Tyler’s Travel Log: California

I know, everybody, I’m sorry. It finally happened.

Ya boi TD finally went Hollywood.

It was only a matter of time, it was bound to happen. You know it, I know it, everybody knows it.

But seriously, ya boi just traveled to the land of the Pacific, and saw a lot of sunshine, water, and bright lights. It was a LOT to take in so I’m just going to break it all down for everybody. The sights, the sounds, the other sights. You name it, I probably saw it.

My recruiting trip for the Sixers proved successful, as I returned home with the Sixers having the biggest starting lineup in the league, so, thank me!

I couldn’t wait for the log to get out so much that I’m actually at a Margaritaville in Universal Studios starting the log. So, now you KNOW it’s authentic!

I’ll start by saying this: jet lag is no joke. I know, it’s a bit dramatic for a measly 3 hours; however, when you’re a novice time traveler like me, it’s a swift kick in the nose. I felt like I had been up for 77 hours straight after the flight, but after one day you are certainly adjusted. I’m not sure how Barry Allen does it so easily.

I am not going to say which airline we flew to get there and back. You can make your own guesses, just know after the flights they had me feeling like, how should I put this…ah I know, a ghost.

Anyway, that’s besides the point, we are not here to focus on the negatives.

In California, there is no shortage of things to do, especially if you like to go outside and hike. There are trails for days and there were places and things we did not even get to do, but the things we did see, the views were something!

It’s one thing in the pictures, but to see it in person really puts life into perspective. The earth is huge, and we all have our problems and our small bubbles we live in. It’s crazy to see things from the literal top of the mountain.

Now, anybody that knows me well enough knows I’m a sports junkie. I love seeing other teams in other cities and other stadiums. Now, being in a place during baseball season where there is baseball galore, we certainly took advantage.

Angels Stadium.
Petco Park
Dodger Stadium

Nothing will ever beat good ole’ CBP, but these are beautiful ballparks. The views of outside the stadium, the seats we had and the overall experience was something I will never forget. There is so much history in these places and you really take that part of it in when you’re in a different part of the world. That’s 5 baseball stadiums this season and I don’t plan on stopping yet.

A trip across the country wouldn’t be complete without checking out some animals, because, duh. We were lucky enough to try both the LA Zoo and the San Diego Zoo. Now, both were beautiful but hooooo boy, the San Diego zoo was quite literally a city in itself. You could have spent two full days there and I am not totally sure you would have enough time to see everything.

We had only a short morning there and we saw about 10% of it. It is definitely something I’m looking forward to seeing again.

The LA Zoo was no slouch either, it was so interesting we sat and watched elephants do elephant things for a half hour. If you’ve never done so, you’d be surprised about the full length entertainment!

If there was anything that maybe didn’t live up to the hype I had concocted in my head, I would say Hollywood Boulevard would be it. We did the Wax Museum, it was cool because I saw people like Ryan Reynolds and Gwyneth Paltrow’s wax figures. However, it wasn’t as cool when I realized it wasn’t Gwyneth Paltrow, it was Jennifer Aniston. So the figures weren’t exactly…accurate.

I did see Captain America walking around though! Full costume too! He was a little shorter than I thought he would be, but hey, if you can go toe-to-toe with Thanos, I am not one to judge.

Mickey Mouse and Batman also looked to have a little business going on the sidewalk taking pics with fans, it was super inspirational.

So yeah, bizarre!

Universal was always something I wanted to see. I have been to Disney World quite a few times, as has Amanda, so we really wanted to check out what the hype was about.

Well, let me just say it did not disappoint.

Before you even walk into actual Universal Studios there’s a boardwalk type where there is just bars and shops and restaurants. It is remarkable. We went back there a few times throughout the day for food and adult beverages…and popcorn.

You walk right in and there’s the “Extra” set you see on all of the TV’s at the doctors office. It was wild. I am sad to report I did not see Mario Lopez, however. So if you consider my trek a failure, I do not blame you for doing so.

Universal was a whole days worth of excitement. Theres an entire tour of the actual Universal Studios, where they take you through the different lots where different movies and television shows are being filmed.

It was a wild experience, to know so many successful people walked on the grounds you were standing on. It was pretty inspiring, as well.

“New York Set” at Universal Studios

As most of you know, I am a turbo nerd. Marvel, Star Wars, video games, I am a giant fan.

That list includes Harry Potter. (Not Lord of the Rings but that’s another conversation for another day.)

Harry Potter, yeah, lets focus on that! Harry Potter World is at Universal. And I gotta say, it is AWESOME. If you haven’t ever been there, I highly recommend going, even if you aren’t a giant fan. But, it makes the experience even more worth it if you’re a fan.

We waited in line for the ride in Hogwarts castle for roughly an hour and a half, and it was worth it. If you have ever been to Epcot and been on the ride Soarin’, it is a lot like that, but Harry Potter themed. It was incredibly thorough and it made you feel like you were there. It was awesome.

The rides in the other parts of Universal were no slouches either. Our personal favorite was the Mummy, which went from 0 MPH to 45 MPH in a matter of one second. I thought my hair was going to fly off. Absolutely well worth the trip if you are in LA.

Santa Monica

Overall, the trip to Cali is getting an A++ from me. It was always on my bucket list to go (and perhaps move) out West and I am super glad we got the experience.

If you and your loved ones are thinking about taking a trip to see the bright lights of Hollywood, I couldn’t recommend it more! Just be careful of the brighter lights of Hollywood Boulevard…you never know what or who you might find there.

*All photos taken by Tyler Downey and Amanda Bruns*

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Tyler Downey

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