Jul 8, 2010

Day 5, Monterey Bay - San José

Today on the morning Aleksi, Aku, mom and dad went to the pool as I went to have a shower. Then we had some breakfast and packed our bags and got in the car. We drove around Monterey since we were supposed to meet our friend Paul around at 5 pm and the drive to his house didn’t take more than 1½ hours. Me and mom found a shopping center where we went shopping as the boys went on a café to eat and watch Germany-Spain football match. Good job Spain, by the way! ;)

We did some useful shopping and then around 2 pm started driving towards Santa Cruz. There we went on a Rio del Mar beach where we saw dolphins, seals and lots of different birds. Aku and Aleksi played football. There was a big deck and a submarine’s wreck where all the animals were at. There were also a lot of fishermen and people on a picnic, walking their dogs, swimming…

We continued our drive to San José, where we were at 5.30 pm. We met our friend Paul and went to his house to wait for his wife and son to come home. We ate some delicious pineapple and watermelon. After a while Paul’s wife Bin Bin and son Jonathan came home and we introduced ourselves. Bin Bin recognized us from some photos even though we have grown quite a lot from the days the pictures were taken at. Hehe :D

We went to eat in a nice Italian restaurant, and the little cute baby boy had his first visit at a restaurant! He’s really adorable, gotta say :) The food was fine and after finishing we went with Paul to sign in a hotel where me and my brothers will stay at. Mom and dad will be sleeping at Paul and Bin Bin’s house. Tomorrow we will go to San Francisco! Yay, that will be cool :) So, for now, good night folks!

Jul 7, 2010

Day 4, L.A-Monterey Bay

We woke up in the morning at 9 o’clock and started to pack our stuff. We went to have breakfast and then signed out from the hotel, packed our suitcases in the car and started driving towards Monterey Bay at 11 am. We drove near the coast line so we saw the ocean during this long drive. The gas was about to run out so we stopped by this gas station where we also bought ice creams, some chips and water. We continued our drive as we saw absolutely gorgeous views, ones that can’t be explained without a picture. They were just incredibly stunning.

With “Hey, Soul Sister” on the radio we continued driving… We drove to this little town somewhere near the coast. Its name was.. uhm.. Cambrido? I don’t remember, something with an C. heh :D There we ate lunch and laughed quite a lot at mom with her little struggling in trying to speak English fast. She was trying to ask the waitress “Is there a free re-fill?” meaning about the cokes, but instead said something like “Is there a free frerefreeshfreerill?” :D Luckily the waitress understood even though the rest of us were laughing pretty hard :D

After eating we walked on the streets and saw this pharmacy. Mom needed to buy some bandages and Aleksi found a cool toy from there. I’m putting a video of it.

Anyway, then we continued the drive. We stopped and took some beautiful pictures from the ocean and then went back in the car. We drove some more hours and around 8 pm arrived to Monterey Bay. We searched for a not too expensive motel and found a Comfort Inn where we got a room with two Queen beds and a pull out sofa. Fine enough. Aku and Aleksi went to the pool as me, mom and dad went to a store to buy some fruits, cereals, milk and orange juice. We got back to the motel, I updated our blog and then we went to sleep. Tomorrow = San José and seeing our friend Paul, his wife and son!

Days 2 and 3

Day 2, 4th of July

This morning after eating breakfast we got in the car and drove to the hills. We saw some beautiful and big houses in Beverly Hills and Bel Air. The rich and famous people live there, and their gardeners really deserve their pay checks ‘cause you really can’t see in. Good job paparazzis if they get to take a picture from their yards! We tried to get close to the Hollywood sign but it was really hard because some of the roads were closed for the 4th of July events, so we didn’t catch the sign on camera. On the parks we saw many people spending their 4th of July by going on a picnic and playing catch or baseball with their friends and family.

