Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Return from the West (holiday in California)

So my adventures in America-land have been AMAZING!
We arrived in LAX completely destroyed from sleeping in prehistoric United Airlines and immediately checked into a hotel in Beverly Hills for the night. We arrived at around 8am on a Friday morning and we didn't want my Aunt to take time off work to pick us up so we stayed a night in comfy disinfected bedsheets and slept ourselves into an American cable TV coma.
Also, we raged about immigration procedures at the airport.  It took THREE FUCKING HOURS! There were about 600 people waiting in line in both US passport and non-US-passport lines and, there were 4 staff processing us all.... FOUR.  Thankfully we got a relatively shipper and cute guy so I partially forgive you America, but only just.
I woke up the next day marvelling at how cheap the coffee at starbucks was… $2.70 for a medium Chai!!!!!!!! this would have cost me double in Sydney.
We spent time with the family of my Aunt and the family of her brother (hence, my… uncle) in equal parts. I think my uncle still thinks I'm a toddler so he just kept taking me to places that I wanted and pretty damn near well spoiled me. There were lots of repeated questions about going to Six Flags Magic Mountain.
It is a sad, sad day that I have to tell a full grown adult that I can't go on a roller coaster ride because I have back problems and my bones wont take it. SAAAAAAAAD.
Stayed at my aunt's house and hung out with mostly my adorable niece/cousin/sort (let's call her Big Little) of younger sibling. She is 11 years old and she is a good head taller than me. ALSO SAAAAAAAAAD.
But adventure was had! and not many hijinks ensued but boy oh boy oh pantsy boy, did I have a shit ton of fun.
Did you know for example – LA has a lot of SPACE! whooooooo
Ok, maybe not like that really, but still. I got to see and do a lot of spacey and sciency stuff.
First we went to Griffith Park Observatory, IT HAD A TESLA COIL! does that give you a decent enough impression of how cool this place was? BECAUSE TESLA COIL!
It also had a Foucault pendulum that was ultra cool too but TESLA COIL TESLA COIL TESLA COIL.
…I bought a Sextant.
More importantly, Griffith Observatory - just like in the movies
I also went to the California Science Centre.
Ok – so, guys, you need to prepare yourselves now because what I am going to tell you is so incredibly awesome that your skin might explode from the shock and your brains might melt and your eyeballs will pop from the sheer eyeball popping jealousy. So you know, prepare.
I saw a real spaceship.
No shit assholes, a motherfucking space ship (shuttle).
I saw a thing that was in space… I saw a thing that soared to infinity and beyond (disclaimer: I don’t like Toy Story but that's a cool catch phrase).
So yeah… space.
I also saw this IMAX 3D movie of the Endeavour and its missions including proper 3D images of Hubble's pictures. (although now, according to some children who did their science projects on the Endeavour – it's the Hubble Tubble).
Its Hubble Tubble... get it right
So yes, there was a lot of science in this trip – I felt super duper nerdy. Also I discovered Hot Topic, scourge of young impressionable people; had a shit ton of Dr Who paraphernalia. I am not opposed to this kind of crass commercialism if it is teaching kids the right things to like.
Aaanyways – I bought quite a bit of inadvertent hipster/nerd stuff… because its cute hipster/nerd stuff.

And suddenly…


Its SO BEAUTIFUL!!!! how did I never admire this before?
So, the last time I went to DL I was 14 (I think) and it was looking a bit under the weather and lots of the areas were either under re-construction or renovation. I mean, I remember Frontierland had less rides than before and most of it was closed that time.
If you want to see more beautiful old timey Tiki Lounge art - go see Kevin Kidney's website - its so lovely
This time, it was open and clean and shiny and restored and frucking amazing and beautiful and so, so, so much prettier than I ever remember it. Maybe its just cause I am older now and I don’t have that snarky, sarcastic, arrogant teenaged attitude anymore where everything is sucky because, whatever, man.
how lovely is Toon Town?! I can't even tell if that is a fake sky or not its so bright! (note: its the real sky and I am an idiot)
I went on silly rides like Splash Mountain with Big Little who was freaking out because it was her first time and she had so much fun and it was so cool that we got to experience Disney Land with her at her current age. (Also – 11 year olds on Instagram – is this a thing?? holy crap).
Also, my favourite ride is still there and now that I'm a crabby old bint, it was even more fun. Toad's Wild Adventure through Toad Manor is the cutest neon painted glow in the dark kiddie ride ever.
My mum also tried to stalk Belle, that was fantastic.
Oh – again, please hold your jimmies – they're going to rustle. This announcement is twofold.
1.    Disneyland has a Jedi Academy
2.    I met ASIMO, the fucking awesomest of awesome REAL robots.
He's like... a real boy........
That's right, bring on that jealous hatred.
We have made it a habit to visit the Getty Museum as well. That place is amazing. It's technically a fortress of the top of a hill filled with art. It's like, Jon Paul Getty knew there was a zombie apocalypse coming and he created the museum to ensure that even if all of humanity's brains were eaten, you could not eat the amazing result of said humanity's brains.
Yeah man, art
There were pretty things everywhere and we ate some fancy ass food.
Speaking of food.

