The happiest place on earth

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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, October 29, 2012

We arrived in LA around 11pm at night and lucky for us Dave and Tara came and picked us up yay! (For those who don't know, Tara and Dave spent a year in Tauranga and went to the same church as us, they are very fun). We spent a good time catching up before falling into bed in the wee hours but were kind and gave ourselves a little sleep in in the morning.

Tuesday we headed down to Hollywood Boulevard, took photos of the walk of fame (we probably recognised 1 in every 10 name) and all the dressed up people. Walked right past the Chinese theatre, oblivious to the fact that that is where the Oscars are held woopsies. Basically it was an afternoon wandering around that area.

Wednesday, Dave had the afternoon free so we walked up to the Hollywood sign, very thankful that LA has cooled down slightly but it was still in the 20s. It was a great view from the sign but we were most disappointed to once again see no rattlesnakes, unbelievable. We had to be home by 5, so we would have time to get all dressed up for Halloween. Dave and Tara were going to a thing called Carnaval, so with Alex borrowing a costume and some creativity in making a nerd we were sorted. Dave went as a retired Michael Phelps, complete with a 'bong' made out of a toilet roll. He blew cooking flour out a 'pipe' in the bottom, lighting it on fire, making it look very authentic! Alex's costume had a 'beer purse' which was convenient for carrying everything for the night, although she was very careful to hide the white zip lock bag of extra flour for Dave's bong.There were no security checks thankfully as it could have been interesting to explain "yes, I am just carrying this cooking flour for my friend!" The carnaval was pretty crazy basically we just walked down this very long street staring at everyone in their costumes, it was pretty fun and we were amazed at what people came up with for costumes –everything from Fat Darth Vadar to people in a shower.

Thursday –Happiest day ever!!!! Disneyland here we come woop woop. We didn’t let the 2 hour bus ride of horribleness dampen our spirits and when we stepped through the magical gates of Disneyland nothing could bring us down. It was aweome, so much fun, we got photos with lots of Disney characters, Alex sat at the front for Splash Mountain and got saturated hehe. Liz closed her eyes through most of Space Mountain as they had yucky Halloweeny images. We had next to no queues, the longest wait was 15mins oh yeah go the weekday in Autumn. The Mickey Mouse Street Parade in the evening was super cool, all our favourite characters were out dancing about. Pretty much it was the best day ever. Just magical. But all good things must come to end, and we were quickly plummeted back to earth as we got on the longest bus ride back ever, it was frigid, no suspension and just plain awful.

Friday, we headed to Universal Studios, we had perfect timing, getting there just as it opened and seeing all the timed shows one after another in the morning. At the Animal Actors studio, Liz got to be the volunteer who the bird flew to to take Alex’s dollar bill out of her hand, luckily for Alex the bird flew back later to return it. The Waterworld stunt show was pretty cool, having gotten wet yesterday at Disneyland we cunningly sat behind the wheelchair section and stayed perfectly dry. Universal also had great rides. That evening we went to the filming of Happily Divorced, a tv show Tara works as a stand in on. It was awesome, we got to sit in the VIP room eating lots of free food and drinking wine, while the plebs in the studio audience proper only got fed pizza. It was quite an interesting experience seeing how a show is filmed all the chopping and changing of lines etc while filming. Have we mentioned Fran Drescher -The Nanny, is the leading lady and yes she does speak like that in real life! Afterwards we got to go onto the set and look around. Fran Drescher even thanked us for coming, yep we’re pretty much famous, or at least famous once removed.

Saturday, Tara was our tour guide and took us to Santa Monica pier and Venice beach, where we had amazing Italian food, Volare has some competition! We then drove to Bel Air, Beverley Hills and Rodeo Drive. It was quite amazing how big some of those houses were, they even had service entrances, bus stops for the hired help of whom we saw walking dogs. We then went to IKEA, it was amazing, it was certainly a new experience, it was huge! They should bring IKEA to NZ.

Sunday we attended Tara and Dave’s church then feasted on a roast dinner, we made Pav again for desert and played many games of settlers woohoo.

Monday, we returned to the happiest place on earth, this time with Tara, we went to California Adventure Park where they have recently opened Carsland, we got to see Lightning McQueen and Mater and Alex and Tara won their car race, Lizzie didn’t L. We went on an awesome ride, called Tower of Terror where you are inside an elevator that drops and rises and drops and rises etc, we did it twice it was great. They had a Pixar parade in the evening which was fun and the Wonderful World of Colour show, which was the most spectacular water and lights show we have ever seen, ever! It was all these cool water fountains with beautiful lighting and holograms showing on them and all your favourite Disney songs. It was magical. We love Disneyland and we love that Tara drove so it only took us an hour to get home.

Tuesday we headed back to Disneyland to get pictures with all the characters we had missed and to go on the awesome rides again. We had our photos with Cinderella and Snow White, Liz is pretty cool as Cinderella told her she was wearing her favourite colour. Yep Cinderella and Liz share similar views (that was just for you Alastair). Liz was very pleased that there were no longer Halloween images on Space Mountain. We also did Splash Mountain again, but learning from our earlier mistake, we went as single riders and because they fill up from the front we got to sit in the back and stay much drier. Oh wait except for Alex. Two sneaky people also knew this and were not having a bar of it, they stole the back two positions and made Alex go in the middle. In front of her were the 3 biggest people from South Auckland, and while it was nice to hear the Kiwi accent again, she would have appreciated it if they had not eaten so much KFC, suffice to say she got saturated. Liz was even afraid that her boat which was behind there’s would get the backlash from the giant wave. Luckily, Alex had brought a change of clothing.

Tuesday was also American election day and the traffic was horrendous getting to the airport but we made it without any problem. Alex was gutted as she was sure LAX would have a Starbucks and she would be able to get one last Pumpkin Spice Latte, but alas there was none in our terminal and she was forced to face an 8 hour overnight arduous flight without any caffeine. It took awhile for the tears to cease.

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