Thursday, August 2, 2007
If you're in LA, do not visit Universal Studios and Disneyland magkasunud na araw. You'll usually stay up in either place late at night. Chances are, you will be so tired the next day, you might not have enough energies to enjoy the next place.
Our pamangkins/tour guides superbly planned our itinerary. Our 2nd day in LA was more slow-paced. We went to the Chinese Theater. It's where the foot and handprints of famous celebrities are immortalized on the concrete pavement. I learned that the idea came from an untoward incident. A certain movie actor, in the 60s (70s) fell-out of the window of the theater, and made some marks on a wet cement. The owner of the chinese theather thought it would be an interesting concept for the establishment. It's fun comparing our own feet size, with the feet of Arnold Swarchzenegger, Tom Cruise, even feet prints of Donald Duck!
On the sidewalks of both sides of the stretch of Hollywood Boulevard, we saw the stars of famous celebrities. Of course, I looked for the star of my idol, Johnny Depp. I'm all smiles, as you can see.
There are roving mascots; men & women in superheroes costumes. A photo with one, will cost you a dollar each.
We took pictures at the Kodak Theater, home of the Oscars. But on ordinary day, it looks like an ordinary mall.
We also went to the galleries of Madam Tussaud and the Guiness Book of World Records. You only pay once, and you get to see both museums. The wax scupture were so life-like. Hans was a bit scared on some of them, except, of course the replicas of the Ninja Turtles, Spiderman and Superman.
There are plenty of tours being offered,in brochures, in the different shops. One of them is a tour of celebrity houses in Beverly Hills. Although, really, You have no way of confirming, if the houses they will be pointing out, are really owned by that particular celebrity. They can just point any of the fabulous homes in LA.
We were lucky to have very patient hosts, my husband's niece Shelby and her hubby Joseph, and their 2 lovable kids Seth and Sean. When I candidly ask where the famous Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive is, they gladly offered to include it in the itinerary. I thought it's just nearby. Malayo pala.
We passed through the famous sunset boulevard. It's just a long strip of highway, where on the horizon, almost blinding you while you're driving, is the setting sun.
Another icon of Beverly Hills are the very tall palm Trees, lining the avenues. They're so classy.
The rows and rows of upscale shops in Rodeo Drive are so intimidating. We didn't dare go into the shops except Coach's.
Sayang we didn't see any artista. But there were lots of nice fancy cars and nice, thin, beautiful people in fancy restaurants. There are lots of tourists, like us, looking around, having their photos taken in the landmarks.
Next stop... Universal Studios!
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
This trip happened in August 2007. However, I keep stalling to finishing this journal. I fixed all the albums, hardcopy and the online versions. The only thing that will tie-up everything, is to include the adventures in my blog. I only starting blogging recently, and it's a great way to preserve my thoughts and memories.
When I was given the chance by our company, Nu Skin to visit our head office in Provo, Utah, USA. My husband & i took it as a wonderful opportunity to visit our relatives in the US. We brought along our 4-year old son Hans. It was our first overseas trip as a family, and we intend to make the most out of it.
I was ready with Benadryl in case Hans makes a fuss with his ears on the flight, because he had a congested nose weeks before. But that was unnecessary, he gave no-fuss throughout the flight and was contented watching the inflight movies. Thanks goodness, they were showing Spiderman on that flight! He was fascinated with the giveaway toiletries. If only to have an excuse to go up and down the aisles, he wants to brush his teeth again, and make-weewee.
We met my husband's pamangkin Shelby, her hubby Joseph and two lovely kids Seth and Sean, at the Los Angeles Airport. They actually live in Fremont, California but since they will take us to the requisite sights in LA, it makes sense to meet in LA.
Hans didn't hit it off right away with the kids. They're were still making "pakiramdam" with each other. The kids are very quiet. As expected, we were jetlagged. Poor Hans. He doesn't know what hit him. His body clocks says 8am, he's up and about, but it's 12o' clock Midnight in the US. He keeps looking out the window of our hotel. "Mom, bakit gabi pa?" He doesn't want to turn-off the TV. He's was watching cartoons until he dozed up 3am US Time.
But I'm amazed at his resilience, when we woke-up 9am, he was up and about ready for the day. He even want to try the bath tub! But we had to go, our 1st day was spent at Disneyland! Hans can't seem to believe that he was in the Kingdom of Mickey House, his Idol. When we came in the gates, all he said with his eyes wide-open, "Wow!" He didn't know where to look first. He wants to take it all in. We all wanted to pose for pictures. All Hans wanted was to look around and take-in all the sights.
It's a great satisfaction to hear him recognize the Disney Characters that are found in his fairy tale books. Snow White. Cinderella. Simba and his Father Mufasa, Pinocchio, Little Mermaid. He knew even Dumbo's friend the mouse Timothy. He visited the houses of Mickey and Minnie. He enjoyed driving a car in his Auto...He even got his own "license."
We had a taste of Nemo's World, in a submarine-like ride, the latest one in Disney. The rode took us under the sea where we watch Nemo and his friends. We loved the Pirates of the Carribean ride, where we rode a boat, and went into "sea" where pirates battle it out, complete with gunshots and explosives.
Going around Disneyland, there's a train that takes you from one territory to another. There are various stops with different themes like Tomorrowland, Toontown, New Orleans, Main Street. You get entertained along the way with some sights like Dinousaur Era, this is the most fun for us, and we would relish seeing the life-like dinousaurs wherever we pass through. Hans is beginning to show his makulit side, when the trainmaster said, "all abroad." He echoed him, "all abroad" loudly which brought smiles to everyone.
With two Fil-am kids with us, Hans has no choice to also speak English as best as he can. It's so cute to hear him putting to use what we've practiced and what he hears on TV. If there's anything good about the cartoon shows he watches, it's the vocabulary that he gets and the phrases he imbibes from the cartoon characters.
We rode a fairy tale boat ride, where we can see tiny miniatures of the different disney castles, like the castle of Sleeping beauty, the market of Agraba & Jasmine's castle, the houses of Gepetto, little things that are so cute!
We also rode a jungle cruise, it's like being in Africa. We saw all the wild animals (robots of course) but they look so life-like. There are elephants, lions, tigers, even crocodiles and hippos that emerges from the water below.
The best for me, was the Indiana Jones Ride. You ride in an African Trailer, then the trailer goes for various spins. It happens in a blur where you go through the various Indiana Jones adventures like being under the Diamond Mines, the land of snakes, among others. It's so much fun. We wanted to ride again but the lines are long. Besides, the kids are waiting with Joseph. The kids are not allowed inside because of the rough ride.
The finale at a Disneyland visit, after the fabulous parade where all the characters come out with their amazing floats and costumes of the staff, was the light and sound shows at the lake. There was a lone fairy that rode up with a harness at the castle and finally a grand fireworks display! The kids asleep already at that time. For this trip, the most important thing we ever bought is the Stroller. Without it, we would have ended up with grouchy kids and dislocated shoulders for Joseph and Ted because they surely would have to carry those kids.