Then we drove to Hollywood Walk of Fame to check the famous stars on the pavement. We saw Donald Trump, Sandra Bullock, Walt Disney, Michal Jackson, Mickey Mouse and many more… We walked to see the Chinese Theater where celebrities have put their hand and footprints and signatures on the cement. There were, for example, the crew from Harry Potter, Adam Sandler, Will Smith, Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. We took a quick visit to Hard Rock Café and then went to buy coffees from Starbucks. I ordered an Iced White Chocolate Mocha and for the order they needed my name. I said my name and the guy said “Oh well, I have no idea how to write that but I’ll do my best.” So I got the coffee and just cracked up laughing when I saw my “name”. EISLE!!!! :D Haha. But the coffee was good, though Aleksi didn't agree as you can see from the picture under this text...

After drinking the coffees we headed to Rodeo Drive where the expensive shops are. And no, we didn’t stop by. We headed to Santa Monica beach and parked right across the Santa Monica Pier, where we had some lunch. Then we just walked on the deck and enjoyed the views and crowd. We walked on the beach all the way to Venice Beach, that was about 1.5 miles. There we walked through the beach boulevard where all the free-spirited rastafar people were selling their Bob Marley, Peace, “Legalize Marihuana!” stuff and hippie scars. You name it. We saw some awesome street artists, piercings and tattoos. There was this crew who were having a show on the boulevard. A man was jumping over 10 kids, the act was very funny. We did some GREAT shopping, Aleksi got a beach ball. ;)

Then we got back to the water line and walked back to Santa Monica Pier by playing football and having fun. We bought ice creams and changed on warmer clothes ‘cause it had started to get cold. Around 8 o’clock we went to get some supper at McDonald’s. The fireworks were supposed to start at 9 pm but I guess they were having some problems with them on Santa Monica ‘cause the other beaches, Malibu and Venice beach did shoot fireworks but Santa Monica didn’t. At 9.30 it was starting to get freezing and we were tired so we didn’t stay and wait for them to start. We drove through Sunset Boulevard (Sunset Strip), which is awesome in the night time ‘cause all the billboards and signs were lighted in different colors. We took some pretty pictures and went to the hotel where we took hot showers and went to sleep.

Day 3, Universal Studios

After breakfast we drove a loooong drive, 10 minutes ;), to Universal Studios. We parked our car in Frankenstein park hall which was closer to the entrance. We bought Front of Line tickets which allowed us to pass the whole line, we also bought All You Can Eat passes. First we went to House of Horror, which was awful! Me and mom were close to get heart attacks because we thought the characters were dummies but heh, some of them were REAL people! You can imagine the screams that let out when they chased us with knives and blood all over their face and clothes. It was damn scary! After getting out Aleksi tried to be like one of those real people in the house and scared me and my mom a couple of times.

We went to eat at Louie’s Pizza & Pasta and certainly got our stomachs full. Then we went to see an animal show. It was nice and humoristic. We went on a Simpsons ride, which was really good! I recommend ;) Then we went on a Studio Tour where we drove on a tour trolley and saw some settings; New York street and the ones used in Pirates of the Caribbean. We saw a cool King Kong 3D clip and continued the drive to Jurassic Park settings. We saw the ship from King Kong and then… WISTERIA LANE! You know, from Desperate Housewives. The houses were just like in the series, very beautiful and American. Then we saw Bates Motel and the house from Psycho. The tour was really cool and it took about 45 minutes.

After the tour we saw Terminator 3D and Shrek 4D. We also went on a water show where there were two actors from C.S.I and Grey’s Anatomy. Too bad I can’t remember who they were… It was really hot this time so especially Aleksi liked to stay at the Cool Zones which blew cool water steam. A time for Jurassic Park water ride! It was good and we got totally wet :D We went on a Mummy ride for 3 times and thought it was the best ride of the day! It was a rollercoaster and went really fast. After that we saw a Special Effects Show which was better than we had expected.

