Wednesday, May 5, 2010

DC2CERUMA - Day 14

Today was a relaxing day that had a couple of extra cool moments. It was a great way to wrap up my last full day of my Disney Coast to Coast-er Universally Magic Adventure by hitting the tenth park of the trip with an unexpected guest followed up with a a couple of activities that I had not planned on doing at all during the trip.

At my old job I had a hiring and firing responsibility. I hired Asa and about two months after I was let go, he was laid off too. He moved from Hawaii back to California and we've kept in touch. He took time out of his schedule to come over to my hotel and together we visited Universal Studios Hollywood. Along the way we stopped in Buena Park where I was able to get postcard stamps (note, I have to make sure I bring the stamps with me since I can't trust Disneyland or Magic Mountain or places where you BUY postcards to have postcard stamps!) and we did a quick drive by of Knott's Berry Farm.

I hadn't been to Universal in two years and for Asa it had been ten something so there was a lot new for him and for me it was the West Coast version of the Simpsons ride. I have to say, that the whole Simpsons attraction is one sharp witted and fun experience. Between the videos in the queue and the main attraction, they poke fun at so much! The little stints that Patty and Selma, Apu, Mole Man and grounds keeper Willie just before you get ready to board are wonderful how they bounce back and forth with banter. Yeah, a very good attraction!

The whole time was at a nice pace. The weather was warm, but not uncomfortable. The park had misters going all over the place to help keep it cool. There were no lines to speak of. The longest we waited was about 15 minutes for the Simpsons everything else was one or two vehicles. The Mummy was so light that when Asa asked to move from the second row to the first row, Amelia told him how to get back in line quicker. For the tram tour we lucked out; Wysteria lane was open. We had the chance to see the exterior sets used for the show Desperate Housewives. The last visit had the road closed. The one thing I didn't see as much as when I was over in Florida was characters. Only saw a few like Lucy, Groucho Marx, and Sponge Bob.

The end of the time in the park we were able to squeeze in Waterworld and Terminator 2: 3D. Recently I made comments about the relevance of Waterworld. After seeing the stunt show, having the movie tie is doesn't matter. It was a fun, action filled, VERY WET (at least for some of the lower seats) concise example to stuntman workmanship. The downed airplane landing in the theater...classic! When Waterworld got out we had to hustle over to catch the last show of the day with the folks of Cyberdyne.

Asa had suggested staying in the area a bit afterward to avoid some of the rush hour traffic. My friend Jeff had mentioned Griffith Park so we ventured up to Griffith Observatory. I'm so glad that the two came together. It was exciting to see a LA landmark plus the fact that I'm a science and math guy this place got me excited. The interior of the building was gorgeous. The exterior was just as beautiful. The vistas even with the smog were incredible. Watching the sunset was just one of those moments you go WOW! On the lawn there were two telescopes set up. One was trained on Venus and the other Saturn. It was incredible to see the rings through that little eye piece. With that we departed to make our way back down to Anaheim.

For dinner Asa suggested a place called Lee's Sandwiches on Harbor Blvd. He was very enthusiastic on the place. They had 10" baguette sandwiches for under four bucks. Not a bad deal. He suggested getting the jalapeno peppers too! This is the first time that I can remember getting a fresh sliced jalapeno, not one that had been marinating in some jar for months. To wash it down, a lychee smoothie. It was very tasty, the bread was fresh and you know you have a good jalapeno when your nose starts to run! Asa also treated me to a chicken taco from Alberto's. It was very good as well. Nothing like I get in Hawaii!

Asa was great company. Thanks for showing me some of the food choices here in California. They were far better selections that the burger and pulled pork sandwich from Universal! I want to mention Phil from Florida and say a big mahalo to him as he provided me with the tickets for the park.

Back at the hotel I was busy working on my postcards and in comes Jeff. He attended DPN Westfest and stayed at the Grand Californian during the event but has since moved hotels before flying out to Honolulu to visit with me for a few days. We got talking about his adventure of the day. Turns out we were both at Griffith Observatory at the same time. We have the same sunset photos! Looks like I was one level lower than him while taking the shots. Too funny!

In one way I'm glad the trip is coming to an end. I am tired. I already told Jeff not to expect a whole lot out of me on Thursday as I need a little recoup time. By hitting Universal Studios Hollywood, that makes ten parks in 14 days. Tomorrow will just be a little time in Disneyland before getting the shuttle back to LAX and then Honolulu. It will be nice to put my head down in the Apartment in Paradise once more.