La Brea Tarpits is an interesting place to visit if you want to know more about prehistorical animals. Underneath this modernisation buries bones of ice age creatures which are still in process of excavation.
Getting from its name, Tarpits have tar flowing out from the Earth. Visitors can see paleontologists working on the excavation sites during summer (late June to early October) where the tar is at it’s most liquid state.
Pit 91 Excavation
Pit 91 Excavation
The Page Museum, however, needs a new lift with their exhibits. A little too old and they doesn’t excite us at all.
Looks like Jurassic Park Office
We drove to The Venice Canals, where houses are built along the man-made canal of water. It is a quiet surrounding with beautiful houses, each has a little boat that they can park by the canal. You can take pictures as you take a stroll down the canal and bridges. Sometimes, you’ll see friendly neighbors who smile at you.
We visited LA’s Little Tokyo. There are some clothing boutiques, authentic restaurants, supermarket to stock up your Japanese supplies and a Japanese bakery. Shops here open quite late, from 11am onwards.
Little Tokyo Japan Kitty Japanese Bakery So Cute
1 hr 30 minutes drive takes us to Farmers Market. It is open air, comprising food & beverage, grocery and shopping. Quite a unique place to go. You probably need half a day here.
Farmers Market Fruit Stall Heirloom Tomatoes Very Berries Pastries Homemade Peanut Butter Stickers Shop CBS Behind Farmers Market
Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is a place for expensive branded shopping and spotting for expensive cars. Can see cannot buy. Quite a boring place for me.
Blink Road Sign Branded Shopping Expensive Car
We last stop at Santa Monica. Too brief stop over, will have to revisit again.
Universal Studios is the first theme park we have visited after so many days. We bought the tickets online. It entitles us to 1 day Universal Studios free on 2012 within 30 day from the first entry.
We printed our online purchase receipts, use the print out to gain entry directly. Remember to ask for a theme park map to begin with.
Entry to Universal Studio
We started with the longest queue: Studio Tour. Everyone is loaded into a tram, 4 in a row. The tram driver is an extremely well trained Universal Studios’ guide, he or she will explain the history, entertain us and bring us around the different studios. You can see your tram driver from the screen projection in each carriage.
TIPS: I find it better to sit on the left hand side of the tram, as most of the stuff happen on the left.
All visitors are to remain seated throughout the 45 minutes tour. You would not be allow to step out of the transport unless you sign up for the VIP Experience.
Studio Tour Tram Visitors Are Taking Interactive Screen In The Tram
Visitors get to see some street sets in Universal Studios. Scenes like City Hall, Cowboy’s town and Desperate Housewives’ houses. I am so tempted to jump out of the tram to camwhore. So pretty!
Street Scene Street Scene Houses from Desperate Housewives
We also experience “natural” disasters created within the studios: flood, earthquake and plane crash. Whoa~~~
From Dry To Wet Collapsed Underground Station Plane Crash
The second part of our Universal Studio trip is all the rides play. There will be an indicator outside each themed ride notifying us the waiting time. On average, we waited for 15 to 25 minutes in each station. Not so bad.
All these rides are exciting but not terrifying. But they are not on the extreme roller coaster type of thrill. So not to worry.
I love Mummy The Ride and Jurassic Park the most. Mummy ride is in a complete pitch black while Jurassic Park plunges down into the water towards the end.
WARNING: Jurassic Park ride has a tenancy to get wet.
Krustyland Simpsons Ride Jurassic Park Mummy The Ride Shrek 4D
There are also shows performed at a specific showtime. Do check out their slots.
Terminator 2 3D Special Effects Stage Stage Motion Tracking Suit
We only get to meet Scooby Doo on its parade walk. The rest, neh~~~
We drive up to Big Bear Lake hoping to experience snow. It is a 2 hours journey up the winding mountains with exceptionally clean air and blue sky. You might want to wind down your windows while driving up.
We stop over at the Big Bear Lake to see the frozen lake, take some pictures. Can’t really play with snow as they are already melting.
Big Bear Lake
The Frozen Lake Frozen But Not Advisable To Walk On It
We drive back to a ski resort nearby. Step into the little woods where children are playing with snow. Attempt to write New Year greeting, have our snow balls fight and sculpt our ugly snowman.
Ski Resort, Admission Fee Required.
Writing With Sticks
Happy New Year To All Lester Throwing Snow Ball Fluffy Cold Ice Sculpting Our Snowman Our Snowman
Skipped day 12 as we only spend our day in the car, driving back to Los Angeles.
Next day, we visited Hollywood. It is a tourist attraction with nothing much to see. The 2 ends of Hollywood are pretty rundown, you wouldn’t want to be there. Only the theater area is packed with tourists taking photos and buskers disguising as famous movie characters. If you want to take a picture with them, remember to tip.
Welcome to Hollywood Faraway Hollywood Sign The Walk of Fame Grauman’s Chinese Theater
We take about 1 hour to finish Hollywood. Went to catch a movie in the Grauman’s Chinese Theater. You can basically sit anywhere you like since the theater is big.
Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
Grauman’s Chinese Theater Interior Grauman’s Chinese Theater with 2 Level of Seats
Our 8th day in USA is Christmas day. We had a heart warming gathering at Lester’s uncle house with his friends. But preparation starts on the eve of Christmas as businesses are closed on Christmas day itself.
Leaving Ventura Beach, we take an hour drive to Los Angeles. Immediately after we parked our car, we headed out for grocery shopping. To save the food preparation hassle, most people tend to “ta-bao” signature dishes from their favorite restaurants. We did the same.
Went to Porto’s Bakery & Cafe which is famous for their pies and cakes. Queuing alone to collect your reserved order take us 1 hour.
Queue Starts from Porto’s Bakery & Cafe Backdoor Customers Queuing to Collect Orders
Dinner at Din Tai Fung. Gosh~ They taste even better here than any of their Asia branches. They have fish and chicken xiao long bao! There are more dish variety, I am so spoilt with choices here. My revisit to Din Tai Feng in the last few days of my trip, I ate 10 chicken xiao long bao by myself. Blurp~
Ding Tai Feng Dumpling Mascot Dumplings Feast Fish Dumplings Chicken Dumplings Taste Better
We had an early rest on the eve. Christmas decoration is all done up in the house already. I only assist to heat up food and do the dish washing.
Christmas Decoration in the House Busy in the Kitchen Crackers to Munch Before Meal Christmas Dinner Log Cake Pumpkin Pie
We sit around the tv, eat, talk, drink to pass our family time. 🙂
Going to spend the next 4 days 3 nights at Las Vegas, the Wonderland!
We reached in time for the African penguins feeding. Guests are welcomed to sit casually on the floor or go to the glass dome areas to watch these cute penguins eat. Aquarium staff will also explain what they do and observe during each feed.
African Penguins Feeding
Marine organisms are always fascinating. The aquarium has set up several spots for the visiting guests to interact with these marine animals. Timid me, I do not dare.
Touch the Starfish Touch the Crabs Bat Ray Touch Pool
I love this super big panel of water tank view. Time seems to slow down in front of the big blue water.
Big Water Tank Me Dazing Lester Dazing
We dine in the aquarium’s cafeteria. Simple food but delicious. You can also dine outside the aquarium. Before you exit, remember to get a hand stamp, so that your re-entry is valid.
Pizza & Milk Burger & Orange Juice
A 4 hours plus drive brings us to Ventura Beach. We are settling here for a night before heading to Los Angeles.
Comfort Inn at Ventura Beach Room Bathroom Facility Shower Area
Our next base station is Los Angeles where we’ll be staying with Lester’s uncle for the remaining weeks.