A 48hour stay in L.A. It’s time to play. Day 7 & 8
So, all comedic rhyming aside. Jess and I are in Los Angeles and preparing for a massive day of sightseeing. We’re only here for a few days. So get ready for our maniacal montage that can only be know as… LA DOOMSDAY!!
It’s half past nine, the alarm bells are buzzing. Jess is up and chirping away while she does her hair. I spent the majority of my night watching the discovery channel. It’s shark week. So I am in a far less chipper state, but I throw myself into some clothes and get ready for photos, fashion, celebrities and of course. Food.
We jump in a cab and get dropped right outside the Chinese theatre, a stellar spot on the Hollywood walk of fame. We snag ourselves some tickets on a hop on hop off bus and head for Beverly Hills. Rodeo drive is beckoning Jess and I can feel the credit card burning already.
Beverly Hills is exactly like a scene from a movie. I mean there are mansions just everywhere! The place screams rich and famous. Speaking of scream, my stomach is making quite a racket. Pho to the rescue. And the restaurants name 9021Pho of course. If you don’t know what pho is, it is a delicious Vietnamese dish which consists of hot broth poured over noodles, and thinly sliced meat or chicken. You also get a cool little bowl of bean sprouts, Vietnamese mint and jalapeños to season it to your own taste. After 6 days of serious American grease this was exactly what I needed. Fresh and fantastic.
We stroll on rodeo drive staring at the things we cannot possibly afford and hoping to spot an elusive celebrity in dark glasses. This place is well worth a visit, just to feel a touch of the Hollywood glitter. There’s Versace, Prada, Gucci and a whole lot of expensive sounding European words. It’s all pricey so if you stop here make sure you cash up!
After rodeo drive we jump back on the bus and take a trip down to Santa Monica. This is the home of Venice boardwalk, and also the home of some serious gym junkies. It’s not the best weather out but we’re up for a stroll between the multi coloured cyclists and people on rollerskates. If you’re in LA I definitely recommend spending some time on the Santa Monica pier. There’s a massive Ferris wheel that let’s you look out over the beach, a roller coaster and heaps of restaurants offering fresh seafood and loads of American hotdogs. We walk all over the beach before heading back to our bus. It’s starting to get a little late in the day and my stomach is grumbling.
Pinks’ to the rescue!! The home of some serious hotdogs. Now when I say serious hotdogs, you know I’m serious, the line for this place was around about an hour long. There are 4 cooks slaving away over a grill, toasting buns and dropping dogs. Whether you have the nacho cheese chilli dog, the double polish Elizabeth Taylor dog or like me the Philly cheese steak dog; topped with roasted peppers, caramelised onions and 4 slices of American cheese. If that’s not enough you can grab sides. Jess and I grabbed chilli nacho cheese fries, some nachos with jalapeños and a HUGE side of onion rings. This is fatty deliciousness in all its glory. Back to the hotel. Chow time!
With every bite these dogs get better and better. Make it your stop when you’re in LA. I’m only sorry that I didn’t grab two so I could eat another one in the morning. Anyways I will commiserate in my dreams because Jess and I have walked a mile today and we are both exhausted.
Bring on tomorrow.
I feel that Jess is the Universal Studios expert so i’ll let her take over from here.
It’s a ridiculously warm Los Angeles day and Josh and I are heading for Universal Studios. It’s our last day here so we are going to try and cram in as much stuff as possible. We decide to ditch the bus after yesterdays big journey and voyage out into the traffic on our own. I think Josh is finally getting the hang of this U.S driving. After about 10 mins we arrive, I see the sign to Universal and I just cannot contain my excitement.
For those of you that know us, you will know that rides and theme parks are my thing, put me on the scariest ride and I’ll just love it. For Josh however, it’s quite the opposite, for some reason rides just aren’t as appealing. Well that’s all about to change!
I figured we may as well just get straight into it, House of Horrors here we come! A house that you must walk through whilst trying to dodge mummies, zombies, chuckie, werewolves and everything else you can imagine. The walls and ceilings all laid with props from old school Hollywood horror films and people in costumes just waiting to scare you from around a corner. And they were successful, a mummy got Josh and chuckie still freaked me out when jumping out from a curtain and blowing air in my face. The entire time we were imagining people we knew that would just love it, and those that would just be horrified. Screaming from some girls behind us made it hilarious but also the whimpers of a young girl told us that this wasn’t for everybody.
