As I mentioned in my Hollywood Sign Hike post, Tom stayed with me for 5 days before he went back to Australia. While he was here, I was determined to give him a proper taste of LA, as well as tick off some things I had yet to do on my bucket list.
So, after an exhausting hike on Saturday afternoon, we came straight home and got ready to go to a UCLA Men’s Basketball game. Conveniently, the basketball stadium is just a 5 minute walk from my dorm, and we didn’t have any trouble getting great seats. The Bruins unfortunately lost to the Colorado Buffalos, but it was a really cool experience – I definitely prefer basketball to football. It’s much easier to follow and SO much easier to see what going on in front of you – like I can actually get excited by it because I know when something bad has happened, whereas in American football I genuinely wouldn’t have a clue what I was cheering or booing. At all.
That night, we decided that Tom simply had to go to a frat party while he was in America. He was reluctant (as was I, somewhat) because we were both SUPER tired and he was still very jet lagged, but we did go to one for about 10 minutes.
Tom had a shot of Prestige vodka – the staple frat drink – and that was enough to convince him that was enough for one night! We headed home and fell asleep instantly – it had been a very long day! As it turns out, that night was one of the last frat parties in a while, due to an incident that occurred at another party that night.
On Sunday, we Ubered down to Santa Monica and walked along the pier. We then strolled along the path from Santa Monica to Venice beach, watching all of the people doing tricks on the bars and rings along the way. It was lovely and hot – I even got a tan line! Tom really liked Venice – the funny shops and cool street art in particular, I think. We finished off the day with a steak quesadilla and watched the sun set over Santa Monica pier from the beach. That night we went to the cinema in Westwood and watched The Greatest Showman – Tom was a fan, I was not so much.
The next day, we got up early and went to Universal Studios! It was absolutely brilliant. Such a well done theme park! The detail was incredible! Most of the ‘rides’ were simulations, but such good ones – we particularly enjoyed the Harry Potter one, and went on that twice. The other great part of the park is the studio tour aspect. As the lower Universal lot is an actual functioning studio, the park gives hour-long bus tours of sets from famous movies and TV shows, as well as working special effects and simulations. It was really cool – 10/10 recommend.
The shows on offer were also fantastic – we saw a Special Effects Demonstration show, and a kind of water-sport/stunt show (‘Water World’). Water was a running theme throughout the attractions – definitely don’t wear anything you don’t mind getting soaked! Also, beware the donuts sold in Springfield – they are enormous, as we both discovered the hard way…
By the end of the day, I definitely felt we had got our money’s worth! I bought a season pass, so hopefully I’ll have the chance to go back soon!
On Tuesday, I had my first day at my internship with Pacific Electric in Hollywood, so Tom came into town with me and I deposited him on Sunset Blvd. While I was in the office, he explored Hollywood, embarking on a bus tour of celebrity houses/famous locations. He even (very very nearly) got onto an episode of Jimmy Kimmel, standing just out of shot in a live segment shot just outside his studio in Hollywood.
Wednesday was Tom’s last day. We spent a lovely morning and early afternoon back in Santa Monica, strolling around and lying on the beach, before heading back to my dorm and sending Tom off to LAX! Overall, it was a lovely, if action-packed, few days. Tom agreed that he definitely got a proper taste of Los Angeles!