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California - June 2022 - Day 9

Sunday Monday happy days Tuesday Wednesday happy days

I had the worst night’s sleep of the trip so far. The blame was firmly on the tea I had early evening at Starbucks. I should have known better than to have tea that was not decaffeinated that late in the day. My mind was just racing all night.

It was not helped by the fact that I knew I had my 7am video call with the Vitality GP about my knee. I was up some 40 minutes beforehand.

The GP was called Prita Patel which must be quite annoying for her nowadays. She was lovely and very helpful. But in the end, it was all pointless because despite what I had been told she could not write me an official referral to the Consultant whilst I was out of the country. She made all the relevant notes and said it would be a formality to arrange once I was back.

I decided to make another appointment for Wednesday and then claim I was in the UK.

We were all packed up and ready to check out for 8.30am. The hotel agreed to store our luggage for a few hours and agreed we could leave the car in the car park until early afternoon.

Breakfast again was taken at Sweet Corner where we all had the same as the previous day.

Then we set off for a 10-minute walk to the Paramount Studio Tour. After checking in and waiting for our scheduled time, we were introduced to Peyton our guide and the 5 others doing the tour at the same time. It was all very intimate and very well organised.

As we waited my excitement grew as on a screen, they put up details of many of the films that had been made here. They included 4 of my favourite films ever. I am happy to be judged by them as this is me and these are what I like. If you don’t agree then you are just wrong!

The four that stood out for me were White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, Grease and Blue Hawaii. I ignored many others that were filmed here like The Godfather, Forrest Gump, Braveheart, Titanic etc as well as many TV series like Star Trek and Happy Days.

The tour was fascinating and extremely well put together. We even got to hold the Oscar that had been awarded to Love Story for Best Score (not that I’m keeping count but that’s the 3rd Oscar I have held – the first was awarded to Frank Capra for Mr Smith Goes to Washington and the second was for some 1957 short feature film).

The only shame was we didn’t get to see any stars on set. I was sure that Dick Van Dyke would appear any moment from behind something but was left disappointed. The time passed so quickly. It was made even more real by the guide showing us clips on his iPad from famous movies with the sets we were standing in front of being used in many different scenes. I got to sit on the actual Forrest Gump bench. It was a really enjoyable.

We then headed back to pick up our luggage and put them in the car. We drove the short distance to the Hollywood Forever Cemetry where morbidly we joined other people in searching for some departed famous people graves. We parked next to one of the Ramones who was close to Mickey Rooney. We drove around to find Frances Gumm and whose plaque showed her stage name of Judy Garland. It’s a strange place and I have mixed feelings about visiting it especially as there were obviously people paying their family members at the same time. We didn’t stay long.

It was then about a 1-hour drive to Anaheim on the awful and busy LA freeways. I was frustrated in the traffic and then frustrated when we were moving by the constant over and under taking by the traffic around me. It still amazes me that the freeways here have traffic merging from both the left- and right-hand sides as well as exits on both sides. It is chaotic and quite stressful. I was quite happy when we arrived into Anaheim.

Our first stop was at Target to stop up on milk and other things. I waited in the car whilst this time Karen & Neil had the stress of getting the shopping. Then we headed to the Airbnb apartment. This was actually really nice and perfect for our needs with very secure parking.

We spent about 90 minutes settling in and chilling out before heading to Downtown Disney for the evening at about 5.15pm. Unlike Florida the car parking is not free here but is much reduced if you spend $20 and get your ticket validated.

Somehow, we managed to walk the wrong way out of the car park. We must have walked an unnecessary ¾ mile in 33c heat with some slopes along the way. Now today I had resumed taking my blood pressure tablet but not any painkillers. This had the desired effect of stopping me feeling faint but sadly the pain in my knee was coming back with a vengeance. Hobbling badly was knocking everything else out of alignment and my calf was going rock hard as we tried to find our way. It was nobody’s fault but was the last thing I needed before our day in Disneyland tomorrow. So, it seems it a toss-up currently between feeling faint or being able to walk. A decision for later.

Eventually we found our way into Downtown Disney and it was very busy. I sat whenever I could try to rest my leg but it was difficult. We had a decent look round the big Disney shop where Neil bought a T Shirt allowing us to validate the parking ticket.

Neil was keen on eating here, but I was less so. The prices are too high in my opinion for the quality. We couldn’t agree where to go as we walked around and I could tell he was disappointed but too polite to argue. We had a quick walk around the Disneyland Hotel and then I suggested we try the outside bar of Trader Sam’s. Although there was no food that Karen & I fancied to eat, we all agreed to have a drink. This cheered Neil up enormously. Even I had a non-alcoholic cocktail which was very refreshing although perhaps a bit too minty. Neil had a grapefruit beer whilst Karen had a white sangria which seemed to go straight to her head and she was half cut walking back to the car, which was amusing and annoying at the same time.

We settled upon going to Outback for a meal where the service was good and quick. There was no wait and the food was up to the usual standard.

Back at the apartment we all busied about getting ready for an early start in the morning.

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