Parking at Disneyland LA is one slick operation. Angus was impressed by the six lanes coming into the ground floor and then all splitting off in all directions, the Tahoe was stacked on the sixth floor and the fun really began. There is a tram from the carpark to the park.
There is a lot of construction going on the edges of the park. One of the major developments started is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It just looks huge and likely to be a whole world. There’s also a Fast and Furious tour-ride coming.
We lunched in the “Executive Dining Room” as part of the tour and had pointed out to us George Gallo who produced Bad Boys amongst others. Still, the anticipation was there that any moment anyone could come in.
Then there was the drive up to Longbeach, which is in the southern part of LA and home to the Queen Mary. Today was Saturday and the traffic was patchy with some long slow stretches for this normally two hour trip. There are some major roadworks happening which is another symptom of the improving economy.
The park was really filling up now and we stopped to watch some of the exhibitions and even got a hotdog. Then there was the Pet show! Dogs, cats, pigs and birds, and a kangaroo - they were all great. Some of the dogs were amazing and so many of the animals were ex-shelter. The trained cats were very clever.
On our journeys we have been stopping at the marked ‘Vista Points’ to check out the incredible views. Obviously we have been very spoilt as when we stopped at one today we were underwhelmed (we felt very rude as it was still very spectacular).
The road winds along and for us, going north to south on the right (we're on the sea-side), has great views of rock outcrops in a deep blue swell. The haze made it a little difficult to capture some of the views certainly added to the sense of scale.
Japantown is a part of Chinatown and the centre of the Cherry Blossom Festival that is on this (and last) weekend. We went to the main mall there so we could to check out some of the Japanese animation collectables and absorb another part of San Francisco. The Japanese Restaurants here in the mall are fabulous looking but all we could manage was frozen yoghurt.
We also slipped into some of the trendier shops of this Marina district including the cupcake and deli shops. There are heaps of interesting things to see around here but most are bars and restaurants. Back at the room we worked out how to get the bus into Union Square. Parking here, like every city, makes a quick trip 20 minutes up the road a $50 privilege.
Down on Marina Boulevard there is part of a continuous walk-drive from Oakland Bridge in the east of the city to the Golden Gate in the north, about 9 km or so. There were lots of people taking their constitutional weekend walks with the children and dogs. There were also blokes playing baseball catch. It is funny that here in the home of the Frisbee that this was one of the prohibited activities.
We did have a stop at a petrol station that had been shut for years. The office couldn’t be seen from the pumps so we were all ready to go until Angus found the office abandoned in the 1980s. Luckily he hadn’t left it too late.
The check out was painless but we seem to have attracted some extra baggage since arriving. Getting the car back from the Valet was good although Angus took a few moments to re-establish driving on the right. It’s even harder in Seattle as there is a great one-way system but sometimes you actually drive on the left.
We browsed Walgreens the Gap and then off to Old Navy to get a few things while spending a bit of time hanging in the adjacent Westlake Park. The vibe here in Seattle is very relaxed and fun to see what’s happening. We stopped to watch a group of men playing outdoor chess.
When the fire broke out it coincided with a comedy of coincidences, timber town, hardware shop full of paint and gunpowder and dynamite, crowds jeered the volunteer fire brigade who walked off, fire-break added to the fire.
The place we dined at was called the Steelhead Diner and the meal and service were outstanding. Just to top off the night as we left we were treated to a spectacular sunset over the bay, behind the markets.
Animals we saw today included deer, 3 on the side the road - shame we were not quick enough to get the camera out. Roadrunner - too cute again way to fast to react. A dead skunk (didn't want to photograph that) and squirrels. Sadly we did not see any bears.