Universal Studios, Hollywood

2 lucky colleagues of mine got to join me to LA to visit Su Jen... and a whole bunch of other great destinations. We left from work at 5pm and headed for the airport to catch a Southwest flight at 8:30pm which eventually got delayed till 9:10pm. The flight from Houston to LAX airport took us 3 hours and 15 minutes, but we arrived LAX at 11:30 local time.

Anyways, I will skip all the stuff that happened in between and will put that up in a separate post! :) I shall start with the first day that I spent in LA, at the Universal Studios. We got up early, and reached the studios at 8:30am. Even then there was already a line snaking to the ticket booth.

All of the shops are cute and brightly coloured to deceive kids. Luckily I am not one :p

I think I am coffee dependent ever since I started work in KL. Now it's even worse. Even on a fun day to Universal Studios and I still need coffee to function properly. Why ah? No good!

That's Shifa and Jocelyn. You can't see it from here, but Jocelyn is wearing metallic silver high heels. I was dumbfounded and asked her why didn't she wear something more comfortable since we will be walking whole day. Oh but she already had a backup plan.... she has a substitute pair of shoes in her handbag in case she gets tired walking in heels. lol .. the price of beauty to look good in photos :)

Elation at being here.... before this it was only a dream which I thought will probably never even come true. Ok, that's a lie. Su Jen lives here so I only thought it's a matter of time.

To be honest, I didn't know what to expect from Universal Studios except for some sight-seeing, back stages, etc. Well... I am in for a bit of a surprise...

Initially Su Jen planned to bring all of us to Disneyland, but the weather forecast for that day would be raining so we ended up at Universal Studios instead - There is a larger number of indoor entertainment compared to Disneyland. But anyways, it was pretty cold in the morning too.

Tickets in costs $67 but my ticket was on Su Jen ^^.

At the very front of the entrance. Notice there were 3 statues? Can you spot the 'fake' one? Lol! Su Jen was the first to notice that one of them is very much alive.

We got ourselves maps at the entrance and headed straight for our first ride... the new Simpsons ride!

I want to admit upfront that I'm a big chicken when it comes to rides and roller coasters, whatever that involves accelerating to high elevation in a minimum time possible and swooping down in the same fashion. Anyway, the Simpson's ride is only a simulated ride where you sit on this ride powered by hydraulics and the rest is animation and such but it feels so real!! It's been over 10 years by now since my last coaster ride and now thinking about it feels a bit sissy being scared in the ride hahahahahah!

Then we got on to the Mummy ride. It's no longer a simulation ride. I love all the effects that the people behind the engineering went to. There was a part when the scarab beetles are supposed to be crawling towards the truck we were on and we could feel some stuff swiping and moving around at our feet lol.

The Jurassic Park ride was scary for me at that time! Before we went on the Simpson's ride, I already saw the end of the ride which is to plunge into a 50-foot splash fall and I was determined not to go on that ride. Not surprisingly, Su Jen went and got into the queue anyway and I had to tag along miserably but there were no regrets! I had fun :)

Pictures are taken using Su Jen's Nikon D80, mine would look really crappy. Oh! On a side note, I got myself a new camera! Well, not exactly brand new, Uriel, my Mexican colleague, wanted to get sell his (after only using the camera for less than a month for only about 3 occasions) because he wanted to get a DSLR. He got the camera for $300, inclusive of camera bag, 4GB memory card, batteries and charger but he sold it to me for only $200!

This cheeky spinx took off my hairband and put it around her neck.

I was so brave...

The studio tour takes us on a ride around the stages, sets and also an overview on how some movies were shot.

Fake backdrop :p

Our tour bus/trailer whatever you call it went across this bridge and the bridge sort of snapped midway through -_-. Then as we make a round back the bridge starts to mend itself and going back to position.

Then we got to see how explosions and crashes and cars flying around are made. These are from the Fast and Furious. Lol, on another sidenote, watched this movie in Memorial City Mall, not bad but the storyline kinda cacatz. There are some scenes which seems totally out of place, but what do you expect from a movie which centers around cars and hot girls huh.

Our truck/bus whatever going through the lake. From a distance it would seem as though we had gone underwater.

More explosions plus sharks!

By the way, whenever there is an explosion, you could feel the heat on your face even though we're quite a distance apart from the source.

Can you tell where these houses are from?

Or these?

Lol, they are from the Desperate Housewives series. We were supposed to be lucky that day because normally they crew would be shooting then and nobody will be allowed to enter.

Cute! The Grinch set.

I forgot what movie this set was made for... End of the World or something like that. The story got plane crashing ar and there's wreck all over wan.

Stumbled into this actress for a Bollywood film...
And other miscellaneous....

We finished touring most of the place by 3pm. We didn't get the chance to watch the Waterworld show though because it will take us another hour to get to the Camarillo Factory Outlet and I think most of us are more keen to shop anyways.

Flying pig taken from Citywalk, a whole stretch of shops selling gifts, merchandise, etc.

Rows and rows of M&M's candies. And a whole load of chocolates and stuff too. I took 2 bagsfull of candy and chocs, and went to pay for them. To my horror, the bill came up to $30 -_-.

I know my post on Universal doesn't seem too exciting but it's hard for me to describe the rides in detail. It's the experience that can speak for itself. Anyways, I will be even more excited to describe Disneyland! Ooooh! I love Disneyland :D

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