L.A de da!

So we made it to Hollywood… We landed into LAX Airport just before midnight in a downpour. The next morning, we are starving, it’s still pouring down outside and when we look at google maps the closest eatery is a 30-minute walk away. So, we treat ourselves to French toast for breakfast, delivered to our door by Uber Eats (it’s the airbnb equivalent to room service). We decide to head out to the Natural History Museum as the rain doesn’t look like it wanted to give up anytime soon. We spent a few hours wandering around the museum – the sets for the animal exhibits are so realistic and the dinosaur skeletons are really impressive. Just when we think we’ve seen it all, we find a whole section for rocks and minerals…

After our museum afternoon, we head outside into the rain and walk to a supermarket located half-way between the museum and our airbnb. The supermarket itself was a real experience as pretty much everyone shopping there and working there were Spanish speaking. We do a large enough shop to cover all meals over our next four days.

On Thursday we head to Universal Studios. The rain had eased off, but the temperature was still a cool 16 degrees. It was an awesome experience at the theme park. We just wandered the whole time – not really knowing what we were doing. The first thing that happened in our aimless wander was we ended up going into this building which suddenly started to look a little eerie..  turns out this place is the Walking Dead exhibit and we have to walk through this zombie filled room for 5 minutes. Kadin got a real kick out of my reactions! We get out of there (quite quickly) and then find ourselves beside Hogwarts express. We spend a few hours milling around Diagon Alley. The best part was entering the Hogwarts Castle. We had to stow away our things in lockers and then we joined a crowd of people and begun walking through the corridors of Hogwarts. It was pretty cool, with the talking portraits and all things Harry Potter… but we’d keep seeing signs warning about some ride, so I remained pretty uneasy because I am not a fan of roller-coasters. Sure enough, we get to the end and I find myself getting pushed into a seat and locked into place. It was a 4D rollercoaster – so it didn’t move quite as fast and there were no big loop-de-loops, instead the curvy screens all around you made it feel like you were really in the movie and flying on a broomstick with Harry. It was epic!!! Later, we find ourselves in Springfield meeting some of the characters from the Simpsons. We finish our day with the studio tour. It was pretty cool seeing some of the settings for well-known movies and shows…

On Friday, we head out to Santa Monica Pier. It’s super busy with many interesting characters performing or trying to sell you something. We watch a couple win a giant stuffed flamingo on one of the games – the competitive Gemma comes out… so we have a round of Ring Toss. Luckily, I don’t actually win because there’s no way the giant stuffed toy would have fit in my backpack! We walk along the beach to Venice Beach. Again, people watching is one of the best things about this place. It’s super packed with people until you go back a street and then it’s very quiet. We stumble across the canals which are bordered by beautiful homes.

On Friday night we go out to our first NBA game – LA Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (we’re backing the Thunder, or more importantly Stephen Adams the kiwi). Our tickets are pretty awesome, we get to sit right up the top of the stadium… It was a real surprise when we finally reached our seats, I go to sit down and there’s a sign that reads “You’re a winner…” We have a bit of time before the game starts so we go to find our ‘prize,’ the lady seems a bit disappointed when she realises we’re not local and gives us a pair of clippers glasses (I think we were suppose to sign up for an annual membership). The game was pretty awesome. Although the four 12-minute quarters takes about 2.5 hours due to all the time-outs. But the entertainment in between was a lot of fun. Only thing that would have made it better would be the Thunder executing more of their shots, but the home crowd left happy…

At the end of our streetOn Saturday, we enjoy a lazy day at home. Watching a bit of Netflix and catching up with our travel planning. In the afternoon, we go for a walk around our neighbourhood. The houses all quite different (some streets more posh than others) and so many churches in such a small area. It’s also very cool to look up and see that big Hollywood sign in the background.

 

We pack up and get ready for our next destination… Costa Rica, here we come…

Have fun at work!

Gemma

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