklin Ave
BTTF McFly Guitar Dance

 

 

 

 

 

I couldn’t tell you how many years growing up I asked for a “hover board” for Christmas or just *wished* I could find the ultimate prom/homecoming dress to resemble Lorraine’s iconic attire from Back to the Future’s (I & II) “Enchantment Under the Sea” Dance. This trilogy has been (and probably forever will be) in my top 3 all-time favs, which is why getting a glimpse of Methodist Church of Hollywood (where the dance was held in the gym) on Franklin Ave, as well as checking out the McFly Residence in “Lyon Estates” is on list of places to pass by.

3. Randy’s Donuts – Iron Man 2
Location: West Manchester Ave, Inglewood, Los Angeles
Randys Donuts Ironman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some like to travel for the sights, I like to travel for the food. In this case, the combination between the two is epic – as in the sunrise scene of Iron Man 2 where Nick Fury finds Tony Stark/Iron Man/Robert Downey Jr after this birthday bash lounging – literally – in the donut of the famous Randy’s Donuts. Although this is no fancy cuisine, who can turn down a hot, fresh glazed donut and a good ol’ cup of joe?

4. Rodeo Drive – Pretty Woman
Location: Rodeo Drive is a two-mile long street, in Beverly Hills, California
Pretty Woman Shopping

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julia Robert’s character was sent out enjoy the ultimate shopping spree – with or without a personal shopper – along Beverly Hill’s Rodeo Drive. Here you’ll find the most desirable window shopping as well as do some heavy plastic dropping at some of the world’s most exclusive designers such as Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry, Fendi, Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Giorgio Armani, Etro, Tiffany & Co, Chanel and Cartier.

5. Sunday Drive through the Hills – Weezer’s “Beverly Hills”
Location: Beverly Hills (residential areas)

“…Beverly Hills, that’s where I want to be! Living in Beverly Hills…” Here is where my inner “Realtor” kicks in: Mansions. Lush landscaping. Potential Previews properties heaven. Not to mention, some of these residences are owned by the most famous faces in the world, which is why we’ll be cruising through the ‘Hills jamming out with Weezer with the dream “rolling like a celebrity!”

6. Hollywood Sign & Griffin Park – Friends With Benefits
Location: Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills area of the Santa Monica Mountains
Friends with Benefits Hollywood Sign

 

 

 

 

 

H. O. L. L. Y. W. O. O. D. The most iconic symbol of Hollywood is the Hollywood sign itself. One can arguably say that when you think of Hollywood, THE sign is the very first thing to populate your thought process – which is no surprise as to why it is on the list of things you must see. Although there is an overabundance of flicks to choose from that frame up this site, one in particular tops off the others – where Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis hike up to the top of the sign and climb into one of the “O’s”, where LAPD shows up demanding them to jump down. Frozen in fear, Timberlake can’t jump, and is forcefully removed from the sign via helicopter. Hilarousness.

7. Rose Bowl – Draft Day
Location: 1001 Rose Bowl Dr, Pasadena, CA 91103
rose-bowl-stadium-531570

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is going to be a stretch… although Draft Day was NOT filmed at the Rose Bowl (nor has a Rose Bowl reference, for that matter), I’m doing a throwback to some personal family ties. My brother, John Hall, was the place kicker for the Wisconsin Badgers (ON WISCONSIN!) during the 80th  Rose Bowl Game on January 1, 1994 where the Wisconsin Badgers defeated the UCLA Bruins 21-16. Draft Day features the Badgers and hubby and I have tix to watch the Bruins take on Utah Saturday, October 04, 2014 at 7:30pm. Lifelong mission to see the famous Rose Bowl in person: fulfilled.

8. Balboa Island (The Banana Stand) – Arrested Development
Location: Oceanside Wharf boardwalk, on Balboa Island in Newport Beach
Arrested Development Banana Stand

 

 

 

 

 

“There’s always money in the banana stand…” the famous words of George Bluth in one of the must underrated comedy series of all time, in the life of the Houseman household. Featured along the beautiful boardwalk of the Balboa Pier, this is one of many places to visit for some beautiful views and a chance to dip your toes in the Pacific. You may also want to check out the Santa Monica Pier, Venice Boardwalk and Malibu.

9. Dolby Theatre – Academy Awards/American Idol
Location: 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028
Oscars

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Lights, camera, action! How many famous faces have visited this venue? Hundreds, thousands… probably way too many to count. And who will be sitting amongst the seats of the stars? YOU!! Our opening session which will be jam packed with some incredible speakers and lead by someone super famous (see “must do” number #10) and will be another event in the book, right behind American Idol and the Academy Awards.

10. Hollywood Game Night – Jane Lynch Selfie
Location: My. Camera. #Selfie
Jane Lynch_SELFIE_Social Squad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Selfies” are totally the thing right now, especially after Ellen Degeneres walked into the crowd to take one the most epic selfies with some Hollywood stars ever taken with a few faces such as Jennifer Lawerence, Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Channing Tatum, Meryl Streep, Jared Leto and Kevin Spacey. Although the Social Squad hasn’t quite hit “A List” status, I like to think that they’re a pretty stellar group – which is why I went ahead and created the ultimate Gen Blue selfie with Jane Lynch (host of Hollywood Game Night & Fox’s GLEE Star) just in case we don’t all fit into the picture.

