Ah, there's nothing like Southern California ...
The fake body parts!
And of course, don't forget the overpriced tacky tourist attractions like Universal Studios!
Universal Studios isn't far from where I live and it's one of my guilty pleasures. I bought a ticket at the beginning of the year so I have an annual pass for free. I don't think I would want to spend all my weekends tramping around the park, but every so often it's fun to pretend that I'm part of the movies.
Universal Studios is a fully functioning studio but a large area is dedicated to being an amusement park. All the rides are based on films or tv shows.
Like any amusement park, there are certain rules that must be followed ...
Thankfully, I just met the height requirements for this one. Phew!
Before the Simpson's ride, there was the Back to the Future ride. Both rides put you inside a car and you are bounced and jerked around in front of a massive screen. I loved the Back to the Future ride but it was sadly dismantled a couple of years ago.
The Simpson's ride? Don't feel the same type of love. There is too much happening on the damn screen and I come out feeling as if I had just experienced a really bad acid trip. An acid trip starring the Simpsons. It's as scary as it sounds.
If you're lucky, you might get to see your favorite movie stars. On my most recent visit, I was very fortunate to hang out with Paul Walker and Jordana Brewster, the stars of the Fast and the Furious movies. They didn't say a lot but when you're looking this hot, nobody expects you to open your mouth.
Vin Diesel was driving his car in a neon outer space. He is way too cool to be driving around city streets like the rest of us mortals.
By the way, if you haven't seen Fast Five, you should see it. Pretty fun movie. Completely ridiculous but still pretty fun.
And now we come to Wisteria Lane. If you're a fan of Desperate Housewives, this house may look familiar.
If this house were really in Los Angeles, I'm sure it would be worth over a million dollars. Living expenses are a little ridiculous here.
This is my favorite part of the studio tour: The destroyed neighborhood that was used as the set in War of the Worlds.
If you've seen the movie, you'll remember that the neighborhood was flattened when a jumbo jet crash landed. I'm not sure which is worse; getting abducted by freaky aliens or finding part of a fuselage in your bedroom.
This exhibit is part of the studio tour. These are dancing cars. Yes, they dance to the music of Daddy Yankee.
And there are explosions.
And water is sprayed.
And not much else.
It's very exciting if you're a nine year old boy.
This is a reproduction of a quaint Mexican village that just happens to have a tsunami of water running through it. There are no screaming villagers which is comforting but still somewhat disappointing.
Jurassic Park is another great ride at the park. You're in a boat and you start off cruising by the nice, friendly dinosaurs. You know, the ones that have long outstretched necks and eat grass and look like they could be giant pets.
But then you see a car that was tossed around and ripped fences and ominous flashing red lights and all hell breaks loose. The last thing you see before a giant drop is this ...
Universal Studios is located in Universal City which is just north of Hollywood, California. It's open all year around.