Day 36: Six Flags Magic Mountain & delicious Korean BBQ

Today is the day, where all my fears are realised and I make lots of horrid faces I did not know I could make, and these faces will be immortalised, captured on a Six Flags Magic Mountain camera somewhere. I put my foot down and told Anna I refuse to go on the Lex Luthor Drop of Doom and I also refuse to go on the Goliath and Superman: The Escape, yes, believe it, I said no to Anna, a rarity, I know, the fact that I said no to Anna just goes to show how scared I am, I also said I won’t do The Riddler.

We drove to Six Flags Magic Mountain, I think it was a 40 min drive or so, Anna had to go on a FREEWAY, we used my Iphone GPS to get there, and we MADE IT THERE, not that I didn’t believe we would, it’s just always amazing seeing someone successfully drive on the other side of the road, on a freeway too! I think it’s impressive at least.

ANYWAY, we got to the theme park, and quickly walked to Tatsu, it’s meant to be one of the most popular rides, apparently it feels like you’re flying or whatever and it’s a 4 minute rollercoaster, HAHA really, a 4 minute roller coaster, that didn’t have a lot of plunging drops so I didn’t mind it so much, we looked at the waiting time and it was 90 MINUTES!!!!! Anna and I quickly walked away to find another ride and it was 2 HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT THE FUCK. We should not have left as late as we did. We ended up going to eat an overpriced and shitty lunch (I ate fried chicken and Anna ate a burger, KFC could do better fried chicken than Six Flags, don’t get the fried chicken), and then hopped onto the Gold Rusher, it’s just this little wooden rollercoaster that doesn’t do much, it’s meant to be classed as a Novice sort of ride, even I thought it wasn’t much.

I don’t really remember the order of the rides that we went on so I’m just going to talk about them in non-chronological order, if I get the wait times wrong, please tell me Anna:

  • The Riddler ‘s Revenge – I know I said I wouldn’t go on this, but it looked pretty interesting, it took roughly 45minutes to get on the ride and we realised it was a rollercoaster where we are UPRIGHT, yes, we sort of get on this seat thing but our legs are dangling vertical and our feet touch the floor, it was weird and I didn’t know what to expect, it was also moderately uncomfortable. The ride ended up being super fun and I enjoyed it immensely, we went quite high and spun down, in our vertical positions.
  • Scream – this had NO LINE, we got onto it after Colossus I think, and we just walked straight onto the ride, Anna and I were cheering, it was a standard roller coaster, I can’t remember much of it to be honest.
  • Green Lantern: First Flight – it looked like the tamest ride, this stupid ride took almost 1.5 hours to get on, the line just never ended, it was a ride that basically just zigzagged everywhere, you went to the peak of it and then just… um… I can’t describe it, best show you a picture, please see below. Anyway, this ride was a lot more scary than anticipated, you get to the edge and it just plunges you down, so you get that weirdo butterfly feeling like 4 times, because the seats also spin around, you’re constantly confused… and banging your head, which adds to the confusion. It was fun. But it was painful. Anna and I walked out rubbing our heads and complaining about the last drop because we flew forward into our seat belt thing (I don’t know what it’s called, it’s the thing that keeps you in.. the harness? Oh gosh…), and then got flung back into the seat, and BANG… uncomfy head rest meets back of head.  
  • Colossus – standard run of the mill easter show roller coaster, lots of ups and downs, not many butterflies, surprisingly, Anna must have been disappointed.
  • Batman the ride – almost exactly like the Lethal Weapon wide in the Gold Coast, so your feet are dangling and you’re flying everywhere.
  • X2 – Stupid ride malfunctioned and we waited almost 2 hours for the ride, it rained on us, it was upsetting. The ride was pretty scary, you pretty much ascended to the peak with your back lying down and I was freaking out as we were going up “ANNA WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?”, it gets to the peak and you’re all confused because you see no rails going down, and then it pulls you under and it’s just crazy, also a head banger, it’s meant to be some crazy ride with special effects and stuff (think FIRE AND LIGHTNING) but the weather did not permit.
  • Revolution – a white roller coaster that is one of the oldest there! We only went on it because it had no line, it was okay.

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Awesome drive on the freeway lol.

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The Collosus is behind Anna, then it’s the Goliath (please see steep drop on roller coaster), then it’s Lex Luthor Drop of Doom, with Superman next to it (it’s pretty much our Giant Drop + Tower of Terror – but in California).

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Faces of pure fear, LOL, this was right after we went to the peak and out of nowhere got pulled under. My favourite photo of the trip.

That’s the end of the Six Flags trip, we went home at 7:30pm, and went to dinner at Soowon Galbi Korean BBQ, it was amazing, $39.99 for two people and there was so much meat and SOOOOOO MANY DELICIOUS CONDIMENTS, it also came with a salad and rice and a soft drink too! I got greedy and ordered cold noodles (bad idea), we were stuffed by the end of the meal and had to roll home. I highly recommend this restaurant, but it’s super popular, so be prepared to wait at least 1 hour if you go during dinner. Super delicious though and great service.

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In a nutshell:

  • Go to Six Flags Magic Mountain Early
  • Your head will hurt on Six Flags rides, be prepared for headaches to come, go and then come again when you go on another ride
  • Go to Six Flags early, or don’t go during school holidays
  • Eat at Soowon Galbi Korean BBQ.

K.

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Day 35: Driving in LA, The Grove & Beverly Centre

Day 35: Driving in LA, The Grove & Beverly Centre

We woke up relatively late today (10:00am!!!), sat around in our rooms for a while before catching a bus to Hertz on Wilshire Boulevard. Yes, we caught a bus. The buses here seem to only go down one straight road, so if you want to go somewhere… not on that road, you have to catch another bus, each bus ride is $1.50, you can get a daily pass for $5, and other weekly and monthly passes too, but these had nothing to do with me so I did not look at the prices. We managed to make it to Hertz, thanks to Anna’s superb sense of direction, if it was up to me, we’d end up in San Diego again… we were meant to get the cheapest, smallest car possible for about $240 for 11 days, but they ran out of those cars and we ended up getting a super cute red Volkswagen Jetta! They just got it in March 2012 too, so it smelled brand new and I was a happy child, so was Anna! We ended up getting insurance for like $180 for the 11 days in case we ran into anyone; we are driving on the WRONG side of the road, after all.

