So today we went and did the Universal Studios tour. When Sonya was planning this trip she dithered about whether we ought to spend the extra thirty bucks a head to get 'head of the line' tickets. I said go for it. Eventually she did. As it turns out, we really didn't need them; the place was hardly packed. But, as I pointed out, we weren't to know that ahead of time and it would have been mighty galling to be one of the crowd of unwashed. Instead we got to the head of the line every time. Well worth the extra moolah!
You might, if you're a longtime reader, have noticed a recurring theme with our holidays - Sonya does the leg work of planning and booking and I'm along for the ride. Suits me just fine I might add. Of course, if ever I can persuade her to go back to Australia with me the boot'll be on the other foot!
I enjoyed the Terminator show, especially when Sonya jumped as things came out of the screen. The 3D illusions these days are pretty good though you're still wearing special glasses. The big difference is it seems to be done with polarised lenses these days instead of having one red and one green lens. Makes it that much more convincing. That said, I felt the depth of field was all wrong; there's Arnie in extreme foreground and there's the rest of the world quite some feet behind him with very little intermediate. The kid who plays the John Connor part is still an annoying little turd.
Of course it's also done with special seating; they lift the seat all of an inch but keep the camera moving down so you feel as though the motion is much greater. Then, at the climax, explosion onscreen and echoing throughout the theatre, they drop the seat that entire inch and the jolt shocks the heck out of one! Most effective.
Then we did the Universal backlot tour. Sure enough, there was the Bates motel with the old American Gothic mansion up the stairway. A pity you're on a tram at the time and they don't stop. On the other hand, thirty or fourty years of tourists all getting out and touching would do to the exhibit what's happened to Marilyn Monroes tombstone over at the Westwood Cemetery. (More on that tomorrow when we visit there again).
Thence to the Shrek 4D show. Cute, and I did enjoy the first Shrek movie. I haven't seen the second yet. But this time they overdid the bouncing seats. It *is* possible to have too much of a good thing!
You'll remember I commented on the traffic last night? This time we took Sunset Boulevard heading west, just about sundown. And I kid you not, there must have been five miles of stop and slow and stop traffic heading back the other way.
My wife has no chance whatsoever of convincing me to move here, even if we could afford it!
However, perhaps there is a chance. We dined at the Boars Head pub on Santa Monica Boulevard. Last week I'd caught her checking if there was anywhere in LA where we could get fish and chips and that pub came up. So we gave it a whirl. In the event I didn't order fish and chips (couldn't bring myself to do it) and besides they had braised lamb shanks! It turned out to be the right decision. Sonya pronounced the fish and chips excellent, but what does she know? She was born here in LA! I had a few mouthfuls and was disappointed. The British may have invented fish and chips but I maintain that Australia and New Zealand raised them to the level of haute cuisine!
I did enjoy the lamb shank.
At which point I thought I'd had the high point of the evening. How wrong I was, for as we walked back to the car Sonya noticed, in the gift shop attached to and part of the Boars Head pub, a Kangaroo warning sign of the kind seen so frequently on Australian country roads. In we went and there I found Cherry Ripes, Flake Bars, Timeouts, Violet Crumbles, Tim-Tams and Turkish Delights. (All are Australian candy bars save for the Tim-Tams, they're chocolate biscuits (cookies)).
So it's Robbie pig heaven time! Night y'all!