The first thing I noticed when we arrived at our hotel (just minutes away from the major theme parks) was how the air smelt like an ice skating rink because it was so cold. I loved it. The second thing I noticed and definitely not used to is how intimate waiters and waitresses are. They would have a little welcome speech, introduce their names and constantly ask if you need anything else. Their kindness made me uncomfortable. What am I supposed to respond with?! It feels too intimate to thank them using their names so instead, I stared blankly back, being the well mannered person I am. Tipping also made me feel self conscious because we didn't know whether we were under tipping them and being judged as the stereotypical cheap Asian. I also couldn't get over the amount of hypebeasts and people who think they have swag, which makes me want to burn their snapbacks.
On our second day in Los Angeles, we went to the supposed happiest place on Earth - Disneyland! It was my second time there, so I don't think it could ever live up to my first time, two years ago, as nothing came as a surprise or new experience for me. A lot of the good rides I remembered were closed as well. And my day consisted of a lot of intense, sharp stomach pains and running to the restrooms to chuck a vom vom or bom bom every 15-60 minutes.
We took lots of photos with characters and got "their" autographs in between rides. We also impulse bought 437891 toys (which I already regret) that won't fit in our luggages and souvenir pennies.
I think my favourite land/world in Disneyland is Toontown. The little fictional based stores there made you feel like you've been thrown into a cartoon show. I couldn't even tell whether the sky and hills were real or not at first.
The third day was spent at California Adventure Park. A must here is the Radiator Springs Racers ride, even if it means you have to wait in line for two hours, it's definitely worth it. The ferris wheel at Pier Paradise is a must too. Don't take the normal cages though, take the cages that swings violently as the wheel turns until you scream yourself hoarse. It was the craziest thing - I felt like our cage was going to be thrown into the sea below and my internal organs were being flung inside my rib cage as much as I was inside that cage.
I wasn't allowed to eat (due to being fully sick brah), but holy, the warm, creamy Mickey Mouse shaped pretzels were so good. Or maybe everything just tastes infinitely better if you're told not to eat for 24 hours and there's just something about being told you're not allowed to do something that makes you want to do that something more.
We finished the day with a water light show. It was so amazing! All I remember was a bunch of projected lights of Disney characters into the water and the water doing fancy things to reenact a few scenes from Disney movies. It was better than any hallucinogen I can imagine.
We went to Universal Studios on our fourth day. Again, there wasn't much that came as a surprise to me because I've been there before, but that doesn't change how nerve racking it was to line up and know what kind of horror and sharp turning corners await. Most of the rides here are virtual rides so the effects were really cool and felt real like how Sideshow Bob was trying to chase and murder us through Springfield.
We also had a studio tour to see some of the actual sets of movies, props and how some effects were done in films.
Adjacent to Universal Studios was Universal City Walk. It was made to look like a mini Hollywood. Personally, I liked it there more than the real Hollywood, which we went right after.
Like the last time I came to Hollywood, I immediately ran in search for the Harry Potter trio's prints in the cement. That's the only thing there I liked. Along the whole boulevard was just people trying to lure tourists in buying their goods, people handing out flyers and homeless people asking for money for every tour bus that unloads another round of tourists.
I think one of the best moments of our time here in Los Angeles was to convince mum and dad to yolo and go on rides when they would normally just stand back and hold onto our belongings like a hat stand and poorly attempt to snap (blurry) photos of us on the ride. Another would be our taxi driver who drove us around the few days we were there. He reminds me of Ranjit from How I Met Your Mother. He was just so friendly and fun to talk to.
NEXT STOP, SAN FRANCISCO.