Taken with Instagram

After we collected our car, we had to do a 3 point turn and get back onto Wilshire Boulevard to head to the Grove mall, the Grove is an outdoor mall that’s meant to be awesome, it’s actually straight down Beverly Boulevard. Anna signalled out of our parked spot on the street and we drove about 10m before having a panic attack and pulling over on the side of the road, driving on the right is NOT normal, the steering wheel is on the left and the signalling lights are on the left and the windscreen wiper is on the right, so Anna kept hitting the windscreen wipers when she was trying to signal, we were both scared. I seemed to be freaking out a lot more, which is silly, because Anna was the one driving. She was pretty fantastic though, she got used to the roads very quickly and we made it to the Grove alive. Happy days.  The fact that I am blogging about this = the rest of our drive was okay too. The Grove was okay, the toilets were pretty, they had Zara there, MAC, Crate & Barrel, and an assortment of other stores, they also had the Farmers Market next door which we decided to skip. It was pretty underwhelming to be very honest, so we decided to go to The Beverly Centre to pick up our GoLA passes. The GoLA pass is a pass that lets you go into unlimited attractions over a certain number of days, we bought the 5 day pass for $204, you can use it 5 non-consecutive days over a 14 day period, how cool is that? Its first use is going to be at Six Flags Magic Mountain!

The Beverly Centre is a short drive from The Grove, in fact, I think it’s just down 3rd St! We parked, and took a while before we found the actual stores, we browsed around but also failed again with buying anything…. WHY??? WHY DO YOU NOT HAVE THINGS FOR ME TO BUY? From memory, they had the following stores:

  • Macy’s
  • Bloomingdales
  • Samsonite
  • Godiva
  • Forever21
  • H&M
  • Victoria’s Secret
  • Steve Madden
  • I just realised I can google this.

Going home with no shopping bags when you intended to shop your little heart out… is a huge disappointment. Especially when this is the last leg of the trip.

We had dinner at Xiomara on Melrose, $45 per person courtesy of DineLA Restaurant Week, I can’t even remember the cuisine… For the Entree, I had Pork Belly and Anna had some mushroom thing, for the main, I had Salmon and Anna had a Spaghetti Bolognese sort of thing, and we both had a cake soaked in coffee with a caramel ice-cream for dessert.

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 OH! We went to a Laundromat too!!! It’s like 2minutes away from our house and it costs like $3.50 to wash and dry your clothes yourself, but takes like 2 hours, we sat there and just watched our clothes get washed and washed it get tumble dried. Bleh. One experience is enough.

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That was pretty much all of our day, we didn’t do much. Tomorrow is Six Flags. I hope I don’t pass out on a ride from fear.

K.

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Day 34: Los Angeles

We decided to book seats to LA with the “Hostel to Hostel Hopper”, this is a shared van service that costs $40 USD and takes you from one hostel to another hostel! Initially we had planned on going to LA by train (Amtrak), this costs $35 pp, but we would need to cab it there and then cab it from Union Station to StayOn Beverly, so ultimately the shared van service was the most economic choice.

We stood outside the hostel for a while before a man in a big white car came out and asked if we were going LA, Anna had noticed the car and wondered if it could possibly be our ride, but decided that she didn’t know and to ignore her gut feeling (I’m making this up, she never told me why she never spoke up lol). Anyway, the car was very new, the interiors were clean, and were riding with another Aussie, he is from Brisbane and had just completed his Finance and Law degree and was going on some epic world trip, I think his next stop was Mexico or something. The ride was fun and didn’t feel nearly as long as it actually took (approx 3 hours), the driver (Ernest? No? Oh god, Anna what’s his name?) was super nice and genuinely seemed like he liked talking to people, he gave us a couple of recommendations of where to go, how to drive… and we tipped him $10. Each. I felt like a baller, tipping 25%, I never tip 25%. Also, I hate tipping here, take me back to Australia please, tipping, be gone!

We arrived at our hostel a little after 4pm, which was fantastic as check in was at 4pm, the hostel is super cool as we don’t have keys, there are secure pin number entrances, we met the owner and he was super nice. I highly recommend staying at StayOn Beverly, it’s located in Koreatown and there’s lots of Korean food around to eat. The rooms are decently sized, it’s about $45-50USD per night per room (+ tax), and this is during July, so it’s a BARGAIN. It’s a private room too, I wouldn’t really consider it a hostel, more like a really clean rental room, haha the rooms have a nice neutral sort of theme, pale walls, a 32 inch flat screen tv, a secure safe, a study desk, a double bed… it might have been a queen, I wouldn’t know, I sleep in a single bed… what else? A fridge inside the room, microwave outside, 3 super clean and spacious bathrooms… seriously, you’re not going to find a better priced room in LA, it’s amazing, I can’t recommend it enough.

Taken with Instagram

StayOn Beverly, super clean rooms

Anyway, we aren’t renting a car until tomorrow; I think we’re pretty satisfied with staying in our rooms and doing nothing tonight. Oh oh, we went to HK supermarket, a Korean supermarket down Western Avenue, it closes at 12am and houses all sorts of delicious food, we ate dinner at a place called Western Doma Noodles – Anna had spicy cold Korean noodles and I had chicken noodles (hand made noodles with a delicious chicken broth)… yum yum.

