Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bette Davis Eyes: Saturday in L.A.

We spent Saturday at Universal Studios. Since we were still on east coast time, we were up early and discovered a really good bakery in the shopping center across the street from the hotel. We got to Universal Studios well before it opened on Saturday morning, which was good, because you have to travel quite a distance between the metro stop and the grounds of the studio. This is the sign that you see when you begin the uphill journey:

Along the way, we saw the entrance for Frankenstein parking--if we had driven, I would have insisted that we park here:

We actually took a bus most of the way up the hill and we saw some pretty flower beds along the way:

After walking through CityWalk, we arrived at the entrance to the theme park, where they also have studio tours. Here is the famous globe:

As you enter, you walk down a red carpet and we arrived early enough to see people vacuuming the carpet. While we were waiting for the ticket booths to open, we walked around looking at the pretty palm trees and flowers at the front of the property:

Pansies (my favorite):

When we finally entered the park, we headed straight for the studio tour. We rode a tram through the back lot and saw a lot of cool movie stuff, including the DeLorean from Back to the Future:

Somehow, our tram ended up not only crossing a bridge that spontaneously broke and caught on fire, but we also ended up in a underground train tunnel during an earthquake and on a flooded road! I was sure scared. Here we are driving across the flooded road--the edge of the road is at the bottom of the photo:

After miraculously surviving all of those events, we continued our tour and were able to see the entrance of Wisteria Lane. Normally, the tour goes through Wisteria Lane, but they were filming scenes for Desperate Housewives that day, so this is all we saw:

We also drove through Whoville:

We saw a prop live lizard on the set of War of the Worlds:

Unfortunately for the shark-phobic Leah, we drove through Amity Island. I had no idea that Jaws itself would come out of those bubbles:

Jaws--a bad picture because a certain shark-phobe was clinging to me for dear life (I love you, you know ;-)):

The best part of the tour was when we drove past the Bates Motel and NORMAN BATES HIMSELF came out of the motel with a BODY--didn't see that one coming, either. He totally put the body in the trunk and then came after us!

The jig was up when he got close enough that we could see him laughing:

After we finished the studio tour, which wasn't as good as the ones at NBC and Warner Brothers, we headed back into the park. No matter where I go, I cannot escape atrocious fashion mistakes such as this shorts wind suit purchased at Mervyn's circa 1991:

First stop: Krustyland (at Leah's request). This is the Simpson's ride. I'm not much of a Simpson's fan, so having to wait in line and watch scenes from the Simpsons was not my idea of a good time, but the ride itself was pretty good.

We took a series of escalators down to the lower lot, and I stopped to hang out with some of the Apollo 13 astronauts:

We decided to brave the Jurassic Park ride, even though it was a water ride. We didn't think we would get that wet. Big mistake. The ride was a boring, slow moving ride through "Jurassic Park" and, just as I was drifting off to sleep, they dropped us down a huge waterfall. We got soaked, but thankfully it was sunny and hot, so we dried quickly.

This was our favorite ride, the Mummy roller coaster. We rode this six times, once next to a gentleman wearing a suit and turban, which was a first for me at an amusement park.

I even met a mummy on the way out:

Then, we decided to eat lunch at the Cove Cafe.

Predictably, this was the worst meal we ate all weekend. I had pizza:

Leah had chicken fingers and fries:

After that tasty treat, we went to the Backdraft show made famous in the episode of Seinfeld in which Jerry and George go to L.A. George is so excited about the trip that he asks Jerry if they can go to the Backdraft show. "I've heard it's very cool, Jerry. Very cool!" I'm sure it was very cool about 15 years ago, but not so much anymore...

After the Backdraft show, we visited the small museum of Universal memorabilia and found costumes from last summer's hit, Mamma Mia!

Out of nowhere came the Mystery Machine, driven by Shaggy! No Fred, Daphne, or Velma sightings, though.

After I met Scooby and Shaggy, Leah met Matt Damon:

Then we went to the Shrek 4-D show, which was okay, but not nearly as good as the 4-D show at the Newseum in D.C.

For pansies whose feet hurt from walking around the park, these were available:

We did not avail ourselves of the services of the Foot Massage Vibrator.

Universal Studios is up on a hill, so the view of the surrounding area is really nice:

After we ate our requisite funnel cake, we headed back to Hollywood Boulevard to see more of the Walk of Fame. We didn't take too many pictures because the part of the Walk of Fame that we saw on Saturday was in a pretty sketchy neighborhood and we were tired.

From there, we walked back to our hotel by way of In-N-Out Burger, a California institution. We were not disappointed--we wanted a quick, inexpensive dinner and this was really pretty good as fast food goes. We also made a quick stop at a nearby 7-11 for provisions that included wine and a corkscrew and then we took our food and wine back to the room (yes, we are always this klassy), put our sore feet up, and relaxed for the rest of the evening.


Leah said...

I know. ;-)

Also, Norman Bates was way hot.

And if the prehistoric pizza was the worst meal you had all weekend, does that mean you liked El Pollo Loco?

Melissa said...

In-N-Out Burger is the best. I wish we had them on the East Coast.