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Florida 2013- Day 7

Wed. June 19, 2013:

It was so hard to get up early, and not just because we had stayed up so late, but also because I did not want to leave. I was not done with Florida, I still had so many things to see and do. Originally we were supposed to fly out that night, but Air Canada decided to bump us to a much earlier flight. We stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts for one last caffeine run, it was sad. I used my receipt from last time to get another free donut- alas the chain was broken as I would not be able to redeem the free donut from my new receipt (hint, Dunkin’ Donuts come to Canada, hint).

Airport security was a horrible mess with a giant tight bottleneck and no clear direction, as the check-in. The Dunkin’ Donuts in the airport, no longer on a boil water alert, had only regular coffee and no flavours available- what good is that?! The shops had no good snacks, I was about to say that the airport really sucks, but then I found the duty free shop where I got a giant bottle of flavoured vodka for $20, much cheaper than in Canada.

The flight was crammed; I really do not know why we were bumped to it. The woman beside me fell asleep instantly, before we had even taken off. I had half a mind to wake her up and ask what her secret was. I can never fall asleep that fast.

In the end I did not get to eat an orange off a tree. I did not even see a single orange tree, but the fresh passion fruit more than made up for it. I just have to go back to Florida.

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Florida 2013- Day 4

Sun. June 16, 2013:

Somehow I managed to wake up at 9am, feeling wide awake and rested… yet I had only had 4 hours of sleep. Or maybe I was super excited because we were going to the Everglades Holiday Park for an airboat tour. Being the first one awake I was treated to “feed me” chorus from the cats. But it was all a ruse! I checked the fridge and they had already been fed. Instead I took them outside to the backyard and let them roam and it somehow turned into a photo shoot culminating with Przemek climbing the banana plant. Eventually it got too hot and it was time to retreat to the air-conditioned climate.

We found tickets for the airboat ride on Groupon, alas we had to use 3 different computers as we were purchasing 5 coupons. As per usual, we stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts; at this point everyone had converted and found something they liked. It was weird because they were having a musical guest. We ordered the equivalent of timbits (munchkins they’re called) and mentioned so and that we were going to compare the two. The cashier mentioned how she had always wanted to go to Tim Hortons, which struck me as odd- but then again who am I to talk when I always demand going to Dunkin’ Donuts whenever I am in the States. The munchkins were nowhere near as good as timbits.

June 16, 2013- Florida (2)

In the Everglades Holiday Park parking lot we saw a peacock, I quipped that he was looking for his car. We laughed at tourists slowly trying to approach the peacocks, and their surprise when the birds flew away. Despite it being the off-season, the place was packed, probably because it was Father’s Day. Or maybe it was because of the Groupon deal? There was a separate (and much longer) line-up for people who had discount tickets. We took turns waiting in line while the rest would go look at souvenirs. There was a stuffed alligator toy that would roll around laugh if you “tickled” it, Lucy was amused by it to no ends. She kept going back and laughing at it.

We lined up early for the airboat ride; standing in the heat at high noon was a sacrifice I was willing to make if it meant getting the best seats. Thankfully the wait wasn’t that long. It was worth it, we got seats at the front of the boat and right by the edge. It was so much fun when the airboat went fast, just watching the Everglades zip by. Our first stop was Vulture Island. It was aptly named. You would look at it and see one vulture, then another…. As your eyes adjusted you would see more and more- and suddenly there were at least 30 vultures, all just sitting there, hidden by the trees.

The first alligator we spotted was a regular, seen often on the tour. How do I know this? Because our captain knew her name (Speedy) and knew she was missing a leg. And also she was not afraid of us at all, she swam about as if she knew the drill: let the happy tourists gawk at and photograph you. Up next we saw her daughter. Saw is a bit of an overstatement, glanced is more apt. You could see the top of her forehead and one eye, off under a log near the banks.

June 16, 2013- Florida (99)

After that our captain pulled up to another spot so we could see some birds. These birds also knew the drill, they got fed and in exchanged we gawked at them. One of the birds was not having it; she kept making sad sounds and refusing to eat. We were told this was because her baby had been eaten by an alligator. We passed by a pretty yellow flower that looked like a lilypad- only it wasn’t and it harbored black widow spiders.

June 16, 2013- Florida (93)

As we were leaving we saw a blue heron, apparently a rare sighting given the time of year. And just to top off the boat ride (that was definitely longer than an hour) we saw one more alligator! This one was not used to people and kept ducking under the surface of the water.

After the boat ride we were treated to a show by one of the Gator Boys (a TV show I’d watched on a previous vacation). He demonstrated gator wrestling for us with one of the larger alligators, who was not having it at all. He tapped the gators top tooth to make it snap its mouth shut, showing us the strength with which it can bite down. It made a large thump sound and verified, in my mind at least, that the presenter was nuts. This theory was further solidified when he rested his chin on the gators chin, keeping it clamped shut, arms outstretched for more drama. The first time he tried this, the gator fidgeted and he had to readjust, it was a close-call. For $5 you could have your picture taken while holding a baby gator. One woman got more than she bargained for when the gator peed while she held him. I was about ready to leave after the show. There had been one lady who did not understand personal space during the show. She kept squeezing in between us, and reaching over my head to take pictures, resulting in a loose embrace of the top of my head, with her camera just above my forehead.

June 16, 2013- Florida (160)

We stopped in a McDonald’s parking lot to steal their free wi-fi; we were searching for the nearest Chipotle. A day in the Everglades ramps up the appetite and we were hungry for burritos. Even still, the spicy steak burrito won, but only because it was massive. Chipotle burritos are intended for two, maybe three people. Not one person. Again we found ourselves in Wal-mart on the way home. This time we were in need of campfire supplies. We ended up, in a fit of giggles, buying enormous marshmallows (as in double the size of big marshmallows).

Just as we were about to pull onto their street, a song came on the radio that everyone insisted on listening to and we found ourselves driving around the back of the neighbourhood. It just so happened that the only people living there (the abandoned housing project, Camelot Estates) were moving out. Ela ended up getting a free bike, they had just left it by the side of the road (along with other stuff, remember that).

The house looked like a tornado had hit it; we had our work cut out for us. As a treat after cleaning and a break, we drove out to Carvel in search of Fudgey. I had forgotten to factor in that it was Father’s Day and we had about half an hour before the place closed. We got there and the guy said he was sold out. And not just of Fudgey’s… all his ice cream cakes were gone. This must have registered on my face, as the guy called the next nearest location (thankfully only 15 minutes away) and asked. They had one; I made sure he called back to dibs it for me. The tension in the car was mounting, would we get there in time? Did he actually formally dibs it for us? Would the other location honour the dibs?!

