To Be or Not To Be

A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard the task I find
Of governing it well.
-- Louisa May Alcott.
...........hmmm....that more or less describes my situation !!

~A Wise Man Said~

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
-- Aristotle

Friday, May 22, 2009
The LA trip was good. We visited San Diego (Sea World), Disneyland, Hollywood (Walk of Fame, Kodak Theatre…), and Universal Studios.

I have been to the Disneyland in Hong Kong but I was expecting this to be a much grander and bigger version – it was. People said it could take almost two days to cover the whole area and since we had only a day devoted to it, we were a little anxious to see as much as we could. The rides were great though I personally like the milder fun rides than the really roller coaster twist-turn scary ones. My favourite had to be this Soaring Over California where you sit in a darkened room and soon enough, feel like you are soaring and flying over all of California. The feeling was so real, so breath taking, so out-of-world; I loved it!

Sea World again reminded me of Ocean World in Hong Kong and I have to say it didn’t compare too well, at least for me. The Dolphin show could have been put together much better but I enjoyed the Whale show, which is supposed to be one of the most popular attractions there.

Walking on Hollywood boulevard in the night and seeing the bright Hollywood signs everywhere felt rather surreal. Hollywood was more of a metaphor in my head all this time and never a ‘place’. The crowd around also appeared to be of a different world – strange clothes, strange hair, strange looks – or maybe the general ambience and aura about the place made everything appear rather not-so-normal.

At Universal Studios – the mini train that takes you on a tour of all the sets on the mountain and simulates some of the action we see in the movies was the best. Suddenly two cars started crashing in the air on one side of the train, flood started gushing from one mountain, a whale almost jumped at us from a river we were crossing, fire broke out in a tunnel we were passing …Suddenly we were transported into the world of cinema… where everything is possible … and we were given a glimpse of what goes into making this magical world come alive…

At the end of three days, I have to admit I was a little bored of rides, especially since there were rides at Sea World, Disney and even at Universal Studios. The concept of all the rides was the same more or less – you sat into something that would take you up, down and around or you sat into something that was stationary but you were made to feel the illusion of movement; the only thing that changed was the theme of the different rides (sometimes a haunted house, sometimes a haunted elevator, sometimes in a jungle, sometimes in water, sometimes in a comic book!) or the speed at which it took you around (sometimes fairly slow so you could see the horrors of the haunted house or sometimes terribly fast so you could only close your eyes and scream).

What amazed me is how enthusiastic all the older people were about the rides. Many of the rides at Disney had a waiting time of one hour or upwards and it was quite tiring to stand there in the heat in a queue awaiting our turn for the ride. End of this long wait we would have probably 5 minutes of fun. What I find interesting is the fact that we usually don’t display our eagerness to sit or climb into rides when we encounter them in a casual way, say in a park or something, where they are specifically intended for children. We pretend a casual disinterest in the whole concept except in so much as it interests any kids accompanying us. But the moment we enter sites that are meant to have rides for adults and kids alike and you see other adults participating in the fun, the veneer of disinterest drops and we are like any other kid, jumping and waiting and thrilled to be sitting on a ride! Isn’t that curious? It reminds me of a remark one lady made when we were in one of those never-ending queues, when one person actually cut her across and skipped the queue; she said “people seem to forget to be polite when they are in an amusement park”. There seems to be something in that – maybe it brings out the child in you in more ways than one! :)

We have a long weekend coming up this week and the plan is to go to Las Vegas, also covering Yosemite National Park (designated a World Heritage Site) and Grand Canyon. I have heard so much about the Grand Canyon… and of course Las Vegas. When I mention Las Vegas to people, the first reaction I get is, ‘are you going to gamble?’! Yeah, right, I am a born gambler! :)

Photos (some problem with blogger; some of the pics disappear on and off!)

P.S: I always remember I haven’t put a title to the post after I have posted it… there goes one of my New Year resolutions :(