Mid-way through my two month break from work, Jun and I started our month-long trip in Los Angeles.

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Our flight into LA went smoothly and we even arrived early. Our plane, however, had to wait 20 minutes before we could park at our gate. When we did disembark we then had to wait for about an hour to pass through immigration. All this waiting occurred near midnight; Jun and I just wanted to go to sleep. Everyone was professional and kind to us throughout the whole process. It was just tedious to wait.

After we had gotten our bags, we went straight to pick-up our rental car—still another line to wait—and then off to our hotel in San Pedro. When we got there our check-in was quick and we were soon in our room asleep.

Day 1

After a nice long sleep, Jun and I started our trip to Los Angeles by going to the Getty Museum. We first had to traverse the LA road system to get there. This experience would be the first of many on the reality of driving in LA. When we got there we were amazed at how beautiful the grounds of the Getty Center were. The natural beauty combined with the architectural beauty of the various buildings created a tranquil place to spend a few hours. Jun and I wandered around the place and enjoyed our time there. I especially enjoyed experiencing Vincent van Gogh’s Irises.

From the Getty Museum we then drove down to Santa Monica to spend the afternoon near the ocean. We had a late lunch at Azulé Taqueria and then walked around the area. We went to the pier and walked along the beach until sunset. It was a nice way to start our trip.

We finished the day with a seafood dinner at a really nice restaurant—Cassia—before heading back to our hotel and calling it a day.

Day 2

Out second full day in LA we experienced more of the touristy things of LA and we ended up going to Hollywood Boulevard in the morning. We first parked our car near Hollywood Boulevard and then walked the area for a bit. We saw the TCL Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

After experiencing Hollywood we took the metro into downtown LA. We first went to grab some lunch at Grand Central Market and then took a walk to see the Walt Disney Concert Hall. From there we crossed the street and visited the Broad. The Broad had a nice collection of contemporary art and it was a nice visit.

We then walked down to the Last Bookstore to wander around the stacks. I had to reign myself in from buying all the books that I wanted to buy. From there we walked past city hall into Little Tokyo. After perusing the area we went to Union Station to take the metro back to Hollywood to get back to our car.

From Hollywood we drove up to Griffith Observatory and hiked around the area to see the Hollywood sign and experience the super bloom there. We then went and visited the observatory until sunset and the wonderful views of Los Angeles from Griffith Park.

After sunset we went back to San Pedro and picked up a pizza and watched TV in our room before calling it a night.

Day 3

On our third day we went into Orange County to visit Mission San Juan Capistrano. The mission was beautiful and the gardens were blooming in the spring weather. Jun and I really liked how they have preserved the historic mission since Spanish colonial times to the present. Afterwards, we walked around the town and had lunch at Bueno Bueno Mexican Kitchen. The town itself was quite lovely.

The rest of the day was spent looking for a pair of shoes Jun saw at a J.Crew in Santa Monica. He decided in the day since we had been there that he would like to purchase them. As a result, we went to a J.Crew near San Juan Capistrano. We went there and they didn’t have the size Jun needed, so we then went to another one where we did find the right size. We then did a bit more shopping there.

After we had finished that bit of shopping, we went back to San Pedro and ended up watching sunset at Point Fermin Park. It was a really beautiful way to end the day.

And that essentially ended the first part of the trip. The next day we began a road trip around the Southwest to visit different national parks and other sites for the remainder of our time in the U.S. before we flew to South America.

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