Taken with Instagram

Feels like KOREAAAA

Taken with Instagram

We are going to go pick up our car tomorrow and do some shopping! Six Flags Magic Mountain is planned for Wednesday, I figured we may as well get the scary scary part of the trip over with so that I don’t have to live in fear for the next 10 days.

Signing out.

K.

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Day 29, Day 30, Day 31, Day 32, Day 33: San Diego & Comic Con

SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON, what we’ve been living for all our lives. I decided to just condense the Comic-Con posts into one gigantic post because I’d mostly likely be saying the same things every day…. it’s so big (that’s what she said!), so many cool things, so many people… you get the gist.

San Diego is not very far from Las Vegas, a direct flight is only about 1.5 hours, but a direct flight is also like $70 more per person, so we opted to fly with US Airways, with a 3.5 hour stopover in Phoenix – it took a total 6 hours or so to get San Diego, failwhale. It went by pretty quickly though, now, if only my flight home went by that quickly, I’m not asking for much, all I ask for is that I stay awake for 7 hours, and that the time goes by very quickly, then at 10pm (EST), I can take some sleeping pills and go to sleep – really not looking forward to this jetlag.

We stayed at Lucky D’s Hostel for the duration of our trip, initially went into a 4 bedroom dorm with 2 girls, and then a couple, and then two guys, and then a nice German guy was our roomie.

We had dinner at Lotus Thai TWICE during our stay, such GOOOOOD Thai food, it’s only a block away from our hostel, be sure to order their Thai Iced Tea, so delicious, their Pad Si Ew is also divine, so incredibly delicious. J-Wok is also decent, their Pad Si Ew is not as great, but they have tapas and stuff.

Comic Con Day 1

We were meant to get to the convention centre at 8:30am; we ended up leaving the house at 10am. San Diego locals must HATE Comic-Con, the roads are blocked, 100000 people flock into the surrounding areas of the convention centre and it just turns into a whole nerd-gasm, it’s AMAZING. The convention centre was only a short 10-15 minute walk from us, everywhere, bars and stuff were celebrating Comic-Con. Be sure to visit Nerd-HQ (by Zachary Levi) if you ever visit Comic-Con, you chat and play games and stuff there, and they have some awesome panels that sell out really quickly. They also have a yearly party and it’s supposedly super fun, we didn’t go.

ANYWAY, during the walk to Comic-Con, there were loads of people everywhere and it was just so fun, lots of comics and tv shows and promotional things for tv shows and movies… I saw a life size Jabba the Hut on the side of the road just chilling; it was so so so cool, I totally nerded out and took photos.

We arrived to Comic-Con shortly after 10am and proceeded to go to pick up our badges, we expected really long waits since we went so late (well, actually, not THAT late, the Con does start at 9am), but it was a breeze to collect our badges, we got our badges and these free Vampire Diaries swag bags, I wanted a Fringe one, eventually ended up trading some nice young kid for it. Inside the swag bags was a souvenir  book and a comic con 2012 book, the huge bag can probably fit me in it, it’s used to collect all the free stuff you get from the Con.

We had a look at the Psych Panel (which was to start at 2:15pm) at around 10:30am, the line didn’t look too bad, it was beneath a big white tent that had barriers that made you go into a snake sort of line, so we decided to head to the exhibition hall to check out the booths. There are 5000+ booths, walking and navigating the booths is no mean feat, we tried to do it from the high numbers to the low numbers and only managed to walk like 3-4 rows before we thought it might be wise to go line up for Psych at around 11:30am. OH also, we saw Ted Fu from Wong Fu Productions at the awkward turtle stand, I got a little excited, not going to lie, I was so amazed at ALL the artist booths, people are crazy here, they are amazing!!!!!!! I also saw Jason Palmer’s Booth, he is so amazing – he does the Firefly/Serenity art, AMAZING.

ANYWAY, onto our Psych panel line, we got to the tent and there were maybe about 6 rows under the tent, we were on row 4, so we felt decent, the sign said we were maybe like 2000-2500 in line, the majority of our panels were in Ballroom 20, which fits 5000 people. We had a look around and were all “no way this is 2000 people!”, oh we were wrong…. by the time it was 1pm, we were barely moving and they were meant to open the doors in 15 minutes… we probably started making a real move on at about 1:30pm, once we got out of the BIG tent, we thought it was smooth sailing from here on out, oh we were wrong again. There were about 11 smaller tents going straight up the side of the convention centre, and each of the lines within it also snaked, so it fit about 20 people in each of the tents, we had a nice long long long long long long long walk to the END of the convention centre and then walked INTO the convention centre and then straight to Ballroom 20, wait of our lives!!!!!!!!!!!! That sounds convoluted, but it was exactly that. Anyway, we ended up seated in the middle of the Ballroom, so I guess we were around the 2000-2500 mark, we stupidly sat behind a dumb video camera recording guy though (Comic Con’s official guy, so big big cameras and chairs and stuff), so it obstructed our view slightly (I couldn’t see Maggie Lawson or James Roday properly unless I stood up). The panel started and it was AMAZING, probably one of the best panels I went to during Comic-Con, Dule Hill is HILARIOUS, and you can tell the cast get along really well, I’m tremendously excited for the new season. ALSO, I saw Corbin Bernsten walking around the Exhibition Hall before we went to the Psych Panel line, I got totally excited and nudged Anna to tell her “OMG ANNA IT’S HENRY SPENCER FROM PSYCH!! CORBIN BLEU!!!”, and then we both paused and laughed “OH Corbin Bleu is from High School Musical, Fail.”

