Thursday, October 22, 2015

USA Part Fifteen - More in and around LA

Once upon a time in a land far, far away - Taipei, Taiwan to be exact, Rich and I met a really super cool couple from Orange County, California called Lisa and Aaris.
So the giant KL probably gave it away...this photo wasn't taken in Taipei, but in beautiful Kuala Lumpur. I met up with Lisa and Aaris here a few years ago (unfortunately Rich was still studying at that time, so I was traveling solo). Lisa has also been down to visit us here in New Zealand.

We were both pretty excited to see Lisa and Aaris again and hang out "on their turf" when you meet people traveling the conversation often come up "when you come visit me in XYZ we will do this...." so when you actually get to visit these friends in their home town its pretty exciting.

First things first, Rich and I said goodbye to central LA and jumped on a train and headed over to Irvine, Lisa had warned us "there's not really anything in Irvine" - sorry Irvine, she wasn't making that up.
The palm trees are kind of cool right? Lisa was going to take us up in this hot air balloon in Irvine so we could get a better view of the area, but as it turns out the wind was too high so no balloon ride for us. Instead she took  us to a mall for lunch while we waited for Aaris to finish up at work.
I'm going to be honest guys, we didn't take too many photos for the rest of the day as we were too busy hanging out and catching up on the last couple of years. During the course of the evening the topic of Voodoo Doughnuts came up as Aaris was one of the friends we had that was a big advocate of Voodoo Doughnuts. Although he agreed they were good, he told us there was a local place that was even better. I have to say I'm glad this doughnut place is in California, because if it was in Wellington I would want to go there every day (which would mean I'd weigh about 100 kilos).

After a brunch of doughnuts in the sun we spent the rest of the day exploring the Getty Centre, but I have to say although there was a tonne of interesting exhibitions I was more taken by the gardens outside and the view of LA.

After a couple of days it was time to say goodbye to Lisa and Aaris, I was really sad to say goodbye to them but hope it won't be too long until we meet again (until then its going to be facebook and instagram). They were good enough to drop us off to our backpackers for our final night in the USA at Venice Beach.

Until this point this was  pretty much all I knew about Venice Beach - which I learnt from a flavoured milk TV ad at some point in the late 90s. It involved a guy with dreadlocks rollerblading along the beachfront, it was super cool at the time. I have no idea why he would be drinking New Zealand flavoured milk.

Although it was kind of appropriate that the ad was made in the 90's as to me, Venice Beach felt a bit like a wacky music festival in the 90s. I'm not being insulting here either, I went to a few music festivals in the 90s and it was a good time!

However, the highlight of Venice Beach Freakshow - when I text my friend Alicia to let her know I'd been she freak out as turns out there is a reality show about this place!

I'm so out of touch with pop culture, but I did love the freak show and one of the freak show folks told me she thought my tooth necklace was really cool, so I was stoked.

Well that's my USA  posts ALMOST over! One more to go with a few more details of Venice Beach and Santa Monica.


Louise said...

I love all the freak show photos; how cool are all of those oddities! What are the creatures above the two headed skeleton? They look like some kind of stingray / alien hybrid mutants. The photos with all the cacti look awesome, and I love the skull dress you're wearing, too. xx

Vix said...

The freak show looks like fun and the cactus photos are lovely! xxx

Caramella said...

Great pics!