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Just a quick summary of what I will be writing about.
26-30th Jul (Hollywood, LA)
31st Jul-1st Aug (Las Vegas)
[26th July 2010]
we reached the airport at about 3-4am and we had to sit on the floor because we couldn’t find chairs. Well, we were lucky to clear our baggage weight limit. Until now I still don’t know whether my luggage didn’t exceed or they just let me go.
well, we sat on the stairs and we had a wonderful domo tea party with all our domos! Haha. Since stuff toys were the lightest items, they were in our hand carry.
I think the flight timing was about 8am. The seats were quite cramp but I couldn’t remember much about it. I was so tired, well we didn’t sleep the night before and I practically slept throughout. No inflight entertainment because we were on budget virgin airlines. The flight time was about 4 hours, to Los Angeles, but we traveled 2 hours backwards so I think it was like 10-11+ when we reached the airport.
We collected our luggage, and we took the airport express to our hostel, Hollywood USA Youth Hostel I think. The airport transfer cost 16 usd =/ cries. Things in the west were crazily expensive.
When we open the hostel door, we saw this long flight of stairs. We almost died trying to carry our luggage up. I think we had a help from someone to help carry up one luggage. And after registering, we realize that girls dorm was on the 3rd floor. One more level =/
Well, the hostel was really a far cry from the one I stayed in Boston. There was some smell and the place looks rather old and the bathroom was quite clean but it looks old. Well the showering facilities were terrible too. It was just a square (smaller than the size of the PGP toilet) and there wasn’t any door, only a shower curtain. There were no hooks inside too. You had to hang your towel everything outside.
The temperature in the west was slightly colder, especially in the night. We had to wear jackets and everything.
The good thing about the hostel was that it was directly INSIDE Hollywood. Kodak theatre was just ACROSS the road. (yes I’m serious) and the Hollywood walk of fame was ALONG the same road of our hostel. I think It was about 35 a night. The 3 of them took a private room, while me and another girl took the 6-bedded room. On the first night or maybe first 2 nights, the other beds were empty. I know one night there was this British girl who traveled on her own. I think she was supposed to do CIP at some place which I can’t remember, but things weren’t prepared well or something, so she ended up travelling. Lone traveler and she told us that San Fran was not that safe as it seemed (and this started our decision to shift to a hotel). We had another friend, who’s hamburger got stolen once he exit the shop in San Fran.. A pity we didn’t even get to see what the Green Tortoise hostel looked like. The reviews were very good, but it was near the dangerous district.
Anyway, another of my bunk mate was a Korean girl who shaved her hair bald. I forgot the reason she was here but she was on her own and I think she was a master’s student? And I vaguely remember her saying that she likes b2st. LOL. And of course, I had to mention my dear Kangta. Xh was so excited to talk to her. And I think she was very happy to be able to converse in Korean with someone in like USA. Another day, there was this 2 British girls. And I remember on the last night, there were guys in the dorm. I can’t remember or rather I don’t wish to remember exactly what it was but I think they were just talking. But it’s really amazing because there were there for 2 nights, and on the 2nd night they went out with this guy who works at this American outfitters shop opposite the hostel. I mean they were so lucky to have a local to bring them around but then again I think I wouldn’t have dared.
Okay I shall move on from all the talk about my room-mates.
After checking in, we went opposite to this small mall or something beside Kodak theatre for lunch. It was a diner called Johnny Rockets. Sounds like some cartoon I used to watch on cartoon network.
this was mine! mushroom swiss~
well i did put in money to play this. but the place was so noisy and im not sure if the song i chose was played or not.
After that, we went to walk the Hollywood walk of fame.
Found some interesting stars along the way. I heard it was really expensive to buy a ‘STAR’ there. So sometimes, the fans have to donate for their idols to be there? I’m not so sure about the facts but I think it was something around that line.
interesting things in the shops!
After that we went back to rest, and I remember I was busy booking the greyhound tickets to Las Vegas and we realize that there isn’t any direct bus trip from LV to SF. This means that we will have to travel from LA to LV, LV to LA and LA to SF. It was a total of 14 hours for our journey from LV to SF. Had I did more planning, we should have flew to LV. From LV, go to LA, and then to SF. Oh wells.
