A Little LA Madness

LA is one of those places that I have never quite gotten. I know that lots of people rave about it, but I’ve always struggled to find the appeal. That’s not to say that I don’t like LA – I do, but I find it hard to say why.

Maybe we are staying in the wrong places or maybe we are just missing the coolest places to go (this is very likely) but I’ve never managed to pick up the groove of the place.

In my head, LA is all rockstars and Whisky-A-Go-Go whereas in real life, it’s felt more like celebrity home tours and closed down clubs. Again – we might just be staying in the wrong places!!

That being said, LA has given us some stories. The funnest of which was the time we met a spaceman outside of one of the cafes. We were sitting eating breakfast outside a cafe, nursing pretty dire hangovers from the night before spent in the Viper Lounge, watching a band place something that was a brilliant cross between hip-hop and reggae.

Out of nowhere, a dude joins our table, telling us about the epic adventures of spaceman. Not ‘a spaceman’ but ‘the spaceman’. I don’t remember the details but the story included a self-made movie, a car and a guy in a space suit. Only in LA right?

We have only ever spent a day or so in LA each time we have been (often just passing through to other places) and each time, we have done a little more of the tourist thing.

The Chinese Theatre and the Walk Of Fame are two of the most iconic tourist locations in LA and it’s always fun to wander up the pavements looking out for your favourite celebrity’s stars.

LA has some beautiful stretches of beaches and we made sure we had time to take a stroll down the pier.

One of the main attractions for us was a visit to Universal Studios. You can read about our visit here.

We also took a celebrity homes tour – a full day spent in a small minivan with around 6 other people. In hind-sight, I wouldn’t recommend this; most of the sites you see are tall gates and walls rather than the houses and really, if I was a celebrity, I’m sure I’d be highly unexpressed that a van full of people had turned up to gawk at my house for the third time that morning. The up side of the celebrity homes tour was that our guide told us he was the dad of the dude from Wheezer. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the case (unless anyone can tell us different) but it made for an interesting discussion!

What are we missing in LA – where should we be visiting? How do we make the most out of our next visit?

Transformers, Simpsons and a DeLorean: A Visit to Universal Studios LA

I’m a theme park girl – the adrenaline and excitement make for a brilliant day out. Wandering Beeb is less of a theme park guy and so a trip to Universal Studios was more my idea than his. We really didn’t need to worry though as the day had lots for both of us.

The core of a visit to Universal is the tour – a ride around some of the sets and backlots from movies and TV. Seeing the clock tower from Back to the Future, Bates Motel and the plane crash wreckage was brilliant and by the time we left the tour guide, I was itching to see more.

Whilst the rides in the park are just what you would expect (Despicable Me gets an honourable mention for the use of banana fart guns!), it was the setting and the film memorabilia that grabbed my attention.

In particular, the detail-perfect Optimus Prime and the DeLorean held my attention for way longer than was strictly necessary. Reading about the use of the DeLorean and the development of the designs was extremely cool – I pretty much had to be dragged away to look at other things.

One of the highlights of the day was taking some time to wander around Springfield: home of the Simpsons. The most famous elements of the town are all faithfully recreated and there is something special about having a Krusty Burger for lunch, washed down with a Flaming Moe!

England’s theme parks pale in comparison to the ones in the USA but we weren’t quite prepared for the scale of the place. With a whole shopping mall and entertainment centre before you even enter the park, a full day is certainly needed to get the most out of any visit.