Around Los Angeles [★ ~ CA TRAVEL #6]

December 25, 2015

Our official business trip ended on October 4, 2014 (Saturday). The rest of our teammates were flying back to Manila that morning. However, things were different for Krishan and me - we were heading South to see Los Angeles!!!

I am so glad I was with Krishan during this trip. He's a true blue adventure seeker. It was both our first time in the USA and so there were lots of things to discover. Before our team flew to San Fransisco, we planned this side trip and scheduled it after our work week in San Mateo. We booked one of the travel packages at Tours4Fun. I guess I'll write more of that planning process on another post. Let's go onto the details of our tour!

So our call time was Saturday morning at Red Roof Inn in Redwood City. From our hotel in San Mateo, we hailed a taxi to the meeting place. It was easy to spot the people who were also going to the tour - there were lots of people (Chinese and some Indians) with their luggage waiting on a parking lot. After a few hours, we were aboard the bus that would take us to Los Angeles!

Aboard the bus!
Riding the bus was a tour itself because we got to see a lot of sights on our way to LA. We got to see offices of brands that we are well familiar with.

See that Sandisk sign?

The bus did a stop-over to this place somewhere (LOL I really didn't know where this was). We had to go down the bus because we were transferring to another one to be with those people who availed the same exact tour itinerary. Apparently the first bus was just to get us from the pickup points. While waiting for our assigned bus, we went and checked out the stores.

We got to talk to two elderly women who were in the first bus with us. They were Filipino too! They asked us if we already lived in the US, and we said no, just for a business trip. They then told us we are lucky if that's the case and were happy for us that we also got to tour around. I think they were friends and they were also touring LA, but not the exact itinerary with us. I just thought Krishan and I were indeed lucky to have opportunities to travel while we are still young. I truly believe the best time to travel the world is when you still have all that youthful energy to explore different places!

Finally our bus arrived and we were on our way to LA! ヽ(^Д^)ノ

Tours4Fun mostly has Chinese tour guides and that was the case for our tour. They could also speak English. Our tour guide in the bus would explain stuff about a place we were passing by in Chinese first, and then he would then speak in English afterwards. I am just not sure if the information that he said in Chinese is as complete as with what he said in English, cause it sounded like he said a lot in Chinese, and then he just said a few sentences in English after. Oh well at least we were enjoying ourselves in the bus, seeing new things along the way.

Casa De Fruta

Our first stop en route was this place called Casa De Fruta. There are lots of goodies for sale like sweets, fruits, nuts, and other food items that can be given as gifts.

Looking around Casa de Fruta. Spot Krishan taking a selfie . :))
We were given a specific time to go around the area and so Krishan and I went ahead and explored the place. 

It was Halloween then, thus the decorations.

Most of the items they sold there, aside from the sweets, looked like they're used for cooking. 

Casa De Fruta is like a sweets wonderland! All kinds of sweets can be found here. Good thing I can control my sweet tooth, else I might have bought most of these goodies!

Yogurt pretzels!!! I have a thing for these. (。♥‿♥。)
Seeing this image made me question why I didn't buy some though.
We went around further to explore the place. Apparently, this is not entirely called Casa De Fruta. There's Casa de Sluige...

... Casa de Wine...

... Casa de Sweets...

Their turnovers look so good. I didn't get to try one though.:D
... and Casa de Choo Choo? (・∀・)

It was entertaining to see these signs actually. Haha.

Aside from these, we also got to see a lot more in this Casa, including this freakin' gorgeous peacock!!!

It was so beautiful! 

McDonald's Stopover
After the trip to all of Casa de Fruta, our journey on the road continued. The view from the bus (I was near the window. Thanks Krishan!) was breathtaking.

Our bus did a stopover at a gas station with food stores. That's where we had our lunch. We chose to be in McDonalds!

It's actually our first time to eat in a fast-food store in the US. This is because our dining experience for the past week was mostly in restaurants. Now that we were on our own already, we had to carefully budget our pocket money. :D

One of our teammates mentioned to me that their Chicken McNuggets here is worth it, so I tried that one.

I really like the fact that they have overflowing condiments here. I got to get all the ketchup that I wanted for my fries!

Hollywood Boulevard
So after that lunch, our bus traveled on to the first touring activity!

This is our first major stop, the very iconic Hollywood Boulevard where the Walk of Fame is! It felt like a dream being actually here!!!

There were lots of tourists lingering around the streets. The stars were along the walkway on the side of the road. It was a challenge to take photos of them actually, because there were lots of people walking around. You would need to really have a good timing to take snap of the star when the coast is clear.

Here are some of the stars that I chose to take photos of (I saw a lot, but I just selected those of artists that I like):

We were also able to pass by the Madame Tussauds museum.

There's also the TCL Chinese Theatre.

Cher's handprints and shoeprints on the cement!

We also got to see El Capitan Theatre.

Then there's Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum...

... and Dolby Theatre...

... and Hard Rock Cafe.

There were a lot of things to see along the streets actually, mostly performers, just like this one imitating Michael Jackson.

He's good actually! There was a large circle of spectators around him and some of them are tossing coins (or bills I guess?) onto the hat that this performer placed on the ground.

Elvis statue on one store

Happy tourist here. :P

Los Angeles Music Center
After the exciting stuff at Hollywood Boulevard, we went back to our bus. Our next stop was the Los Angeles Music Center.

It's the largest performing arts center in the USA (per its Wikipedia page). 

The sneak peek view of the interior that's captured on the photo above is just impressive! We didn't get to enter it but there was a nice park outside where we stayed for a while.

It was already sunset during that time and this was our last stop before heading to our hotel, Holiday Inn, in Anaheim. I think we traveled for a few hours more before we arrived there. 

It was nice to see a lot of famous places and landmarks in LA on that day, though I wished we spent more time in each of them. 

Next on our tour itinerary the next day is Universal Studios! Yay! I will talk about our adventures there in another post. :)

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