I jumped out of the car and raced in, slightly desperate. The lady at the counter said they were all sold out, the woman who had been in line in front of me laughed that she too had just come in, trying to buy a Fudgey the Whale. I asked about the dibs, she had no idea. I left in a huff, in the parking lot I motioned to the car with my arms in the air in a sad state of defeat- when another woman from the shop called out. I turned around and went back in to see what the fuss was about. If she thought she could see me another ice cream cake, a non-whale shaped one, she was wrong.

As it turns out, the other woman was the one who put the cake aside for me- failing to mention it to her other co-workers. I was so relieved to hear this. She asked if I wanted Happy Father’s Day written on the cake. I raised an eyebrow and laughed no (there were no father’s there, our dad was back in Canada, their dad was in Atlanta). And then I yelled out: WAIT!! I got her to write PMCEL on the cake as a surprise for everyone. She was really confused and I had to spell out each letter for her. I was happy with my victory.

As drove back we passed by a trailer park that had been wrecked by a storm. We headed to the back of the neighbourhood to see what else the moving neighbours had left out. We hit a gold mine- sort of. We got boxes and boxes of lightbulbs and screws. We got a free flashlight, 2 cabinets with drawers and some wires. The smaller cabinet fit in the car. The larger one however needed carrying. It started out with 3 of us carrying it. Then I swapped out with Ela and took her bike back to the house. I passed Marianne and her mom, both on their way back from dropping stuff off, to help carry the cabinet. I ran back and saw that they had found a new way to carry it. Originally we were carrying it by the edges. Now 3 were carrying it over their heads and others would swap in. It was not easy to swap in for them as I kept getting hit on the head with the twine (holding it closed). Also being the shortest, I could not rest it on my head; I had to use my shoulders- leading to my arm going numb. After some back & forth we finally realized it would be easier for 4 of us to carry it pallbearer style on our shoulders. Only at this point we had reached their street.

June 16, 2013- Florida (177)

We set up a wonderful looking campfire however the humidity made it impossible to get the fire going. We finally got it going with some banana leaves, making Florida that much hotter. We drank fresh passionfruit juice (literally fresh, we had picked it earlier that day) while we roasted hotdogs. For dessert we had obscenely large smores. It was a terribly sticky, gooey mess. Our first bites were filmed with the lens cap on. Their mom kept asking if it was supposed to be so dark, we said it was fine. Only after did we realize it was that the lens cap was on. With four layers of bug spray on, I was still getting bitten, as was everyone else. We retreated indoors, where in the better light we could see on the marshmallow bag that they were intended for smores with a double-sized graham cracker. Hah.

June 16, 2013- Florida (191)

With all the hubbub surrounding the cake,I could still not really say why the crazy appeal so I pulled up the Wikipedia page and read it aloud. Camilla bailed and left, claiming to have had enough sugar. So with just us and their mom, we sat down and each cut a tiny slice of cake. And then another tiny one. And another. Before we knew it, we had eaten about half the cake! It was that good. So simple (vanilla ice cream, chocolate cookie base, fudge top, cookie in middle) and so delicious. The sugar-crash afterwards put me right to sleep.

 

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Florida 2013- Day 2

Fri. June 14, 2013:

The boil water alert was still on. Apparently traces of E .coli were found in the water and so we had to boil it. Even something as simple as brushing your teeth became a hassle as you had to make sure you used boil/bottled water. This being our first full day on vacation (i.e.: the vacation munchies had yet to surface) I was game for going running. Turns out running in Florida, even at 8 in the morning, is a less than stellar idea. Marianne and I ended up walking most of the route, turning our run into a (much cooler) nature walk. We saw so much nature, at times too much nature for me to handle. I did fine not know that there are spiders in Florida the size of my palm; I could have lived the rest of my life not knowing of these nightmare-inspired creatures with their giant webs. Thankfully they hang out higher up in the treetops, away from human faces that are liable to wreck the webs and lead to spider-stomping. Not helping matter were some vultures sitting high atop in the trees, it was as if they were just waiting for me to collapse from heat exhaustion.

As we walked we could hear the peacocks off in the distance (they run wild in the park we passed through) making a huge ruckus. There was a trail along the paved path for people on horseback- just about the worst place for a turtle to bask in the sun, yet there we saw one. We approached it slowly so as to gently scare it towards the canal. The stereotype about turtles being slow is a lie. This little guy was hoofing it towards the canal. For the grand finale he slid down the bank and splashed into the canal water with an epic *plop* that made my day. As we continued we saw more vultures, this time however there were about 10 of them circling an area: a turtle smooshed by a horse, an exhausted runner? We’ll never know, it was too hot to go investigate.

Passing by Flamingo Gardens we saw two red parrots, a male and female. For some reason they flew towards the Gardens, where the peacocks were being obnoxiously loud. Marianne mentioned that there was a parrot display at Flamingo Gardens that had free admission, alas we were there too early yet we were outside too late. At this point, as we headed back, it was unbearably hot. I would like to point out that is was barely 10am and it felt like high noon at the peak of summer.

There is nothing like working up a sweat and nearly getting heat exhaustion to motivate one to go lounge by the beach. We made lunch and packed it up for eating on the beach. My sandwich was epic: almond butter, peanut butter and cranberry preserves. As per my caffeine addiction, we stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts so I could fill up. Happily, they had a new donut: key lime, I was overjoyed, even more so when Marianne informed me that key lime pie is the official pie (dessert?) of the state of Florida! It was delicious, how can it not be? Lime= good, donut= good, crumbly bits on top= good. Something I had (apparently) forgotten to mention when petitioning for a Dunkin’ Donuts pit-stop was that the reason I was so in love with the place was solely for the drip coffee with a flavour shot, and to a lesser extent the donuts (doesn’t beat Tim Hortons). Everyone else had ordered fancy espresso based beverages and then walked away surprised that the flavour was subpar.

Dania Beach was pristine and just gorgeous with a blue sky and nothing but sunshine. I dipped my legs to cool off after setting up the umbrellas and chairs. We were serious beachgoers (as apparently everyone is in Florida) with two giant umbrellas secured in place providing the necessary shade and a cooler for our waters and sandwiches. There is nothing worse than a warm bottle of water in 30+ degree weather.