11. Universal Studios Hollywood – Despicable Me
Location: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608
Despicable Me

 

 

 
“It’s so FLUFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFY!” I think I spit out my soda when I heard this in theaters since it was so stinkin’ cute! This animated feature is fun for kids of all ages (yes, that’s adults too) and is loaded with these adorable yellow beings called “minions.” Minions are the mastermind behind everything that is genius, and hilarious, in this movie and is also a ride at Universal Studios – in which you will have the opportunity to experience since this will be the location of our CLOSING PARTAAAAAY! That’s right, last year we were livin’ it up in the American History Museum, this year we’re closing down an entire theme park – just because you bleed blue and are a part of the Generation Blue Experience! I couldn’t imagine being a part of any other brand other than Coldwell Banker, not only because they know how to put together one incredible lineup of speakers to help us to grow our business, but they sure now how to throw one heck of a party for its brand. Can’t wait to see everyone this week at #GenBlue!!

Monday Morning in the Life of Ashley Houseman (for David Marine)

Nothing like a fab friend (Sharon Steele, aka the social queen who’s always on her “A” game) posting some stellar vids and blogs to make you realize that your own content is a little stale. After taking on some suggestions, “a day in the life of Ashley Houseman” was (for some reason) a topic of interest.

David Marine, this post is for you:

Monday Morning in the Life of Ashley Houseman (created exclusively for David Marine)

Snooze (x’s 5). Coffee (lots). Emails, scheduling walk-thrus & closings. Burger King (rejected). Starbucks (happily accepted). LEGO MOVIE (x’s 3). Now for naps at Houseman Headquarters so that mommy can get to work!!

**Disclaimer: this impromptu video created exclusively for David Marine is the victim of no makeup, lack of sense of fashion or beautification of any kind. My sincerest apology in advance.**
**Disclaimer #2: this video IS longer than 1 minute by 6 seconds. For a successful video, please note that David Marine recommends 1 minute or less.**

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Connect with David Marine (@david_marine), Sharon Steele (@sharonsteelnj) or Ashley Houseman (@brokerEXCLUSIVE) on Twitter for the latest in real estate, randomness and life.

For more local real estate information in Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, Englewood and North Port Florida, check out my personal Realtor source   www.AshleyHouseman.com

 

Consciously Uncoupling

A blog somehow tying “Consciously Uncoupling” and “Real Estate” together to follow soon. Very soon.

In the meantime, enjoy Tracy Miller‘s take on the matter with her thoughts in the New York Daily News Article, “‘Conscious uncoupling': Gwyenth Paltrow explores spiritual side of divorce on Goop”

Well done, Tracy. Well done.

Pre-conscious uncoupling. Or cosciously coupled.

Prior to conscious uncoupling, Gwyneth and Chris enjoyed happier times while consciously coupled.

The original post signed “Love, Gwyneth & Chris” can be found here in their March 25th, 2014 blog post on Goop.

You can follow Ashley on Twitter at @brokerEXCLUSIVE, Tracy Miller at @MillerTracyL or the New York Daily News at @NYDailyNews 

Thanks for checking out my real estate blog and http://www.ConsciouslyUncoupling.com

“Write a Blog” That’s What He Said

“I want to improve my ranking on Google, but how?”

A common question that many people ask but not sure quite how to do it. Countless webinars, advertising, coaches and social media sites have an overwhelming amount of suggestions and ways for you to increase your visibility, but there’s so much out there – where do you start?!

20131010-160215.jpg

Blogging.

Yes, write a blog. It’s that simple. No one loves a good blog (and its keywords embedded in them) quite like Google.

What is the first thing you do when you are in need of a new recipe or location of a certain place you’d like to go to? How about when you need a phone number or want to know the population of how many polar bears there are in the North Pole? You Google it.

Fred Schmidt Jr, the Director of Technology for Coldwell Banker Great Lakes – Schmidt Family of Companies tells us, “Blog once a week. Google loves blogs.”

With that being said, I am sitting in the conference room. Same seat as I was in an hour ago when Fred drilled us on the importance of “blogs, blogs, blogs”… So here it is, Fred, my first blog on the new website.

Blog as seen on my company’s real estate website: http://www.cbfloridahomes.com/ashley.houseman/Blog

A Community Comes Together, in Honor of Sgt Michael Wilson

There were many heavy hearts this week not only for the officers and citizens of Charlotte County, but for officers all over the state of Florida. A local hero, Sergeant Michael Wilson, was on a call for a domestic disturbance, was shot, and passed away in the line of duty.

Today, thousands of locals lined the streets off the procession route with signs and American flags to show their support as hundreds of officers, firefighters, paramedics and others drove the stretch of Sgt. Wilson’s district.

