Hello great readers, I hope you’re well! It’s 1st December which means 2016 is nearly ending. Quite honestly, this year has been nothing short of a dream of which I am extremely thankful for. However, now we’ve entered December it means that I can say I went to LA last month! WHAT? Where does the time go? This time last week, I was basking in the delightful SoCal sun (of which I shall inform you of) and now, I’m stressing over final papers, sorority stuff and just being the busy bee that I normally am at uni.
So, to carry on my trip down Memory Lane of what I got up to when I was in Los Angeles, I shall discuss Day 2. The second day of our trip in LA was also Thanksgiving; a giant celebration in America championing the pilgrims and being thankful for things. It’s a major holiday (even bigger than Christmas in the US!) so we needed to do something to celebrate. The decision was simple, we headed for a fun day at Universal Studios Hollywood. Universal is somewhere that I’ve always wanted to go, and the fact that we were so close to the studios made this a necessity to make our trip. We all woke up extremely early and set off from our apartment at 8:15am to ensure that we maximised our day there. As you walk into the Studios, you go through City Walk. From my first step, I felt like the inner 6 year old that went to Disneyland Paris with her mum and dad and the thrill of seeing the Disneyland Castle in all its splendour. I couldn’t believe I was actually there. Wow indeed.
Once we went through security and had our tickets scanned, we immediately headed to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Now, I’m extremely fortunate in that I’ve been to the studios just outside of London so I have seen the proper Hogwarts model (sorry!), the costumes and the proper sets. But, it felt special to be walking through Hogsmeade, entering Honeydukes and seeing Ollivander’s with my own eyes. Harry Potter has formed a major part of my childhood. So, being able to live in a fantasy make-believe world was the stuff that dreams are made of.
We also went on the main Harry Potter ride at the park. After a 30 minute queue (extremely short for a theme park such as this!), we were able to ride the virtual simulator. But, that doesn’t mean to say the queue wasn’t fun. We got to see mandrakes, paintings were talking to each other and there was even a projection of Ron, Harry and Hermione* guiding us along. I don’t want to spoil the ride for those who go in the future, however it is the best ride I have ever been on. It felt as though I was LIVING in Hogwarts. Even if we did get stuck on the ride for 2 minutes and I swore at Draco Malfoy and the spiders, it was the BEST. I would encourage everyone to go to Universal purely for this ride.
*Hermione was my spirit animal when I was growing up.
We’d been in Hogwarts, it was now time to explore Springfield. I have watched countless episodes of the Simpsons, so to be able to walk around ‘Springfield’ was a treat. They had Moes, the Kwik-E-Mart, Disco Stu’s disco… anything Simpsons you can think of was there. My childhood was pleasantly satisfied this day.
It was at this point I realised how grateful I was. I needed a photo to capture my jovial self at this point.
Even though I had chicken and chips for lunch (all the food was ridiculously expensive, I could have got a Nandos for the price I paid!), some of the options were super cool. Check out Krusty Burger!
As well as Harry Potter and the Simpsons, we did the Universal Studios tour which took us around the sets of a variety of the shows. We got to see the Voice studio (love you Miley), the set for Hairspray Live as well as experience what it is like to live in Fast and Furious. Whilst the tour was a bit longer than what I had originally anticipated, it was cool to see all of this with some of my fave English people in tow.
As well as these rides, I went on the Jurassic Park water ride which was fun (but a bit disappointing in the water disappointment), the Minions experience, the Mummy (which involved all of us going a bit delusional with a hanger and barrier clips, sorry Olivia/Michelle). The last ‘ride’ we went on was the Walking Dead attraction. I’ve begun to watch this, and the initial walkthrough was the start of Season 1, Episode 1. It was AWESOME and the scariest ride I’ve been on; I even got touched by a walker! (I would have died if this was real life).
My whole day at Universal Studios was perfect and I can’t use enough superlatives to justify how cool the whole day was. As it was approaching the end of the day, Universal Studios lit up its Christmas decorations. It’s been from this moment on that I have felt extremely festive and I just want to blast Christmas music everywhere. After all, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear.
In the evening, we had a delightful Thanksgiving meal complete with chicken, mac and cheese, all the vegetables and enough cheesecake for the whole fridge for the entire weekend. What can I say, we just love our cheesecake? As we all discussed how cool the Harry Potter ride was (I cannot reiterate this enough) and I sat down feeling as though I was still on all the motion simulators, I got even more excited for tomorrow. I knew it would include Black Friday shopping (whoops, may have spent a fair bit) and experiencing true Hollywood ‘glitz and glamour’. Make sure you look out for that blog post in due course, but for now have a listen to this. Katrina told me to put this song on, so I feel I must.