Tag Archives: LA

From LA to San Diego and more

Everything they say about this city is true. The grass is perfectly cut, there’s always traffic, everyone seems to be an actor and the list of things doesn’t end. But it’s truly a wonderful place. Wherever I go I’m astounded by the scenery, people and beauty of the city.

On Thursday we went to Disneyland in Anaheim. I’ve wanted to go here for a while now, but I was kind of disappointed by the insanely long lines that go up to 1.5 hours. We stood in line for Space Mountain for more than an hour when all of a sudden, the attraction broke down for the second time that day. Guest Services gave us fast passes for three attractions after we talked with them, so in the last hour we got to skip the line for three attractions. It was a nice day, felt like a kid again!

On Friday we took the car to San Diego. Surf was finally up!! The drive there was incredibly long. It should’ve taken us 2 hours but it took us 4 hours instead. LA traffic was killing us! Once we were out of LA, it all got better. Yeah, LA is definitely not the place to be if you’re in a hurry. Everyone always drives as if they’re in the Fast and the Furious, but when Highway Patrol drives by, everyone suddenly drives like angels.

We arrived in San Diego around 3:30 pm, parked the car and rented surfboards at a local shop. The people in the store were typical surfers. Blond, tanned, blue eyes, lean and beef cake-ish and talked in the most relax way you can imagine. The shop closed at 6 so we only had 2 hours surf. The guys from the shop didn’t charge us for the second hour, sweet!

So my boyfriend had never surfed before and I went to a surf camp twice when I was a little younger. This doesn’t say anything though. I have the knowledge of how to surf, but when I’m actually in the water, I still don’t know what to do (ok.. a little bit exaggerated). I taught him the basics on the beach and we subsequently walked to the ocean. Time to practice! I kind of hoped I could impress my boyfriend and luckily for me, I caught the first wave and stood up as if it was nothing. I guess the Californian waves are easier to tame than French waves!

I was very proud of my boyfriend. Even though he wiped out many times, he also managed to stand up, and one time he even jumped up (so without the knee-step in between). Yaaayy we have a natural! I feel a lot of surf holidays coming up!

On our way back (took us 2 hours), when we entered the LA zone again, we noticed how only LA’ers have crazy driving habits. It’s a combination of Formula 1 and go karts. It’s so dangerous and it really requires full attention on the road. But ok, enough about LA traffic. This is the least interesting thing to mention about this spectacular city.

On Saturday we went to Universal Studios in Hollywood. I didn’t know what to expect but it was awesome. They sure know how to entertain and it’s not a mystery why they’re the top production studio in the world. We went in the Jurassic Park water ride, the high speed Revenge of the Mummy dark roller coaster ride, the 3D Transformers ride (my absolute favourite, and I don’t even know what Transformers are) and a couple more. We also did the Universal Studios Tour which took about an hour. It was cool to see what it looks like on stage. The King Kong 3D ride at the end of the tour was amazing. Within a couple of years, every cinema will have moving chairs and stuff to make the experience of a 3D movie even more believable. When going to Universal Studios, do go on this tour! It’s so mind blowing!!

My boyfriend wanted to see shows so we watched the Special Effects show (there’s so much they do with and without computers, it’s crazy!) and went to the Waterworld show which was one of the raddest things I’ve ever seen. It’s based on the movie Waterworld, starring Kevin Costner. There was fire, and flying people and obstacles (amongst others a plane) and – of course – water. During a fight scene, one of the actors (woman) accidentally got hit by another actor (man). But I think she was okay. Those actors really have to be in top shape, it’s inhuman what they’ve to do! Running, jumping away from fire, swimming, jet-skiing and all of that at a high pace. I recommend everyone to see the Universal Studios!

It’s Sunday now and we’re going to Malibu in a bit. Exciting! Hopefully we’ll be able to surf again!

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Stars, botox and the pier

After sleeping in till 11 am, the boyfriend and I decided to have a relaxed, touristy day in the City of Angels. We took the car to one of the most touristic places in the United States: the Walk of Fame. Personally, I’m not really into the touristic way of exploring a city, but when in Los Angeles, one should definitely check out the Walk of Fame.

The first names of the street (it’s soooo long) didn’t say anything to me but the more you walk towards the commercial stores part, the more names you’ll recognise. Honestly, it wasn’t that interesting or whatever, but it was cool to see it for once. There weren’t many tourists around but that’ll come next week after Memorial Day. That’s when the big crowd is free from school and everything.

We had a nice lunch with a view over the famous Hollywood sign and took off to Beverly Hills after. There we checked out some stores and had a stroll through the streets of district 90210. The streets are very clean, people are dressed to impress (everywhere in LA really) and massive plastic surgery  failures occur every 100 steps you take. From way too full-of-botox-injected lips to Michael Jackson kind of nose jobs. It’s really funny to see and hideous at the same time. The houses are gigantic, as well as the extremely tall palmtrees. I wonder how much an average villa in this neighbourhood is..

I was craving ice cream and the first ice cream shop we found was one of the best I’ve ever been to. I’m a real ice cream and milkshake addict so this was quite the experience. The place is called Ice Cream Lab and they make the flavour of ice cream or shake you want while you’re waiting. Pretty cool and one of the nicest things you’ll every taste. Prices go from $5 and it’s definitely worth it to take a big cup (= more expensive) instead of a small one.

People in LA have their own way of driving cars. They give priority to every pedestrian, but make their own rules for driving on the road. They drive fast, cut you off if you’re a too slow driver, they stop their cars in the middle of the intersection if they missed an exit, but driving around LA is the best. It feels so liberating. Don’t push the pedal too hard though, because there are transparant speed bumps everywhere on the smaller street (not the avenues).

After taking a brief break in our Melrose Ave guest house, we drove to the Santa Monica Pier where we paid $12 for parking. Insane. It was after 9 pm already so every activity on the pier – the ferris wheel for example – was closed or closing. A bit of a waste of money but the beach was all worth it. The sand felt so nice and so different from the Miami sand. Beautiful.

I looked up a trendy restaurant on Santa Monica Boulevard and after being seated at the bar for 20 minutes, we finally got placed at our table. The restaurant is called Tar & Roses and it’s a fairly new LA restaurant. The crowd is young (25 – 35) , lively and good looking. The service was outstanding. We had a very friendly waiter who said “how were the first couple of bites?”, every time he served out a new course.

We had a bruschetta-cheese-charcuterie platter that was one of the most surprising food starters I’ve ever had, followed by a ricotta-gnocchi with asparagus. Delicious! The boyfriend had a lamb with chutney. Dessert was interesting. We had bruschetta with roasted strawberries and ice cream, and a toffee pudding with whipped cream. Melts in your mouth!! Two of the tastiest desserts you’ll ever try!

The cool thing about their menu is that you can combine some small veggie-cheese-charcuterie starters for a reasonable price of 3 for $14 and 5 for $20. The menu doesn’t have normal sized starters or main courses, but it’s divided in small and bigger plates, and veggies and snacks. Their combination of food is exceptional and the price is really good too. If you don’t want to spend too much, there’s plenty of cheaper priced plates, as well as for more expensive plates. Prices for desserts range from 8 to 11 bucks. The food is from local farmers and it’s organic.

Now back in the guest house, ready to go to sleep. Tomorrow I’m gonna add some pictures of today!

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