RetroTravel: Los Angeles

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This is the continuation of my first US trip where I visited the major cities of California - San Francisco and Los Angeles. On the continuation of our trip, we rode a bus via Greyhound to reach Los Angeles from San Francisco. Travel trip is around 6 hours in the road. There were stops in between the long bus trip so its quite tiring plus it is a night trip. I think we leave the SFO station at 10pm and we arrive in Los Angeles at 5am.

Los Angeles also known as the "City of Angels" or simply L.A. — is the largest city in California. Located on a broad basin in Southern California, it's surrounded by vast mountain ranges, deep valleys, forests, desert and miles of coastline on the Pacific Ocean. The metropolitan area is the second largest in the United States in terms of population, containing over 17 million people who hail from all parts of the globe and speak over a hundred different languages. The metropolitan area is centered in Los Angeles County, but stretches into Orange County, Ventura County, San Bernardino County, and Riverside County. Los Angeles is an important center of culture, business, media, and international trade, but is most famous for being the center of the world's entertainment industry, which forms the base of its global status.

A reunion with my "ninang" who has been living in LA for 20 years.
My impression about Los Angeles is that is a very cosmopolitan huge city where every city-dweller can find all the luxuries of a metropolis he or she wants especially if he/she grew there. High-rising building are crowding the downtown while shopping malls of Macy's and Ross are endless to shopaholics. Nightlight is superb in the city as LA has the hippest clubs that every partygoer will surely love... one could spot celebrities especially in hotspots of Beverly Hills and Hollywood area.

While in LA, our first day was to visit Disneyland at Anaheim. It was the major tourist place that me and my family has visited while staying in Los Angeles. Other than that we didn't visit other places of interests like the Universal Studios or Hollywood. But Disneyland is a memorable trip for me. You can't go around the theme park in one whole day. It is necessary to comeback for the next day to go around the whole Disneyland Park.

My mom's cousin and my godmother, Ninang Yoly (what I use to call her) is living in Los Angeles county with her family since the 80's. Ninang Yoly's sibling and mother is also are permanent resident there too. There residence at Gardena is just 10 minutes away from Los Angeles International Airport. My ninang had a working shift on that morning so she cannot join with us with her husband Uncle Danny and their kids, DJ and Ianne, for a trip to Disneyland theme park.

Welcome to Toon Town!
Disneyland is a big theme park. Here, what I can recall in visiting the place is returning again to my childhood years. Disneyland brings a lot of childhood memories back because of Disneyland characters that I as a child has come to love to like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Even adults I would say would return again to childhood when one visits Disneyland. As I said earlier, you can't finish a whole day going around the park. It seems mandatory to return again to savor the fantasyland that it offers. There so many theme places to visit and you won't feel dull while enjoying the park.
Aside from visiting the houses of your favorite Disney characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse or Winnie The Pooh inside the park where each character has houses like Snow White has her own castle, you can also interact with them personally as they greet each visitors in their themed houses or palace. They also let you sign an autograph and have a souvenir photo with you. I remember my mom couldn't help but join with the other kids in trying to get souvenir shot with her favorite Disney characters... Pluto and Winnie the Pooh. Disneyland is not just for young people but also young at heart.

Returning to childhood again in Disneyland.
Enjoying one of the rides in Disneyland.
There are also rides of different themes inside the park. I won't forget riding the Indiana Jones Adventure and Matterhorn Bobsleds as it was the most thrilling ride I experience there. Indiana Jones Adventure is quite scary but an exciting adventure ride and Matterhorn Bobsleds is an adrenalin-rush roller coaster ride because it is so fast and rounds in a tall polar mountain structure. It also goes in and out of it too where you can have views of the theme park from above. Beware of the frigtening Snowman inside the caves.

Autopia is a good ride too. A suitable ride for non-drivers of cars, Autopia is specially designed-cars in an enclosed track made for driver patrons. It was fun and speedy ride especially at times when you bump to other cars. At the end of the race track, you'll receive an "exclusive" driver's license valid only in Disneyland. A good way to get a grand circle tour of Disneyland is riding the Disneyland Railroad. Riders use it as a transportation to other areas of the theme park but it is the best way to experience a circle tour of the whole Disneyland.

The teacups of Alice in Wonderland.
The Disneyland trip was my ultimate family bonding.
You can also watch live plays in the park with superb performers in singing and acting. During our visit, "The Lion King" was the featured play. An extravagant Disneyland characters on a parade along with fireworks display is the last and closing activity at Disneyland to cap off our visit at the park. It was so memorable.

Our stay was extended to for another week due to the request of our relatives to spend more time with them as this is a good opportunity to bond with them again. Like in San Francisco, we had a number reunions that comes along sharing stories in reminiscing the good old past. My ninang will always be unforgettable for being a "Noranian" (a Nora Aunor fan) forever. She always share stories of her celebrity idol to us. We also watched Pinoy movies, where "Anak" was one of the movies we've watched. It was also the 3rd time I watched it.

The extended week stay gave us the opportunity to visit some friends in Buena Park in Orange County. Buena Park is home to several tourist attractions, most notably Knott's Berry Farm - a famed theme park in Buena Park. Unfortunately, we have no time to visit the park as Disneyland is already enough.

My first trip to USA is an opportunity for a reunion with our relatives. Although, I wish to see more other places of interests in Los Angeles like Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Long Beach or Universal Studios, a 3-week stay is not enough to meet and bond with your relatives that you haven't seen for a long time. I just hope on a next visit to San Francisco and Los Angeles, our time for trip is maximize to all the places we can visit. Anyway, there is always a next time... And I hope that a next travel to US, I'll experience again the same American high experience.


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RetroTravel: Los Angeles is a RetroTravel series where I recall my first trip to USA last April 13-28, 2001. It is the second part story of my trip to California, USA. Please also do read part 1, RetroTravel San Francisco.  Other photos is credited to flickr.com users: tclaxton1 and jaynonymous.


2 comments:

  1. knotts berry farm.. haha supposedly for the "horror" attractions, not related to the food

    ReplyDelete
  2. wow cool pix out here..thanks for sharing ian..have a safe trip always!

    ReplyDelete

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