Saturday, July 31, 2010

California trip-saturday

Today is going to be a little bit more laid back as we don't have todo so much driving. We started the day at waffles for, as you can imagine, waffles! We walked down sunset boulevard to get there. We really had a good start of the day with lots of lovely fruit and waffles with more maple syrup and great fresh juice and good coffee. We then walked back to the hotel via hollywood boulevard so we can spot more stars on the sidewalk. We then stopped at the kodak theater where they have emmy's and other big shows and the chinese theater where we saw some hand and foot prints of famous actors. There was even mr Spock hand print. We took off to universal studios which were only 15 min down the road from us. We entered the park and headed to get our special "front of the line" credentials. We thought it was quite ironic being in line to get our front of the line passes! We headed straight to the tour of universal studios. The waiting time was 60 min but who cares when you have front of the line passes! We boarded our train and headed to the main studio area. We saw some of the,paris, new york etc.. We headed for the special King kong attraction. It's a 3D attraction where the train gets attacked by nasty dinosaur but we get rescued by KingKong! It was truly amazing visuals. We then headed to the desperate housewives set as well as the End of the world set. There was some other attractions along the way like the Jaws set, the mummy returns where they gave us the illusion that the train was actually turning...totally bluffing!

We then went to the new Simpson attraction where we got on a virtual roller coaster! It was time to get to the lower level and the jurassic park ride where we got completely soaked!!! But the weather was so nice,it didn't matter. We went to see some exhibit to calm ourselves after these roller-coaster rides. We had to do a final one though..the mummy one....d had his eyes closed the whole was very scary!

We went on to see more shows with 3D effect like Shrek and terminator and also how these effects are created! It was 5 o clock by then so time to go back to the hotel to get ready for tonights show..morcheeba! I cant believe we were in la the day morcheeba was playing at the hollywood bowl! We bought some snacks and a great lemonade and a $10 glass of wine that d make last until the end of the show! Morcheeba was even better than i was expected and had a fabulous time. The main artist Sergio mendes was not bad either and we listened to a lot of brazilian music with great musicians, singers and the belly-samba dancers with feathers and naked butts!!

When the show was over, we walked..yes you heard it right we actually walked in la back to our hotel...absolutely brilliant location!

Friday, July 30, 2010

California trip-friday

Went to the pool for a quick swim before breakfast. There was no one there so we had the pool to ourselves. D went to get us some coffees and it was probably the best coffee we had so far. It was so pleasant that we decided to stay there and have breakfast. It was so delicious...granola parfait for me and french toast for d with a mango smoothie...brilliant. We then set of to joshua tree. We were told that it would be 10 degrees cooler..only 105...lucky us ;-)

After a 45min drive we got there and stopped at the visitor center to pack up on maps and a few postcards and a nice bell with a coyote for the porch of the new house. Off we went with the top down.

We first stop at the barker dam where we went for a nice walk. We saw some nice birds and dougal even caught a squirrel flying! We were getting quite hot and were happy to be back in the car.the next stop was the keys view where we spotted the sanandreas fault and could see the palm spring valley. We went back slightly back on our steps and took the direction of the east to see a special arch. We followed the recommendations but the campground was closed and we were not sure where to go...that never stopped us and we decided to go on a dougal epic (initiated by me i have to admit!!). After a bit of searching we finally found the trail. We finally found the arch thanks to a great spot from dougal. It was totally worth it!

We were dying of thirst by now and we were quite eager to get the the oasis of mara where we could get a drink and see some nice wildlife. We got our drinks but didn't see any birds. I spotted a rabbit tho! We decided that it was time to go home and we stopped at mc donald for a smoothie. I think none of us stopped there in the last 10years.

We drove for a couple of hours and made it back to LA. We decided to drive down hollywood boulevard and we spotted a couple of stars...on the sidewalk, not real ones. We decided to go to Mulholland drive to spot the big hollywood sign. We got there just fine after a bit of a struggle with traffic. We went back down through the neighborhood on the hills and saw some amazing houses. Time to head to the observatory that dougal really wanted to see. We got lost thanks to the roads being blocked but dougal was the best copilot and we finally found it. There was a million people there..incredible. We saw some nice exhibit and we discover that the planet were revolving around the earth in a plane!!

We went back down griffith park and head to our hotel. Due to a show the road was blocked and since we didn't want to get lost we decided to make an illegal u turn right in front of a police car...almost got myself a ticket but i played the very apologetic french part very well and got away with it!! Didn't even have to cry!

By then everything was closed so dougal went for a night food hunting..he finally found a subway and got us 2 sandwiches..i don't know how you'll survive in the us without subway"!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

California trip-thursday

We took of early to make sure we could get to newport beach on time and didn't have to stress. We got there early enough so we could treat ourselves to a nice breakfast. We found a place with pancakes for d since he didn't get his pancakes the previous weekend. I choose the healthy option for my breakfast and replaced toast with a bran banana muffin. The muffin was the size enormous and i am still not clear what was healthy about that choice...maybe the added fiber from the banana and the bran!
We got to the boat and picked some nice seats upstairs.

As we sailed off we could see the nice houses on the harbor front..would not mind one of these as a summer cabin! We saw some pelicans diving to get some fishes and started looking for some dolphins. We saw a herd of dolphins and they put a show for us. They jumped out of the waters and we saw a lot of baby dolphins as well. One of the help on the boat spotted a blue whale so we headed over there. In between we saw 1000 of dolphins and lots of birds as well. It was amazing. We got closer to the whale and we could really see the spit of water and his back as he was coming in and out of the water. Then our spotter saw another one and we went to observe that one. We saw his back very well and then he went for a deep dive and it was time for us to get back to the harbor. We just passed a sun fish...truly amazing creature. It's the biggest fish and he has only one bone. We could not believe our luck on this trip. We decided that we needed to send a note to Stephen Fry and Mark Cowardine. You don't need to go to Baja california and hire a plane to see a blue whale. Just take a boat trip from newport beach ;-)

Of to the desert but first we thought we had to drive top down along highway 1...coastal cruising in california!! We went up to long beach and we spotted 1 or 2 platform and also the fake island off long beach which are actually oil platform...sincerely they are way more attractive than the platform. We parked and went for a quick stroll along the marina and found a place for a nice cup of coffee and a quick lunch fix before heading to palm springs. Off we went to the highway and battled through LA traffic...thank god for the HOV lane which helped us escape most of the traffic. Yes,in the US you qualify as a high occupancy vehicle if you are 2 in the car! We made a spot along the way to an outlet mall to stretch our legs a bit and buy a couple of jeans for dougal. We got some very good deals!

We then headed to the palm spring areal tramway. It's a rotating cabin which goes up 6000 ft to the san Jacinto mountains. Amazing views from the top and we got the best place at the restaurant up there where we had some nice salads to finish the day. We got to our hotel just fine and it was a great place where we got a little cabin for ourselves and it had 3 pools open 24/7. We were too tired to enjoy them just now but what a fabulous first day!