Travel Diary: Loving Life in Los Angeles
It’s been a little while but I’ve just returned from my dream holiday in LA! This is literally the trip of a lifetime for me and I feel like I was living my best life out in California. I checked a lot off of my bucket list and got to spend the week with some incredible people who I love dearly. I’ve been so overwhelmed with what to post about, etc. but I’ve decided to share with you my Los Angeles travel diary from one of the best weeks of my life.
Tuesday 6th March
After a long day of travelling, we spent our first official day in Los Angeles actually outside of the city and just a few minutes outside in Anaheim to visit the happiest place on Earth; Disneyland! It’s been a dream since I was very little to visit the original Disneyland and having already visited two other parks around the world, checking off a third was such an exhilarating feeling! With my mother and gran both being disabled and restricted to experiencing the ride element of Disney, it would have been a little lonely without my dear friend Alex meeting up with me. We’ve been friends online for years after working together and today was finally the day that she and I were able to meet in person! As a former SoCal resident and Disneyland Annual Pass holder, Alex was like our own personal tour guide and managed to make the entire Disney experience the absolute best.
The queues for the rides were surprisingly short, which Alex said was super lucky. I was also made aware by friends that Spring Break was happening for a lot of America when we were there so I guess we really were lucky in terms of queues! Today for Alex and I was very ride-oriented, which was great because I did have quite a few that I really wanted to ride, both Disney classics across all parks and Disneyland California originals. I rode quite a few rides, so I’ve decided to dedicate a post to everything we rode to really talk about the attractions, because I’ve a lot to say!
I had such an incredible time today, it was something I thought I’d only ever dream about but to be here in person at a place I’ve longed to visit before I even hit double digits is just a dream come true.
Wednesday 7th March
The Disney dream continues as we venture out to Disney California Adventure, the second park in the Disneyland resort. Today was a day where I braved going on a ride I never thought I’d go on. If you’re a Disney fan, you’re probably aware of the attraction, Tower of Terror, where you are in an elevator at an old hotel and get dropped from the top floor. Well, they’ve since got rid of that attraction but in the same building have put Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! which is of a pretty similar style. I’ve always said I’d never ride the rides but Alex managed to hype me up enough to actually go on the ride… and it was incredible! The rush of adrenaline was intense but I couldn’t help but laugh and scream from it with excitement and shock of the sensations from it. I felt so proud of myself because it was initially a ride I feared, yet ended up being one I loved a lot!
Today was a day I managed to meet a lot of Disney characters which was so much fun! I met Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and Chip and Dale, which was so much fun! I had a lot of fun interacting with the characters and plan to create guide of my knowledge as it can really make the trip that little bit more magical.
We also got to experience the Food and Wine Festival, which was a lot of fun. Alex managed to taste something from every stall which I commend her on! My mother, gran and I took some time out to go and see Frozen as a stage show which was absolutely breathtaking and made us fall in love with the franchise all over again. A truly magical experience.
These past two days at Disney have been absolutely incredible and I’m sad that it’s come to an end, but I’m excited and intrigued to see what the rest of our time in Los Angeles has to bring.
Thursday 8th March
Today we said goodbye to Alex and went to Universal Studios Hollywood, which I was sad about saying goodbye but looking forward to going to Universal and seeing how it differs to the one in Florida. It was quite the chilled day where we went to Springfield to visit The Simpsons, go to Krusty Burger and ride The Simpsons Ride which is something I’ve wanted to do since it first opened over 10 years ago in Orlando. We then headed out to go on the Universal Studios Tour which was absolutely spectacular to be able to see different sets and lots from Universal and get to experience the special effects including CGI, a crash course in set design, experiencing a flash flood and so much more. It was something all three of us found breathtaking.
Following the incredible tour, we headed to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter where we walked around Hogsmeade, saw the Frog Choir perform, bought all kinds of Harry Potter sweet treats – including the mouth watering Chocolate frog that used to be sold everywhere back home when the films first came out… I could taste my childhood! – and felt at home with the British accents surrounding us.
It was a really nice and chilled day which was a lot calmer compared to the Disney experience but was still a great time with the movie magic vibes.
