US 2017, Los Angeles (Day 6, Part 2) - Santa Monica Pier & La La Land @ TCL Chinese Theatres

After a casual morning at the Farmer's Market, the Grove and some shopping at Melrose Avenue, Saliheen and I made our way to Santa Monica pier! Unfortunately, it wasn't very sunny anymore when we arrived :( Oh well, at least it wasn't raining havily or else it would've been a wasted trip... always look on the bright side of life, amirite???



Our rental car in LA!!!!! Kinda miss driving around in it already.

(And yes, we did make use of the convertible roof and wound it down thrice during our trip. Very thrilling and fun! Made our hair look crazy and get tangled by the end of each trip though haha)


Took pictures at the Santa Monica sign (above) and also spent some time looking out to the beach - even though it wasn't sunny and didn't have LA's usual blue skies, there was something calming about seeing the Santa Monica pier with its slight fog and grey skies. Sikit sikit macam nak ada zombie apocalypse tapi tak. Hahaha.

Walked towards Pacific Park (amusement park) and paid US$8.00 each to ride the giant ferris wheel - apparently it's the only solar-powered ferris wheel in the world??? Cool fun fact I discovered reading our booth's panels haha


We were starving af when we were done walking around Santa Monica pier but we weren't feeling any of the makan options offered on the pier (mostly burgers and fries) so we ended up at the nearby Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. We weren't expecting much since we've been to the outlet in Kuala Lumpur and weren't too impressed, but somehow the dishes we had here turned out to be pretty good??? Either we were really hungry or we chose better dishes or they just do it better in the States. Heh.

We braced ourselves to be stuck in terrible traffic on the way back! Double whammy because it was starting to drizzle (again) and we knew we'd be caught up in peak hour traffic by the time we arrived back in Hollywood. Turns out it wasn't too bad; usual journey should have been 45 minutes to an hour but we made it out after 1.5 hours? Thought we'd be stuck in traffic for at least two hours plus, almost three seh.

But ok la, yang penting we made it out of LA's peak hour traffic, and we were so sempat, we booked tickets to watch La La Land the movie at TCL Chinese Theaters at the last minute. Sampai hotel room je terus go online and book tickets (here) for a 10.30pm show. Hur hur.

Tbh I wasn't interested when I watched the official trailer for La La Land but I heard and read so much rave reviews that it made me curious enough to catch it myself. Suggested the idea to Saliheen who was up for it! Plus it was the absolute perfect timing seh. The movie is based in LA, features spots all over LA and there we were, IN LA!

We were also excited to experience watching a movie in the TCL Chinese Theaters itself. I wouldn't have thought of watching a movie while on holiday anywhere else but we were in Hollywood??? Hello??? It was meant to be. Thank God the seats were as comfy and the theater as huge as I expected it to be hehe. 

It was a great experience by the way. No queues at any of the counters, the ticketing staff was incredibly nice, the staff who ushered us was so sweet (She was in a wheelchair! How amazing and inclusive! I can't imagine our local theaters ever giving that opportunity to someone in a wheelchair, which is unfortunate) and the staff at the snacks counter was so friendly. She laughed so hard when both of us went WHOA and stepped back at the exact same time when she handed us the "medium" popcorn box that we ordered haha! It was HUMONGOUS lor!!!!!!!!!!! Their medium popcorn is double the large popcorn box we have in Singapore theaters wtf so American I can't even deal


The scene in the last gif above is my absolute fave!!!!! Because it's mesmerizing and magical and and it's set in the Samuel Oschin observatory at Griffith Observatory (the one I raved about in my entry here, and was trying so hard to describe wtf padahal tunjuk gif atas ni kan senang, or you can go watch the scene yourself on Youtube) 

Saliheen and I loved the movie, by the way. The cinematography, the story-line, the dreamy sequence, the musical numbers, the emotional highs and lows, all beautifully done. Although I do think La La Land is a tricky movie to recommend because it is something that you either really love or really hate. We belong in the camp that appreciates the concept and intention of its plot, however, there are others who think it is a boring unrealistic piece of crap that involves too much dialogue. To each his/her own! At the end of the day, La La Land is a movie that grossed $432 million worldwide on a production budget of $30 million and won a bunch of awards at the Oscars, Golden Globes, etc.


Walked back to our hotel room on such a high! Tapi sampai hotel room je we had to tone down our buzz because nak kena tidur - more touristy stuff coming the next day! Our plan for the next day: jalan jalan Hollywood Walk of Fame (properly this time, with camera in hand, instead of just walking past like the past few nights) and going on a guided Celebrity Homes tour. It truly doesn't get any more touristy than that la kan hahahaha

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