We had macs dinner after that. We took a random walk down the streets but we weren’t brave enough to enter any bars. LOL. Macs was the cheapest after all.
i absolutely love their snack wrap!
[27th July 2010]
Today was Universal Studios day. Of course, the WHOLE day was just for universal studios! Well, we bought tickets for the subway, which was on a trust policy. I didn’t buy tickets for the return trip (which probably accumulated bad karma). anyway, universal studio was only one subway stop from Hollywood. Universal Studios was $61, with some discount I can’t remember what exactly.
But it is really the place to be!
and gosh we were there really really early! and the rides were not even open. so we had to wait for their official opening. it was damn comic how we tried to squeeze our way to chiong for the studio tours. haha. i’m quite pro and doing such stuff.
and of course, the first stop was the most popular studio tour. it’s simply awesome i tell you. the only reason why you should visit this universal studios and ignore everywhere else. this is the only place with REAL studios. and filming set. bah.
alot of such structures are fake. like it is just a flat wall behind. LOL.
will any of these look familiar somehow?
can you imagine that no one actually stays inside? it looks so pretty.
they even have this!
cars for too fast too furious
cars on display!
they showed us how they stimulated a flood right in front of our very eyes. i wonder how much water they use daily =/
this was the ship they used for poseidon. do u feel cheated that it is in fact just so small? now they say they film titanic all in the studio. i can really imagine why.
omg this is the setting for the grinch who stole christmas! one of my childhood movie!
the houses for desperate housewives. but it was closed.. probably they did some filming on that day?
can’t remember which movie, but i think it was war of the worlds or something? quite recent.
all these efforts just for a film. filming is really expensive.
i didn’t really film a lot but there was this set which was really scary whereby they stimulated a train crash for us. gosh. it felt so real. and the gorilla 3D was super amazing.
first we went for the shrek stimulation ride. it was in 4D!
and we went for the simpsons ride. im quite impressed with this ride actually. there was only like maybe 8 people in a room, and yet they bring you through this freaky roller coaster ride. it seriously felt quite real somehow. like you will feel that you are falling and stuff like that. i was really impressed with it.
well we did the, one person buy all the food with the same wristband method again. cheapo.
this place was awesomely scary. it scared the hell out of my fellow 3 friends. who tried to exit via the emergency exit, only to realise that they can’t exit. maybe that was the fear.
im serious that it’s very bad. people will come out of no where and tap you and the there are alot of fake statues around which will suddenly move. there was this corridor where i shouted something like ‘PLEASE DONT TOUCH ME, LET ME THROUGH’ that was how bad it was. their chucky was really freaky too. you never know when something will pop out from somewhere? arghh. gross gross.
well we went to watch waterworks. quite interesting but i think singapore has it too?
this was really annoying.
it was so pretty!
after that we went for the jurrasic park water ride and the mummy revenge ride which i thought was really scary but it turned out to be okay.
went for dinner after that and that was it. the studio tour was really amazing.
[28th July 2010]
Today was Disneyland day! Disneyland was really far, but with the help of google maps and iphone. you will never really get lost.
First, we grabbed breakfast at macs before setting off!
if i didn’t remember wrongly, we had to go to take a train to somewhere, and then transfer to a bus which brought us all the way to disneyland. it was a long bus ride and i remember we practically slept through it.
i think it was about an hour ride. and we decided to stick to the original disneyland! California has 2 disneylands. we paid $72 for the entrance tickets.
this is the central attraction. the sleeping beauty castle. if i didn’t remember wrongly, this is smaller than the one i saw in japan.
all i remember was that it was a very very sunny day.
this was the first ride we took, some water ride.
honestly it wasn’t anything fantastic. i guess after being at universal and six flags, disneyland rides are just, absolutely kiddish.
then we went to tarzan tree house.
i kind of reminisce my childhood days when i hear disney theme songs such as “you’ll be in my heart”
then we went for the pirates of Caribbean ride! i felt that their decorations were really good.
it was a really dark boat ride.
and then we went for the winnie the pooh ride which was absolutely kiddy. but then again, we were all there to re-live our childhood.
and after the ride, guess who we saw?
i love the way i took the photos. so natural. HAHAHAH.
oh well, guess who is this?
it is the big bad wolf from red ridding hood or the three little pigs. i don’t know how different they look!