Our family has known the Wilsons for many, many years, as Mike (as many called him) grew up going to school with my older brother and my mother had all three of his children in class throughout their preschool years. We proudly joined along with thousands of our neighbors, as we watched the procession from the parking lot of HoneyBaked Ham in Port Charlotte.

Our favorite memory of Officer Mike will forever be when he pulled over my Nana for speeding on her way to church. He gave her a ticket instead of a warning, as he didn’t realize that she was the “Hall Nana” as he would called her, at the time. We’d laugh about this incident together for years and Nana would NEVER let him live it down. Needless to say, I think he was forever slightly afraid of this 90 year old woman.

In honor of Sgt. Wilson, here is a video (Sgt Mike Wilson’s Procession) of this overwhelming, yet powerful experience that exemplifies the true picture of patriotism and when people come together to support one another through tough times:

Although it’s an unfortunate time for us all to pull together, it reminds me of one simple thing about this wonderful country in which we live – freedom.

God, I love this country.

Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office has put together a donation fund to help financially support the Wilson Family

For more information about Sergeant Michael WIlson and the Charlotte County Sheriff Office, visit the Charlotte County Sheriff Office Facebook page or the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office official website.

More details on this fallen hero’s tragedy:  Sergeant Michael Wilson – End of Watch – August 5, 2013

Sgt Michael Wilson’s funeral coverage from Fox 4 News, 10pm segment – Stg. Mike Wilson remembered as hero at funeral service

 

NBA Finals 2013, 7 Games or Less (San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat)

James, Wade, Lewis, Allen and Bosh - "The Big 5"

Miami Heat’s “Big Five”, September 2012
(courtesy of @kingjames on Twitter, @brandonweems10 on Instagram,
September 29th, 2012)

Don’t bother me until the Summer Solstice.

Or the first day of summer.

Or until the Miami Heat wins the NBA Finals, aka June 21st, if it takes that long. Until then, I’ll be watching my boys double up on their championship status.

For those of you who haven’t bookmarked the NBA Finals game schedule for the match up between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat, your resource is below.

Looking forward to an ever-so-exciting finals and back-to-back (White Hot!) championships.

GO HEAT!!

For instant info on the latest on the #NBAFinals, follow @MiamiHeat and @Spurs on Twitter along with your fav players: @KingJames@ThisIsUD@chrisbosh@DwyaneWade and @mchalmers15.

Game 1: SAS at MIA | Thu., Jun. 6, 9:00 PM ET | ABC
Game 2: SAS at MIA | Sun., Jun. 9, 8:00 PM ET | ABC
Game 3: MIA at SAS | Tue., Jun. 11, 9:00 PM ET | ABC
Game 4: MIA at SAS | Thu., Jun. 13, 9:00 PM ET | ABC
Game 5: MIA at SAS | Sun., Jun. 16 | ABC | If Necessary
Game 6: SAS at MIA | Tue., Jun. 18 | ABC | If Necessary
Game 7: SAS at MIA | Thu., Jun. 20 | ABC | If Necessary

What Does a Tornado Sound Like? (Give me a break, I’m from Florida)

I had a rude awakening at 3:59 this morning. It sounded like an ambulance siren making its way through my master bedroom.

Tornado Warning "Siren" Received Via Cell Phone at 3:59am

“The Siren” Tornado Warning, extreme alert received via cell phone from the NWS at 3:59am, June 6th, 2013

The following message was displayed on my screen, “Tornado Warning in this area til 4:30 AM EDT. Take shelter now. Check local media. – NWS

Needless to say, I’ve been up since 4:00am.

I’ve lived in Florida my entire life (and will probably never leave), lived through countless hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters. I’ve had my roof cave in from a hurricane and lost most of my childhood belongings. I’ve camped out with no power for ever a week. I’ve walked up and down the streets of historic Punta Gorda asking friends and neighbors if they needed supplies. I (stupidly) dislocated my shoulder while catching waves during a tropical storm. I’ve seen a lot… but tornadoes… they scare the living life out of me.

On and off all day, my phone has continuned to receive these “siren” warning messages, as has my television through the National Weather Service updating me on Tropical Storm Andrea and the fact that we’ve been under constant “Tornado Warning”.

Just a few moments ago, there was an update that a tornado may have touched down in Suncoast Estates, which is a subdivision made up of 1-5 acre properties just 2 miles away from my home. It wasn’t until then that it hit me, maybe I should really prepare for a worst case scenario?

Naturally, like most obsessed Googlers, I entered: “What does a tornado sound like?”

I truly don’t know, so I figured it may help. In case you’re as clueless on the subject as I am, here’s a snippet to let you know what it’s like, courtesy of The Weather Channel:

http://www.weather.com/video/what-does-a-tornado-sound-like-36983

A step further, here’s some useful information provided by The Weather Channel about tornado preparedness. The link below has articles on how to prepare, how to take action during, and what to do after a tornado strikes.

http://www.weather.com/life/safety/tornado/tornado-safety_2011-11-03

No matter what you and your loved ones plan on doing during this and the storms to come this season, be prepared and be safe.

More updates on Tropical Storm #Andrea can be found at http://www.weather.com or by following @weatherchannel on Twitter