Los Angeles And Hollywood
Trip Start Nov 01, 2004
133Trip End Nov 01, 2005
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We found out today that Jane in Paris got her Galapagos letter on the 26th - first one back we think. So that makes a total of 13 days from posting in the Galapagos to getting hand delivered in Paris! We had a nice motel breakfast and headed up to Universal Studios for the day. A 4D Shrek film (think wet spray and moving seats), a Jurassic Park splash ride (very vertical final drop), Revenge Of The Mummy fast ride going both backwards and forwards (Stewart's not doing that again), Backdraft special effects show (very close to gas fire effects), a superb special effects presentation (sound, monsters & size effects), a Terminator 4D show, English mock up streets, Animal Planet Live (trained animals), Waterworld Show (jet-skis, water guns, fire, planes crashing etc - very good), a studio tour (Jaws, earthquake, War Of The Worlds Film Site - the plane crash), Van Helsing Walk Through tour (people in costumes trying to scare the living daylights out of you - we had a completely freaked middle aged woman in front of us who was just hysterical to watch), a Back To The Future video ride, lots of film props dotted around and the highlight for us - a mechanical talking Donkey from Shrek who was being worked by a wise cracking person
Day 304 Tuesday 30/08/05 Los Angeles
We took a bus tour to get the most of the sights in LA. Picked up at 8.45 we went to their head office, paid up and were then herded onto buses. We headed out along Sunset Boulevard having famous hotels & restaurants pointed out to us (Viper Club where River Phoenix died, Mr Mijagis restaurants owned by the actor who played the character in the Karate Kid). We then toured the tree lined suburbs of Beverley Hills & Bel Air having houses pointed out to us that have been in films ("Father of the Bride" & "Halloween" in Orange Grove) or have or had famous owners (Ronald Reagan, the Osbornes, Simon Cowell, Tom Cruise, Dr Phil, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Johnny Weismuller, Dean Martin, Nicholas Cage, Tom Jones, Robbie Williams (very twee house), Hitchcock, Spencer Tracey, Lucille Ball, etc, etc
Day 305 Wednesday 31/08/05 Los Angeles
We drove out through horrible traffic to the Getty Museum, where Gillian's friend Jane did an internship a few years ago. We parked up and took the shuttle train to the top of the hill and the museum. We decided to take the excellent highlights tour which eventually led us through to the 2 famous Monets and the famous Van Gogh Irises. The museum has loads of great Roman artefacts, a superb photographic exhibition (including some Hebridean photos!), lots of religious paintings, a temporary display on illustrated manuscripts...but our highlight was the wonderful garden. We took a garden tour where a volunteer (who was here when they were building the place) took us round the fantastic gardens and tried his best to explain/lead us through the designer's thoughts. The man who designed it was a sculptor not a landscaper! We walked down to the car park and headed off to Santa Monica. We walked along the famous pier and then headed off down along the beach front to Venice Beach. We saw muscle men working out, loads of joggers and when we got to Venice it got more interesting - loads of hippy style crystal & charm stalls, some musicians and one drunk singing with a stringless guitar! We ate in the sidewalk café which started life as a little bookshop (still there now!) and just kept growing. We drove back through Sunset Boulevard & Hollywood and passed the Kodak Theatre where some huge music awards were on and the crowds were cheering little girls. We went for a swim before crashing again.