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Los Angeles: Being A Tourist

4:30 am

When I travel, I spend about 70% of the time travelling with a small group of friends and another 20% of the time travelling alone. The last 10% is a mixture of travelling in large groups (sometimes 30+ people), travelling with colleagues for work, and sometimes even travelling with classmates for school. But of all the travel partners possible, it’s been a long time since I've travelled with my parents.

On January 1st of this year, I found myself doing exactly just that - going to Los Angeles with my mother for a 5-day vacation. For the entire week, we followed a very loose schedule, visited typical touristy sights, slept late and woke up even later. It was the first time in about 2 years that I went on a relaxing vacation instead of some sort of cultural excursion or outdoor adventure. Having gotten used to exhaustingly long days of travelling, I initially thought I'd be pretty bored just lounging around, but the trip actually reminded me of how nice it is to be a tourist sometimes and forget about chasing sunsets and getting that perfect shot.

We began our first day in LA at Griffith Observatory, with a perfect view of downtown LA and the Hollywood sign. Then, we did just about what everybody does when visiting LA – we toured Universal Studios in Hollywood. The rest of the day was spent looking at all the names on the Walk of Fame, watching the Muppets in a theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, and driving back to the hotel through the last bit of sunlight on Sunset Boulevard.

As far as interesting places go, LA does not have the same cultural appeal for me as Europe or Asia; and as far as traveling goes, I haven’t had a trip as slow as this one for a long time. But I can’t complain. After all, I got to spend quality time traveling with my mother, something I haven’t done in years, and I got to kick off the new year doing what I love to do – discovering new places.

Here's to a brand new start - Happy New Year!

Hollywood Sign from Griffith ObservatoryThe view from Griffith ObservatoryThe view from Griffith ObservatoryDowntown LA'Johnny Depp' and Monks, among other busy tourists, on the Walk of FameSunset Boulevard

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  1. I was just surfing online over the weekend, the sights of LA. Planning a possible family vacation in June. your photos and sharing came at a timely juncture.....agree that Europe and certainly Asia is far richer but it also depends on what one is looking for. Coming from Singapore, its easy to access our neighboring cities, whereas LA is at the fastest, 16 hours away... but there's something alluring about LA. My last visit was a good 30 years ago.....am sure the landscape would have changed tremendously.....

    Thanks for sharing your travel adventures and photos.

  2. Glad you enjoyed LA. I like living here, but agree that its appeal really isn't apparent like Asia or Europe...but sunshine in winter here isn't a bad thing.

  3. Yes, LA is not Europe or Asia. LA is it's own city of multiple cultures melted into one throughout many suburbs. If you get a chance on your next trip, stay away from the "touristy areas" and come visit the other LA neighborhoods, i.e. Santa Monica, Venice, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach.

  4. actually, I did get around to some of those places and really enjoyed it - I'll find a chance to write about those places next week! =)

  5. I think I saw Jack Sparrow :D

    Nice pictures. I wish to go to LA someday...

  6. georgecrlin11/1/12 8:40 pm

    I think my favourite part is when you called your trip to LA a relaxing vacation. Tbh though, I would love to go back and just check out the dining scene - especially the food trucks!

  7. ha yes! LA definitely has a great food scene - lots of cheap ethnic food too!

  8. The best thing about Los Angeles is that you go to Yosemite National Park in a few hours.
    And maybe the sun.
    Other than that, it's just a big urban sprawl.

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