Phew, its time in LA had been hectic and pretty nonstop, planning rest day at some point when we reach Seattle. This is gonna be quite a long post. Had some busy days lately so will try to cover some of the stuff we’ve done.

First off, the food here has been awesome. Tried to get a big range of different types so I’ve had Quiznos (similar to subway, had the pesto chicken), Chinese in the middle of Chinatown, Nachos and enchiladas from a Mexican food truck and a quinoa and black bean bowl from one of those new age health cafe places. All of it has been delicious and really cheap compared to NZ, we’ve also stopped by a few other places I wanted to try but the lines have been ridiculously huge.

We spent Sunday in downtown LA, which has probably been my favorite place I’ve been so far. I don’t know if it was just because it’s a weekend, but there seemed to be so much going on. Every couple of streets we walked down had something happening or something cool to look at. After stopping off at the central market, the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Grand Park we sort of just wandered around the streets. Came across quite a few events and gatherings, including some sort of Mexican performance where people were dancing in a square. Was a great experience watching a community of people go about their weekends.

The day after that we made our way out to Universal Studios, the forecast was for thunderstorms and it was a Monday so we were hoping that the crowds wouldn’t be too big. We were lucky that day in so many ways, first off it was a beautiful day and the forecasted rain didn’t arrive, the park was quiet so the longest wait we had for a ride all day was 20 minutes. But best of all, even though the Harry Potter area and rides don’t open for another month, they were doing a trial run to test everything before the grand opening so we got to experience that (and with much smaller crowds than there will be when it officially opens). The Harry Potter ride was probably my favorite, really really well done, and wandering around the Hogsmeade main street was fascinating.

Other highlights from the Universal Studios day were definitely the studio tour and the Waterworld show. Both interesting and well worth going to. After riding most of the rides in the morning, we went to Springfield to find something to eat. There were several different options including Krusty Burger and Luigi’s Pizza. But in the end I decided to get a chicken waffle burger from Cletus’s Chicken Shack, which was actually surprisingly good. I think more burger places need to replace their buns with waffles.

For our final day in Los Angeles (which had the best weather of our time there) we decided to head down to Santa Monica and Venice Beach. After figuring out the metro system we managed to catch two buses to get down to the Pier. It really is a massive beach, completely dwarfs any other one I’ve seen. After walking through the amusement park on the Pier and riding the ferris wheel (yikes that was high), we headed down to Venice Beach. Which wasn’t at all to my liking, probably didn’t help that I’ve been sick. But it just seemed extremely dirty, lots and lots of homeless people and sand blowing everywhere. I liked the Santa Monica area a lot more, just seemed a lot cleaner and more chilled out.

We spent our last night in LA at the Pantages Theatre, where we saw The Illusionists magic show. Another definite highlight of the trip so far, the spectacle and the theatre itself was top notch, but the magic tricks in the show were simply mind blowing. Really glad we decided to go see it, they are starting to tour around now, so if you ever get the chance to go see it I would highly recommend it.

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Well that’s it for now, hope Napier is recovering from its exciting car chase the other day. Next stop, Seattle!

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