Just wanted to say a few more things about L.A. before I entirely forget the great experience.
Our second day was a trip to Universal Studios. Jessi and I both enjoyed it as a theme park and an experience (though it has to be said if you want the best theme park experience I’ve ever had then go Disney.) She particularly liked her first ride in a serious roller coaster, so much she had to do it twice. The other high point for her was the studio trolley tour that took in (among other places) Wisteria Lane from “Desperate Housewives.”
Thinking of Universal Studios reminds me of one little trick to touristing in the US. The neatest and cheapest souvenirs you can score are stamped pennies – Jessi has enjoyed them since her first trip at age eight. These small vending machines take two quarters and a penny, you then select one of (usually) four designs and grind at a lever for several rotations and your penny comes back flattened into an oval and stamped on one side with the design. Jessi has collected them on all three trips to the U.S. and on her first trip bought a collector’s book at Disneyland and got a second collector’s book at Universal this trip. For 51 cents each you can easily get a dozen out of your pocket change over a day.
Our third and final day could have been harder but Jessi and I are just lucky. It was our last one so we had to spend the morning packing (someone still ended up with a bag 13 pounds overweight despite a new bag to take the overflow). The J Girl then wanted to visit this trendy part of Melrose Avenue that had a couple of second hand clothes stores and boutiques. So I checked the map and decided that the tursit centre of Hollywood Boulevarde was about as close as the Metro train would take us so we set off for there to have lunch. After lunch (and a dessert at the Disney Soda Fountain) what was right across the road but a cab. So for $15 (including tip) we ened up right out side the store Jessi wanted to visit first.
We spent some time shopping (I got three great shirts, don’t ask what my partner in crime bought but she went for volume over quality in one store buying 5 T-shirts for $5 each). Had coffee in a great coffee shop, one last clothes store and asked them about buses. Turns out a bus ran right the way down Melrose to the street our hotel was on, only 800 metres or so from home. Even greater joy when we got off the bus – A McDonalds right on the corner so we had afteroon tea of Fries and a Coke before the walk.
So all those people who insist you can’t visit L.A. without a car – sucks poo to you.