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January 30th 2010
Published: January 31st 2010
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A couple of days, we decided to be tourists. One day we visited the aquarium at Long Beach, then had lunch at Mom's Tamale (one of the places featured on Diner's Drive-Ins and Dives). These tamales are absolutely delicious, but if we hadn't seen the place on the television, we probably wouldn't have stopped here - or even been in the neighborhood. We also went to the La Brea tar pit, which is smaller than I had anticipated, and covered with water from the recent rain, but still smelled like road construction. In fact, they mined asphalt from here for years, before it was made into a park. They have removed literally tons of fosilized bones from here over the years. There are spots where the tar bubbles up out of the ground as well - one of which we saw right by the path we were walking on.

We also visited an area called Venice, which is complete with canals and modeled after Venice Italy (on a smaller scale of course). It was beautiful to walk around. Each home fronts onto a walkway and canal. Roses were blooming, along with oranges, bird of paradise, and lots of other things I don't recognise. It is a little microcosm here, different - relaxed, refined, and more laid back than the congested, overpopulated areas that you drive through to get here. The downtown area looks like a funky kind of beach community, with lots of open-air restaurants, shops, etc. It would be entertaining to spend a week here - nice in the winter with a light sweater, but I think best in the summertime so you could take advantage of the beach.

The only downside - the 3-hour drive back home to Barb's. (It should have been less than 2 hours, but traffic is unbelievable here!) Our Garmin GPS is very skilled at getting us where we want to go, in the correct lane on the various freeways, without yelling at us when we take a wrong turn anyway (she said to keep left!). She just pauses for a second, then says "recalculating". Her name is Garmina, and we would be lost without her... 😊


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1st February 2010

Looks so nice
Great entries -- I am green with envy. I so want to go to California now. Have a great time!

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