Monday, April 27, 2009

We have joined the Universe! And Hollywood!

Well our first full day in the good ‘ol USA was eventful. Not much sleep for us the first night, getting used to time zones. But today was a real – getting used to America day. First off was picking up our rental car then driving from the airport area to Hollywood where we went to Universal Studios and i must say that this writer just about had a nervous break down as we drove along freeways and the morning traffic scooted past. Every time a car passed us I kinda moved towards the other side of the car. This driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road takes some getting used to. But we made it to Universal with only one wrong turn and a few heated words in the car.
What can you say about Hollywood. It was a fabulous day. The outside of the Studio was shops and displays, spaceships hanging out of buildings, live cartoon characters, i.e Spongebob, Frankenstein etc, which we had photo opportunities with. Even Spongebob and Neil had a handshake. Half way through the entrance area we were asked to do a questionnaire. What a worthwhile thing that was. We ended up getting a jump the queue ticket and so when we went to do the actual tour – a four carriage tram, we got priviledge entrance and went on first. Now if you had seen the queue you would understand how happy this made us as there was a 50 minute wait otherwise, and you know how men don’t like waiting!
So we’ve seen Jaws, and been through an earthquake, cars being shot up and bridges collapsing along with Moses parting the Red Sea and through back lots and buildings that have appeared on numerous movies. But the thing the girls liked the most was going down ‘Wisteria Lane’ from Desperate Housewives, the ladies had just finished filming and we didn’t see them!
Then it was on to Hollywood where the gold stars are on the streets. There were even a few stars with no names, and lots of names I didn’t recognise, so stars it seems can be unknown. But one cool thing was outside a theatre they were setting up for a premiere with the red carpet etc. This was going to happen tonight and already the press were lining up for their photo shoots.
Driving here is AN EXPERIENCE. Put it this way, i am really glad that i had my hair colored before we came here, otherwise I’d be grey again. We didn’t have a proper map, but had the names of the roads – interstate freeways to go and so had to guess. Traffic jams, following a truck that had Anaheim on it, hoping it was heading towards Disneyland was all part of the next hour. But WE MADE IT. Disney area is all hotels. We went out to find a place for dinner and the places are deserted for the most part. I wonder how much this recession is hurting the area. One guy at Universal said it was really quiet, yet to us it seemed busy. So busy must REALLY be busy..
So we’re here, Disneyland is tomorrow, while Neil heads out to look at vintage cars and parts. Looking forward to Disneyland tomorrow. This place really is fantasyland.
Jane Beckenham

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