Wednesday, 26 December 2012

California Part 5: The End


Read these first :)
Part 1: San Francisco | Part 2: Yosemite National Park
Part 3: Palo Alto  | Part 4: Salinas, Monterey County & the PCH 

Exams are finally done! Sorry for abandoning the blog for a couple of months. I become a hermit once it is midterm and exam season. Since I have time now, I might as well finish blogging. Once school starts again, I probably won't have any time. If you didn't notice, I changed my blog description because I turned twenty (sad face). Goodbye teenage years, you were good to me :( I also got a new lens! The Sigma 30mm 1.4 is the newest member of the family. So far I'm loving it, it's the perfect walk around lens.

I also shot my very first wedding in October and if I am given permission, I will blog the results here :)

***
On this last leg of the trip, we headed to Solvang, Santa Barbara, Malibu, Anaheim, San Diego and Long Beach. I didn't want to break up the post into two parts, so this will be pretty long. You should read the previous parts before this one if you haven't already!
From Wikipedia: "Solvang was founded in 1911 on almost 9,000 acres (3,600 ha) of the Rancho San Carlos de Jonata Mexican land grant, by a group of Danes who traveled west to establish a Danish colony far from the midwestern winters. The city is home to a number of bakeries, restaurants, and merchants offering a taste of Denmark in California. The architecture of many of the facades and buildings reflects traditional Danish style."
 I thought this was pretty funny. 
 Christmas decorations in August--I like it. This man's got the right idea.

 Pretty intricate work
 You can't go to Solvang and not take a picture of the windmill.

 I wanted to go into this store pretty badly but it was closed. They had a bunch of old-school cameras on display.
 Bought candy at a store in Solvang. Next time skip the Chupa Chupps and go for the green apple salt water taffy. Those were amazing. 
 Painting of the kings/queens of Denmark, I presume.
 A massive vineyard...everything's so neat and organized. 
 We stopped by the side of the road and took pictures with the grapes. I'm pretty sure we were trespassing, lol. 

 We arrived at Santa Barbara wharf and spotted this super cool pelican and a handsome man posing right beside it. I love this picture! At one point an Asian guy came too close to it and the pelican pecked his glasses and flew away. 
 Look at this stunner. 

 A guy came up to me and said "my dog wants you to take a picture" and I happily obliged. 


 There were several fishermen fishing off the pier. This guy caught a crab but threw it back in the water. 
 There was a shell shop full of cool looking stuff. Didn't buy anything because we hoped that we'd find shells on the beach on our own....yeah that didn't happen. 

 Fish & chips at the wharf. Pretty darn good but pretty darn expensive too. 
 The seating area where we ate our lunch had these wires everywhere to prevent seagulls from landing on them. This guy was doing some next-level tight rope maneuver--several times it almost fell over from the wire. Seagulls are dumb. 
Obligatory palm tree shot.
I didn't realize that this was a famous beach until after the trip. From Wikipedia: 
"Leo Carillo Beach has been a popular location for photographers and movies. Movies filmed there include GidgetGrease, 1984's The Karate KidThe CraftPoint BreakThe Usual SuspectsInception, andMega Shark Versus Crocosaurus.
In the popular 1970's TV show The Rockford Files, starring James Garner, it was the first season's opening scene of episode 1 (The Kirkoff Case) airing September 13th, 1974.
It was featured in an episode of Huell Howser's TV series California's Golden Parks."

 This place was teeming with hermit crabs and other creatures. We were lucky that it was still low-tide-ish the time we went. I still don't fully understand how the timing of tides work :/
 Sea stars everywhere. I thought they'd be slimy, but they had the same texture as coral. They also hold on very tightly.
 The water was surprisingly frigid. Really, really cold. I was planning to swim here but man, the waves were rough and the water was freezing! 

