Kat: Los Angeles: a bright shining ray of California goodness. Over the past week we stayed in Hollywood, and while everyone we talked to told us it was awful we actually enjoyed the area. We visited Graumann’s Chinese theatre and put our hands in the concrete. I have the same hands as Bing Crosby (believe me he had small hands!) and Justin shares the same size palm as the great Michael Caine. Better put on a right proper accent for that one.
My favourite part of LA was definitely Griffith Park. I wanted to go to the Griffith Observatory, featured in great films such as Rebel Without A Cause and Terminator. While good ol’ Google maps showed us the way it did not show us the elevation of our walk and we found ourselves chugging up an enormous hill in the late afternoon sun.
The Observatory itself is full of sciency goodness. Even better it’s free! It has great exhibits on all kinds of astronomy stuff, from Galileo’s telescope to meteorites. They even have an impact simulator in which I proceeded to make the biggest comet ever and blow up the world à la Armageddon (without Bruce Willis). The view of LA is unsurpassed and their lovely lawn is a great place to sit and watch the sun set. They even have a great view of the Hollywood sign.
We walked back from the Observatory, downhill being easier than uphill, and stopped off for some gourmet pizza and ice cream before heading back to our hotel. While it might seem like a cliche, LA is full of streets lined with palm trees. We caught a few on camera as we walked down Franklin Street. Peace!
Justin: LA was hipper than the hippest hipster, everyone had edge and a little more natural breeze and unnatural hair product in their hair. As I discovered nearly everyone also worked somehow in the film industry!
One of the highlights for me was visiting Disneyland. It really is the complete package and tickles and warms the inner and outer kid in all of us. Yes some wait times are excessive, even for lunch, but you lose yourself in the worlds and there are many sideshows and other features which pick up the slack nicely. Indiana Jones and Space Mountain were the definite standouts. Anyone who knows me a bit will know there are many childlike aspects to my personality, all off these were reaffirmed and validated in Disneyland, I think it’s important to outgrow childish ways but always grow childlike wonder and awe – both child and adult alike. Disneyland is a potent reminder of the importance of doing this and the magic and endurance of Disney I believe hinges on this reality.
Finally to move from a childlike bliss into stark reality. Our last night was spent in infamous Inglewood. Inglewood and Compton are well known as two of the toughest neighborhoods in south LA. We spent our last night near a hotel close to LAX, crazy hotel populated with Asian businessmen, pilots, hookers, unlimited dodgy popcorn by poolside and the most disgusting free dinner buffet known to man. We made it thought the night and even slept though the continuous howl of police sirens. Oh yeah! What a way to say goodbye to wacky LA baby. LA is a crazy cocktail drunk quick and fast with a mightily refreshing aftertaste that pleases, refreshes, bewilders and satisfies. Ciao for now.