Anyway, it was a fantastic panel and we decided stay for Beauty & The Beast, the show looks spectacularly corny and crap, but Kristin Kreuk is gorgeous! I only went for her. After the panel, we decided to look around the Exhibition Hall again, we didn’t look too long because we were too tired. When we decided to leave, we were looking for an exit near the artists area and I saw some sneaky guy with a grey hoody throwing rubbish, I wondered who the hell would look SO suspect at Comic-Con and caught his profile, it looked strangely like someone I idolised so very much, it looked strangely like Joss Whedon, the ginger stubble… the pale skin… I stared, and I’m certain my jaw dropped a bit, he noticed me gaping at him like an idiot, and looked at me like “PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT COME UP TO ME”, Anna looked at me and asked what the hell was wrong with me and I explained that the dodgy guy over there looked like Joss Whedon, she agreed that it was, and we stalked him for a little bit, he was sneakily running around trying to enjoy the exhibition. After he finally walked past me and we decided to stop stalking, I did the nerdiest little dance and jumped up and down and said in a high pitch tone “I CANNOT BELIEVE I JUST SAW JOSS WHEDON THROWING RUBBISH! BEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE!”, I have to say, it is truly one of the top moments of my life. To paint you a nice picture of how I looked, imagine a deer, then imagine it on a highway, then imagine a big truck with huge headlights coming towards it, imagine the deer’s face, then replace said deer’s face with my face. That is what I looked like, sexy, I know it.

The plan for Comic Con Day 2 (Friday) was Community at 10am, followed by Legend of Korra, FIREFLY 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY, Try to get into Game of Thrones, Resident Evil and then Total Recall, Looper and Elysium. We decided to wake up at 5am and get to the Con at 6am to line up, surely, that would be early enough to get into a panel that starts at 12:15pm (Firefly). We were wrong. More below.

Comic Con Day 2

We did wake up at 5am, mainly because I was shit scared that we wouldn’t make it into the Community and Firefly panel, we arrived at 6am and there were already lots and lots and lots of people. We walked so far to the end of the line and saw more tents with snaky lines on the grass, luckily we were told that was for Hall H, and that people had been there since the night before to line up for it to get into Big Bang Theory, Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. OH, we were so not going to get into Game of Thrones, Resident Evil and the rest of our Hall H Panels, we decided to skip it and instead go to the Bones panel after Firefly, well, I suggested it (I wanted to fulfil my dreams of seeing David Boreanaz).

So, we ended up in line for about 1.5 hours before we got let into the convention centre. We made some line buddies by the name of Jules and Rachel, they were super nice and Jules assured me that I would get into the Firefly Panel, I was panicking hard, there were Firefly fans ALL AROUND ME, so many people dressed up as Kaley, and so many people had Jayne’s knitted beanie, usually I’d be ecstatic about being with so many Firefly fans, but what happens if because of them, I could not get in? I would cry, I would swim and drown in a pool of my own tears for the rest of my holiday. Anyway, I will skip the talk about the rest of the lining up, other than it was ridiculously long and we were ridiculously far, about 4000 people were in front of us, yes, we came at 6am, and 4000 people were in front of us, we managed to get into the Community Panel 2 minutes before it started, the panel was also fantastic.  We were one of the last few rows, so I GOT IN, I GOT IN, I cannot imagine the pain the people outside felt when they got cut off and had to keep lining up, about 3000-4000 more people were lining up behind us to get in the Ballroom, INSANE.

The Legend of Korra panel followed shortly after, we sat through it so that we could keep our seats for Firefly, the panel ended up being quite enjoyable, now Anna and I got conned into watching The Legend of Korra, we might even watch Avatar: the last air bender!!! J

FIREFLY WAS AFTER LEGEND OF KORRA. OMG. The 15 minute wait for it was excruciating, I was pulsating with excitement and I kept telling Anna “I can’t believe I am here, I cannot believe I am here to celebrate this”. Anna has said to me a few times this Con is MY CON, everything I wanted to see was here! Anyway, the Firefly themesong “The Ballad of Serenity” started playing during a montage and I started to tear up, there was such a crazy amount of emotion flooding into me… I kept my cool though and just smiled and sang through it, then the guests came out, the entire cast was there except for Jewel Staite (Kaylee), Morena Baccarin (Inara), Gina Torres (Zoe), and Ron Glass (Book), actually, half the cast was missing then LOL. Some writers + producers + Joss Whedon were also there. The Panel was amazing and really was something special, it wasn’t as funny as Psych, but the show just means so much to me and it was so incredible to be there. A fan asked Joss Whedon what the Firefly Fans mean to him, and he paused for the longest of time and started tearing up, then Summer Glau and Nathan Fillion started crying, they were all crying and I started crying and people around me started crying and it was just an emotional affair. I lost my cool badly; Anna just let me be and didn’t say anything about what a huge friggen dork I am. I was wiping my eyes and stuff while everyone gave the cast a standing ovation, Joss said something to the effect of: when he creates tv shows/movies, he starts to feel like they aren’t fake, and that he lives in them, and when he sees all the fans, he doesn’t think Firefly was cancelled, he still thinks Firefly is living and we are ALL living in it. Nathan Fillion also said something really nice, “When Firefly died, I thought it was the worst thing that could ever happen, now I know, the worst thing that could happen was if it stayed dead.” SO TRUE, it will never die because there are so many of us die-hard fans out there, it lives on through comics, through fan gatherings (Browncoats United, yearly Serenity screenings)…. OK, /END NERD RANT. I am far too passionate about Firefly for my own good. :X OH Last thing about Firefly, people lined up from 8pm the night before to get in, in the wee early morning (like, during everyone’s sleep time), Joss Whedon ran out to the line and shook people and woke them up and then ran off, I would have died.

Bones was okay, kinda boring, everyone left after Firefly, like ¾ of the room cleared out, so now we know everyone who lined up so early, lined up for Firefly. At least I got to see David Boreanaz (Angel from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and Angel the Series).

ANYWAY, we left after that, way too tired, tried to do the exhibition hall and failed.

We decided that we were going to wake up at 4am and get to the convention centre a bit before 5am for the next day’s panels: Warehouse 13 (Don’t curr), Once Upon a Time, Futurama, The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad (Don’t curr), The Vampire Diaries & True Blood. We had a little discussion on whether it is necessary to go that early, Day 2 was only so crappy because of Firefly, right? Anyway, we didn’t know so we thought we should go earlier to beat the lines anyway.