June 14, 2013- Florida P&S (4)- Dania Beach

While dipping my legs, I found a coconut that had washed up on shore. I found a giant rock, lifted it over my head and threw it down. With comic timing, it bounced off the coconut and landed beside, barely missing my foot. Turns out the coconut was soggy, so I instead adopted him and he sat by our umbrellas, helping keep one of the towels down.

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I tried to lie on my towel in the sun, listening to podcasts but this proved to be a difficult endeavour as the sun was trying to bake me. Even with a hat over my face, I could not take the heat. I retreated to the shade where after a while… it got cold! Shocker! I tried to go back to my towel, but the wind had picked up and was blowing sand all over me, so I took one of the chairs out into the sun, a nice compromise. I was half asleep in my chair (watching pelicans and the Coast Guard fly by put me to sleep) when everyone returned from the ocean. They were shouting and half took off running down the beach. I turned to look and what do you know, the umbrella I thought was more secure (and thus had been paying less attention to) had been blown away. The wind had drastically changed direction. Thankfully the wind was nice enough to not blow any sand onto our lunch.

The wind was so strong the birds could not fly, they were stuck hovering in once place, trying so desperately to fly against it, both sad and funny. A storm appeared on the horizon soon after lunch, but it went out across the ocean and then back to land further north. It had completely bypassed us it seemed. Except it looped back around and came straight for us, threatening not just rain but also lightning. We packed up and left.

On our way back we stopped at Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlour for a little treat. Little is an understatement. The smallest size ice cream scoop, the kid’s size, was 1/4lb. I love ice cream, but that seemed a bit much to me. Camilla and Lucy saw the economic value in sharing a banana split and thus the Great Debate began. They were almost at the window and wondering if they should rehearse- and they forgot their order. Everyone else ordered and they went last. I was nearly in tears, laughing at the size of their banana split when it was handed over. It was enormous, easily too much for 3-4 people. Their flavour choice was not that great: strawberry (tasted too much like bubblegum), pina colada and caramel. Clearly I was the winner with a giant scoop of rocky road. Not only was it made freshly in-house, it had real marshmallows in it. Where else can you get that? Bonus points for including a plastic drip tray to hold my cone in. No sooner had I walked away from the ordering window, my ice cream was already half melted. The whole thing was a messy, sticky affair. While we ate we laughed about the epic salad Lucy had at the cottage, proving she has a propensity to order too-large dishes.

June 14, 2013- Florida P&S (25)

As we drove, our ride was interrupted by a one-car train, but it was so cute you could not get mad at it. We made another pit stop, this time at the humane society. It was heartbreaking to see all those animals. We got to pet the tiniest little kitten I have ever seen, it kept meowing and it took all my self-will not to adopt it and take it with me in my carry-on luggage. While there we found a cat with my name, as well as two that looked like our cat back home: Mruczka.

It felt so good to shower when we got back; there was a whole layer of sand mixed with sunscreen stuck to me. Turns out I had not put enough sunscreen on my belly, as it was red and sunburned. We got some aloe from the garden. It felt cold and slimy on my belly, but it also provided relief. I was torn.

Kazik (one of the cats) had caught a lizard outside on the patio and was batting it around. He would periodically pick it up by its head and carry it in his mouth. He would chase it, bat it, and carry it around- but not eat it. He had just eaten his dinner and was not hungry, so Ela and I taught him not to play with his food by setting the lizard (remarkably unscathed) free.

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We had another super-Polish supper, with zapiekanki (grilled cheese with mushrooms) for the main course. For dessert we had the greatest idea ever. You see, Nutella is not exactly healthy, bearing more than just a hint of cocoa. We fixed the health factor by spreading it on strawberries. It has now become a staple in our diet. The day ended on a high note, while playing Bohnanza we found out that the boil water alert had been lifted. Our area had been unaffected by the e.coli!

 

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Florida 2013- Day 1

Thurs. June 13, 2013:

Booking an 8am flight seemed like such a great idea at the time. As far as I saw it, my sisters and I would arrive in Florida (state 27 for those of you keeping count) at 11am with plenty of time to enjoy a full day of fun.  About a day before did it dawn on me how early we would be waking up at.

We got a ride to Kipling subway where we were supposed to catch the bus to the airport. Small problem: the subway station itself was not open yet. The only way you could get to the bus platform was by being on a bus. What else could we do? We snuck in by walking up the driveway where the buses enter the subway station.

At Pearson I finally managed to get to the Tim Horton’s I had always seen through the glass but could never access. However I had assumed I would not be able to get to it, so I had gotten coffee before we checked in. I was not about to break my not-using-the-airplane-bathroom streak over a not-so-great cup of coffee.

June 13, 2013- Florida P&S (1)

On the flight I tried watching Full Metal Jacket (the yelling sergeant got on my nerves) and Identity Thief but lost interest in both really quickly. I resorted to reading and having the location map on in the background. The map provided me with more entertainment than it should have. I giggled when I saw that our plane was heading straight for a place called Hazard, or at the idea of there really being a place called Cat Island.

My first view of Florida was an empty flat plain of nothing (which I was later told was the Everglades- my bad). I had hoped to see Cuba from the plane as we turned towards Ft. Lauderdale (the map made it seem so close) alas all I saw was lightening off in the distance- more than mildly disconcerting. As soon as we stepped off the plane we could feel the hot muggy air, the humidity just clung to you. I was overjoyed when I saw a Dunkin’ Donuts, I thought for sure I would be without on this trip. My joy turned to sorrow when I saw that there was a boil water alert out for the county and thus no coffee was being served. My heart sank- but only for a moment- as we wandered through baggage claim, unsure of where to meet our friends, Marianne ran up behind us with a hug attack (Ela had to stay with the car).

As we left the airport a green parrot flew by and landed on a sign behind which storm clouds loomed. No sooner were we on the highway did the sky tear open and rain start pouring. Apparently June is the rainy season in Florida- which explains why the tickets were so cheap. We passed a billboard: Your wife is hot, better get your AC fixed– hilarious. We settled in and sat down to our first meal together in almost three years, of course we had super-duper spaghetti (a staple in our diet).

