Thursday, June 21, 2012

An Amazing Metro Adventure in Los Angeles Part 2

When we left off yesterday the amazing metro adventure in Los Angeles was well underway.   The area at the top of Angels flight gave us a nice view of the city.  

We took the stairway just to the side of the tram ride down to the Metro stop at the bottom of the hill.
We were back on the blue line and with just one stop til the end of the blue line we quickly made a transfer to the Gold line taking us to Union Station.

Union station houses both Amtrak train station and the Metrolines that travel in many directions throughout the city.  When you are here do go to the main lobby ticketing area to see the beautiful interior of the station. There is also a very nice restaurant in the station if you want a bite to eat. Try Traxx.

Interior and Exterior views of Union Station.  Definitely worth wandering around in the main lobby and exterior. A landmark Los Angeles building.  

"The station opened in May 1939, one of a number of union stations  in the United States and consolidated remaining service from its predecessors La Grande Station  and Central Station. It was built on a grand scale and became known as "Last of the Great Railway Stations" built in the United States. It was placed on the  National Register of Historic Places in 1980." -wikipedia

While here you are just across the street from the historic "Olvera Street" so be sure to make that part of your stop.

We make a short bathroom stop at Union station and then it's "Back to the tracks"  we go to catch the "Gold Line"  ...

We are northbound  to our next destination: Chinatown
Again as you walk around this area there are many signs which direct you to landmarks in the area.

It's lunch time and we're ready to eat!

Our destination is the Empress Pavilion for Dim Sum

We have forgotton it is "Father's Day" and the line out the door is a 2 hour wait to be seated for lunch. Obviously we did not put our name on the wait list.  But here's a tip just around the corner a few feet from the restaurant entrance is the take out for the restaurant, same menu, same kitchen, same dim sum.  While Mike ordered our food I went next door to the restaurant and fought the crowds and made my way to the bar and ordered two cokes to go.  By the time I was out of there Mike had our food.  We found a nice quiet spot in the Pavilion and happily ate our bbq'd pork buns, fried gyoza dumplings and our stuffed shrimp and pork dim sum....yum!

Time to leave Chinatown for our next stop

but before we leave Mike takes out two pennies for us to make a wish at the old wishing fountain

There are many choices listed on the fountain to aim your coin.  Among the many choices you can choose, health, wealth, love  and more.

We both tossed our coins aiming for "Happiness"

Here's the Happy God...a cute round fella.
Back on the gold line towards East Los Angeles

Next stop Mariachi plaza

"Mariachi Plaza is a small square bounded by E. 1st street to the south, N. Boyle Avenue to the West and a small residential street named Pleasant Avenue to its North. The Square is located in the Boyle Heights   district of the city of Los Angeles, East of Downtown  . The Plaza is a congregation of local Mariachi   music players, hence the name. During the day, one can find many musicians waiting around the plaza and hotel across the street to be hired for work. Local leaders hope to promote the plaza and for it to remain a sanctuary for musicians. There is a small Kiosk located in the plaza, similar to those found in Mexico, donated by the Mexican State of Jalisco, the birthplace of Mariachi music."- Wikipedia

We were sorry that Libros Schmibros is closed on Sundays but this is a wonderful lending library in the Boyle Heights area.  For more information about this bookstore and its' events see their website here:

After a nice chat with a group of marichi's it's time to head back on the gold line to Union station

Nice to see the City Hall building among all the sites in Civic Center, downtown Los Angeles.

From the Gold line we transfer to the Red line and our destination is Universal City Walk 

This is such a speedy trip in comparison to the crowded freeway which we passed. Plus we have not had to pay any parking fees all day or worry about the price of gas.  The Metro all day pass sure is a great way to see the city.

Once you exit the metro stop for Universal city cross the street and catch the free shuttle bus

This shuttle bus/tram brings visitors up the big hill to the entrance of city walk and Universal studios.

By the time we get to City Walk it is mid afternoon and the sun is shining very brightly.

We had fun strolling among the many tourists and had to laugh at all the places we have been in just one day.

Universal CityWalk Hollywood is a three-block entertainment, dining, shopping promenade. Options include more than 30 places to eat, a 19-screen movie theater featuring IMAX®, seven night spots, indoor skydiving and more than 30 stores.

Our last stop was viewing the indoor skydiving event.  You can actually buy tickets to do this and it was really fun to watch people in the see through wind tunnel as they floated above the ground.

I told Mike that I wouldn't mind trying this. After all there's only a short fall to the ground.  I'm usually so scared of anything with any element of danger.  This I would try.

Mike was surprised and said, " okay next time, you're doing this!"  Yikes!

By late afternoon with a full day of sightseeing accomplished it was time to head home.  Getting home on the Metro was a breeze.  We had spent a full day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seeing so many sites in Los Angeles.  There is still a ton more to do and experience and we both agreed wed like to take the Metro again to discover more places of interest in our own city.
 You should try it too!  It's a great way to travel.


Stacy and Brian's Adventures in Life said...

AWESOME Adventure! I was at Union Station in April and it's amazing. I took the train from Portland to Los Angeles....another amazing train adventure.
Thanks for sharing!

barb cabot said...

Thanks for coming along Stacy. Taking a train from Portland to L.A. sounds like a lot of fun too.
I'll have to try that. Trains have always been a fascination for me.

Bob Davis said...

Thanks for the report! As a native Southern Californian, I know what fun it is to play "tourist" and visit the sites that some folks come from many miles to see. Since I'm old enough to remember the Pacific Electric Red Cars running through Monrovia, I can do these jaunts for $1.80. One attraction I never saw until the subway was completed is Grauman's Chinese theatre and the stars' mementos, such as handprints by Leonard Nimoy giving the Vulcan salute. "Live Long and Prosper"

Anonymous said...

This is great Barb - My visits to LA have generally involved traffic chaos and parking challenges. We've never taken public transit before. We'll have to fix that on our next trip!

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