can’t remember the name of this boat ride but we did not take it. because i took it before in japan.
this was so cute!
i want one of this.. it’s so cute.
mickey mickey mickey
this is inside minnie’s house. and guess what, everything looks so nice, but it is all HARD and PLASTIC. even the chair is so uncomfortable!
and we went to mickey’s house!
we waited really really long, ANYWAY, while meeting mickey, we were brought inside a room. well, there was kind of 3 rooms?! so i guess they had to hide mickey in a room because can you imagine if the small kids were to see 3 mickeys at the same time, i’m sure they will be super confused and puzzled for their rest of their lives! LOL.
chip & dale were not available for phototaking.. my chipmunk =(
i forgot this was whose house..
i would have send a mail back, if people actually bothered to mail me a letter when i was in USA. hello, sadly i had zero letters.
we went for buzz ride, which was super kiddish too. yet people queued so long for it.. we used.. fast pass!
sleeping beauty.. and prince.
next it was the street party!
i really love this “its a small world” ride. <3
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3
well, we went for splash mountain. at first i was really scared because i do not want to get wet.. and there was no place to put our bags.. but seems like, we didn’t need any place at all because you hardly get very wet. LOL.
we shared a turkey leg for dinner =/
and it was back to the street party!
enlighten me, why, does stitch look like this?
don’t you love lilo?
storybook land, nothing impressive. just miniature buildings.
and this was so redundant. argh, got wet.
alice’s house was closed =(
we queued up forever for tinkerbell..
while waiting for the fireworks,
there was some clubbing feel place!
even small kids was dancing. i was so ashamed of myself. i’m just, too, shy. shy girl 😀
and next is fireworks time. alright, i sincerely apologized to all the small kids that i blocked with my height. i was desperately taking photos.
you need to use fireworks mode while taking photos of fireworks.
and this was my best shot of the night!
and there was chaos after the fireworks. there were people everywhere! with sleeping beauty castle as a backdrop.
well, we went to the gift store but i was rushing them as we had a bus to catch! gosh we were all starving.
bye bye disneyland. i will come back probably 7 years later.
[29 July 2010]
We decided to follow the tour organized by the hostel. It was 35usd. First stop, we went to visit the Hollywood sign. You can’t exactly go there, but you just look at it from afar.
There were interesting people in the tour too. There was this 2 girls, I think they were from Germany? They came to USA to work as babysitters. Theirs was a one year contract I think.
After that, we went to rodeo drive. Some atas place with all the branded shops.
Btw, the driver was a Russian. I think he gave us his namecard but I don’t know where it is. HAHA. Then, we had a drive along Beverly Hills where he pointed to houses which I practically forgotten who stayed where.
But I vaguely remembered Michael Jackson’s house because there were quite a lot of media coverage of his house. Then again, we could only see the big gates.
But then again, the driver said something like, when do these celebrities actually live here? Most of the time they are out working, why will they be home? Suddenly I remember I watched the Chihuahua berverly hills movie on the tour bus that day. Zomg.
After that, we went to venice beach and santa monica pier, which was the end of the famous route 66. My camera ran out of battery when we were at venice beach. Oh wells. At this place, marijuana was sold openly as a medical drug?
after route 66, our tour ended!
We had dinner at Wendy’s I think. It was like super cheap for like one whole meal. Less than 4 usd.
After that, we went to the shops at Kodak theatre and GUESS WHAT, I found the kiki and lala plushies in the sanrio shop in USA. I didn’t even see it when I was in SG for like so many years. Obviously I bought them but I kind of regretted not getting the bigger one. Eeey. But gosh, I BOUGHT IT FINALLY! I’ve wanted it since I was sec2. But I never could find it =/
[30th July 2010]
Well, 5 days was simply too long in Hollywood. There wasn’t anything much to do. We went to Downtown LA.
There was really nothing much, but I bought a pair of sunglasses for $4.
After that, we went for Ramen somewhere.
i couldn’t finish it so i asked for take out!
And that was about it. We hardly did anything else. Not that I could remember.