June 13, 2013- Florida P&S (4)

We watched movies until the rain stopped (thankfully rainy season in Florida means it rains for about an hour or two then clears up). We walked to the back of their neighbourhood to an abandoned housing development called Camelot Estates. I was instantly entranced and ventured off on my own with my photographer’s hat on. It was great, there was one giant model home that had been built and all around it there was open land and the foundations of one house and a project development office. We tried all the doors, alas they were locked. There was an ibis sitting (rather uncomfortably it seemed) on a fence by the canal. We saw a heron by the lake but he got scared of us and flew away which is just as well, I got to photograph him in flight.

June 13, 2013- Florida z (83)

Walking back we met their neighbour who guessed that my sister and I were from out of the country. Marianne and Ela asked if maybe their dad had mentioned to her that we’d be over, trying to figure out how she knew. She claimed to be psychic, one of us (I will not name names) scoffed and she looked at us with a straight face and assured us she was really a psychic. We mused about what actually gave us away (how uncomfortable we were in the heat? Our accents? Our paleness?).

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It was hot and muggy, we were sticky and gross. It was time to head out to the pool for a cool down. It was nice and relaxing to sit by the pool and read. A lizard came up beside my chair and stuck his throat-skin-flap out. When I tried to take a picture he ran behind the chair where he proceeded to eat bugs. After a while of reading I actually got cold. That’s right, sitting on the deck in Florida at 7 in the evening- I GOT COLD. I actually had goose bumps.

June 13, 2013- Florida P&S (24)

We wrapped up the day with a very Polish kolacja (evening supper) of potato latkes and pickled herring. I know it sounds gross, but it was delicious. I won’t even go into the details of our potato latke toppings (Nutella, maple syrup or cranberry preserves) but the cranberries won.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2013 in The Roving Reporter, Travel

 

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Los Angeles 2013- Day 8

Fri. Mar. 22, 2013:

Apparently my horrible nightmare, from which I sprang up in bed horrified, did not wake Brent seeing as the next morning he had no idea what I was talking about. Thankfully there was coffee in the lobby, but more importantly: they actually had milk!! For once I did not have to settle for whitener or fake creamers.

As we drove north I noticed that the trees had changed, they were no longer all palm trees, and they sort of looked like redwoods, but not as big, at least not big enough for the hawks, as I saw one sitting on a wire instead. We passed the cutest road sign I had ever seen, it showed a pig and a piglet crossing the road. Another sign informed us that we were passing over an old bridge from the 1930s, we drove over a few. It was really odd to see a sign that said Monterey was 25 feet above sea level, it seemed so incredibly low.

We got to Monterey early, and rather than waiting in line at the Monterey Bay Aquarium with a million screaming school children, we opted for walking around Cannery Row. From the pier you could see (through a free telescope, a true rarity) sea lions basking on rocks near the shore, far off in the distance. There wasn’t much else to do, despite how tempting the wax museum dedicated to the book Cannery Row was. Apparently everyone else thought so too, because when we got to the aquarium there was a huge crowd of people waiting to get in.

Mar. 22, 2013- PCH (2)

We had half an hour before the penguin feeding (for once we were actually doing something from the aquarium schedule, another rarity). We watched a hilarious situation unfold before us in a giant exhibit. There was a hammerhead shark that would circle the tank and then cut through a school of fish, you could watch as the school reformed into a different shape to accommodate the shark. And he kept doing it over and over, almost like a dog herding sheep. And of course I got my fill of jellyfish, I could watch them all day- and I almost did were it not for the penguin feeding.

The penguins were adorable, they saw the crowd and knew that it was feeding time. A few of them even lined up by the door, they knew the drill. They don’t so much eat, as pig out, swallowing the fish whole. Eventually the feeding became unbearable when the school children started asking questions. We headed outside to the viewing deck in an attempt to get a break from them. We were wrong; you cannot escape school children, ever. There was a log book that said dolphins had been spotted the previous day. I looked out over the vast ocean while sneakily eating my Pop Tart. I saw no dolphins, no whales, and no sharks. Just blue: blue ocean, blue sky.

Back inside there was a sting ray trying to escape from his enclosure- except on the other side of the glass was a petting tank. He kept flopping up against the glass; I guess a petting tank is better than bratty school children? There were some baby seahorses and baby jellyfish on display as well, if you can call it that. They were impossible to see, a magnifying glass should have been provided. In one of the seahorse tanks there was a giant shrimp swimming in circles in the middle of the tank, he was followed along the bottom by a horseshoe crab. In another tank I was entranced by a crab eating a piece of kelp, it was so cute how he held it up to his mouth and nibbled it.

jelly collage

In the middle of the aquarium there was a tank that was supposed to be a kelp forest. At every window we would see different creatures, more interesting than the ones in the previous window- yet all in the same tank. It all culminated with a giant sea bass and a shark that looked like a sting ray. We ended our trip to the aquarium with the jellyfish exhibit. The jellyfish mentioned earlier were part of a general exhibit; this one was specific to them. I can never get enough of watching jellyfish floating about and this was no exception. It really made me want a pet jellyfish, they are just so cute but also calming, floating so peacefully with those fake bright coloured lights. There was one exhibit were you push a button and see what they really look like- I do not recommend pushing that button, it might ruin your day. But you can always just backtrack to the brighter of the tanks.

A couple hours in an aquarium can leave one rather hungry; thankfully we walked by a Pinkberry. However a few doors down we passed a Nestle Tollhouse Café, I could not resist going in. I must have looked like such a glutton, contemplating cookie choices while eating Pinkberry frozen yogurt. The choice was easy: you can never go wrong with white chocolate macadamia. It was one of the best I have ever had, the cookie had hints of cinnamon (I had been debating the snickerdoodle cookie, but I got my cinnamon fix anyways). Brent’s triple chocolate cookie had a hint of peanut butter in it. Walking back to the car we were accosted by a sneaky fundraiser. He threw me off guard when he said something about my smile, the Blue Jays and then he handed me a sticker. He was too friendly and I ended up listening to him talk about homeless women. The only reason I gave him money was to make him go away- it was so awkward and I was terribly uncomfortable.

I was so happy to be back in the car and away from that too-sneaky fundraiser. Besides we were now on our way to the Mission San Juan Bautista, the actual mission from Vertigo. The night after we went to the Santa Barbara Mission, I Googled it out of curiosity, and lo and behold: it was not that far away. A cop tried to pull a guy over on the highway, but the guy kept going, ignoring the sirens. The cop even had to call it in, but then we saw that the driver was motioning for them to both pull off the highway, not nearly as interesting as a get-away chase. I did see a shotgun house though, that was sort of interesting?

