The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

I am so excited to announce The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf as one of my new affiliates!! Why am I so excited? Well, let me tell you, I have the most amazing story about my last time there.

When I was in Los Angeles last year, I attended a media panel for Paley Fest for the show True Blood on HBO, which is one of my all time favorite shows. As I am sure you have all figured out by now, Alexander Skarsgard is my favorite actor. Anyhow, I had the extreme pleasure of meeting him briefly while I was down there and have a chat with him after the event.

A few days later before I left town, I had the utmost pleasure of meeting his BFF for coffee at the Coffee Bean before I left Hollywood. He and I had been in contact over the prior few months regarding a movie he and Alexander had filmed in Sweden, a short documentary that was absolutely amazing. We tried to meet up a few times while I was down there that week but he was under the weather at first and wasn’t able to make it to Paley, so we opted for coffee the Monday before I left.

I met him near where he was casting for a movie he was interested in directing and we had such a great visit. When he pulled in my heart did a little skip-a-beat because he drives the exact same car as Alex. For a second I thought he might be with him, since the windows were so dark I couldn’t tell. I have to admit I was a bit relieved that he wasn’t! Even though it would have been an awesome adventure, I so wasn’t looking hot that morning. Anyways, BFF was handsome, kind, so open and chatty-honestly, it was seriously almost the best part of the trip. He bought me a super yummy pom-blueberry smoothie and himself a skinny latte. I teased him about the skinny part because it is such a Hollywood thing to order and really, he didn’t need to worry about his weight.

While we were waiting in line I realized we were standing next to Ashton Kutcher. Honestly, it didn’t even phase me in the slightest. I was having such a great time chatting with his bff that I couldn’t have given a rat’s hiney about Ashton. We were probably near him for about 15 minutes before we grabbed a table on the patio but I didn’t care.

I loved the atmosphere of the Coffee Bean, was surprised by all the celebrity sightings- at the time I didn’t realize it was a mecca for the young and famous-and truly just loved my conversation. BFF was brilliant, funny, inspiring and just an all around genuinely nice person. We joked about how different LA is from Sweden and I told him about myself, what I do for a living and the area I am from.

He also had some amazing tips on publishing, things that had never even crossed my mind prior to my conversation with him, so once I get my first book published, I am going to owe that to him. If he hadn’t lit a fire under me with his suggestions, I wouldn’t have come back home and started writing like I have been over the last several months.

I do regret not getting a picture of the two of us together, but I really didn’t want to seem like a fan girl, although it would really have been something nice to have for memories sake.

BFF on the left and Alex on the right

One thing that really struck me, and I noticed this with Alex, too, is how incredibly humble he was. I don’t know if it is a Swede thing or maybe just the circle of people they run in, but they are some of the kindest, most down to earth people I have ever met. They are both obviously on the rise in Hollywood, but I would be sincerely surprised if it ever went to their heads. As BFF laughingly said,”Alex puts his pants on one leg at a time…unless he jumps into them.”

We only stayed for about a forty-minutes, since he was on a break from casting and had to get back, but I really appreciated the time he took out from his busy schedule to come and sit down with me, have a nice chat and enjoy some seriously good Coffee Bean drinks.

Check out their site for awesome home delivery and they have some really good sales going on right now!

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The worlds largest, yummiest pancake and Merlotte’s!

Despite the lack of sleep I got last night (apparently my room is adjacent to party central), today has been an awesome day. I got up bright and early and headed out for breakfast at The Griddle.

Located near the Coffee Bean and the Directors Guild, the menu is to die for. Any type of pancake you can dream of, they have it. A dark, warm atmosphere greeted me when I walked in. I took a seat at the horseshoe shaped walnut breakfast bar and took in my surroundings. A few police officers when in the corner catching up over hearty looking steaming plates of food.

I couldn’t decide what to have, the “Red Velvet” panCake, topped with cream cheese frosting? “Eyes Wide Open” chocolate chip pancake with a shot of expresso? I decided on old faithful, buttermilk pancakes. I know…pretty vanilla. Frankly there was just way too much to choose from I took the easy choice. The waiter advised me to just have one pancake as they were huge. Imagine my surprise when my order was up and he placed it before me.

I was relieved I had listened to him! It barely fit on the plate. While eating, an important director looking type seated himself across the bar from me, ordered his usual and proceeded to work on his laptop while also reading the newspaper.

Once done I hit the road to Burbank for my tour of the WB Studios. First off, I loved that area of Burbank. I could easily see myself living there. I could have happily strolled around for hours, but I was on a schedule.

After checking in for the tour, I checked out the cute souvenir shop, which was filled with Harry Potter, Friends, Gilmore Gils, True Blood and much more trinkets.

When my tour was called, they took us into a little theater and we watched a presentation about the history of the studio. Lucky for me, I found out I was in a group of 11 year old girls from Massachusetts- a synchronized swimming team. Oh joy! Luckily there were 4 other adults who were not apart of this group, so we got put together, along with 3 of the squealing pre-teens.

Once the tour got started, I was very surprised to see the first stop was… Merlotte’s! Our tour guide advised they had just finished filming there a few weeks ago, so now the front was all cleaned up, but at the time of filming there were signs, bushes and other decorations.

Without the building being dressed up, it’s hard to imagine Sookie Stackhouse, Sam Merlottle and Arlene Fowler here.

Picture courtesy of http://trueblood.wikia.com/

Merlotte’s all “dressed up” in a screen shot from “True Blood”.


The surrounding area makes you feel like you are really in Bon Temps, Louisiana. Spanish moss hangs from the trees and it is hard to believe you on a lot.

The amount of work that goes into all of this is just amazing, this picture depicts the foliage above Merlotte’s.

Right behind Merlotte’s on the studio trailer is Sam’s trailer.

As we drove down the little road away from the trailer we came upon this little pond. I somehow knew it was important, so I decided to snap some pics. Little did I know that on the 14th, Alex and Joe were flaunting their nekkid bodies in front of Anna filming episode 4. Happy Valentine’s Day indeed!

Not the same angles as the scenes from TB, but you get the drift.
Of course there were no random nekkid people running around….
Nor did Alex rise from the water and declare that he was Aegir, God of the Sea. But that’s all right, it was fun just the same.

Part two of my tour is next. Slide show of TB photos below, including Fangtasia and Alcide’s apartment intermingled with screen caps from the show. :o)