Waterworld! The best movie ever created you say? Or the worst? Everybody remembers Kevin Costner’s search for dry land in this flop of a movie but what is the show going to be like. We enter and Josh decides to sit in the green seats marked ‘soak zone’. I agree thinking how wet can we actually get, a bit of spray? Before the show three actors are standing on the edge of the stage and we are entertained as our host squirts people with water as they walk by, with the person looking around to see where it came from of course. He then warns us that if we stay sitting here that all of the water in the stage is coming up right at us, yeah right. We then start a cheer war with the other stalls, and if you lose, a bucket of water comes your way before the host signals out one person who cops a water pistol to the face. Now to the show. Its awesome. There’s skiing, jet skis, shooting, explosions, fireworks, jumping, drowning and a freaking sea plane that flys through the wall and explodes right in front of us. Oh and did I mention that we got SOAKED! Soaked from the plane, the jet skis and of course, the shooting. Waterworld is fantastic and a must see at Universal.
Shrek 4D is next, a 3D experience turned up a notch. This is an extension of the final Shrek movie where you walk through the dungeon of Lord Farquad’s castle and into a theatre where the story continues. I won’t ruin the story but be prepared for the extra D.. chairs move along with the show, spiders crawl and water squirts you right in the face, I’m seeing a theme here. The Simpsons ride is another 3D experience. A virtual roller coaster where your strapped in as sideshow Bob takes over Krustyland and you work with the Simpsons to save the day. This ride is so realistic that you actually leave your stomach behind in the final drop of the coaster. One of our faves because it also keeps you entertained through the line up watching Krustyland Simpsons episodes.
What more could you ask for than to visit the set of some of the greatest movies ever created. The studio tour is an hour long tram ride through the actual working studies of Universal. We drive through the sound studios where they were currently filming The Voice, and also drive past CSI sets waving to the extras as we pass. The New York City facades come up next and a casual drive through ‘central park’ lands us at the King Kong 3D ride. Directed by Peter Jackson, King Kong fights off dinosaurs before we see the end of our tram being ripped off and pulled into the screen. We also experience a scene from earthquake, drive through flash flooding in the Wild West, get attacked by dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, almost get stabbed by Norman Bates at the Bates Hotel, drive through the crash at War of the Worlds and saw the great white from Jaws. Josh was even lucky enough to visit Bikini Bottom just outside the studio.
The massive escalator down to the bottom lot leads us to the thrill rides. Here comes Jurassic Park and The Mummy. The Mummy is the roller coaster at Universal. Starting by blasting into the distance at 45 miles per hour, it twists and turns through a mummy maze , going both forward and then backwards before it plummets down the final hurdle. My favourite ride here. There is nothing better than a fast coaster, hands up in the air with screams of excitement, or terror in Josh’s case. Jurassic Park is a water ride. You sit in a raft floating along the river as it winds through the park, telling you the story of Jurassic Park. Suddenly up ahead the rafts before us disappear into darkness. Is this our fate too? It sure is. We face a T- Rex smashing through the roof of the mountain, feeling just inches away from our faces, close enough to feel its breath. Before we even have time to comprehend, the raft falls.our stomachs are left at the top as we fall 40 ft down a waterfall into the river below. Yep, we are once again drenched but the thrill pushes this far from our minds.
This brings us to the end of Universal Studios. We do a little bit of shopping and then head back to the E.T carpark for the drive home, with just a few stops along the way. Universal is definitely a must see in LA. Our tip, pack some lunch, spend a whole day here, don’t try to do it quick because the line ups alone take half of your time away and sunscreen up, no burns this time.
A trip to LA would not be complete without visiting our next stop. The Hollywood sign, where the letters sit high in the Hollywood Hills overlooking the city below. Something that I thought could be seen all over LA as that’s what it seems in the movies you watch, however we had to track it down. Luckily our GPS knew the way to the perfect viewing location and after a few quick snaps, we were back on the road again. Hollywood Boulevard and the walk of fame. I was determined to find a star of someone famous that I knew and loved. Although I was unlucky in this quest, the streets were becoming a bit rough for us, I still walked the walk of fame and you can’t argue with that.
After a long day our tummies were rumbling, Josh is a huge Man v Food fanatic so what better way to end LA than a classic and original French dipped sandwich. What is that you ask? You choose your meat; beef, lamb, turkey, ham or pork that’s then loaded up on a long roll where both sides have been dipped in a delicious pot of meat juice. Think of all the liquid that sits in the bottom of the tray when roasting at home, roast off five types of meat and then mix all that juice together. Watch it as it’s soaked up through the bread, topped with meat and cheese and pressed together. Delicious. That’s what you get at Philippe’s the original and its so good we went back for seconds.
Josh is now making me watch Call of the Wildman where Turtleman is catching a coyote. I know right, seriously good Tv! It’s getting a few laughs out of me so here is where I leave you for today.
LA is fast paced, the traffic is huge and the city is always busy but it was just as amazing as I thought it would be.
Jess and Josh