Woohoo, hello USA! I arrived at LAX safe and sound but exhausted after not being able to sleep on our 14 hour flight due to excitement/nerves/being freezing/aisle seating. For our week in LA, we opted to stay in Anaheim rather than central LA or Hollywood, which turned out to be a good decision given that it was a very clean and safe area. Coming straight from the Tasmanian winter to the Californian summer was a nice change, with temperatures averages 30 degrees Celsius every day.. Still struggling to comprehend all the rainfall back home in Tasmania. For our first dinner in the USA we ate out at the Outback Steakhouse next door to our hotel. Needless to say we didn’t bother ordering the 1000-odd calorie ‘Tassie Buffalo Wings’ for entree… Welcome to America.
Our schedule for LA/Anaheim was pretty jam packed so here’s my best attempt at an overview:
Our two days at Disneyland were amazing – I can see why this is referred to as the happiest place on earth. Went spent two massive 14 hour days at both Disneyland Park and California Adventure World. Hands down, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror was my favourite ride, however the World of Color water/light/fire show was easily the highlight of the two parks (this doesn’t even do it justice ). Disneyland certainly gave us a good insight into the eating habits of some (not all) Americans, with neither Louise nor I regretting our decision to pass up on Chili Cheese Fries. We managed to see all that we wanted with our two day pass, but I can see why some families spend up to a week here! Never-ending fun!
Hollywood & The Doctors taping
On Thursday 15th we booked a driver to take us to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and then on to Paramount Studios for the taping of The Doctors tv show. I think it’s safe to say Louise and I were both equally disappointed in Hollywood and the WoF. The place was crowded with movie character impersonators, people trying to sell tour packages and knock off Hollywood merchandise. To escape the streets we visited Madame Tussauds wax museum, which I found somewhat creepy. The Doctors taping proved to be entertaining, with sex being the topic of the episode that afternoon. At times Louise and I had a lot of difficulty containing our laughter at the ‘issues’ being discussed, which would not be considered socially acceptable to talk about so openly in Australia.
On Friday we took an organized tour bus with an annoyingly loud female driver to Universal Studios. Universal Studios had nowhere near as many attractions as Disneyland so our day here wasn’t as big. We took the back lot tour and pretended to be amazed at the fact that movie sets are just facades and then went our separate ways so that we could both see our preferred attractions – for me, this meant riding solo on the Jurassic Park and Revenge of the Mummy rides, neither of which have I watched the movies for. Other attractions we saw at Universal included the Simpsons Ride and WaterWorld – an awesome stunt show involving Hollywood actors, water, jet skis, boats, pyrotechnics and a sea plane – very skilled stuff!
On Saturday we slept in a bit then caught the shuttle bus to the Citadel outlets, which resemble a harbor town DFO back in Australia. I hadn’t intended on spending very much, but the these purchases, which were on my ‘to buy in America’ shopping list were too good to resist. I ended up leaving with a very nice DKNY coat which will be ideal for winter, particularly in the Big Apple itself, a new handbag and some general clothing items. Quality over quantity!
For our final day in Anaheim, we headed back to Downtown Disney, a little plaza in-between the two parks for breakfast and some more Disney shopping. That afternoon we repacked our suitcases in preparation for our flights to Indy the next day!
Our travels between LA and Indianapolis included a quick 90 minute stop over at the Dallas airport which is so big it has a monorail to connect terminals. We arrived in Indy on Monday night and were greeted at the Indianapolis Airport by some fantastic Butler girls who made us feel very welcome straight away! So far I am absolutely stoked with our decision to come over to Butler University (thanks Louise!). From what I’ve already taken in from the people, culture and facilities, this is one awesome place to live and learn!