Mar. 22, 2013- PCH (66)

We got to the Mission right at high noon, when all the school children were on the lawn playing. There was a giant lawn between the stables and the Mission. As it turns out they are two separate properties. When we tried to enter the barn, so I could fake a flashback by the carriage, a park ranger came by and told us we had to pay a $5 admission fee if we wanted to enter. We cut across the grass over to the Mission instead. There was no bell tower, but the rest was real. Well the exterior anyways, I did not feel like paying admission to go inside, given I had already seen inside of one, and you could see most of this one anyways. Curiously there was no mention of the movie anywhere.

Mar. 22, 2013- PCH (67)

We stopped at a gas station before getting back on the Pacific Coast Highway. The bathroom there was the third worst one I had ever encountered. The first was the one in Massachusetts where the floor had been freshly bleached, and the second was in Shipshewana, Indiana that did not have door stalls, just shower curtains. As we drove we passed by many farms. One drew my attention; I had to stare at the animals for a bit to figure out what they were. They were goats it turned out. The beautiful scenery was interrupted by an out-of-place power plant. We also passed by Bonita Drive, which made me slightly giddy.

Given that we were driving along the Pacific Coast Highway, we stopped at the first McDonald’s we saw: we had no way of knowing if there would be food up the road and nothing is worse than being hangry (hungry and angry) on vacation. There was an insufferably annoying girl seated near us. She was telling a fake tale of a “boyfriend” and she kept flip-flopping, “yes he is real, no he is not” and at some point she explained why she brings a pillow to school. I ate as fast as I could just so we could get out of there. You may ask why I did not just eat in the car. It is because I wanted a sundae for the car ride and it would have melted before I got to it, or I would have to eat it first which is never fun. While at McDonald’s I found out that the quarter pounder comes with two slices of cheese to the one burger patty- and it goes great with a 10 piece chicken nuggets. I was ready for In N Out burger, for the 4×4.

Mar. 22, 2013- PCH (78)

We drove by a sign for Rockaway Beach, so at least the Ramones did not lie about that. As we drove further north, I saw an antenna atop a hill. It was a dead giveaway that San Francisco was up ahead. And just like that we were stuck in traffic, no more scenic highway, and just bumper to bumper cars. We drove through Golden Gate Park on our way to the Golden Gate Bridge. We were paranoid that the GPS might try and take us on a faster route, but thankfully it complied with our wishes. The drive over the bridge was quick. Not so for the other side, they had fewer lanes and were just crawling across the bridge. Just over the bridge there was a sign saying Redwood High. That might seem like a boring sign, unless you have played Cruis’n USA where there is one race through a redwood forest (arguably the hardest track in the game). I was beyond myself with giddy joy. I had always wanted to see the redwood forests (it was even on my list of Life’s Goals).

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The anticipation was growing as we drove over a mountain and down into a valley along narrow winding roads, the signs pointed to Muir Woods National Monument. It is a cleverly constructed park. You cannot really see the redwoods from the parking lot. You have to pay admission to get in, and then you can see them. It was well worth the fee, it was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. You hear about these trees being enormous, but it is nothing until you see them for yourself, when you have to tilt your head all the way back- hurting your neck in the process. And even then you can’t always see the tops of the trees, just the sun breaking through the top. For some reason I had it in my head (not sure from where) that there is a tree that is hollowed out, with a tunnel so you could walk through it. There is no such thing, as far as I could tell anyways. So it turns out, there is such a thing, but it is in Yosemite National Park, the Wawona Tree.

Throughout the forest there were downed trees and burnt trees, which only showed how giant they were. Some were leaning precariously, threatening to topple over. As we walked back I remembered a sign showing the different types of wild life found in the forest, one of which was the banana slug. We had just listened to a podcast (Stuff to Blow Your Mind) about slugs on the drive up. I was now determined to see a banana slug and photograph it so I could email the podcast host. There were no banana slugs. In fact, we saw no wildlife whatsoever.

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We stopped at a 7-Eleven for some snacks and soda to hold us over as we drove to Berkeley. As it turns out grapefruit is not all that bad when it is in Squirt soda, I guess it is drowned out by all the other citrus flavours. And coconut makes for a nice addition to Three Musketeers chocolate bar. We passed over a double-decker bridge over San Francisco Bay.

Given that our evening plans were cancelled, we walked over to Chez Panisse just to see it (as we had done in Chicago, when we walked by Charlie Trotters). We were not the only ones surveying the fire damage, there was a small group of people who appeared from all sides, almost like a pilgrimage to mourn. I was still sort of hungry, alas it was a Friday night so everywhere was packed full of people. I settled for a pepperoni slice from Papa John’s by the hotel. Settled is the wrong word, it was disgusting. They did not even heat it up and it was rubbery and half-cold and just outright gross. Hungry, tired and disappointed by a lack of Chez Panisse I could not sleep. Also there was a guy on the street outside yelling at passersby. I thought about digging the pizza slice out of the garbage and throwing it at him, or at the very least yelling back.

 
 

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Los Angeles 2013- Day 6

Wed. Mar. 20, 2013:

Breakfast consisted of Cherry Coke Zero and butter toffee peanuts, not exactly the greatest or healthiest. It was also really messy; I got bits of toffee coating all over the bed, my belly and my book. We got a ride from the hotel down to the rental car place and soon enough we were on the open road, driving north along the Pacific Coast Highway. It was indeed very pretty, as expected.

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Our first stop of the day was at the Getty Villa, same guy as the Getty Centre. It was designed like a house in Pompeii- before the tragedy. There were a lot of statues of Greek and Roman gods, old armour and jewelry. The main piece on display was a statue of a lion attacking a horse; it was amazing how much detail there was around the mouth of the lion and in the neck of the horse. There were mind-bogglingly intricate pieces of hand-blown glassware dating back to 100BC-100AD. I could not stop staring at them, they were tiny with gorgeous little details- all made of glass. For some reason Getty had a real mummy in his collection, it was more than mildly unnerving to think of this rich oil tycoon purchasing a mummy for his gallery. The one downside to being there so early was that the place was rampant with schoolchildren. We found refuge outside in the botanical garden; you could still hear their loud high-pitched voices in the distance. In the garden we witnessed a hummingbird hovering in place, drinking nectar. It almost looked fake; I was tempted to wonder where the wires were. On our way out we stopped by the café; however it was lunchtime so the place was packed.

