10 hours of walking around Disneyland yesterday had not been without its consequences with my entire lower body rebelling against me, not wanting to be moved from the warm comfort of the bed I was lying in. It didn’t matter though as I really wasn’t planning on doing too much today, I mean I had been doing enough over the past month with only a couple days spent kicking back so I was willing to let my body win this round. Still just going through the morning ritual got us thinking about doing at least something today, even if it was a more subdued encounter.
We’d driven past the Hollywood sign on our way to Universal Studios so we thought we might as well go ahead and check out Hollywood Boulevard while we’re here. Shocked at the fact that it’s actually a street we just dialled it in to the GPS and drove over there. We followed it for a little while and whilst it wasn’t like the other neighbourhoods we’ve been lost in it was distinctly not what I had remembered from all the videos and pictures I had seen on the place. Pulling over we found that whilst we were in fact on the right road we were travelling in completely the wrong direction. Spinning ourselves around we got into an area that started to look more familiar and we found a place to park just near to the main street and we got out to have a look around.
We walked up and down the Walk of Fame noting all the celebrities along the way. We then came face to face with the hard sellers for the first time since landing in LA and boy were there a lot of them. Thankfully most of them were grouped around Grauman’s Chinese Theatre so once we were out of that area most of them left us alone, except for one intrepid fellow who was “just providing information”. It was around lunch time so we found ourselves a nice little burger joint called 25 Degrees that also had a great beer menu. I ordered up a smoked porter and one of their burgers with a side of sweet potato fries. It’s definitely one of the better burgers I’ve had whilst over here, although it’s still hard to beat a Brod Burger.
Afterwards we decided to try and head up to the Hollywood sign for some pictures. The GPS had a route up there and it quickly took us into the hilly heights surrounding Hollywood but it became quickly obvious that these roads weren’t really friendly to high traffic, or any for that matter. Most of them were extremely narrow and half of that space was usually taken up by parked cars on either side. It was so bad I couldn’t tell if some roads were actually one way or just too narrow. We spent a good 15 minutes winding our way up only to have the GPS keep sending us in circles so we decided that it wasn’t worth it, especially considering that there’s a good hour or so walk up to the sign afterwards (I’ve seen a couple videos of people doing it).
Defeated we made our way back to the hotel and spent the next couple hours lying on the bed watching bad TV. I got restless and went down to the gym for a workout before coming back down and flopping on the bed, the hours flying by before we realised it was almost 8pm and we hadn’t had any dinner. I convinced Rebecca to go and find me something to eat whilst I wallowed around on the bed and she returned with some tasty sandwiches not too long later.
Tomorrow we’ll be making the drive down to San Diego for Legoland and possibly hitting up some of the attractions we bought into with the CityPass. It’s a bit of a drive so this day of rest will be well used to get us up nice and early so we can make the most of being down there. We’ll probably spend our last few days here being a little more active than we were today, but we definitely needed this break before doing so.
There was only a dim glow peeking through the curtains but it was lacking that distinct orange tint to it that I’d grown to expect. Throwing them back revealed a threatening looking sky with the overcast clouds merging into the smog in an eerily smooth gradient. It seems that the cross country flight had done some magic on our body clocks and we were up early again giving us some time to plan for the day ahead. We’d planned to go to Universal Studios today and decided to stick with that plan even with the foreboding weather. I also made a quick check to make sure that the server had come good after Danne kicked it over for me, thankful that it came around. I uploaded the 3 posts I had sitting in my queue before heading off, taking our laundry with us so we could get it done on the way home.
Dialling in the address into the GPS we drove the 10 miles to North Hollywood arriving into a strangely quiet strip of shops. We started walking around looking for somewhere to have breakfast and found a decent cafe about halfway down. The weather had was holding up and without my Internet connection on my phone working (again!) we decided to just go ahead and go into the park, figuring that it would could still visit most of the park even if it was pouring with rain.
There were a few people at the entrance to Universal Studios but it still felt almost deserted. It is the off season but that didn’t seem to have a damper on the numbers when we were at Dinseyland so we figured we had just gotten lucky. We made our way through one of the exhibits in the top lot before taking the multiple escalators to the bottom lot which was even more deserted than the top. That worked in our favour though with virtually no line for all the rides down there, letting us zip through the entire section in about half an hour. The rides were pretty good with their scale being extremely impressive. I can’t remember the last time I rode a rollercoaster that was entirely indoors (I think it might’ve been space mountain in Disneyworld in Tokyo where I hit my hand on a low flying pole).
After that we headed back up to the top lot to see some of the other shows they had going on. There were no less than 3 3D movies with all sorts of various augmentations. The most extravagant one was the Terminator with oodles of pyrotechnics and a cast of 3 people jumping in and out of various places all over the place. There were also a couple live shows that we saw the best of which was the Waterworld one. Now I’ll be honest here I was only going to go to it initially because there was a fated summer holiday where my brother and I watched that movie nearly every day. However the show itself was quite amazing with a smattering of watercraft, acrobatics and explosions all over the place. After we got out our last show at around 4:30pm everything was winding down so we headed out to find ourselves some early dinner before heading out to see a movie.
We found this amazing little Japanese place just up from where we had had lunch earlier. I ordered the tonkatsu with a Japanese beer I had never seen before: Echigo. We had just less than an hour so I was glad when our meal was served quickly and even happier still when it was quite good, especially for the price. Satisfied with our meal we went to see our movie for the night, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 1. 2 and a half hours later we emerged from the movie, both happy with the experience. I’d recommend the movie to anyone who’s enjoyed the previous releases in this particular series, I won’t comment on those who’ve read the books however (I haven’t).
Afterwards I found us a coin operated laundry not too far from we were so we headed over there to get ourselves some clean clothes to wear. After loading up the machine we sat down to watch what they had on the TVs around the place, mostly bad reality TV shows and overdone mexican dramas. About an hour later we were done and out of there, driving back through the rain that had finally started to come down. We got back to the hotel safely and flopped down on our bed, weary from the long day we had had. I’m not sure what we’ll be doing tomorrow but it will either be a visit to Legoland or back to Disneyland but really I could easily spend a day off my feet to let them rest. I don’t think I’ve walked less than 8KMs per day over the past 2 weeks.