Comic Con Day 3

We got to the convention centre at 5am, got let in after a couple of hours, and ended up way way way way ahead of where we were the day before, we were like the first 1000 people, we were INSIDE the building from the start, we did not have to go through that snaking tent line bullshit, it was great, we ended up with some fantastic seats.

I’m not going to talk about Warehouse 13, it was okay.

Most of the cast of OUAT were there, Josh Dallas is so good looking, Jinnifer Goodwin is GORGEOUS, SO GORGEOUS. They had these little specials that they showed us, it was quite a fun panel.

ALL THE CARTOON PANELS WERE AMAZING! I didn’t expect them to be that awesome, we saw MATT GROENING, omg, we saw MATT GROENING FOR 1.5 HOURS, it was awesome, we watched him draw Homer Simpson and joke about how he was going to make the voice actor who plays Homer read Homer’s Illyiad and Homer’s Odyssey. It was awesome; the lady who voices Lisa Simpson was also there.  Billy West was also at the Futurama Panel, he is so incredibly awesome; he voices Fry, Dr Farnsworth, Dr Zoidberg   and misc people on Futurama.

After a nice 4 hour wait, it was finally time for The Vampire Diaries, the panel was funny, Nina Dobrev is very pretty, Steve McQueen is HILARIOUS, and we finally got to see Michael Trevino.

After the panel ended, I contemplated leaving and not seeing the True Blood panel, Anna and I talked and said we should probably stick around even though Alexander Skarsgard was probably not going to be there… we did wait a couple of hours in line for the panels. Anyway, as the panel guests were announced, OUT WALKS ALEXANDER SKARSGARD, I screamed and screamed, it was so exciting, he is so very hot. It was a funny panel, and they ended up giving us a ticket to collect some free swag. We didn’t collect it until Day 4.

FRINGE IS ON DAY 4 IN HALL H!!! After seeing the ridiculous lines for Hall H today, we decided that we needed to get there a bit before 4am, so we rushed home and just slept.

Comic Con Day 4

We got to the convention centre just a bit before 4, and we were already lining up near the water, the line was insane, I’m certain that 3000-4000 people were already in front of us and had been there the entire night, we did not anticipate this, no, we did not. It was a cold cold morning and I slept on the concrete floor next to a park, homeless people thought we were all homeless on the streets. HAHA. ANYWAY, we ended up getting in just before 9:30am for a 10am start. The Fringe panel was amazing, amazing seems to be an adjective I abuse on this blog, especially when describing panels, but I don’t know how else to describe the Fringe Panel. The entire main cast was there, everyone looked like they got along very well, Jasika Nicole (Astrid) and Anna Torv (Olivia) started crying when talking about Fringe ending, and then I cried too, it was emotional again, it’s the last season for them, Season 5 does look like it is going to be mind blowing though (we received a sneak peek). John Noble is hilarious and so is Lance (the guy who plays Agent Broyles), and Joshua Jackson…

Supernatural was next, and Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki were both there, entertaining as usual, we got a sneak peek of their very popular gag reel.

We left before the Doctor Who panel started, the majority of the people who waited in line were for Doctor Who, but Anna and I had no interest. We decided to go the Marriot to collect our swag from our tickets.

Boyyyyy am I glad we went, the True Blood Swag bag is AWESOME, we received:

  • A drawstring true blood bag
  • Some vouchers for true blood merchandise
  • A blood droplet stress ball with the true blood logo on it.
  • A true blood note book
  • A true blood t shirt
  • The Dead as a Doornail novel by Charlaine Harris

Like I said, awesome swag, free stuff is awesome, apparently 4 years ago, the ticket was for entry into a True Blood party a couple of streets away, it was at a hotel and they served free food and true blood drinks… it was supposedly very awesome, anyway, our swag bag was cool too.

OH I forgot to mention, we also got a Fringe Fedora for the panel too! It is a grey fedora, much like the ones that the Observers wear in the show, it was awesome. We are April and March!

We ended up lining up at the WB Booth at the Exhibition Hall to get some free magazines from Entertainment Weekly, they have 4 different magazines that have flip covers for : The Vampire Diaries, Fringe, Big Bang Theory and Supernatural. The line was kinda long but so worth it, I didn’t know that we would get all sorts of other things like:

  • A superman Tshirt – in LARGE, LOL, really? I will sleep in this.
  • Little badges for some tv show
  • A metal badge thing for The Hobbit, THIS was actually really cool
  • 4 Comic-Con Magazines
  • 1 Entertainment Weekly Magazine

Free things are the best. Did I say that already?

We left after this, we had  had enough of Comic Con, 3 days of lining up such early early times is just plain painful, I can’t do it, this is a once in a lifetime thing – I can’t say I’m too old to wake up that early and wait though since I saw 60y/o + people doing it.

Anna and I passed out at 3pm back at the hostel and didn’t wake up until just before 8pm.

Comic-Con Tips

  • Line up for a panel that you want to go to about 3-4 panels before hand, if it’s a popular panel, expect to wake up super early to go, you will need to fight tooth and nail for a good spot.
  • Pack your back pack with lots of snacks, lunch, and drinks – food there is expensive and not worth it
  • Speaking of drinks, limit the amount of liquid you consume, you can go out of lines, but it’s a hassle, people in line are generally super nice though and will hold your place if you ask
  • MAKE FRIENDS IN THE LINE, it makes time go past so quickly, it’s very fun geeking out over a common interest and seeing where everyone is from
  • Book accommodation VERY early on, places sell out and go for 2x or 3x the price
  • Hang around the Hard Rock Cafe, Hilton, Omni or Marriot if you want to celebrity spot, a lot of people stay at the Hilton.
  • Buy your official exclusive Comic Con tshirt very early on, they sell out and the lines are SO friggen long, maybe try to get it on preview night.
  • Know what you want to go to in the Exhibition Hall, that hall is huge, maps don’t help much if you don’t already know what you want to go to.
  • Don’t try to go from Ballroom 20 to Hall H on the same day, it’s near impossible, they have the longest lines and you will not get in.

