Trip to Hollywood {Part I.}

For Bridgette’s Colombus Day holiday this year, we decided to take an impromptu trip down to Southern Cal. We literally booked the hotel the day before and loaded up our car the morning of. I guess the spontaneity in me never left, even though I thought it did for a few years after I became a parent. 🙂 Fortunately, Alan’s always been fine with my spontaneity. Sometimes when he senses it coming, he gets a bit nervous, but I know he secretly enjoys it. Ha!

Anyway, we picked Bridgette up a bit early from school that Friday, in an attempt to arrive to L.A. before major traffic would hit. All was going according to our plan, but God had other plans for us…

Half way to L.A., we stopped to get gas, and quick snack at McDonald’s. Alan looked tired, so I offered to drive the next stretch. Within a few minutes of getting back onto Highway 5, my car started doing weird things. First, a million lights all lit up on my dashboard, and one of those alarming sounds started going off. The car began to slow down on its own and I, of course, was freaking out. Alan calmly instructed me to pull over, which I did, before the car officially went dead.

Here we were, in the middle of nowhere, on a highway with nonstop cars and trucks speeding by. My parent alert came on and I decided it’d be safer to take Bridgette out of the car. I held her until my back couldn’t take it any longer, while Alan tried to problem solve on the phone with his mechanic back in the Bay Area. A nice man also pulled over and offered to help, but after what seemed like forever, they concluded that the car would need to be towed.

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I was shocked. I’m such an optimist. I was sure Alan would fix the car and we’d happily be on our way to Hollywood. But one look at Alan’s face told me we’d better have a Plan B in place. I immediately called 911 and asked them to call a tow truck for us. Then Alan and I put our heads together to discuss Plan B, while Bridgette kept tugging at my shirt and saying something about a tarantula. Deep in my problem solving mode, I didn’t pay much attention as just a few minutes ago, she was speculating that there would be lions and tigers nearby. As her voice sounded more and more urgent though, I finally gave her my attention and to my horror, saw that she was pointing at a huge tarantula just inches away from our feet! I jumped in a panic and ran to the car, with Bridgette shortly behind me.

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From that point forward, I decided it was better to stay in the car and risk being hit by a moving truck than to be attacked by a tarantula.

The CHP stopped by a couple of times to make sure we were okay, and Bridgette was so excited that she started chatting it up with him. It took over an hour for the tow truck to finally arrive. The excitement just never ends for my little girl. She eagerly led me to the tow truck and climbed up to take her seat, all while asking me to take photos and video to show Brianne. 🙂

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towtruckThe ride to Fresno was about 45 minutes. The tow truck dropped us off at the Fresno airport to pick up our car rental, and then proceeded to drop our car off at the Lexus dealership. Though their service department was closed already, there was still staff on site to take our car.

IMG_0891lexusBy the time we arrived to the Sheraton Hollywood hotel, it was well past midnight. After a decent night of sleep, we woke up feeling quite refreshed the next morning. We had a hearty breakfast at the hotel, and then hopped onto the shuttle bus for our fun and adventurous day at Universal Studios!

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DSC_4402Universal Studios has changed dramatically since my last visit about 8 years ago. The rides and shows that I once loved, like E.T., Back to the Future, and Backdraft have been replaced by Transformer, The Mummy, The Simpsons, etc. It seems like all the new rides are virtual simulations rides, as that is what people love these days. Even the King Kong part of the Studio Tour has become a 3D simulation, much to my disappointment.

This was Bridgette’s first visit to Universal Studios, so she had no previous reference to compare it to, and enjoyed it just like any other theme park. We had quite a few character sightings, including our favorite MINIONS!

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IMG_0926After Universal Studios, we spent some time at Universal CityWalk where Bridgette stripped down to her bikini in freezing temperature to enjoy the little bit of water we had promised her. That girl does not know what cold is!

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With hearty appetites, we indulged in one of the best Korean BBQ that Genwa Korean BBQ. This spot will definitely make it to our “must go” list for all future L.A. trips!

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