Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I'm Back!

And boy is it cold. Per Weatherbug, we're a balmy 8 degrees (F) at the moment. That's a long way south of the upper-60's/lower-70's we saw out in L.A. over the past week. But then, L.A. doesn't have snow for Christmas and you can't play outdoors hockey. So we win.

That being said, Cali was nice. Had the beach to ourselves (what, 70 degrees isn't beach weather out there? Crazy 'sotans) which suited the girls fine. And the fresh fruit from the roadside stands was quite good.

Disneyland was a huge hit with the girls, although one day in the happiest place on earth isn't sufficient time for princess-happy youngsters. Our eldest said, "this place is very princessy." An apter expression may ne'er been spoken by someone so young. The holiday Christmas decorations were wonderful, though I enjoyed them much more on the It's a Small World ride than the Haunted Mansion -- I missed the hitchhiking ghosts. The only problem was the weather, which dampened the allegedly-"best ever" fireworks show. Not bad, but not quite shock-n-awe.

I highly recommend visiting the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Unless you've been to a real aquarium or two, in which case this one will be a disappointment. The highlights here were the lorikeet forest where yours truly, wife, and youngest offspring all held the birds, and the touch pools. Other than that, fairly ordinary.

So, yes, I wasn't posting because I was in a foreign land. I have returned to civiliation, and as I close I have the following (short) notes on the trip:

Likes:

  • Disneyland = no brainer

  • Need to drive 80 mph in open traffic to avoid being, well, killed

  • Beachfront property I have no hope of ever affording, but which provides good dream fodder

  • Oceans and mountains in one place - me likey since we have neither here

  • Fruit - fresh and cheap (no cracks about my dating life waaaay back please)

  • Being comfortable in weather that made the locals bundle up. Wimps



Jury's still out:

  • In 'n Out Burger - didn't live up to the hype, but wasn't terrible

  • Traffic - when it moves, it really moves. But it stops too often (cf. the 405)



Dislikes:

  • Dude, what's with the motorcycles passing between two cars (i.e. ON THE LANE LINES!!!!!!!!)? That's the stupidest thing legally allowed on any road I've ever travelled.

  • Smog. Air quality may have improved since I was last there, but wow that city doesn't smell very good.

  • Related to smog, you have to drive a while to get anywhere. Explains the oft-stalled traffic and smog.

  • For such a big city the radio options are rather poor - and reception is kinda icky too, owing to the mountains.

  • LAX. A city that big should have a nicer airport.

  • Cable Internet. Okay, not a problem w/L.A. per se, but my hosts' ISP didn't like my laptop, so I had very limited 'net access for five days. I started having withdrawal symptoms about day 2.



All in all, a good trip. Regardless of the traffic-related problems and air quality you could cut w/the proverbial knife, the folks were all very nice. I look forward to going back when I have more time to spend sightseeing in L.A. itself, and exploring other areas of the golden state appeals to me. But it's good to be home - and blogging again.

God bless!

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