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Geeking out badly

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Fringe! We are observers!!
ImageCOMIC CON SWAG

ImageJabba the Hut!!!!!

ImageImageBane & Batman

ImageIt’s Walter (John Noble) from Fringe!

ImageSuper Gorgeous Anna Torv from FRINGE

ImageThe Simpson hats from the Simpsons panel!

ImageMass people at 6am in the morning on Day 2

ImageThe Dark Knight Rises

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Day 28: Around the world 16 flavours of coke

A short summary of the day, since we didn’t do anything particularly eventful.

We ate lunch at Le Cafe in the Paris Hotel using our $50 credit, I had a beef bourguignon and Anna had a ravioli with sage and brown butter, we both shared a tuna nicoise (i finally learnt how to pronounce it… you can guess how I was pronouncing it before).

We then bought a 24 hour monorail pass ($12!) and went to MGM Grand, got a bit lost in there, they had an area for CBS which were testing pilots (of tv shows). We walked out into the sun to go to M&Ms World and Coca Cola World, oh my, within 1 minute, I was pretty much sweating, desert sun/heat is HORRIFIC. I was so close to tears man.

We had a quick look in M&Ms World but nothing really interested us, we moved quickly into Coca Cola World which was next door, there are 2 floors I think, on the 2nd floor, they serve an assortment of coke products, 8 cup floats, 16 cup around the world tasting things ($7)… I warn you now, while the 16 cup around the world taster may sound like a good idea… it isn’t. About 10 of the flavours were pretty gross, STEER CLEAR OF BEVERLY FROM ITALY, there was one that tasted like mouth wash… it was foul, get the floats (a spider, to Australians). We barely even touched most of the drinks, Anna finished maybe 3 cups in total haha. Fails.

We headed back to the Bellagio to eat at the buffet, I kept looking for a Geisha pokies machine that I love, but all were out of order or 5c, which is just too much, I’m a 1c kind of girl. We ended up heading to the Buffet, still kinda full, assuming that the line would take at least 1.5-2 hours before we could go in, by then we wouldn’t be full anymore and would be able to eat. We were wrong. We got in within 30 minutes. It was a $32.99 buffet or something, had kobe beef, sushi, crab legs, and an assortment of other food, the dessert section was HUGE, but the food was so-so. It’s meant to be one of the best buffets in Vegas (and one of the priciest), but it did not meet my expectations; maybe we should have gone when we were hungrier.

After the buffet, we were stuffed like no tomorrow and went to play pokies a little bit, I didn’t end up on my Geisha pokies machine but instead on  a “Great Wall” pokies machine, I won $90 from a feature and put $20 in! Ended up losing $50 elsewhere, but still $40 up. I seem to only go for asian themed pokie machines. Hmmm.

We went back to the hotel to rest for a little while before going to visit the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, we walked to the Mandalay Bay from MGM Grand (I don’t recommend it, I wanted to cry and die and all sorts of things)… we then couldn’t hack it and took a taxi from Mandalay Bay, you probably should just take a taxi from your own hotel and waste an additional $10 and not do stupid shit like us.

/End.

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K.

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Day 27: the longest day ever, Grand Canyon & Marquee

So the plan was to go to the Grand Canyon + Marquee today. Happy to report that we went to both! Everyone was telling us to go to XS at Wynn/Encore, but it was just too far and we got home too late to not have to wait 3 hours in line, so Marquee across the road it was.

Grand Canyon was a 16 hour or so trip, with 13 hours of bus riding, NOT FUN, NOT FUN AT ALL! It was $90, and I am officially sworn off riding buses. HELPFUL TIP (that I was also given by my boss, and ignored – so stupid): ride a plane to the Grand Canyon, it’s a 3.5 hour ride ALL UP, and it’s about $250. Totally worth it IMO. No one likes to waste their entire day on a bus like we did, we did TWO entire days.

I fell asleep for the majority of ride to the canyons; we had 2 stops – Mathers Point… and something else that I can’t recall, we spent around 90 minutes at each site. The Grand Canyons are really spectacular! Both Yosemite and the Grand Canyons have made me feel like I walked straight out of a postcard, it’s unbelievable! A bunch of people were taking photos in some other area that had no fences or barriers too, what guns! I am far to clumsy to do stuff like that, I would probably step on a baby rock and tumble down the Canyons – I would gather that 1-2 people would like to see me home, alive.

So we got back home at 10:30pm, we were told that if you’re not in line for Marquee or XS by that time, HAPPY WAITING! We ended up getting out of the hotel just before 12am and got a pass for 2 from a guy on the street for $10, I told him if this didn’t work, I’d come back for him! We lined up and got in within 45 minutes, I know I know, you can find ways to get in for free and not pay, but we don’t club so we don’t know! Also, we were fully expecting to pay the $20 cover charge each for girls, so to us, we saved $15 each! J

