Sunday, May 18, 2008

California Trip Recap

I was hoping to provide more frequent updates to this blog during our California trip. However, here it is Sunday already and it is time to head for the airport this evening so that we can return to Virginia. Unfortunately not a single update was provided during our stay out here. But even though I haven't been writing, I have been busy snapping pictures and we have been busy with all kinds of activities while exploring the Los Angeles area.

The photo album shown via the slide show in the previous post has been updated with all of the pictures that I have taken this week. It was easier and in the long run will make the most sense to have all of the trip pictures in one photo album rather than a separate slide show and album for each day of the trip.

After the pictures from the flight out are pictures from our second day of the trip when we visited the South Pasadena skatepark. My son was really looking forward to doing some skateboarding in California and so we planned on visiting several skateparks for him to try. There are lots of skateboarding pictures in the photo album.

On our third day we visited the Vans skatepark in the suburb of Orange which is south of LA. Vans is a popular shoe and apparel manufacturer for skateboard enthusiasts and they have an awesome indoor skatepark here in Southern California. The pictures in the album will show the diversity of skating platforms provided at this facility. In the end, I think this was my son's favorite skatepark that he was able to try during the week.

The day after that was more skating in the eastern LA suburbs of Chino and Chino Hills. We found two very nice skateparks to try. The park in Chino Hills we had all to ourselves and the larger one in Chino had very few others skating, so there was plenty of space for everyone to do their thing. From the Chino Hills park, we had an interesting view of a forest fire which was occurring on nearby Mount Baldy.

On our fifth day, we diversified our activity. First we went to a top-rated skatepark in Glendale where no one else was skating during our time there. After skating we went to nearby Griffith Park where we visited the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage, the Los Angeles Zoo, and the Travel Town train museum.

The next day was spent chilling out. Both our son and one of our hosts are guitar enthusiasts. So it was nice for them to play guitar together and learn from each other. Actually the whole week was spent chilling out and visiting with our incredibly gracious hosts when we weren't out exploring. We had not seen our friends for several years, so it was nice to have a whole week for visiting and catching up on what has been going on in our respective lives. On this day we attempted to visit the planetarium and observatory at Griffith Park, but the road to the observatory was closed that afternoon due to a brush fire in the vicinity.

By the seventh day of our trip, the weather was getting pretty hot during the day, so on this day we went to the beach. Just twenty miles inland from the beach, the temperature was pushing 100 degrees, but at the seaside, it was a comfortable 80. During our drive home we got to experience Friday afternoon Los Angeles traffic. So to keep occupied, my son took over camera duties to snap shots of downtown Los Angeles and other sights that piqued his interest during the drive.

The beach day was so much fun that we went back the next day as well and my son tried his hand at boogie boarding on the waves. For safety, I went out in the water with him so I was unable to capture any of his wave riding on film. That day also happened to be this blog author's birthday, so after our trip to the beach, we enjoyed an evening of cooking out and visiting in our hosts beautiful backyard.

So here it is Sunday now and we will leave in a few more hours for the airport to return to Virginia and conclude our California adventure. It has been a great trip with many lasting memories for us both. I have embedded a photo slide show into this entry which should be viewable in most web browsers. Just after that is a link to an online album that should be availble in all browsers and might be the best way to view the pictures that were taken during our trip. By viewing the online album, you can see the pictures in a much larger format.

Click this link or on the picture below to view the web album online which will allow you to see the pictures in a larger format.

California Trip May 2008

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