Disneyland California and West Coast Trip Reports Trip Reports

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Old 6 Jun 15, 09:54 PM  
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The Moretons Amazing California Adventure - Day 7


We didnít set our alarms today but that didnít matter to the boys as they were still up at 6am and they were full of beans and very hypo.

I woke up with butterflies in my tummy today, as I knew that I had to drive into Hollywood. I had been dreading this for a while although I like doing all the driving, 6-lane bumper-to-bumper traffic is not my idea of fun. Lee assured me I would be fine, that was easy for him to say, as he is normally asleep in the passenger seat!

After watching a mixture of Mickey Mouse and Sonic the Hedgehog the boys got ready at their own very slow pace. We ended up leaving the house just before 9am, which was fine as we werenít sure on traffic patterns with it being Good Friday. The drive was going really well. We could see mountains ahead as it was a clear day and we even glimpsed the Hollywood sign in the distance.

Then about 10 minutes away from Hollywood we hit traffic. Not bumper-to-bumper but it was slow moving. It gave us chance to look at all the art on the walls on the way into Hollywood.

We decided to park at Hollywood and Highland by the Chinese Theatre. It was only $10 for valet all day parking. The streets looked busy but not packed but it was only 10am. We made our way into the shopping centre and took a few shots of the Ďsigní in the distance from the viewing area.

We then looked at the handprints, messages and stars outside the theatre.

Now I wish I had researched the whole stars thing and thought about whoís star I wanted to see on the walk of fame, as I had totally underestimated how long the walk of fame was! We stayed close and looked at those just outside of the Chinese theatre. It was pretty crowded around here and even to view the hand and footprints was difficult.

We didnít really know what to do with ourselves, we wanted to see some sights and we had talked about a tour but wasnít sure what to do. After a quick team meeting we decided to enquire about a tour otherwise we would have gone round in circles all day. We spoke to a guy from Starline Tours who was very good and probably the only person in Hollywood who wasnít pushy and in your face. We opted for a 2-hour tour in what was an open top oversized people carrier. It cost us $170 for the 4 of us (2ad & 2ch) and also included entrance into Madame Tussauds, which is just up from the Chinese Theatre, and probably not something we would necessarily have gone to had it not been included.

We only had to wait 10 minutes for the next tour and we had to make our way round the back of the centre. We fought our way through the ever increasing crowds, on the way a man shoved a CD in my hand and said Ďhave some free musicí like a fool I took it, he then said ĎIíll sign ití he signed it and then said Ďnow give me 20 bucks!í I said ĎI have no moneyí he snatched the CD back, muttered something and went away. To be honest I just wanted him to leave me alone as we were in a bit of a hurry to get to our tour bus, and this is why I took the CD. This whole area is full of pushy, horrible people begging and hassling you. I really didnít like it, and didnít like it for the boys, I didnít feel very safe!

We made it to our tour and there was 8 of us in total the 6 of us and two Mexican gentlemen who couldnít speak or understand English, which made our tour guides job quite hard as his Spanish was limited.

Our tour guide was Alan, he was very knowledgeable. He told us he came to LA 20 years ago to find his big break; he is still looking for it! We were given earphones to plug in so we could hear him. Although it was a really nice day it was very windy so quite hard to hear him talk sometimes.

We set off and OMG was his driving scary, we were given the finger with in 5 minutes of setting off, from a female driver!
We were weaving in and out; the boys thought it was great fun. I just held on and said my prayers.

I wonít go through the tour step by step. We saw a lot and I mean a lot of gates and bushes/hedges. However we did see a lot of cool stuff, which we would never have seen if we hadnít done the tour. Rodeo drive, Mull Holland Drive, Viper Room, the house where Michael Jackson died. Now Michael Jacksonís house wasnít on the normal tour but he asked us if we preferred to see some American guys house that we hadnít heard of or Mickey jís so we chose that one! here are a few piccies!

Simon Cowells Pad

elton John's gates

The Legend that is Vinnie Jones!

This is the house where Michael Jackson died

Traffic was allegedly light for a Friday and we had made good time so Alan let us get out and view the Hollywood sign from the official viewing area, he took this nice shot of the 6 of us at the bottom of the viewing area and overlooking Beverley Hills.

A clearer, closer shot of the sign

We also had a great view of the Hollywood Bowl from this area. Alan told us before we set off to keep an eye out for Black Range Rovers as that is what most of the stars like to cruise around in, we spotted over 40 of them but none of them had famous drivers (that we could tell anyway). He did say that the week before he was waiting at the lights with a tour and a car pulled over let the window down and the driver shouted Ďhey guys you see anyone famous todayí the driver was Samuel L Jackson! He had the picture to prove it happened.