The club is big, lots of people screaming, bumping, grinding, RedFoo from LMFAO was there, I only saw a gigantic fro on the stage. Anna and I proceeded to buy a vodka sunrise, it was $15 each – WTF, they used Belvedere vodka and all, but $15!!!!!!!!!!! Highway robbery!!!!!!!!!!! Anna and I took a little stroll around near the outdoor pool to finish our drinks and some random Mexican/Italian (oh I don’t know) guys came up to us and asked us to take a picture for them, they ended up sticking around to talk to us and one of the guys kept sleazing onto me. American guys are so so so sleazy at clubs, I was told of this, but really saw it firsthand. Oh, our Aussie boys are such gentlemen (or just not as confident). He bought me a long island and refused my money when I tried to pay him back. I ended up downing 2 long islands during the course of the night and getting spectacularly drunk, in true Karen style, I can’t remember chunks of my night. I do remember the guy telling me he got here by helicopter and pulling out a big big big roll of cash. I do remember the smaller Mexican guy (who is apparently our age) talking to Anna about … who knows what. I do remember the other guy trying to lead me to the bar and kiss my head and smell my neck after I enthusiastically spoke about my boyfriend. OH, some guy from Hawaii kept hitting on Anna too. He kept trying to hold her hand by leading her to other areas of the club (seriously guys?), and would touch her waist and stuff, my god, we had to escape!!!!! In my drunken state, I said I wanted to go see the hip hop room, we walked downstairs and he was leading, the moment was saw the exit door to the balcony, I grabbed Anna and we stood outside and decided to leave because I felt like hurling (SUP SPANX). When we walked out, lucky us, he was walking to the stairs and spotted us, we were literally 1m away from him. “Where did you guys go? You guys disappeared” he asked. “Oh, we just needed a breath of fresh air” I smoothly responded, though I doubt I was as smooth as my drunk self thought.

So anyway, we left at around 2am, I ended up calling said boyfriend and lamenting to him about how bad my skin is and how he will leave me when I return… this went on for about 20 minutes (or so he says, I don’t remember much of the conversation) – oh babe, I don’t know how you put up with me, you clearly got the short end of the stick in this relationship.

I passed out the moment my head touched the pillow! Omg I am so proud that we managed to go out and party after waking up so early and sitting on a bus all day.

American drinks are so strong. I’ve completely gotten screwed over long islands 2 nights of my trip, they were tasty long islands though! That’s pretty much the story of the day!

OH I forgot, when we got home, our water had completely shut off, I used the last good flush on the toilet and then all was lost. We needed to wash our faces!!! We called the concierge and received a $50 credit for food/bev for the inconvenience. We ended up running outside to the ice machine to get a bucket of ice, blow drying the ice, and using icy cold water to rinse the face wash off our faces, Anna said it was super cold, I remember washing my face with it first but it not being particularly cold. Idiot child.

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So beautiful!!!!

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Look at how fat the packet of chips has gone

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I slept beside this

K.

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Day 26: Las Vegas, Baby!

Ahh, the plane ride I was looking forward to the most – VIRGIN AMERICA, they definitely did not disappoint, I’d fly with them EVERYWHERE domestically if I could, they have TV’s for every seat, NO OTHER AIRLINE HAS THAT! Their plane interiors look like spaceships and the flight attendants are really nice. It was sadly only a 1.5 hour ride, I was AWAKE FOR ALL OF IT FOR ONCE! I think? I may have dozed off for 15 minutes… lol. Likely.

Las Vegas airports has pokies and slot machines EVERYWHERE! We also spotted some super tall African American guys and immediately assumed they were basketballers, we tried to see where they were from to no avail. We caught a cab from the airport to the Paris Hotel, LET ME TELL YOU NOW… the cab fare should not be > $20 (incl tip) if going to a hotel near the Bellagio or Caesar’s Palace if there is no traffic, we got ripped off, think the cab driver took a different route, bastard. We ended up paying like $30 with tips, I forgot his Cab Driver ID, I actually took the effort to try to write it down, yeah, genius Karen, you have a pen in your bag all the time and paper, why didn’t you write it down?

Ate at the Bellagio Cafe because the buffet line was so so so ridiculously long, I had a Spag Bol and Anna had an Angus Beef Burger I think. We also ordered a banana cream pie and a raspberry chocolate layer cake. NOM NOM. We quickly rushed back to go get in line for our show, we managed to book a show to a raunchy hypnotist called Anthony Cools, we bought the general admission tickets and got a free upgrade to the front row – BOOYA!

The highlights/summary of the show:

  • Audience members volunteered to go up, 6 people from the audience were left – 3 men and 3 women.
  • A pretty girl was hypnotised to forget her name, she looked so concerned whenever someone asked her for her name and she didn’t remember, Anthony Cools made her sing Happy birthday to everyone every time she wanted to remember her name.
  • A girl was hypnotised to think that her coochie was talking to her every time someone said her name and screaming really personal things to the audience, she kept telling it to shut up.
  • Whenever a guy heard the song ‘Ring of Fire’, his bumhole would BURN, and the only way to ease it would be to rub his bum on the floor.
  • Whenever a guy’s name was said (Joseph), he would have a boner and try to suppress it – he kept fiddling with his pants and smiling cheesily.
  • Everyone on stage was hypnotised to think that someone farted and that it was foul.
  • Everyone on stage was hypnotised to think that they were naked, auditioning for a pornographic film that they really wanted, and then they had to perform their best sex moves on a chair that to them, would be the most gorgeous person they were filming with. This was highly disturbing, a nice Asian girl gave head to the chair, an old man gave head to a chair, the pretty girl was … well, having sex with the chair and forgetting her name when asked about it.
  • Everyone on stage switched sexes, the guys ended up giving a bottle a blow job.
  • Everyone received the most mind blowing orgasms once Anthony Cools shook their hands, the Asian girl squeezed his hand so tight that it went really really red and he looked like he was in some pain. The pretty girl was going crazy and he asked her for her name and she screamed “I DON’T FUCKING KNOW” while orgasming. The ring of fire guy was rubbing his bum on the floor while orgasming, his shoe flew off… it was funny.

All in all, a very entertaining show! Everyone should go watch it and maybe if you’re game, volunteer! Though I really don’t think anyone would want video evidence of all the above floating around – every show is filmed.

We are going to the Grand Canyon tomorrow! DREADDDDDDDDD… after Yosemite, I never want to sit on a bus ever again.

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Signing out!

K.