 We all loved this place. This is exactly what we look for in a beach: marine life and a chance to just explore. 
 Even my mom joined us.
 Spotted this massive guy on a rock. It's a sea hare! First time I've ever seen one. Definitely the best thing we spotted that day. 
 From Wikipedia: "The common name "sea hare" derives from their rounded shape and from the two long rhinophores that project upwards from their heads and that somewhat resemble the ears of a hare."
 Poor sea star. 

 The tide was starting to come in. 
 Ah, I love this place. 
 My little broski holding a teeny hermit crab. 
 Hello golden hour. I miss this a lot. 
Let us say goodbye to the best beach ever :'(
We passed by beautiful scenery on the way back to the hotel.
For a complete change of scene, we head to Anaheim to Universal Studios.
Mr. Bean's Mini!! The one that was used in Mr. Bean's Holiday. Ahh I was so excited, I love Mr. Bean :)
The Jurassic Park water ride. My brothers and I are big fans. We watched the Jurassic Park trilogy more than 10 times over.
 I believe that this the Fast and the Furious stunt thing?
!!! The Ingen trailer from Jurassic Park !!!
 They had a ton of water flood through this place. I forgot what movie this was used for, but it was pretty cool.
Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives
One of the scenes from War of the Worlds. It was pretty realistic, they had a wrecked plane and everything.
Finally! This was on my to-do list for out trip. I wanted to see if it lived up to all the rage. 
 It was pretty cheap too, a double was less than $5 and I got them "Animal Style." In-N-Out is famous for their secret menu, so you should definitely, definitely try this. SO GOOD. Best fast-food burger ever.
 My brother had  knack for trying drinks that are unavailable in Canada. The Vanilla A&W is amazing.
If you ever flip over any drink cups or fry tray, In-N-Out has this cool thing where they have Bible verses printed on them. I love that. I looked it up and it says 

"for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again,    but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes."

Probably the most southern point of California--we arrive in San Diego and checked out SeaWorld. 
Yes those are real flamingos!
 Pretty cute dolphins. We were sitting in the soak zone, yeah that was a mistake.
 My favourite show! They had a walrus and this cute otter. Ah so adorable!
 You can feed the seals here.
The Shamu show. Because of recent incidents, the trainers don't go in the water with the whales anymore. The show wasn't as exciting as I thought. 
 We went down to this state beach but for the life of me I can't remember the name. They had these lobster shells washing up on the shore though :/
 My brother picked up this crab and the lifeguard came and told us that we weren't allowed to pick up anything. Oops.
 You can see my Toms tan here clear as day.

Stuck my camera into this sculpture with a hole in it. 
 CSULB. Where my both my parents went to school. Nostalgia begins now. It was pretty cool to see my parents all excited about their old school. It seemed like they loved it here.
 My dad used to work in the mail room and apparently he drove around campus in this exact orange buggy. We couldn't believe that it was still here. They went here almost 30 years ago.
 My mom in front of the Engineering building. This is some kind of  engineering sorority thing? I didn't really understand. But apparently if your marks are good, you are admitted to this "chi-epsilon" thingie. I don't really understand it, Canadian universities don't have these cool things.
 We went to this restaurant called "Long Beach Thai Restaurant". My parents used to hang out here when they were in university and it was still there! Under different ownership, but the food was amazing. If you drop by Long Beach, you MUST go here. That's their Thai iced tea and the Thai iced coffee. So good. Thai food isn't really that popular in Canada. I took this on the point and shoot so they were a bit blurry.
 Thai fish cakes.
 My personal favourite, the beef larp.
Mee krob.
 The Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA. Pretty impressive and massive.
 They had these verses on the ground to commemorate those who donated to the church. I found my favourite verse!
 And that's all! If I'm not mistaken, our rental car company said that we traveled around 1700 miles. Pretty insane if you ask me! I loved California and I miss it dearly. It was quite an eye-opening journey. It makes me want to see the world even more now. I'm truly blessed to be able to travel here.

I hope you enjoyed this series! I won't be going on a trip like this for a while, but I definitely enjoyed sharing my stories with you. Thanks for reading! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all. God bless you all. I hope for more adventures soon :)


-e.m.

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