The City of Angels
Los Angeles Travel Blog› entry 12 of 12 › view all entries
We got back on the road and set off for LA. Emotion was running a little bit high now as we knew this was the last stop and a flight home was creeping up fast.
We absolutely knacked after all the driving over the last few days and so we decided on having a day on the beach. Where better than Santa Monica? It's gorgeous. This was more like a typical holiday resort with more focus on eating and drinking out, and time out on the beach; that suited us fine. A lazy day, some nice food and a few drinks later, we decided we liked L.A.
The next day we had booked a trip out to Disneyland to explore some childhood dreams.
Disneyland was our last day in Santa Monica, so we packed up and set off in the morning for Downtown L.A. It's not quite as nice there as Santa Monica, but it was where we needed to be for the last couple of days. After we booked in with the hostel, we came down to the reception to find what options we had for the next day and really got lucky. We really wanted a tour of L.A. and so we checked out what was on offer when we noticed an evening tour of L.A. by bus was setting off in just over an hours time. We got booked on that and took the tour. This left the next day completely free so we booked a trip to Universal Studios as well. That was a very nice and unexpected bonus.
The tour took us all over, but the stop offs were pretty brief. We had about 20 minutes at the harbour, 45 minutes at Venice beach (which was surreal but fun - everyone is doing there thing, be it skating, playing basketball, surfing, or even breakdancing! It's pretty cool, but very different from Santa Monica), 20 minutes at Beverley Hills, and then onto the Sunset Strip and Hollywood Boulevard. We got to see Johny Depp's house, the Viper Room, the Walk of Fame, and of course Mann's Theatre with all the hand and foot prints. I was definitely grateful to get all this in, but did feel like the day deserved a bit more time to take it all in. The biggest disappointment was a failure to spot anyone of celebrity status - I'll get over it though.
Universal Studios was our last day. I was really excited to go here and see the attractions, and I was not disappointed. The rides are amazing and we tried to fit in all of them. Our first stop was a newer ride called "The House of Horrors". This is a walk through a house where you get jumped on by actors dressed as warewolves, Frankenstein etc. It's really good fun and the squeals were genuine! Jurrasic Park left us drenched (get a poncho!); The Mummy is fast; the tour bus is cool (they show a set from Jaws, the Bate's Motel, Wisteria Lane, Too Fast too Furious, and lots of others. It was great fun. It's similar to Disneyland in its attention to detail, and even the queing for a ride forms part of the story. The 3D effects in the rides are something new to me. These can be seen brilliantly in rides such as 'Terminator 2', 'Back to the Future' and Shrek. I really hope to see more rides like these in the UK. It was a lovely day and very nice way to finish our trip across America. All that's left now is to plan the next tour...