As my little sister was around, we thought that visiting a theme park in L.A was a MUST and that it would be entertaining both for her and for us, the old ones :p The West Coast is known worldwide as a capital of entertainment and fame. Therefore, there is no wonder why there are so many theme parks in the area: Disneyland, the Pacific Aquarium, the Zoo, Magic Mountain and more… However, all the theme parks I have had the chance to visit and enjoy do not reach the level of the Universal Studios in Hollywood. This theme park combines both fun and entertainments, and cinema culture which suits any age’s expectations.
We had an amazing opportunity to visit the Universal Studios with the VIP tour, which gives you so many advantages. If you have a chance to be part of this star experience, LYA definitely recommends it. This special tour will take you “behind the scenes” and will give you a large range of benefits and a highly personalised service as well. The day was divided in 2 with a “fun” part in the theme park and a more cultural part in the studios. The presence of a guide definitely makes a difference and the fact that we were a small group adds so much more fun to the experience. You get to know people who came from all over the world and enjoy a unique day with them. I will remember this tour forever and would die to go back there! I really want to go again for the Halloween special event in the park which includes zombies
Would you have coffee with Alfred? You would definitely be missing something if you say no. The concept is simple: you go to the counter, ask what you want to drink or eat, and get your order to your table. Alfred is not really a gentleman, he likes to see you sweat :p You understood it I guess, Alfred is a little “café & kitchen” of West Hollywood, in Melrose Place that will be perfect for you to rest during your shopping session in the area or meet with a colleague for a working session. You can forget about Starbucks when you have Alfred! Even his cups are more stylish as they have a moustache printed on it ;) You can sit inside, or enjoy a nice little table on the terrace which will give you the opportunity to observe wanderers and enjoy the sweet L.A weather.
A visit to the Aquarium is a perfect rainy-day activity as most of it happens indoors. It is more like a big zoo actually and gathers both underwater species and earth animals such as parrots, birds, penguins, sharks, fishes, and weird things or plants. You’ll need minimum ½ day if you want to go through the shows, aquariums and outdoor entertainments. Of course, you won’t be the only one attending the place so I recommend you to get there early if you don’t want to be queuing forever. Also , I warn you, the entrance is not cheap. What we really liked was the fact that the aquarium building is located next to the sea and the Long Beach harbor. You can walk along the sea and get some fresh air while looking at the Queen Mary parked next to the Light Tower (phare). There are also available boat tours for the ones in need of historical facts J. Regarding lunch options, there are a lot of restaurants on the sea walk as well as many different snacks available inside the Aquarium building.
I believe the Easter week end is as a moment to be spent with your family, spend some quality time with your loved ones, which we did today :) . My grand parents, little brother, sister and I arrived in Los Angeles and woke up quite early due to jet lag. It was the 1st time we spend a week of holiday just the 5 of us, no parents allowed. After checking in the Peninsula, Beverly Hills, we wanted to explore the hotel and started wandering around. Of course, the hotel put on his Easter costume and the lobby was filled with big chocolate easter eggs, that my little sister didn’t miss ;)
Have you ever heard of the famous Cupcake ATM implemented by Sprinkles in the United States? Well, let me tell you all about this creative concept that LYA had the chance to get a closer look at while staying in Beverly Hills, California. I must say I wasn’t the only one who was excited about this funny ATM, my little sister didn’t stop asking me to get her a cupcake from the machine during the whole week and finally stopped harassing me when I got it for her. When you hear “cupcake ATM”, your first thoughts might be: “impossible that the cupcakes are fresh”, “these cakes must be at least a week old” “it must be so artificial”. Well at least, that’s what we thought and we were totally wrong! Sprinkles is originally a normal “patisserie” shop selling fresh cupcakes and pastries. The only difference is that instead of queuing or taking a look at the colourful cupcakes from inside the shop, in the window, you get to stand in front of a screen, outside the shop, and select your cupcake by touching it. While you are making your selection, there is this catchy music playing “Sprinkles is the best cupcake in the world”. And don’t be mistaken, not because it comes out of a pink container it means it is not fresh! Furthermore, you get the same choice as inside: coconut, gluten free, red velvet, chocolate praline, vanilla, strawberry, milk chocolate, chocolate fudge and so much more. When you hear “cupcake ATM”, your first thoughts might be: “impossible that the cupcakes are fresh”, “these cakes must be at least a week old” “it must be so artificial”. Well at least, that’s what we thought and we were totally wrong! Sprinkles is originally a normal “patisserie” shop selling fresh cupcakes and pastries. The only difference is that instead of queuing or taking a look at the colourful cupcakes from inside the shop, in the window, you get to stand in front of a screen, outside the shop, and select your cupcake by touching it. While you are making your selection, there is this cat
After a long day visiting the Aquarium in Long Beach and checking out the Endeavor space shuttle at the California Science Centre, we decided to head to Bottega Louie in Downtown L.A for an early dinner. This Italian restaurant describes itself as a “gourmet market & patisserie” and is located in a magnificent old typical building. The atmosphere is very welcoming and the room is extremely wide. Far away from a discrete and small outlet, Bottega Louie will be a very suitable place for family reunions, lunch/dinner with friends or tea time with your besties. As for the interior, the ceiling is very high, hence making room for loud conversations. The waiters as well as the inside adopted an all-white uniform and the tables/chairs could be defined as “brasserie style”. The fact that the kitchen is opened and you can see the big pizza oven makes it more reliable and entertaining. Before getting the fresh oven-cooked pizzas they have on the menu, LYA suggests you get a Louie salad: artichokes, tomatoes, avocado and lettuce The pizzas are served on elevated trays which makes it easier to share and also, more friendly! Further to these amazing Italian dishes, what better than a few “La Duree-wannabe-macaroons” for a sweet final touch? The cakes (tiramisu and fruit tart) were a bit too big and too creamy and not tasty enough, but the small French delicacies are definitely a must try and the restaurant’s signature.