Friday 9th March
I’d been looking forward to today for such a long time and my inner teen was beyond excited. I’ve always taken an interest in the magic of movie making and so getting to go on a tour of the Warner Brothers Studio was something I was very much excited about. We had a real insight to the behind-the-scenes of the entertainment industry and getting up close and personal with the world of Hollywood. Our tour guide took us to the backlots which have been the exterior sets for classic films and TV shows including Batman, Casablanca, Friends, Gilmore Girls and much more. We were then whisked away to a building which was home to the DC Universe and Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts exhibits, getting to see costumes and props as used in the films themselves. My gran and I even paid a visit to the Sorting Hat and found out that I’m a Hufflepuff and she’s a Slytherin! Our next stop was to see the real life Batmobiles used in various Batman movies, which were all actually working and were capable to drive! However, we found out that none of the actors were allowed to drive any of the vehicles and were used by stuntmen. Looking at the insides of some of the vehicles, I could totally understand why; they looked complicated! Following this, we were dropped off to the self-guided part of the tour, which was perhaps my favourite part of the experience. This was Stage 48: Script to Screen where you could see so much of the magic come to life as an interactive soundstage which explores phases of the television and film production process, really showing you how Hollywood is made. Of course, I loved getting to see the Central Perk rebuild soundstage which had my inner fangirl so excited! At the end of Stage 48 was another “Central Perk” which acted as a cafe-style canteen where you could order The Joey Special (two pizzas), grab Starbucks-style food and get as much coffee and tea that the cast of Friends drank at the New York City based independent coffee house. We then headed to the gift shop where I went to town buying so much merchandise from my favourite TV shows and I had no regrets!
Following the tour, we then hailed a taxi to Hollywood Boulevard where we explored a little bit. It was pretty overwhelming and felt very much like a tourist spot than a place to actually spot any A-Listers (and if there were any there, it was so crowded that I couldn’t see them!) and was like a party place with so many street performers and buskers as well as highly affordable stalls of cheaply made memorabilia which was perfect for souvenirs. We passed the El Capitan theatre which belongs to Disney and I was hoping to catch a Disney classic there, but with the day coming to an end, we decided to skip it and visit the Disney-themed chocolate shop next door before heading to Hollywood & Highland for a little look and then finally catching a cab back home. On the way home we drove through West Hollywood which in my opinion was a lot different and more cleaner than the tourist side of Hollywood that we’d just visited. It looked like a lot more of an expensive place and the kind of place A-Listers would hang out.
Saturday 10th March
“It never rains in LA”, they said. “It’s always sunny in California!” they said. This morning we were greeted by rain which literally put a dampener on our day as it was the one beach-themed day we had planned. Typical! The plan was to just spend the day at Santa Monica Pier and chill out, go to the arcades, the fun fair and the beach, but that was disrupted thanks to Mother Nature doing her thing. We did end up going to Santa Monica for about an hour or two to grab some food on the pier and have a bit of a wander. It was on my travel bucket list to visit, so I had to do it and even though it was a miserable day weather-wise, I was glad to have a nose there and know that it’s a place I do want to try and visit again in the future. After seeing photos online, it looks like a great place to be at sunset.
With our Santa Monica trip cut short, we decided to go to Westfield Shopping Mall in Culver City to do what we do best; spend money! There’s so many American brands I’m aware of thanks to my friends and family from the states, so that was an exciting experience on its own. I did a major haul in Sephora, Bath and Body Works and a few other shops which was great fun.
Sunday 11th March
With it being Mother’s Day back home, we decided to make our last full day here a special one and went to The Grove shopping complex (it’s pretty famous) and have a meal at the Cheesecake Factory before having one last shopping haul. The food in the Cheesecake Factory was truly delicious. My mother and gran opted for a veggie burger while I went with the four cheese pasta which was amazing, but not a patch on the cheesecakes. Oh my God, my tastebuds were truly in heaven. I had the Chocolate Tuxedo Cheesecake and I felt like I was on cloud nine as far as food goes. We need the chain to open here in the UK, that’s for sure!
After food, my friends Lesley and Camryn came to visit me. Regular readers will know Camryn as my musical friend who I don’t get to see very often, so the fact that she and Lesley made time out of their very busy schedules to come and spend some time with me in their neck of the woods made my day. We caught up and had some time together chatting before we parted ways and I had a good old shopping haul in Sephora and Barnes & Noble which was like a field day for me; makeup and books? Yes please!
The fam and I met back up again to go for one last walk around before getting in a taxi and heading back to the apartment to back and get an early night before yet another day of travel.
The journey wasn’t really much to talk about, so I won’t bore you with the details. But I had an absolutely incredible time in Los Angeles and I still have so much to share! It’s inspired me for a lot of upcoming future content, so I’m excited to share that. I also took so many photos that I’m going to upload the majority of them on Instagram, so be sure to check it out! I hope you enjoyed my Los Angeles travel diary; I plan to do more diary-style posts as I embark on different trips!
Have you ever been to Los Angeles? Where is your dream destination to visit?