Driving along the Pacific Coast Highway we saw miles and miles of gorgeous scenery, further beautified by three pelicans flying by. The thing about the PCH is that it a scenic highway, it does not have a lot of exits let alone highway rest areas. When we saw a McDonald’s while driving through a town, we pulled in. Well, sort of. Brent missed the turn and instead we ended up in the KFC parking lot so we split up. I went to McDonald’s and Brent went to KFC. We were going to split a small popcorn chicken with our McLunch, however KFC decided to stop making popcorn chicken. We had to eat chicken bites, chicken nuggets that tasted too much like real chicken that was unbearably greasy. The soft serve machine at McDonald’s was broken and so were my dreams of a sundae for dessert.

We drove by Pepperdine University, easily one of the most beautiful campuses I have ever seen. They even have a sign warning against trespassing- I guess lots of people had wanted to see the pretty campus. The GPS kept trying to steer us onto the freeway, we ignored it a bunch of times and it finally gave up and let us stay on the PCH. My ice cream craving was only getting worse and then an 18-wheeler of Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches drove by. For a while there was a naval base in between us and the coast, ruining the beautiful views. Instead the views were of migrant works picking crops in the field. Once we got back to the scenic part it was ruined again, this time by trucks pulled over in the beach parking. I guess it is a good place to take a nap? One guy had been there for a long time, there was a seagull perched on the roof.

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We stopped at the Kalyra Winery because you cannot drive up the PCH in California and not stop for a wine tasting. I had a tasting flight, basically 1-2 ounces of 8 different wines (3 reds, 3 whites and 2 desserts). It was a nice way to try all the different wines without getting hammered; I ended up buying the first dessert wine I had tried. While I sipping my wines, the girl struck up some small talk with us. When Brent said we were from Toronto, she thought that was in Japan. Brent made a slight joke about that being wrong, but it seemed to go over her head. She really thought we were from Japan. I now had to fake a deep interest in my wine, so as to avoid the really awkward conversation about fitting in and learning the language and adjusting to a new country. Thankfully there was also a bloodhound dog bumbling about to distract me, he was so cute and soft. The winery was very low-key and laid back, not intimidating at all.

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We drove back south to the Santa Barbara Mission. I was so excited; I thought this was the mission that they drive to in Vertigo. I was ready to climb up the bell tower and fake fall- only it was not that mission. Brent just chose it so we could see an old mission, and it was along the way to our next hotel. He chose a good mission to go see, as this was one of the only missions left that was still operating as an actual church. They had an exhibit about the earthquake that hit the area in 1925. And of course, we saw some more lizards.

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Our dinner plans were cancelled because the taco place where we wanted to eat (Julia Child’s favourite) was closed. What kind of a taco place is closed on a Wednesday?! It’s the middle of the week! It was a short walk to the place from our hotel on the main street- we walked over to see if maybe the internet had lied to us and it was in fact open. It was not. But the internet saved itself, by giving us a recommendation for a Mexican restaurant that had been recently voted the best in Santa Barbara. And it just so happened to be two doors down from the taco place.

Los Agaves had a huge menu. It took me a while and a lot of flip-flopping before finally deciding on the chicken mole Pablano. I ordered it because it is one of the main dishes in Mexican cuisine and it sounded delicious. And the menu said it was really hard to make with lots of different ingredients. Brent ended up ordering what I had been considering: picadas (chorizo and other meats on top of flat breads). And he ordered a quesadilla. Brent finally got to try Negro Modello beer, I opted for Jarrito. I was not even sure what it was. Turns out it is a Mexican soda available in a wide range of flavours.

Throw in the free tortilla chips and we were in for a feast, an enormous feast. We made a mistake saying yes to a second (and a third) basket of tortilla chips. But we simply could not help ourselves: they had 6 different house made salsas and guacamoles! By the time our mains arrived we were half full already. The menu had lied, or at least misled. It was supposed to be two pieces of chicken. What I got was two quarters of chicken: half a chicken. I sat there are stared at it for a second, half a chicken smothered in sauce atop a bed of rice. The waitress offered me some flatbread for piling rice and chicken on. I did manage to eat most of it, leaving behind mostly chicken bones- and all the beans. We ended up with a lot of leftovers and sadly no room for dessert.

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Overfed, we walked south in a feeble attempt to get down to the beach. What we did not realize is that first we had to bypass the freeway. We turned back and headed towards the main street, which for sure went down to the waterfront. Along the way we saw an actual functioning Blockbuster. It w

as a sight to behold. We passed a church that had been converted into a skateboard shop, aptly named Skatan. As soon as we got to the Santa Barbara Pier I perked right up, forgetting how full my belly was. I even considered having an ice cream cone, but it was too cold and I was too distracted. There were pelicans dive-bombing into the water trying to catch fish. Then a shiny black head surfaced and disappeared before Brent could see- he did not believe me until he saw the seal himself later. Until then I had just been “seeing things” and there was no “seal”. I had refused to leave my spot, waiting for it to re-surface. It felt good to be proven right.

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We had a nice walk along the pier; the beach was out the question. It was too cold to take our shoes off and nothing is worth sand in the shoes. A guy with a parrot on his shoulder getting into a car distracted me for a second, but then it was right back to watching the pelicans dive. I just could not get enough of it. But then I got to thinking, this was the ocean I was staring at. How cool would it be to see a dolphin jump out? And then to make things even and not so hokey, a shark to jump from the opposite direction? And then to make things less macabre a whale to surface, blow some water out and swim back under again? Is that really so much to ask for from the Pacific Ocean? That’s the least it could do to make up for always being too cold to go swimm

ing. The whale was added to the montage a little bit later, when I read a sign at the end of the pier saying that whales migrate to this part of the ocean because it is calmer.

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As we turned around to head back I was faced with a nice surprise. The sun had started setting over Santa Barbara and the beach. It was absolutely gorgeous, the pink and orange streaked sky over the sailboats and palm trees. Even the seal came back to watch the sunset, and avoid my camera. The elusive seal proved impossible to photograph, so while I have no proof, I did see that seal!!! It only occurred to me halfway though that I should adjust the colour balance, as my photos were looking nothing like the sunset. I did end up getting my photograph of a dolphin jumping, but it was just a statue at the entrance to the pier- with the sunset in the background for added effect.

