California was amazing! perhaps the best 12 days spent with friends. we went to universal studios, six flags, disneyland, california adventure, hollywood, santa monica, manhattan and hermosa beach, target, and taco bell.

1. LA smells, i'm not just saying that because i love vancouver, but it really smells, we flew in at night and we could see the layer of smog hovering over LA and the first thing we all noticed was the repulsive odour of pollution- the city was still beautiful though, all the traffic, lights and palm trees...

2. it was hot! not just warm, hot! while we were at disneyland someone passed out from heatstroke- but it was balanced out by relatively cool evenings.

3. the beaches are beautiful. i could live in LA just for the beaches.... but i won't- i'm not that fond of water. the sand just melts through your toes and the horizon goes on forever in sheer blueness.

4. the people are pretentious- but they're LAites- nothing new. and we were staying in a sort up upper middle class area... so of course they would be.

5. there are cars EVERYWHERE, i think we saw a total of 10 buses (including the disneyland shuttles), nobody walks, and bicycles are a fashion statement left for the handful of environmentalists.

6. we left telling my parents that we would be shuttled around everywhere and taking transit, but once we got there shuttles were so unnaturally expensive and transit was meant for the abnormally destitute and generally lower echelons of society (generally meaning unsafe) so we had to rent a car. my parents weren't too happy about it, but we saved a lot of money by doing it. we had to the get the cheapest thing they had which also turned out to be the ugliest- a PT Cruiser, yellow at that. Ritz, Nav, and Sammy named it "little miss sunshine" but referred to it only as "that ugly car". PT Cruisers drive horribly, they have bad acceleration, and really bad millage (or maybe that's because we had to drive above the suggested "reasonable gas consumption speed"), it has really big blind spots for such a small car, and did i mention it's ugly?

7. i got to drive over 90km/h! unfortunately i couldn't drive over 110, the car wouldn't go- it made a terrible sound when it tried.

8. we made a lot of memorable moments, and we definitely learned lots from this trip.

9. all the pictures from the trip are here.

my parents were a little upset we went for so long (12 days) but i thought it was worth it- and i don't expect to be gone for so long any time soon.