Hollywood and Universal

Day 2 on our trip brought us to LA and Hollywood for one particular member of the family especially (that would be Kia).

We began the day in the original part of LA called Olvera Street. It's a beautiful spot with a traditional Mexican style plaza area and street style shopping.
We wondered through the Mexican shops looking at beautiful handcrafted wares and admired the culture (which has an alarming penchment for wrestling masks).
Then we headed to downtown Hollywood, where we posed at the Wax Museum, people watched the folks dressed up like dead celebrities, tried to fit our hands and feet into the prints at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and walked around the Kodak Theatre (home of the Oscars and Idol) which is surrounded by a lovely outdoor mall. We surprised that directly across the street from the Kodak Theatre is Jimmy Kimmel Live, interesting location we thought.
I liked seeing Kia's hands fit into Judy Garlands spot, but she had her sights set on on another pair of hand prints...Michael Jackson's star was the hot spot of the block for sure, Kia was more interested in Queen Latifah's which is right beside Michaels and of course Mickey Mouse was also a happy find. We drove around Rodeo Drive, the Sunset Strip, and Beverly Hills. For lunch we stopped at the Farmers Market located right beside the CBS studios, it not a Farmers Market it is THE Farmers Market. Much to Kia's delight one of the three American Girl stores that exist in North America was there and she was thrilled to go check it out. We had a fabulous lunch there of sandwiches with fresh sliced hot turkey and ham right off the bone, yummy!
We drove around Beverly Hills for awhile, learned a few things about where various celebrities died (um who cares?) and then we hit the Santa Monica Pier. Russ, being the ever faithful Baywatch viewer recognized the area from the show...cue wife eye roll. We had a great time checking out the hot spots, with the beach being the perfect ending to our day.

A couple days later we headed to Universal Studios, it was really quiet there and we were able to do all the rides and shows with zero wait time. Russ and Kia even managed to get me on the Mummy's Revenge ride and I must admit it was really fun.
We saw the Backdraft Show, Waterworld and the one on Animals in the movies, which Kia liked the best. She hated the Backdraft show, simply because she holds a strong fear of fire and that's kinda what it's all about. We went on the Universal Studio's Backlot tour, I won't bombard you with photos, but here's one I snapped when we were going by the Bates hotel and Norman came out to see us. Watch out Russ!

Shrek 4D was awesome and so was Terminator. Some of the best 3D I've seen yet. Kia and I were all over the Shrek and Donkey characters in the park. Donkey actually was interactive and talked, though it looks like he's completely still in his waffle cart, trust us he's not.

The Simpson ride looked so bright I had to snap a photo, though the ride was kinda boring in comparison to the outer appearance.

The House of Horrors was probably my favorite. I laughed so hard as we rounded corners and were terrified by people dressed as Mummy's and murderers. So fun. I don't know why being scared is so entertaining but this place rocked. The last photo above is from City Walk at Universal Studios, it's a really big California outdoor Mall thing-a-ma-jig, so save some time to check this place out. There you have it a couple more days covered!

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