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Day 25: Painted Ladies + Cable Car Rides

Our last full day in San Francisco today, oh beautiful city, how I will miss you. We decided to take it easy again (we tend to do that a lot eh?) and only set out to visit the Painted Ladies, ride a cable car, visit Fisherman’s Wharf one last time and go to the Ferry Farmer Markets (open on Saturdays!). Eh, not so easy eh? We actually did EVERYTHING we planned. I am so proud.

We visited the Markets first, it was a longer walk than expected, but the place was super cute, it was by the water and there were stalls everywhere with fresh fruits (America does fruits better than we do, I have to say). We were looking around for a restaurant to eat at, decided on a seafood restaurant, looked next door and saw a super long line for another restaurant called the Hog Island Oyster Coy, we quickly moved over and lined up for that instead after I found out it had consistently 4-5 star ratings! The wait was a while but it was well worth it, the oysters are DIVINE here, so so so so good, we ordered a dozen for $32, no regrets at all. We also ordered the BEST CLAM CHOWDER EVER; it is so much nicer than the ones at Fisherman’s Wharf. If you go San Francisco, I highly recommend you visiting the restaurant, so delicious. Also, they have happy hour specials on certain days where they do oysters for $1.36 each, yum yum yummmmmm.

Next, we took a bus ride to the Painted Ladies at Alamo Square, we finally decided that we should try to work out the bus system, it’s still a bit of a mystery to us (you’re meant to be able to ride for 2 hours on the bus with a $2 ride, or so I seem to think… but our one apparently lasted for 4 hours? Whatever, I didn’t get in trouble from the transit people). Seeing the Painted Ladies is another surreal feeling, I once again thought “WOW I’M REALLY IN THE US!”, I had similar feelings in New York… everywhere in New York.. Haha. I kept thinking there were only 5 painted ladies, but there are in fact 6, there are 7 Alamo Sisters though, with the mansion costing $4.5 million a couple of years back, it used to belong to the guy who built the Painted Ladies.

We went back to Powell St to catch the cable cars from the Powell St/Market St cable car turn around, busiest cable car ride ever, they come so frequently, but the lines are really long, expect to wait around 15-20minutes all the time. If you want to skip the lines but not get a super fun ride, ride the Van Ness cable car rides. We stood on the outside of the cable cars and it was really fun going up and down the steeeeeep steeeeeep hills.

We went and took a little stroll around Fisherman’s Wharf to find bathrooms, all had super long lines so we just walked 15 minutes back to Green Tortoise to go to our own bathrooms… haha!

Dinner was had at… NEW SUN HONG KONG RESTAURANT again, HAHA!!! Noodles and Congee, omg I miss you so much!

Tomorrow is Las Vegas! WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!

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How gorgeous is this??

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Our common room
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Oysters, I love you.

K.

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Day 24: Yosemite National Park aka I hate long bus rides

We woke up super early today to go on our Yosemite National Park tour. We got picked up at 6:50am from our hostel and once again, I passed out until we finished picking everyone else up, we booked the tour with Viator for $135 per person, but we ended up with an Extranomical Tour. The bus ride was 5-6 hours with 1-2 stops, we saw Sequoia trees, they are AWESOME, the oldest living things on earth, it’s as thick as a building, and so tall! We took photos with it and then went off to Yosemite Valley, the place is SO beautiful, you feel like you’re in a picture, you never see things like that in Sydney! We also saw the Yosemite Falls and had an ice cream Sunday. Most of the day was pretty much spent on a bus and sleeping… so nothing much to report today.

When we got home I watched a Ben Stiller movie and a Will Ferrell movie! I am slowly but surely getting through these movies. I think I passed out pretty quickly, it was a tiring day, bus rides are no fun, I think we spent around 12-14 hours on a bus today, we got picked up first and dropped off last, UNFAIR.

Taken with Instagram


Look mum, I’m in a postcard!!

K. 

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Day 23: Lombard + Don Pistos

Short blog post today, just chilled out and rested. I didn’t have a hangover, thank goodness! Calzone’s was the first destination for lunch, Italian for us! I had Angel Hair Pasta with tomato and garlic and Anna had a Salmon Pizza, I also ordered raspberry lemonade! I LOVE lemonade here, I order it at every opportunity. We went to Lombard St to see the winding roads, that walk was a crazy trek, uphill walks are so incredibly painful, we only walked uphill on one street, like a small part of Lombard, and I was like … sadface. Lombard St is really cool and super pretty, it’s always mega packed with tourists standing in the middle of the road taking pictures… lots of cars drive through these roads too, they must hate us.

We were pretty lazy from the day before so we decided to go watch The Amazing Spiderman, some quick googling told us that there was a showing in 30 minutes, so we took a cab from Lombard to the AMC Theatre at Van Ness, OUR FIRST MOVIE IN THE STATES! Woo… the movie was pretty good, I enjoyed it! Drinks are SO SO SO expensive at the cinemas.

We walked home from the Cinema, it was a 25-30 minute walk home and we walked through some strange neighbourhood where Anna and I kept giving each other funny looks until one of us went “Is it me or is this area strangely … empty?” we agreed, and I just started power walking until we got to Union Square. Harrowing experiences all around!

I had been googling good restaurants around the area and really wanted to try Don Pistos, Anna wasn’t even hungry and ended up eating quite a bit because the food was so delicious! A must try! It has a wooden door and if you didn’t already know about the place, you’d have a lot of trouble finding it, they give you Chips and a delicious Salsa to start with (replacing sourdough bread in other restaurants), that was so so addictive, we ended up finishing the entire bowl. I ordered a Sangria (slowly starting to get into red wines, though it doesn’t count, does it?), that hit me pretty quickly, I’m a cheap drunk and American drinks are kinda strong. We ordered a Mexican style Salmon Sashimi (delicious!), Tacos and a Hamburger thing, delicious delicious! Everything was super tasty, the vibe was awesome, though I could hear shit all because it was so loud, so probably not a good date area. The place is highly recommended.

K.

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