Saturday, July 11, 2015

Glitter and Glamor That is LA (Fun and Exciting LA Blog Series 12)

Glitter and Glamor That is LA 
(Fun and Exciting LA Blog Series 12) 

Los Angeles was an exciting conclusion to our
three- week US vacation that started in Anaheim,

…then almost a week in Las Vegas,

…and a final week in LA.

We arrived late in the afternoon after a five hour
Greyhound Bus trip from Las Vegas which we
purchased in the net for only $9 for four persons.

We took a taxi to Hilton Hotel Universal City which
would become our home for the next seven days in LA.

This is the second time that we have stayed in this hotel
the first one was on the spring of 2011,where we stayed
in their Alcove Room that had panoramic window and
provided us with a spectacular view of Hollywood Hills.

This time we stayed in one of their Standard Rooms
as they were fully booked for the medical convention
but surprisingly is was just as spacious and comfortable.

The hotel had five star facilities and amenities,

…an serves a massive breakfast buffet,

…and provides a free shuttle to the Universal
Studios Hollywood located just a block away,

…but priced just right that I have included this hotel in the
shortlist of BestValue for Money Hotels in my past blog.

Day 1

After settling at the hotel we took the free shuttle to the
Universal City Walk and headed to Bubba Gump,

… for a much needed dinner as we hadn’t had any
decent meal during our long bus trip from Las Vegas,
and the heavy seafood dinner did not disappoint.

We explored the Universal City Walk after dinner,

…shopped for Saltwater Taffy Candies at Sparkys,

… walked our way to the Universal Studios Hollywood,

…it was already lat at night and we
had the park entrance all for ourselves.

We took photos to our hearts delight,

…without having to worry of a potential
photo bomber as were the people there.

We took the shuttle back to the hotel
and everyone slept soundly that night.

Day 2

It was the first day of the convention and I attended
all the morning sessions, while my family had a late
brunch at the Café Sierra’s massive breakfast buffet.

Noon time thereafter is family time once again and the
hotel’s in house limousine took us to Los Angeles Zoo.

The driver suggested that we should go to San Diego Zoo
instead, but we insisted that we have been there several times
and we have never been to LA Zoo and we wanted to see it.

There were very few people queuing at the entrance,

…had fancy shots with the zoo photographers,

 …and we were in whole day fun in the zoo.

LA Zoo is not as massive as the more popular
San Diego Zoo nearby but also had an extensive
collections of animals from all over the world.

The animals are zoned by continents where that came from,

…they have a kid- friendly zoo section
where more benign animals are displayed,

…and offers animal petting sessions.

The zoo also had a beautiful playground,

…and several restaurants that serves
delicious, classic all- American favorites.

The hotel taxi picked us up late in the
afternoon and took us back to the hotel
where decided to rest and relax for a while,

…then we took the shuttle to the Universal Citywalk,


… had a light snack at Wetzel Pretzels,

…shopped for souvenirs,

…and finally dined at the foodcourt,

…feasting on delectable Chinese
food at a Panda Express outlet.

We returned to the hotel and finally retired
to bed, after a satisfying second day in LA.

Day 3

It was the second day of my convention and just
like the day before, I attended the morning sessions,
my family took a brunch at the hotel’s breakfast buffet,

…and we were off for a half day LA City
A shuttle picked us up at the hotel and took
us to the Starline Depot at downtown LA.

The tour started at the Kodak Theater where
the annual Academy Award is being held.

What should have been a leisure walking tour
turned out to be a arduous and nerve-racking one,

…as our tour guide blabbered here and there walked
very, very fast, and never gave us time to take photos.

Since we were taking photos most of the time,
we were always running to catch up with him.

He led us to the Hollywood Walk of Fame,

…and to the iconic Chinese Theater.

The tour guide later took us to LA LA Land to
shop and have a toilet break before starting the
Movie Stars’ HousesTour, the highlight of the tour.

His driving was just as bad.

He drove so fast during the

…and we could barely catch up with his blabbering, 

…while we were holding on to our seats
during the very rough and turbulent tour.

We were able to catch up and took
photos of some celebrity houses ,

…like those of Ellen Degeneres,

Tom Cruise,

Simon Cowell,

Michael Jackson,

Jonas Brothers,

…and JLo, their next door neighbor. 

The rest of the tour were a blur as my young son
 started to throw up due to motion sickness.

It was a terrible tour that I would never endorse
Starline Tours when booking any LA City Tour.

The best thing that happened in this tour is
having a final stop at the Farmer’s Market.

My young son fully recovered from his motion sickness after
the very turbulent drive with a scoop of delicious vanilla ice
cream from the classic Bennet’s Homemade Ice Cream. 

LA’s Farmers Market is a foodie destination
as it offers a number of ethnic cuisine on its
more than a hundred restaurants and food stalls,

…and sit down eateries where we feasted on
Chinese food from the nearby China Depo,

…and gobbled up a delicious donut
from Bob’s Coffee and Doughnuts.