Poor Guacamole Guy, making all the Guacamole for me... ALL OF IT
GUACAMOLE. 'Nuff said.
I got fat, so very very fat on guacamole, and peanut butter m&m's. Oh god and everything is cheap! I went to bath and body works and they had a 7 handsoaps for $20 deal and… and… I may have gone overboard on buying toiletries…
there.... there was a sale...
And chocolates…
6 kilos of heaven
Seriously, we have VAT/GST here and its ALREADY INCLUDED. And yes, its different in some states and different for different products, it doesn’t matter, your inventory and stock take should take it into account already.
Anyway, to calm my nerves of all this brain strain – I discovered a wonderful, heart-felt, soul energising and faith invigorating TV series while watching the History channel.
(haha, you thought I was going to talk about that Jesus tv show they had didn't you? ….NOPE, NOPEY NOPE) Someone needed to compete with HBO and Game of Thrones I see. But still, The Vikings is AMAZING!!!!
Not Jesus
Vikings by the History Channel - cause someone has to make another sexy tv show to compete with Game of Thrones
no I dont watch it because hhhnnnnnnggggg *splooosh*  Vikings are cool
We also went to the Huntington Gardens, which is really lovely and full of cute plants and mini gardens for different climates, even an Australian one which made me chortle cause it felt so unusually normal that I didn't see why anyone would be fascinated with seeing those.

We also went to the Aquarium of the Pacific – I GOT TO PET SHARKS I AM SO BADASS
They're small leopard sharks actually, but they're still cute. I even made friends with a sting-ray – we high fived.

Note: I did not pet this one...   
All in all, it was a wonderful two weeks. I spent time with my family who I missed terribly and now miss even more. I am so glad to have spent time with Big Little cause she is adorable and cute and so fun to watch and she's gonna grow up and be awesome. The same goes for her cousin (youngest kid of Uncle) who is a smarty-pants super trooper like his big brother who is going to be some sort of badass doctor once he graduates from Irvine.

Aren't UNI students just ADORABLE?!?!?!
Oh, yeah I visited Irvine and got super jealous of their swanky campus. I even got a shirt and pretended to be a student again.
Embarrassed Children everwhere.....
All we had at my uni was the admittedly cute boathouse and our fucking run down dorn at Stationsweg (aaah memories).
I also got to spend some time with Aunt's oldest Kid Mr Marine (asklasjhdjkjsdhfjkfdghfkjghb!!!!!!!) and I am so gosh-darn proud of him!!! He's also adorable and I made it a point to say that to his face and embarrass him. Because that's how I roll and that's how I'm badass.
Either way, I miss my family there terribly and I miss grandma and uncle and aunty and all their kids and all the extended uncles and aunties there and man, even if I miss them like crazy I don’t think I could get up and move to California.
There's too much driving around and the highways there freak me out. I'm also a really crap driver so I'd probably die within the week.
Nonetheless, the cheap prices and the possibility of going to the East Coast instead is a possibility.
Anyhoo, my shopping haul was insane. Did I mention how good the deceptive but still good prices are?! THEY'RE AMAZING!!!!
Official NASA patch means IR ASTRONOT
I bought makeup, so much, and OPI mini's set of four for $18, AMAZING I TELL YOU.

And then, all the chocolate.