Thursday, June 4, 2009

I Love California!

May 14, 2009 - My 3 Days in Los Angeles!

After work, I went straight to the airport, ready to fly to L.A! After 5 hours, I finally arrived! I was so happy, I nearly cried.

The image I had of California was quite different than what I had expected. My three days there were wonderful. Many of the people I met there were extremely friendly and sociable. There are so many different types of everything! It was really nice.

When I first arrived at the airport, I walked 10 minutes to find the super shuttle and as I sat, this is what I saw ... The super shuttle passed me twice, so I started to get a bit worried. One stopped but I had no clue what the driver was saying and he couldn't understand where I needed to go either, even though I handed him a map! When he stopped, I thought I heard him say I could get onto the shuttle, but he drove away! I wasn't sure what was going on. Fortunately, I got on the third super shuttle. I started to wonder if I needed to be pushy to get on!

While I waited for the shuttle, I tried taking a picture of a building I thought was pretty interesting. All of a sudden, I saw a smiley security guard waving. He wanted his picture taken! It was too hillarious. There sure were a ton of friendly people in California. In fact, on my way to my sister's apartment, I had the chance to talk to a really cool Indonesian man.

One of the highlights of my trip to Los Angeles was seeing "Little Tokyo." I didn't feel like I was in Japan at Little Tokyo, although there were many interesting Japanese restaurants and shops around.

One of my favorite places to see was the Japanese American Museum. In college, I learned a lot about Japanese Americans during WWII, so it was interesting to take a glimpse into the past by touring the museum. I couldn't take photos inside the Museum, unfortunately, but what I saw definitely left lasting images in my mind.

Japanese Americans were placed into internment camps during the war and in the museum, they showed a typical home the Japanese Americans were forced to live in. I also saw some of the racist ads that were produced during the war, which really shocked me. It really made me sad. I was offered a free tour, but I think I would've burst into tears if I had learned more about the images I saw.

Amazingly enough, there were photos of Japanese Americans from Hawaii featured in the museum when I visited. Two of the individuals I do not know personally, but their grandchildren went to school with me. The world definitely is a small place!

The monument below is in honor of the 442nd Battallion ("Go for Broke"). It was definitely an honor to visit.
Besides being able to see incredible historical sites, there are great places to eat at and a few places to shop at too. Just be careful in Little Tokyo because if you walk too far, you might end up in skid row! There are a ton of homeless people, drug addicts, and more at skid row ... You definitely wouldn't want t be caught here late at night, so definitely stay within the bounds of Little Tokyo!
The images below are of Little Tokyo, which reminded me somewhat of a quite neighborhood. I really liked it here.

Although most people have the luxury of driving, my sister and I caught the bus. Not all buses are as nice as the one you see below. I rode one bus that nearly made me puke. In fact, if you sit in the back, you might actually catch some air. Luckily, a bus ride won't cost you a ton of money and its a convenient means of travel. At most, I only paid $1.25 to catch the bus. You better have small change though because if you put a $5 into the machine, I don't think you'll get anything back!

Here's the view of a street in China Town from the bus. It definitely looked like an interesting place to visit.

I had the chance to visit Korea Town and went to the galleria to check it out. I actually felt
like I was in Korea. I felt quite comfortable here, but the neighboring areas aren't too safe, so I couldn't take a lot of photos. I would definitely go back ... They have a lot of great food. I loved it!

In down town Los Angeles, I only got to wait for the bus here since I didn't have much time! In down town L.A., it looks so beautiful. The buildings are so tall, you actually have to look up. Living in Hawaii, I'm definitely not used to that. I definitely want to tour down town L.A. in the future.

A great place to shop at is in Pasadena! It took an hour to get here by bus from USC, but it was well worth the ride! It's HOT in California and there's no AC on the bus either, so bring a lot of water and wear shorts! The photo below is of a two-story "Forever 21" store. My favorite store of all! They have just about every store here ...

The reason why I was in California was to see my sister graduate from USC. It's such an incredibly beautiful school! After touring the campus, it made me want to go there too! The picture below is of the law building which was suppossedly featured in the movie Legally Blonde.

The photo below is of the USC medical center. It's amazing to see young medical students walking around. Quite ambitious students ... It's nice to see such young, motivated people.

Although my stay in Los Angeles only lasted 3 days, I loved every moment of it. I didn't get the chance to do tourist type stuff or to see too much, but I had the chance to experience everyday life as a college student living at USC for three days because of my sister. I wouldn't mind staying longer or even going back to see more ... California definitely left a lasting impression on me and I didn't even get to see a fraction of the state! I can't wait to return.

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