Leaving Anaheim was difficult in part because we deviated from our mass transient philosophy. The resort park buses left periodically but we decided to get a cab since the cost was actually cheaper. However, it took 45 minutes for the taxi to arrive because of the high demand. By the time we made it to the train station, we had missed the early Amtrak train. 20 minutes later, we sat on a commuter Metrolink train. We met my parents and Jereme at the train station where we hopped into my parent's rental car.
We drove to Santa Monica for the afternoon. Santa Monica was breathtaking. If you live or appreciate the West Texas sunset, then you would love the sky here. The blue sky and water meet and seem to be endless. When you turn around, the mountains seemed to tower above you. The boardwalk reminded me a lot of Seattle or San Franscico with street entertainers and shops. After sampling some seafood at a local restaurant on the pier, we walked along the beach where the kids made some sand angels.
We drove up into the mountains and stopped at a neighborhood park to let the kids get
out some energy. Then we slowly worked our way up the mountain. Several switchbacks later, we made it to the top and looked out over the ocean. Beautiful!
We made it to my brothers apartment in downtown LA. Jer grabbed a bottle of wine and took Jason and me up to the roof of his apartment. It felt as if I was in a "I Love Lucy" episode with the brisk weather and the city skyline around us. It was one of my favorite memories of the trip. Then he took us to a Korean Barbecue restaurant. If you like Benihana, you'd LOVE Korean Barbecue. From the tender Kobe beef to bbquing your own meat, it was definetly my favorite restaurant of the trip.
We stayed in Korea town that night. The next morning we saw the Endeavor space shuttle. What suprised me was how worn the shuttle looked. I know it has been on many trips but I anticipated it to be restored more. In particular, it was interesting to see how the tiles were worn.
Then we took the subway to Hollywood. Hollywood was jammed with tourists stopping to kneel down by their favorite actor/actresses
star. The streets were crowded with tourists but also with look alikes of famous stars, trying to get you to stop for a picture. The girls were enthralled by the scene and were so excited when they saw some characters they loved, like Snow White.
There were also some questionable characters around here too. We made it back to our hotel and had some good talks with the kids on these subjects and the importance of saying "NO".
The next day we went to the Korean Catholic church around the corner. The architecture was simple with a high ceiling but stunning. Again, highly recommend going to church on vacations, not only do you get to see some beautiful churches but some of the best sermons have been enjoyed on trips like these.
We ate at a nearby Pho restaurant and then took the local buses to the airport. We made it back to Austin at midnight to a car that wouldn't start, but thankfully the people at the park 'n fly lot were very nice and within a matter of minutes had our car up and running. It was a great trip and look forward to our
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