[31st July 2010]
We woke up early the next day, in order to catch our greyhound bus. Well, all the free public transport we took had its payback on us. That morning, I called the taxi company and asked for a VAN. There were 5 of us, and so many luggages. In the end, ONE taxi came. Actually I would have wanted to argue and ask them to send a van, because it would have saved us quite a bit of money, but we had t bus to catch. No choice, we had to take TWO taxis. Zah. All that money we saved on public transport was getting out of our pockets.
Upon reaching the station, there were a lot of people and guess what, bring your iphone along and you don’t have to print out the confirmation. HAHA. All I did was to show the counter staff the confirmation via my iphone! Well we had no printer, there wasn’t anything we could do about it. We saw seats and obviously we went to sit down.
Very soon, we saw a freaking long queue for the entrance door which says Las Vegas. It wasn’t the departure time yet, so we decided to just continue sitting. Soon, there were TWO queues for Las Vegas, so I told them to get in line. To our horror, the bus came SUPER LATE and despite buying tickets, we couldn’t get on the freaking bus. Bus number 2 came, and they STOPPED RIGHT IN FRONT OF US. Gosh, how unlucky can we get. And then, they made the announcement that the next bus will only be like 2-3 hours later. I was SUPER pissed. How can we secure tickets online and not board the bus? They obviously oversell tickets. HELLO, WE paid $38.50 for ONE WAY to LV. Omg. And we got this crappy service. We didn’t have much choice. This was the cheapest transport.
Well, in the end they gave us meal vouchers.
That wasn’t the end of our bad luck. When we do finally got on the bus, halfway through, the bus had a flat tyre and had to drive to the workshop to change. We only reached LV at like freaking 4pm, when we were scheduled to reach at 12. ZAH.
We had to take a taxi to the airport since everyone was so freaking tired from everything. It was another waste of money.
After reaching MGM, this really huge lion-themed hotel, at check in, I kept insisting that I thought I had booked a double queen bed room. (Well there were five of us) The counter staff was very nice, explaining that I booked a King size room, and that their rooms were full because aerosmith (if I’m not wrong) was having a concert in the hotel. In the end, she promised to give us an additional bed for FOC. Oh well, after all that hassle, something was going right, finally. The room was really nice, and there was even a sofa! So it was just nice, 3 on the king size bed, 1 on the extra bed, 1 on the sofa.
Well well, we had planned to stay for 2 nights, but because of the unexpected 14 hour bus ride needed to SF, we had to cut short our LV by 1 night. We only stayed for one night in LV, and we took at $38.50+ $55.30 greyhound bus ride to SF.
After checking in, we went to walk the streets of LV! WOAH. Las Vegas was BLING BLING to the max! We started with New York New York for dinner.
After that we decided to catch David Copperfield!
Until now I can’t decide if it was worth spending 69 over to be so confused and puzzled after the show ended. I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW HE DID IT! But it was really cool to see his magic real life. Oh wells.
After that we just walk and walk and walk. The night never sleeps in LV. Whoo~ well I played some slots too. WAHAHAHAH.
[1st Aug 2010]
Today, we decided to go to the outlet shopping at LV. Yes we didn’t buy tickets again, but this time it wasn’t on purpose. We saw that the bus was leaving, so we ran for the bus. Only after entering the bus, then we realized that we were supposed to purchase tickets before entering. Oh wells, but we didn’t buy tickets for the return journey either, because the same thing happened! We were running for the bus. Oh wells, bad bad bad karma.
I manage to buy nothing at the outlet, because I had no luggage space, I wasn’t interested in brands and the items are all about the same. We’ve been to jersey shore, woodbury, and this las vegas one just seemed the same. Well, the only thing I bought was shoelaces from converse. HAHA.
Well after that we went hotel-hoping again. And I think I did try some slots, wait no I tried the deal or no deal but died terribly. One shot for spin was one dollar. Gosh. The venice hotel was exactly like macau! Somehow I felt that macau was a larger scale? Hmm. Anyway we had to check out, so we deposited our luggage. The service was really good.
this was the legendary fountain show!
Anyway, I think we paid about 36 each for the hotel, multiply by 5, it was like $180. It was really an awesome room. I guess it’s worth staying there!
our luaggages only increase, and increase.
Anyway, we had to take a taxi to the greyhound terminal for our night bus to LA. I remember we went to grab some mac’s before boarding. Gosh. I really wonder how many times I ate macs when I was there!
this is part of the old strip!