Days 71-74 – 6 July – Four days in LA

July 25, 2010 6pm in 2010 trip,Los Angeles,Travel | Comments (0)

Ok, sorry this one took a long time to put up! But there was a lot of stuff to do when I got back from my trip.

The photos here aren’t all the photos I took – I took so many! But you can see heaps more photos here on facebook.

Sat 3 Jul
Woke up early in the morning and drove to get my washing, although the woman didn’t have it, she said something about the boss taking it to another laundry place to wash and she’d have it here by 7pm. Quite why the boss needed to take my washing elsewhere when there must have been at least 50 washers where we were was a bit confusing. Hopefully I see all my washing again.

We decided to walk past every single star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We didn’t quite know how long it would take so we set out at about 3pm. I knew Michael Jackson had a star, of course, and his wasn’t hard to pick – it was the one with heaps of people all trying to take a photo.

And also, I knew Judge Judy had a star too. She didn’t have anyone around her, but I was not leaving until I got a photo by her star!!

While we were walking we took a brochure for a tour of Hollywood by this open-top 15 seater van. The lady trying to get us to sign up offered it to us for $25 each down from $40, but we said “we’ll think about it” and walked away, knowing very well that we would do it either tomorrow or the day after because it was something we wanted to do.

We also drove to the Griffith Observatory for a view out of LA, but all we saw was how polluted LA actually is, and we couldn’t see much!

Sun 4 Jul

Today was Independence Day, it seems to be one of the more important of the American days off. We didn’t have a lot of plans today, we did a few things that didn’t require a lot of effort.

First, I looked up “Top 12 things to do for free in Los Angeles”. The first few things in the list we’d already done: The Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre with the celebrity handprints, the Hollywood Sign and The Griffith Observatory. Another thing on the list was Venice Beach which we’d already planned to do today, but something else on the list was a Mexican Market in central LA, so we thought “why not”. It sold lots of touristy type things like t-shirts and stuff like that, one thing Hannah and I both would have liked to buy was a ukelele that they write your name on.

For lunch we had mexican food in the place in the market that was the best combination of “cheap” and “not likely to give us food poisoning”. I was a bit scared of mexican food from when I went to a mexican restaurant in LA in 2006 and didn’t like anything they gave me, but I thought since I’d been to Costa Rica and had lots of rice and beans there that I would be okay. As I remembered, they served me with three different kinds of mushy beans with cheese, two of which were okay, the other had this really strong sauce of some kind on it. But I had a side of rice so that helped me eat it all.

Another thing we did was drive through the centre of LA, and it was quite deserted. As I knew from last time, there were some tall buildings. Here’s the tallest:

We went to Venice Beach on the west coast of LA and lay in the sun for a bit. As usual, I got quite red, but not so red that it hurt a lot. Hopefully it doesn’t peel. We overheard some people say there were fireworks in the evening on the beach, but because we were parked in a 2 hour parking spot and because these fireworks were still four hours away, we went for a random drive around and back to the hotel, and then drove back again.

Little did we know that the whole of LA seemed to be there, so parking was a nightmare – we had to park a 20 minute walk away from the beach. Then, we learned (by following everyone else) that the fireworks were actually 40 minutes down the beach from where we parked. So, when the fireworks were over, we had an hour’s walk back to our car. But they were worth seeing. The man in front of us kept yelling “America! Heh heh heh, heh heh heh” in a Beavis and Butthead voice, and then at one point he dropped his beer. It was worth going all the way there just for that.

Mon 5 Jul

Today I’d originally planned to take us to Disneyland, but then I realised that it was Independence Day holiday because July 4 fell on a Sunday. So we left Disneyland for tomorrow and did the tour by open top van that we heard about on Saturday. This time they offered it to us for $20 each, which was even better!

We saw a few famous sites. Here’s Ringo Starr’s house, and the house Michael Jackson was in when he died:

Ringo Starr's front gate House that MJ died in

Here’s Julia Roberts’ house, and the view she has:

Here’s one of the most expensive areas that I’ve ever seen anywhere – Bel-Air in Los Angeles. Every house was just so massive and as the tour driver said, you could just smell the money. And here’s the house from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

After the tour, we drove down to Anaheim which was about 45 minutes away from Hollywood, and checked into the Good Nite Inn in Buena Park, which was pretty good for the price.

Tue 6 Jul

Disneyland today!

At Disneyland, I personally was disappointed by the lack of thrill rides. Disneyland is divided into two parts, the traditional Disneyland that opened in the 50′s, and Disney’s California Adventure which opened in 2001. The latter was supposed to have more rides than Disneyland itself, so we went there first. There were some rides that were not bad, like the Tower of Terror which was an elevator that went speeding up and down through a haunted house, and “California Screamin’”, a roller coaster which offered some thrills.

We went on Mickey Mouse’s Ferris Wheel, which was kind of fun because the carriages swung back and forth, but then something happened and we were stuck on it for 10 minutes, and when we did get back down, they disabled the ride and sent everyone from the queue packing. They apologised for the delay but didn’t say what happened.

Although we arrived at 10am, and before we knew it it was 4.30pm, and we wanted to see Disneyland itself before dark. So we went across the path to Disneyland, and took the train that runs around the perimeter of the park. It looked like a fun place, clearly aimed at children, until at one of the train stops this child got on which was screaming so hard that after 5 minutes next to it on the train my eardrum was actually in pain, so we got off at the next stop to escape the noise.

In Disneyland we queued 70 minutes for the Space Mountain ride, which was a reasonably tame roller coaster but because it was in the dark it was a bit of fun. Everywhere you went had stroller parking, which was always full. In fact, by the time 7pm came around, the queues seemed longer than ever and the number of people in the park (considering it was a weekday) was astonishing. So we had a quick look around Disneyland and then went back to the car.

When we originally parked in the morning, they told us to write down where we parked. I thought “pfft, I don’t need to write down where I parked my car, I can remember just fine”. Thank god I did actually write down where I parked, because I would have never found the car again otherwise. It would have been lost in the unlimited time and space that is the Disneyland car park system – which cost $14 to park in, just for the record!

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