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Rather than going back to the hotel I went out shopping. It sucked until on my back to the hotel, on a whim, I crossed the street to Urban Outfitters where I hit a gold mine: babushka and cupcake shaped lip glosses, a red wallet with white polka dots (seeing as my US wallet was barely holding together with electrical tape) and some chicken wing boxers for Brent. I wanted to buy more but it would not fit in my carry-on. To top off my successful shopping trip I stopped at a self-serve frozen yogurt place. People in the US do not understand how self-serve frozen yogurt works. They would wait until the person was done picking flavours and move in a straight line. That is not how it works. If the flavour you want is not blocked, you go for it. You do not stand there like an idiot holding the whole line up. That is why the place was packed. It was awful.

On my way to the mall I had passed a guy singing really bad karaoke really loud across the street. Two hours later he was still there, belting out the “tunes”- if you can call them that.

While I was out Brent had gone a soda run and bought some more Jarrito (fruit punch). We had not anticipated needing a bottle opener for it. After a few failed attempts, I finally managed to pop open in the doorjamb- spilling fruit punch on the wall and my sock and hurting the side of my hand from smacking the top against the doorjamb. Victory was delicious.

Day 6 celebrity sightings: 0, we were too far from LA. I did see a bride-to-be, just thought I would mention it, that zero looks really sad.

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2013 in Adventures of Pinka!, Travel

 

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Los Angeles 2013- Day 5

         Tues. Mar. 19, 2013:

You could tell I was excited about going to Universal Studios; I woke up before the alarm clock went off. Having learned from the past few days, I gave in to temptation and had the one free in-room coffee. It was great, I had the time to just sit there, munching my Pop Tart and reading my book- getting crumbs all over the bed and in my coffee. We set out, right on time, to catch a bus which just so happened to be right around the corner. It was nice to not have to walk half an hour. What was not so nice was that I am pretty sure there was some blood splattered on the floor beside the entrance. Thankfully we were off that bus soon enough, and the bus we had to catch was waiting at the bus stop. We made great time, partly because we had been taking express buses. The LA transit system is good in that it is cheap and there are lots of express buses. What sucks is that you cannot transfer between buses or having to walk really far.

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We did not know where to catch the shuttle bus up to the entrance to Universal Studios so we started walking. Then we saw the shuttle bus passing us going south, we knew it was going to turn around head back up- it was now an uphill race. We won! We beat the shuttle bus and thus the hoard of people all clamoring to get tickets. There was no line-up for tickets, there was however a line-up of people all waiting to get into the park. Every line had annoying children in it. Standing there as time seemed to come to a stand-still was infuriating. Worse still, we were in the line up with the world’s slowest ticket scanner, he had to make small talk and jokes with every single person. Once in the park we were faced with another crowd. This time however we snuck around to the front to see what was going on. They were stopping us from going into the actual park so that they could go over some ground rules. I was not having it, this was the third time we had to wait, being given the false hope that we were in. I kept inching forward, squeezing around people. It was easy because we did not have backpacks or children.

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As soon as they finally let us in it was a mad dash of people all speed walking towards the Studio Tour. It quickly turned to running. We left everyone behind in our dust, pulling to the front. Running dow n the escalator was less than thrilling, it was downright scary. But it was all worth it to be the very first person in line. That is, until the attendant asked us to move one queue over and the guy behind us decided to just climb over the ropes while his kids climbed under. We were now second in line. They did get yelled at, so that made me feel a bit better. Even being there first meant nothing; we did not pay extra for front of the line access. We had to wait until they boarded. The kid’s in front of us then ran over to the early access line and were declined entry; it seems they learned from their father.

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The tour started out a little bit slow, mostly just parking lots and trucks. For some reason there was a ride in the middle of the tour. Basically the bus got tossed around by King Kong and a giant dinosaur, spra ying us in the face with water for extra drama. From there the tour picked up and got really interesting. We saw fake sets for various locations (New York City, Mexico, Europe). There was the fake lake, where Norman Bates dumped the body in Psycho. We drove down Wysteria Lane from Desperate Housewives. Then they showed us some examples of special effects from movies like Fast & Furious which involved rolling some cars and making some  explosions. We got to see the shark from Jaws, along with some more explosions. Then we drove into a fake underground, meant to be the San Francisco subway and they faked an earthquake for us- which also ended with some fiery explosions. The Bates motel from Psycho sits on a lot adjacent to the lot for How the Grinch Stole Christmas, so the whole time in the background you can see the candy-coloured snow-topped roofs. Sadly we did not see any celebrities, even though according to the board by the entrance they were filming a few shows that day, including one of my favourites: The Mindy Project. 

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The line-up for the Simpsons ride was longer than for the tour. In total we waited about half an hour, but it was an awesome half hour. There are screens throughout playing clips of old episodes of The Simpsons. The ride was really fun, but my hands hurt afterwards from gripping the bar so tightly- which is weird given it was not a real roller coaster. It was one of those rides were the seat moves. Next door to the ride they had built a Kwik-E-Mart that featured the greatest joke of all time. They had name key chains and there was one that was sold out and only the tag was there: Bort. We bought and split a giant “Lard Lad” donut, it was surprisingly good for a giant novelty donut from a souvenir shop in an amusement park. 

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Hopped up on sugar, we went to the lower level of the park. It was smaller and we figured we could finish it off first. Plus we really wanted to see the movie prop exhibit. Unfortunately it was closed for re-installation. The Transformers ride was right next to it and the line did not seem long at all. At first I thought it was spilling outside of the building, but that was a separate line of people who wanted their photo with a guy dressed as the yellow Transformer. The line was hidden deep inside the building in a maze of hallways with buttons and control panels and the occasional screen showing videos that I did not understand, but that is my lack of any knowledge with regards to Transformers. The only thing I know is the theme song, which was missing in all this. The ride was fun, what else can you expect, you get whipped around really fast, crazy 3D things happen on the screen, you “fly” through the air, things explode- and you get sprayed in the face with water. Universal Studios loves spraying you in the face with water.

There was barely a line-up for the Jurassic Park ride. I was really nervous about this ride; I initially was not going go on it. The ride sounded way too scary for the likes of me. An 84 foot drop was too much for me. Somehow I found myself standing in line, I think what made me change my mind was that it was like a log-ride. I insisted on sitting at the very back and in the middle, so as to be as far away as possible from the water. I screamed. I screamed so loud, my throat hurt. The souvenir photo they took shows me with my mouth agape, screaming and smiling at the same time. I should have bought it, it was hilarious. 

