LA for the VRTL Summit

At the end of April, I took a trip to LA to attend the VRTL Summit! Continue reading

LA for Christmas! Pt. 2

Hello y’all,

So finally posting part 2 of my LA trip. And it’s actually not that overdue if you look at some of my other posts.

After Anaheim, we went back to the city of Los Angeles. We were exhaused on the first day and decided to skip some of the stuff we had planned so we can go straight to Little Tokyo. Some things I learned about LA:

1. Little Tokyo is the best place ever

We ended up skipping another few things on our list just to re-visit Little Tokyo on the third day. They have a million ramen places to choose from and we ended up going to Orochon Ramen and Hakata Ramen. We had to wait at both of them but Hakata’s wait was almost 2 hours! They both served great ramen, but the bf and I both agree that Orochon’s soup was better. We like spicy and Orochon gave you the option to make it super spicy.

Another thing Little Tokyo was amazing at was mochi. I think the mochi lato at Mikawaya Mochi has forever changed me. No mochi will ever taste as good 😦 They had regular mochi too, but the lato ones were creamier and the skin wasn’t as hard. It was so perfect!

2. K-town isn’t trashy

From what I’ve seen of the webseries K-town, I had expected Koreatown in LA to be trashier and greasier. It really wasn’t. Instead we found super cheap restaurants! They were quite famous for their Korean BBQ all-you-can-eats and we ended up settling for one that was $11.99 at Sanya Korean BBQ Buffet. So much meat. So worth it.

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Tell me this isn’t cheap. The $11.99 menu was more than enough for dinner.

We had lots of beef brisket, thinly sliced. We let it grill just a little longer than necessary, giving the outside a slightly crispier exterior. It was amazing. We also had some pork belly and there were a lot of other things on the menu. But we were quite full from the side dishes they provide you as well.

Koreatown also had lots of shops that sold Korean products. I hopped into one or two cosmetic shops just to see what they have and their collections are quite complete. If you’re looking for asian snacks, this also was a good place to go!

3. The Getty is far

I was annoyed by LA’s transit system to begin with, but getting to the Getty really was something. We had to take two busses, and the schedules were horrible. It took forever to get to the Getty via transit (about an hour and 20 minutes?), whereas driving would’ve taken 19 minutes.

$100 million. Right there.

$100 million. Right there.

One thing I did enjoy was seeing the paintings. I’m no art expert, but at the Getty I got to admire the works of some big artists. It was the first time I had seen a Van Gogh, Monet, and a Picasso in real life. Or any famous paintings in real life I guess. Irises by Van Gogh was the featured exhibit for the period that we were there. A hundred million dollar painting. I didn’t even want to breathe near it.

4. Hollywood is only glam for about 4 blocks

Exiting the metro station for Hollywood, I took a few seconds just to marvel at how alive and amazing Hollywood looked. Bright lights, crowds of people, music everywhere. We hit up a few souvenir shops, went to Madame Tussauds and at night, spent new year’s eve at Hardrock Cafe counting down with other patrons in the restaurant.

Madame Tussauds shenanigans. They had a Marvel exhibit!

Madame Tussauds shenanigans. They had a Marvel exhibit!

But then we went to explore and walked down Hollywood only to realized that the glam only lasted a few blocks. Beyond the main strip of Hollywood that we always see on TV, the street was lined with mediocre restaurants or shabby looking pubs. The Walk of Fame also deteriorates drastically, the names of actors/actresses being none that we recognize. But I guess to be a tourist attraction, you don’t need to show everyone the full picture before their arrival.

5. The TCL Theatre is beautiful

My boyfriend and I saved The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies for the TCL Theatre! We saw that they were showing it and decided we’d hold off until we got to Hollywood. Plus, we’d get to check out the TCL Theatre!

I could not believe how nice the theatre was and that it is accessible to the public. I’m so used to seeing award shows and events happening there on TV I never thought it would be open for regular movies. They also played movies in IMAX and the quality was so good it was almost disorienting at first watching the characters so clearly.

I thought the price was amazing. It was $19 a ticket for IMAX in a gorgeous theatre. In Vancouver, we pay $15 for a shabby theatre seat for IMAX. It was so worth it watching a movie there. If you do go, visit the washrooms. It’s ridiculously big.

So that’s it for my LA trip! I’m proud of myself for having written pt 2 so quickly 🙂

– Karen

LA for Christmas! Pt. 1

Hello all,

I do realize it has been a while since my last post, but Christmas came along and I realized I was not at all prepared this season. It was a mad scramble to get passable gifts for my loved ones, and then I also went on a spontaneous trip with the boyfriend to Los Angeles!

We left on boxing day, really early in the morning since we got our tickets for cheap off Expedia. The trip to LA should take about 2.5 hours if we took a direct flight, but instead it took more towards 8 hours since we had layovers and such. We went to Phoenix first, then down to LA. Weird flight route, I know.

The first day was all travelling, so it passed by in a blur of naps in weird locations, and switching between modes of transport. Once we got to LA, we got on a shuttle to take us to Anaheim. We were visiting Disneyland for Christmas!

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We spent one day at California Adventures, and one day at Disneyland. It was really busy in both parks due to schools being let out and everyone wanting to see Disneyland in its Christmas form. But seriously, Sleeping Beauty’s castle was amazing with the Christmas lights.

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It’s funny how we all pay hundreds of dollars to line up for hours on end at Disneyland, yet still leave feeling like we experienced magic. Disneyland was definitely a LOT more busy than California Adventures. At least at Cali Adventures, I felt like I could walk around without constantly bumping into a wall of people!

One thing that I loved most this visit was Cars Land. I had forgotten they had added a new section to Cali Adventures, and when I walked by the road that lead down Radiator Springs I actually cried. I wish I was kidding. It looked so much like the movie that it really was magical. We ended up eating dinner at Flo’s and it was the most satisfying meal of the day!

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Another thing that stood out to me was Dole whip. Here’s the thing: I’ve never heard of a Dole whip. I saw it on instagram, then realized that there were a million pictures of the little mountain of pineapple flavoured soft-serve ice cream. What the heck was this and why is it so popular? I was very hesitant to get it, mostly because it was cold at Disneyland and there was a lineup. There was a lineup for soft serve. I had enough of lineups. But nonetheless, we waited about 30 minutes in line and got our Dole Whipe Float. It tastes much like pineapple flavoured soft serve, except there are little chunks of pineapple. It tasted tart, which I quite liked. It was a very good soft-serve, but I still didn’t get all the hype that surrounded it.

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By the end of the Disneyland visit, we had spent a small fortune on foods at the park, and also severely lacked sleep as we would always leave at the last possible moment, then arrive as early as possible. So worth it!

Next post to be on Los Angeles itself 🙂 (Hopefully, it won’t take 2 months for me to post)

– Karen