I am glad we did the tour but not sure I would do it again, infact, Iím not even sure I would go into LA again. We ended the tour outside a huge souvenir shop, we tipped Alan $40 between the 6 of us. He was full of information even if his driving was scary! . He did say that he had been in a few American sitcoms but never made it big, he was still hoping to make it bless himÖ I hope one day he does!

The streets were now packed and it was incredibly hard to get anywhere with the stroller, we decided to go for an ice cream. It took us a while but we ended up at Coldstone Creamery, if you havenít been to one then you should, itís amazing! Best ice cream in the world.

While Lee was being served he was sure he spotted a lady from face book I had been speaking to before coming out here, she was on holiday with her family at the same time, unfortunately I did not get to speak to her but our paths would cross again.

After our ice cream we did a bit of people watching from the balcony. If your going to people watch then LA is definitely the place to do it, so many strange characters about. There was everything from Smurfs to Freddie Kruger. We later found out that a lot of the people that dress up and pose for photos are homeless. There was also a lady making balloons and then giving them to children but if the parents didnít hand over money then she would snatch the balloon back!

We decided to use our free Madame Tussauds tickets, we had a good time but I donít think we would have gone in if the tickets werenít included.

When we came out of Madame Tussauds it was 3.30pm, very hot and very busy. Everyone was happy to head back to Anaheim, as we werenít really having a great time on the streets. Unfortunately it took us Ĺ an hour to find our car, the valet service wasnít great which is why it was probably only $10.

We left LA at 4pm, traffic was absolutely awful it took us over 2 hours to get back, the I5 was bumper to bumper. People were weaving in and out and pulling out from all angles. I had to concentrate really hard. We eventually made it back to Anaheim and we were all hungry so we decided to head straight for Garden Walk and try out Bubba Gumps for dinner.

Sue was very happy with this as it was Good Friday and she wanted to have fish for her dinner. There was a nice atmosphere in the restaurant. Amber was our server and she was great. She was really into Top Gear and the news had just broken about Jeremy Clarkson being sacked so she was really upset. Dick had the large fish and chips as he was starving, it was huge! While we were eating Amber tested our knowledge on Forrest Gump with some trivia questions, we got 1 wrong. What number does Forrest wear on his American Football jersey?

Jacob wanted to make his own hand and footprint outside Bubba Gumps

We split the bill so the cost for 4 of us was $65 inc tip. Very enjoyable meal. Our car park ticket was valid dated by Amber and we were ready for home. We then played another game of hunt the car; we were getting better at as it only took 10 minutes this time.

I was panicking about running out of fuel even though Lee said we were fine. Anyway I got my way and we filled up, which only cost $50. We were back in the house just before 8pm. unfortunately we needed milk so me and Lee went back out to get some from the garage. While we were there we witnessed a man shoplifting, he quickly ran out when he noticed the owner was on to him. Back at the house and the boys were still full of energy, as they had slept most of the way back from LA. Everyone else was shattered after a long day. We eventually made it bed just after 10pm.

As I said before LA wasnít our cup of tea, it reminded me a bit of Blackpool (no disrespect intended) I am glad we went and saw the sights but I wonít rush back. Tomorrow is an easier day Ė Shopping.

This house was no one famous' but i just really liked it thought i would share it with you
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Old 7 Jun 15, 01:19 AM  
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My DD really wanted to go to Hollywood Blvd so we went her first words were "Well its not like in the movies" !

We just found it tacky and rundown tbh..

As for the street performers like in Vegas they "claim" to be homeless but many aren't and make a pretty good living ..

Like you we wouldn't be bothered about going to LA again, highlight for us was Warner Bros studios and the California Science Center/Space Shuttle..
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Old 28 Jun 15, 11:52 AM  
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We are spending 2 nights in the LA area, specifically to do Warner Bros Studios tour, and most likely to see the Space Shuttle if DH gets his way (I am still on the fence about whether or not we need to go to Universal Hollywood)

Hubby wants to go to the Walk of Fame etc, but I *hate* that in your face hassling culture, so I suspect this is going to be my idea of hell :/

Previous trips (mostly villas,) '98,'00,03,04x2,06,07,11 (first onsite stay SSR),12 villa and RCI cruise,14 OKW,15 RCI cruise, Clearwater and Int Drive. 16 West Coast DL, 17
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