We tried to go on the Mummy ride however it was down for repairs. It worked out quite well actually because we had just enough time to go to the upper level for the animal show. We got great seats thanks to not being held back by having kids or bags. The animals were unbelievably cute and talented. The show involved a much wider range of animals, including rats running on a rope, pigs and chickens pulling ropes (to change a lunch menu from pork and chicken) and a falcon flew down from behind the audience. A dog attempted to recycle a can, it took three tries. A cat went up in a basket when a dog pulled a rope. Some guinea pigs ran across the stage, a cat was chased by a dog, a chicken ran by. For the grand finale, a flock of pigeons flew at us, to coops behind the audience. It was a terrifying way to end the show; I have no idea why they would do that to us.

Right next door they were doing a special effects show, and it just so happened to be starting soon after the animal show. Again we got good seats, mostly because we were able to get out of the animal show so fast. There was horribly awkward host banter before the show got under way, however the b anter continued throughout the show. It was easily the crappiest thing we went to all day. The only visual effect that I did not know about was the glass screen in front of the camera to create a fake scene. There were no explosions (they left those for the official tour) and no stunts. It was just green screen and a guy awkwardly flying around the stage on a wire. On our way to lunch we passed by the animal stage again and this time they had one of the animal actors outside for a meet & pet . It was Alex the dog, as seen in We Bought A Zoo. He was so cute and soft and I just wanted to steal him and keep forever.

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We tried to go to Mel’s Diner for lunch but it was closed, the sign suggested we try Flinstone’s Bedrock BBQ, but we had just walked by and the place was a child-filled zoo. Instead we kept walking to fake Europe and found a fake French café. We sat on the patio eating sandwiches and a chocolate croissant, why it felt like we were in France! We walked around “Europe” some more, and who did we encounter, but none other than Vin Diesel himself, if he were made of wax. It was uncanny how real the sculpture looked; I thought maybe it was an actor who would periodically scare people half to death?

On our way to see Shrek in 4D (the 4th D apparently refers to getting sprayed in the face with water) I saw a woman get scared half to death and add some weight to my above wax figure theory. She sat down on a bench between two statues to pose for a photo. I had seen this bench earlier in the day, there had been only one sculpture. Sure enough, the other one “came to life”- eliciting a hilarious (to us) reaction from this poor woman. It was nice to get to sit down and watch a short Shrek movie. This one was aimed a you nger audience, so there wasn’t as much movement. Instead of sitting in a roller coaster car, the seats were like regular movie theatre seats that could blow air at your ears and move you up and down. Every time the seat went back down my feet would smack the floor, stupid short legs. After the show there was a waffle hut outside that opened and a mechanical Donkey would make small talk (and terrible jokes) with the crowd gathered around. It was awkward because you could tell that there was someone in the shack, doing the voice.

The haunted house was not that scary because there were so many people. It was a constant stream of people walking through at the same pace. I could see all the actors scaring the people ahead of me. The guy in front of me would periodically stop dead in his tracks scared and I would slam into him. He ended up staying behind and walking slower. Not a single “monster” got me. The only thing that did scare me was when they played the score from Psycho. That gave me goosebumps.

On our way back to the lower level we walked through a fake New York neighbourhood, they had audio piping in of neighbours yelling at each other (as it turns out, there were real people above the storefronts leaning out the windows- I had neglected to look up). The prop museum was still not open, but the Mummy ride was finally fixed. The lineup was long, and there was nothing to entertain us. We were tired and the people around us were insufferable. I was also really uneasy because throughout there were signs warning that this w as an actual roller coaster, not a simulation as all the others had been. I am terrified of roller coasters; I do not handle them very well.

The roller coaster was not as scary as I had expected,  it went in one direction then it reversed and went backwards. No upside down loops thankfully. That is not to say that I did not scream. I screamed, a lot, the whole time. I almost lost my voice. I also added to the collection of really bad souvenir photos of me amassing out there. It was the same thing, me screaming my head off while smiling. As we left I caught a glimpse of the schedule. We had just enough time to either go see the Waterworld show or the Blues Brothers show. It was an easy choice, Waterworld of course.

They forewarn that you will get splashed, so we sat at the very top. They were not kidding about that. As the actors tried to get the crowd all riled up they would splash them with buckets of water if they did not cheer loudly enough. They also soaked the people who were coming in late. Brent filled me in on what a horrible movie it was and I set my expectations for the show accordingly. The first half was rather quite boring. People jumping into the water, fake gun shots, some leaking water tanks. Things picked up when a helicopter fake crashed through a wall causing an explosion and some people jumped their jet skis. Then there was the grand finale of the show: a giant explosion.

The bus was at the transit terminal, thank goodness because I was exhausted and dehydrated. The problem came when we tried to catch our connecting bus. We had been let off on the corner where the connecting bus would be turning and so we had to go looking for the stop. We back tracked for a few blocks checking our map. After about 20 minutes we finally got there and realized it was the stop we had mistakenly almost gotten off at. That is the one downside to the express bus, if you have to walk in between stops. Thankfully no bus has passed us in that time. I was about to go into the gas station on the corner for some soda but it was a small crappy one and I decided against it. According to the schedule we still had some time so I sat down on the bench- right then the bus pulled up, fine by me!

We stayed on the bus, going past our hotel. We got off on campus and walked to In N Out burger for dinner. We stopped at CVS for some sodas as well. The selection was less than steller, so I ended up with a Sunkist because I still had some Sierra Mist in a can from the day before (little did I know the cleaners had thrown it out while we were gone!). The walk back to the hotel, burgers in hand, felt like the longest 30 minutes ever, I ended up drinking most of my Sunkist on the walk. I was tired and hungry and all I could think about was biting into my 3×3 and being transported to burger heaven.

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When we got to our room our keycards didn’t work, we had to walk all the way back down the hill to sort it out. All I wanted was to eat my burger in peace. Once I finally but into that greasy, cheesey, meaty delight, I was in burger heaven. It was so good, it was epically better than a double double. It was not overkill; it was just the right amount of meat and cheese, just enough to grease through the bag. And of course we topped it off with a chocolate bar for dessert and some good TV (New Girl and Mindy Project were on). Brent got a disheartening email saying our reservation at Chez Panisse later in the week had been cancelled; no reason had been given, just cancelled. I spouted a few conspiracies about rich famous people, but then we looked it up. Apparently there had been an electrical fire under the front porch. In my book there are five sad faces drawn after that.

Day 5 celebrity sightings: one, the dog from We Bought A Zoo, unless you count a Vin Diesel wax statute, then two.

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2013 in Adventures of Pinka!, Travel

 

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