Friday, November 21, 2014

Adventures in La La land

I confess, I’d just about given up on me finishing this so if anyone is still interested here’s the last few days condensed.

Day 14 – Downtown LA and Burbank

A spot of sightseeing to see fill the morning taking in:

The Colliseum – main venue for the ’84 Olympics and also right next door to and aerospace museum that happened to have a 2-seater Lockheed Blackbird on a stick outside, so naturally I forced myself to jog over and take a look at that too. 

“Historic” Olvera Street – Hispanic market and site of (perhaps) the original settlement in town.  Joan was happy to find a church and have time to light a candle, and she also got a lovely bracelet at the market.

La Brea Tar Pits – I have heard of these as sources of prehistoric animal remains, but never expected them to be in the heart of LA!

Farmers Market – Great place for lunch!

Then the afternoon took us to Warner Brothers for a studio tour.  That was a real hit and miss affair for us.  The insights into film and tv making were limited but interesting, and some of the standing sets were good to see and recognise, but the parts concentrating on current US tv shows were somewhat irrelevant as we had never seen any of those featured.  There was also a display of Harry Potter props and costumes, which was a nice little reminder of our trip to the UK studio earlier in the year, and also a load of Batman stuff for the 75th anniversary.  That was definitely my favourite.

Day 15 – Disneyland

As the hotel was only a stone’s throw from the house of mouse, and we had a free day, it just had to be done.  And I really enjoyed it.  I do like a thrill ride so managed a couple of those (Space Mountain, Indiana Jones) along with some more sedate experiences (It’s A Small World, Pirates Of The Caribbean, the Monorail) and those somewhere in between (Star Tours and a few others) as well as lots of wandering about and enjoying the place.  Plus the parade which was much more entertaining than I was expecting.  It was a little expensive but we didn’t see/ride half of it and I would definitely go again should we ever be in the area.

Day 16- Hollywood and home

And so our last day in America dawned.  A trip up to Hollywood to see some more famous bits (Chinese Theatre, that sign (from a distance), the Hollywood Bowl) and a drive to the airport via Beverley Hills and that was that.  OK, there were still a few diversions along the way – two of our group got pulled off to one side after testing positive for explosives on the hand swab at check-in (One had been handling her mother’s lighter, the other had perhaps picked something up off a cd thrust at him in Hollywood) and then I set the machine off too, but so did the people before me and we all retested negative on a second one so I didn’t have to get grilled and they presumably had to get the machine fixed.  I guess I managed to sleep through the night and woke up in time to see a bit of London from the plane before we touched down on what was technically Day 17.  Problem-free arrival back into the UK and then an untroubled drive home via Halstead to drop some of the group off.

Holiday score 10/10.