Shares In Jose` Taxi
Trip Start Jul 31, 2013
29Trip End Sep 06, 2013
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The taxi turned up at 7.30am, our driver was a lovely friendly Mexican called Jose`. To cut a long story short, at 8.20am we were still at least 15 minutes away from our designated pick up according to Jose`s GPS. I started breaking out in a sweat and Fred had gone into a trance. The taxi meter just kept on climbing. I'm not going to reveal what that fare cost, but I couldn't help asking Jose` if he had travelled from over the border this morning to collect us from our hotel
Fred & I decided that we weren't going to let it spoil our day, we would face the problem of how we were going to get back to our hotel when the situation arose. With our heads firmly stuck in the sand we boarded a mini bus that then transferred us to yet another pick-up point. Finally we were loaded onto our VIP coach, our driver and tour guide for the day was called Mundy, he could quite easily have passed for Denzel Washington's younger brother. Apart from being easy on the eyes, he was a very funny man, and full of all the trivia that you could possibly hope for on a trip around LA.
Our first stop was Venice Beach, this is the place where the big boys flex their muscles and pump iron. There are also walkers, joggers, roller bladers and plenty of homeless people hanging out there. I know it's meant to be iconic and yes it does have a certain charm, but the word that really springs to mind is shabby. I guess the fact that it was yet again very overcast didn't show it at it's best. Speaking of the weather, apparently this is the norm, everyday is grey, dull and overcast until the sun finally burns off the cloud cover, this usually takes till midday. I was expecting it to be warm and sunny in sunny California, so far it's been quite cool and dull.
We then drove through Santa Monica, and took a peek at some of the prime real estate on the canals. Next stop Beverley Hills. All the time Mundy was pointing out various locations where famous films were shot, we cruised down Rodeo Drive, Sunset Boulevard, Melrose Place, we pretty much saw all the most popular landmarks. We had some time to walk up Hollywood Boulevard's walk of fame and take in all the buzz on the street
Mundy then dropped us at Universal Studios where we spent the next 5 hours enjoying the make believe that goes into the magic of films. We took in a live show on the original set of Waterworld. Cast re-enacted a scene from the film, hard to imagine when you see the film that most of the water stunts were shot in a pool less than the size of an Olympic swimming pool. Quite amazing We wouldn't normally do the House of Horrors tour, but being as we were at Universal Studios we thought we'd give it a go. Fred & I laughed and screamed for 20 minutes. I nearly wet myself when a midget Chuckie appeared out the dark in front of me. We then took a bus tour of the back lot where a lot of the big blockbuster movies are filmed. Jaws tried to get into our tram, King Kong tried to push our tram over, and to top that off, we had a very scary incident where we were trapped in the subway during an earthquake. That was a lot of fun.
The Blues Brothers put on a show for us, we met Marilyn Monroe and Sponge Bob. In a nutshell we had a really good day out. Forgot to mention the visit down Wisteria Lane, disappointingly no one was at home.
When our bus turned up Mundy had the best news ever for Fred & I. For a small fee of $30 he had arranged a couple of seats on a bus going out to La Mirada. What a dear boy. With that overwhelming good news, Fred suddenly got his appetite back.
I don't want to sound negative because we did have a great day, but if I was honest, I was expecting to be blown away by the glitz, instead our overall impression at times was tacky and rather tired looking. It's almost like everything you see in photos, TV or the movies relating to Los Angeles and Hollywood has been airbrushed, whilst in reality it is as I said, tired and in need of a face lift.
Tomorrow we are off to San Francisco.
PS Did you know that LA has 10,000 miles of freeway. I think Fred & I have travelled at least 5,000 miles of it.
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