Brendon and I usually take our vacation in the fall, after all the kids go back to school. 5 years ago we got stuck up on the top of a mountain with no way to get choppered down since North American airspace was shut down (and I thought I was an only child for a few hours-still phone or message my sisters every 11 Sept). This year went off without a hitch.

We got back from our touristy trip to SoCal last night: L.A. (Getty, Hollywood, Beverly Hills), Disneyland, San Diego (Zoo, Wild Animal Park, and SeaWorld). Felt like we’d been gone for a few weeks rather than just 9 days.

L.A. feels much newer than San Francisco. It’s smaller than I remember. I guess it’s just the traffic that makes it seem big. And maybe the big egos that drive around in it. The Getty is huge. Hollywood Blvd cleaned up – feels like Granville St. And Santa Monica’s Third Street is what Granville Street should be. L.A. and Vancouver are sister cities – one’s the sunny blonde, the other the brooding brunette.

If you go to Disneyland you have to go on the Hollywood Tower of Terror – i won’t tell you want it does, you won’t expect it, and you will scream. Pirates of the Carribean was still good – they didn’t mess it up by altering scenes to fit the movies. Astro Blasters was like being in a video game – a children’s game, but still. And I’m making a note that I will be pulling children out of school when the time comes to go to Disneyland, so we don’t have to deal with insanely long lines and heat. We didn’t have to wait more than 10 minutes – and that was without the FastPass.

San Diego feels like Vancouver, but warmer and with military. (S.D. is probably the one place I’ve been with the most bases in the area. Northern Ireland was the most fortified.) The Gaslamp Quarter is like Gastown, except more restaurants (steak, mexican and italian mainly). And the new buildings downtown look like the new buildings in Downtown Vancouver. I wonder how much that has to do with Bosa building in both places. And there’s way too much walking uphills and in heat at the San Diego Zoo, but worth it to see all the cute animals. The Wild Animal Park was better in my opinion – do that first so you learn all about the animals and follow-me marks. Passed Camp Pendleton where my dad was stationed before Vietnam. And saw the rather sad/weird/scary illegal immigrant crossing caution sign on the highway.

Coming back we barrelled up the I-5, past the Day Fire and into the desert with artificial rivers. It was very strange to see dust devils and lush farmland side by side. I now know where all my food comes from – garlic trucks smell nice, cattle farms (forests as Brendon called them since it was wall-to-wall cows) smell bad.

Pictures will come…just have to get them off the camera and the iPod and up on to Flickr.

Next planned trip – back to Canada for a white Christmas.

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