We ate at a 50’s style restaurant and gotta say, my strawberry milkshake was delicious! Yummy. Then we went on the Simpsons ride once again and after that shopping in Kwik-E-Mart ;D I think it was Apu’s day off ‘cause he wasn’t there. Mom tried on Marge’s hair and we bought Duff energy drink and a Simpsons t-shirt for Aleksi. We left Kwik-E-Mart and Dad bought Fiona’s (from Shrek) green ears and crown for mom. She also wanted a Rocky Road Fudge, a chocolate thing with marshmallows and nuts. It was about 9 pm so we drove to the hotel and soon went to sleep. Tomorrow we’ll hit the road!

Jul 4, 2010

Days 0 and 1

Day 0, The flights and arriving to L.A

After not a very well slept night we woke up at 4 am, packed all the final things, got in a taxi and drove to the airport. Our flight to London left Helsinki at 8 in the morning. The flight was fine, even though Aleksi wasn’t feeling exactly the best at the landing part… Just before landing to London around 9.30 am (local time) we saw Buckingham palace and the London Eye, yay!

We spent just about an hour or two at the airport before getting in the second plane leaving to Los Angeles. The plane was huge, there were two floors! The flight was a lot longer than the first one but luckily there were these small TVs for everyone, for listening to music and watching TV series or movies, so there was some activities during that long flight 11 hours flight. From the plane we saw (the most likely) Salt Lake City, which was pretty cool ‘cause we aren’t actually gonna visit it this time.

We arrived in L.A at 3 pm local time, went to get our luggage and got our from the airport to get a bus to the car rental place. Our car is so awesome! It’s a white and very big minivan, Chrysler, which has seats for 7 persons. So there’s a lot of space for us, and that’s good. The trunk is huge. After putting in our 4 big suitcases we hadn’t used even half of the space. Yay, extra space for souvenirs! ;)

Daddy got our Matti (the navigator guy) and we drove to the hotel. During that drive we saw the palm trees, Mc Donald’s and Burger King signs, hundreds of cars, latino people and of course, the L.A city. That all was so cool and unreal that I had to ask myself if that wasn’t just a dream!? We got into Hollywood Hotel from where dad had booked two double bed rooms for us, one for me and my brothers and the other for mom and dad. We took our suitcases in the rooms and went to eat ‘cause we all were starving! We found a Wendy’s fast food restaurant and ate hamburger meals. There was glasses and a moustache included in my kids’ meal, so we had a blast trying them on ‘cause we all looked like Pensseli-setä. (Google it if you don’t know.) Hehe. After laughing our eyes off (not literally) we walked back to the hotel and checked out the pool area. It was nice. We took a drive to the hills from where we saw the whole city. It was cool. Then we got back to the hotel, went in our rooms, changed on our pyjamas and went to sleep at 8.30 pm, which is 6.30 am in Finland. At that time, we had been up for 26 and a half hours, whoa… we had no problem falling asleep.


Waking up in L.A for the first time in 14 years… yeah. We went downstairs at 9.30 am to eat breakfast; toasts, eggs, some random sausages, cereals, waffles with maple syrup, coffee, lemonade and orange juice. Not bad. After eating we left the hotel and drove about an hour, 83 kilometers, to Camarillo Premium Outlet Center where we spent the whole day. There were over a hundred factory outlet stores, for example Adidas, Nike, Puma, Guess, Tommy Hilfiger, Papaya, DKNY, Levi’s, Vans, Converse, Forever 21, Gap, DC… is that enough? ;D

We left from the first store, Converse, with 3 pairs of shoes, and at the end of the day we had maybe 20 plastic and paper bags full of new shoes, clothes and bags on the trunk. Girls back home, you would have LOVED Papaya, at least I did! I left the store with 2 dresses and 2 tops. You know, it’s funny paying with dollars instead of euros, but I guess I’ll get used to that during this month ;)

We bought cinnamon-sugar Pretzels and diet cokes for “lunch” and at 6 o’clock we went to get some dinner. Everyone except me ate Chinese food but I got a chicken teriyaki Sub with French fries. These meals here, gotta say, are huge! Two people could share one and still get their stomachs full, easily.

We got to the hotel maybe around 8.30 pm, took some photos of the many bags we have and updated this blog ;) I’ll just add some pictures and then we’ll go to sleep! Good night :)