US Trip ’07: Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood
June 4, 2007. The plan was to spend the day at Universal Studios Hollywood. Before proceeding to the infamous theme park, we dropped by a Catholic church (because my parents felt guilty that we didn’t attend mass the previous day), then, we picked my godmother up in Los Angeles, where she’s working as a caregiver. I actually missed her. It made me feel a little bad that she had to leave the Philippines and work as a caregiver two years ago.

Universal Studios City Walk
Now that I’ve come to think of it, Universal Studios relies much on a century of Hollywood entertainment hegemony for us to desire being there. The rides were okay but not exactly world-exceptional. The backlot tour was so-so. I haven’t seen some of the movies that supposedly used some of the sets we were shown, so it didn’t really feel surreal or special to me when they brought us there.

Universal Studios Hollywood Probably the best thing I enjoyed was the food passes we could use in any of the dining establishments in the park. Boy, it was pigging out galore. I loved it. We had all sorts of large servings of good fried American fast food.

Universal Studios Hollywood Universal Studios Hollywood All in all, Universal Studios Hollywood is a nice place to spend time with friends and family. It would probably feel more special and spectacular if you were a heavy consumer of American entertainment. Otherwise, you’d feel weird when people around you seem to be so amazed at some set or attraction you don’t recognize.

US Trip ’07: Sta. Monica beach, CA

Santa Monica Beach, California
June 3, 2007. This was a relatively lazy Sunday. We stayed home most of the morning. While my parents went to do the groceries for breakfast and lunch, my brother and I stayed and watched TV, amused of all those amazing HDTV features available at the apartment.

After having home-cooked lunch, we headed off to the commercial district of Sta. Monica for my parents’ shopping. While my parents were at Macy’s, I strolled down to the beach and took some photos. After quenching their commercial thirst, my family joined me at the beach a few blocks from the department store. We had some churros while strolling.

Santa Monica Beach, California
When we got home, my aunt asked my third cousin’s husband to accompany me to the Apple Store at the promenade on 3rd Street. And that was when we bought this wonderful Macbook I’m using right now. When we got home, I could barely sit down and eat the lamb chops we had for dinner, because I was too excited to play around with the Mac. I spent the entire night tinkering with this.

US Trip ’07: Arriving in Santa Monica, CA

Promenade, Santa Monica, CA

June 2, 2007. So, from Paso Robles, we continued driving all the way to Santa Monica in Southern California where Auntie Lydia’s daughter (which makes her my third cousin) lives. It was quite embarrassing. There we were, crashing her and her husband’s apartment with tons of luggages, and we (except for my mom) have never met her before.

We had dinner at this Greek restaurant at the Promenade along 3rd Street. While waiting for our orders, I went to this Apple store right across the restaurant and drooled at the Macs. Now, I really had plans of asking my parents to buy me my own laptop, but I didn’t quite realize that I was to have one of those things by the next day.

US Trip ’07: Lunch at Paso Robles

Paso Robles town proper

June 2, 2007. After my family’s wine tasting spree, we drove to Paso Robles’ town proper. Paso Robles is another small quiet town in central California’s wine country. We had lunch at this quaint French restaurant, where I had a pricey plate of seasoned fish fillet.

After lunch, we walked around town for a bit. Paso Robles wasn’t crowded at all. It seemed like a very peaceful and clean neighborhood.

Anyway, on our way to where we parked, we decided to have ice cream at Cold Stone. The serving was humongous, and the ice cream was really much stickier and creamier than what I am used to in the Philippines. Yum. It was definitely a very filling dessert.