Several weeks ago, Dallas and and I decided that we needed to get away for a couple of days. After weeks of stress it was a good time to get out of town. I started researching places to go and since Dallas doesn't have a passport yet, we couldn't go on a cruise, my family is planning a trip in August to Oregon, and San Fransisco seemed to be super expensive, we decided to plan a quick trip to Los Angeles. Harry Potter World had just opened and it only seemed fitting to go check it out. We fly Southwest and with the points built up, we didn't pay a dime for the tickets that were only going to cost us $90 anyways. Fly Southwest people! It's the only way to travel! We booked the flight and headed west. Monday we packed our bags and drove to Albuquerque and once again used points for the hotel there and the next morning, got up SUPER early and headed to the airport. With the news recently, they were saying it could take up to 3 hours to get through security, but with it being really early, it took us maybe 20 minutes to get through. The lines were much longer then we thought they would be, but still got through in a timely manner. California! Here we come!
By the time we got to Los Angeles, it was about 8 am and our hotel had the car waiting for us to make the trip across the city. Traffic was insane and I could tell our driver was silently cussing everyone out. I couldn't imagine Dallas driving there. Talk about road rage for sure! We got to the hotel and crashed. We stayed at the BLVD Hotel by Universal so we wouldn't have to worry about transportation to much. It was a cute artsy hotel with very modern architecture. Perfect for what Dallas and I love. Not to mention the staff were really laid back and super helpful. But anyways, after our much needed nap, we headed out to explore the area. First thing I looked up was lunch. And not much surprise, I wanted Dallas to try In and Out Burger. He had never had it before so that was a bucket list check off! It was right around the corner from the hotel so off we went! After indulging ourselves in the glorious food, we wandered around to find the tram up to Universal Citywalk. It took us a couple turns but we found it and hopped on to check it out. The first thing we saw was a huge Harry Potter store! They had everything from robes, to wands, to chocolate frogs, and Hedwig owls. It was like setting into another world. My inside child came out. We ventured out on the walk and saw the Universal Globe, the red carpet, and people everywhere dressed in their house robes. We hung out there for a while then headed back to the hotel before heading off to our next adventure. The Griffith Observatory.
The last time I was up at the Griffith observatory, I was super sick and while I was miserable, I still managed to enjoy the beauty of the lights from Los Angeles. This time, it was so much better. Not only did I have my honey with me, I had a better camera, better lens, and I wasn't sick! We weren't really sure how to get there so talking to the people at our hotel, they told us it was about 6.5 miles to get there and it would be good to call a cab. Neither of us had used Uber before so we were kind of weary about using them. The cab driver showed up and didn't know how to get there either. So upon looking it up on his phone, he took us the longest way there, totaling about $40.00, then once we kinda got up the mountain, he told us his card machine didn't work... Luckily we had enough cash between us, but neither Dallas or I were to happy about it. We got out of the cab and tracked up the rest of the mountain. We hung out and enjoyed the beautiful city lights and each other, walked around the museum and learned more about the solar system. Normally, after we have our first cab ride, we get the drivers name and use them the rest of the week, but after that scam, we had to figure out another way home. The workers told us to use a pay phone( say what?!) outside and call one of the cab companies. So Dallas called them and out side we went to wait for the ride. The park was closing in about 10 minutes and if the cab didn't get in the gate by then, we would have to walk down the mountain to them. Cabs were coming and going, picking people up and ours still wasn't there. One cab came up and looked at us so we hopped in and as he started driving he asked if I was Noemi... Well nooo, but he just kept driving. So wee totally jacked someone else's taxi. Haha! Oops. Hopefully Noemi got our cab instead. We headed back down the mountain and of course Dallas made a new friend and this time it only cost us $20. What a difference it makes when the person doesn't want to scam us. Overall it was a good relaxing day and going to be early meant that the next day would come sooner.
Day 2 in California meant HARRY POTTER!!!! I'm in the middle of re-reading the books because why not? I haven't read the first couple of books since elementary school and so going back and re-reading the books is like visiting old friends. We got up at 7 to be at the park by 8 (which actually meant 8:30) but found out our tickets wouldn't let us in until 9, so we just walked around the shops and took pictures for the remaining time. Once we got into the park, we headed to Starbucks then down to the Lower Lot. This held the Transformer ride, the Mummy, and Jurassic Park. We started out at the Transformer ride because the Mummy wasn't open yet, and Jurassic Park was a water ride and it was still chilly. Luck happened to be on our side all day. It started out with a lady, Mary, working the Transformers ride who saw our 1st time buttons. She and Dallas started talking about how we came for a great experience and she said, well let me help you out with that. Mary started pulling tickets out of her pocket for a priority pass to the shows. They got us to the front of the lines and didn't have to wait with everyone else. We were so happy and saying thank you that she pulled out another set of tickets for front of the line ride tickets, meaning we could use them on any of the rides and skip the lines on those as well. I guess our faces were so happy and ecstatic that she pulled ANOTHER front of the line ticket out for the Harry Potter ride! I meant COME ON!! We hit the jack pot going to the lower lot first. She told us that the Harry Potter passes are like the Golden Ticket in this park. We said thank you over and over again and headed into the the Transformers ride. That was badass! It was 3D with an IMAX feel to it. We were the only ones on our car so front and center was where we sat. I screamed many times and grabbed onto to Dallas and once we finished, we jumped off and walked around for a second time. After that ride we headed over to ride the Mummy. We didn't know what to expect with this ride. Definitely wasn't prepared for the roller coaster part of it. It started out slow but you turn the corner and off we went! The snap a photo on the drop and as always, I looked terrified and scared for my life. I had my eyes closed most of the ride. But after we finished, we went right back in again for a 2nd ride. This time, hands up and eyes open! I'm a big girl now! The last ride we hit up on the Lower Lot was the Jurassic Park ride. The sun had come out so it had warmed up. We decided to go ahead and do the ride then head back up to the main area. This ride was all things Jurrasic Park. Full of water and dinosaurs and complete with the classic soundtrack. The animals spit water at you and splashed around getting everyone wet. Then towards the end of the ride, the T-Rex comes out at you and there is a massive drop soaking everyone. We rode this one twice as well then headed back up for the Studio tour. We took the one long tour and saw several different locations that movies we love were shot. I even got to see a set where Castle was filmed. After the tour, we headed over to the location we came to see in the first place! Harry Potter World!!! It was like walking into the magical world. We headed into the Three Broomsticks for lunch and once again, Dallas talked to the head chef without realizing it, getting us free food and a tour of the kitchens. We saw how the kitchens were attached between different lands and how all the food was made fresh. There were donuts everywhere! A huge table full of ribs being seasoned. He also showed us a room that held ALL of the drinks for the entire park, two stories below the ground. It was really cool to see where everything was prepared. Leaving with all the goodies he gave us, we headed back out into Hogsmeade. Once outside, Dallas asked one of the wizards where the wand shop was and she took us there, putting us in the front of the line, YET AGAIN, for the wand experience. You could see the people sending hate darts our way. Once through the wand experience, I got what I came for, MY WAND! We decided it was time to go ride the Harry Potter ride. It was SO MUCH FUN!! It felt like you were actually at Hogwarts flying through the sky on a broom, playing Quidditch, dodging the Whomping Willow. We rode it twice because it was so much fun!
The last day we were there, the art nerds in us came out. We attemped two different exhibits, both of which were closed. So instead we made our way to the LACMA. Saw some really cool artwork and just enjoyed walking around Hollywood. Overall, the trip was definitely one for the books and one we will be talking about for a long time. It was a good getaway and much needed time away from Roswell.