We also shopped for souvenirs from the
                   numerous souvenir shops in the area.                

Farmers Market first opened on July 1934,
 and considered as Los Angeles landmark.

...and a must visit  tourist attraction.

Located at the corner of the 3rd Street and Fairfax Avenue,
and adjacent to the grove, and outdoor shopping mall,

…and an electric powered street car connects to two sites.

Farmers Market first opened on July 1934, and considered
as Los Angeles landmark and a must visit tourist attraction.

We returned to the hotel late in the afternoon,
and booked four  Front of Line tickets for our
Universal Studios Hollywood visit the next day,

…took a shuttle to the Universal City Walk,

…and feasted at some of the best Japanese
dishes we have ever tasted in our lives.

We then shopped for candies
and chocolates in It's Sugar,

…and returned to the hotel and feasted on
a  virtual sugar rush before retiring to bed.

Day 4
It was the last day of the convention and I attended the last lecture
until 10 AM, while my family had a  late breakfast at the hotel buffet.

I skipped the noontime closing ceremonies and hopped
at the free hotel shuttle to the Universal Citywalk,

…and headed to the UniversalStudios Hollywood.

We took photos at the busy entrance,

…took photos of various Universal Studios characters,

…as we headed to the Backlot StudioTour.

Armed with a Front of Line Pass, we skipped the long
queue and we were immediately seated on the tour train,

….that would take us to the

…where most of the Hollywood movies are made.

The Backlot Studio Tour is a unique feature of
Universal Studios Hollywood not found in their
newer theme parks in Florida, Japan and Singapore.

Backlot Studio Tour is the first thing that we
do whenever we are visiting the theme park.

From the Back Lot, we proceeded to the Lower Lot
thru what probably one of the world’s longest escalator,

…where most of the extreme rides are found.

The Jurassic Park, the Ride,

Mummy, the Ride,


…and Transformers 3D, the Ride
are all in the Lower Lot zone.

My young son also had a chance to interact with his
most dreaded cartoon character- Dora the Explorer.

From the Lower Lot, we went to the Upper Lot where
we enjoyed the Simpson’s Ride, a simulated coaster ride
which replaced the classic Back to the Future, the Ride.

We then visited the parks’ newest attraction:

 Dispicalbe Me: The Minion Mayhem, 

… the outdoor ride Silly Swrily

…and let loose of Timothy at the new
Super Silly Funland playground

We had a late lunch at Mel’s Diner where we
feasted on delicious giant burgers and chicken.

…before watching the tremendously popular 
 Water World Live Sea War Spectacular Show

...and Shrek 4D.

We concluded our fun filled  day at the park by
watching Universal’s Animal Actors Show.

The park closed early a 7 PM and everyone
enjoyed a hotdog dinner  at Jodi Maroni’s,

…except for may daughter who was not hungry and settled
for a pack cheese flavored popcorn from Popcornopolis.

We returned to the hotel, tired a weary on
one of our most exhilarating days in LA.

Day 5

It was our penultimate day in LA, the
convention is over, we all woke up early
and had buffet breakfast at the Café Sierra,

…and we were off to Knott’s Berry Farm.

This is the 6th theme part that we have visited since we arrived
in the US almost three weeks ago. It was everybody’s first time
in Knott’s Berry Farm, so everyone was still very excited and
no one seems have not experienced any theme park fatigue at all.

Knott’s Berry Farm, have almost everything for everyone.

From the benign and kid friendly rides in Camp Snoopy,

…to historic rides in Ghostown.


From the moderately turbulent rides in Fiesta Village,

…and Wild Wilderness Zone,

…to the extreme rides on Boardwalk.

My daughter met up with her former classmate
in Naga City who was now based in San Diego,

… we were happy as she was able to enjoy
the theme park rides  with somebody her age.

We also feasted the delightful baked
pastries at the  Ghost Town Bakery,

…and enjoyed watching the Peanuts
character show at Camp Snoopy.

One of the reasons why we visited Knott’s Berry Farm is to
located at the California Marketplace right beside the theme park. 
but it was full packed, so we went to Mrs. Knott’s Chicken To Go.

I ordered the Super Saver that costs only $ 33.99,

…and took it your hotel room where we had one of
the most delicious chicken dinner we had in our lives.

Day 6

It was the last day of our almost three weeks vacation
in the US and our flight would still be at noon, so we
decided to just to pack up the whole morning in our hotel
room after having a relaxing breakfast and the buffet.

The hotel limousine took us to
Los Angeles International Airport,

…we arrived very early and we were the first on
line at the Philippine Airline’s check in counter.

We had light lunch at one of the
restaurants at the departure area,

…and off we went to the departure gate,

… to wait  for our flight back home to the Philippines. 

This is the 6th time for the past 2 decades that I have been
 to Southern California, and every visit in this wonderful
 place has always been worthwhile and enjoyable.

The reason for this was clearly stated in my past

No comments:

Post a Comment