Last summer, our family went to California again to visit our relatives. We were excited for our trip because we wanted to see everyone again, and and we couldn’t wait to escape the summer heat in the Philippines.
Quick selfie before leaving for the airport
It was the height of summer in the Philippines, so I was eager to get to the airport to cool down. Unfortunately when we got there we discovered that the airport was under renovation so the air conditioners weren’t working! It wasn’t as hot as being outside in the sun, but it definitely wasn’t the cool escape I was hoping for. We were sweating the entire time we were checking in. The airport lounge was a *little* better. They had some fans and an evaporative air cooler, but unless you stood in front of them, they didn’t really cool you down. Nevertheless, we were still happy to be there since we haven’t had breakfast and we wanted pig out on their free snacks. Besides, after a while we were able to secure a spot right in front of the air cooler.
Breakfast time 😀
I had arroz caldo, mini sandwiches, siopao, siomai and some pastries
After we were done eating, I took out my GoPro. I’ve only used it a couple of times before this so I needed to practice. Since I didn’t buy the LCD BacPac, I needed to learn how to hold it so my shots are framed properly.
Of course I had to learn how to use it with the monopod too.
We had a lot of time before our flight, which we passed by playing Candy Crush. Did you know that the entire time we were in California, I never made it past this stage? I spent over a month on this stupid level before I was able to move forward.
Soon it was time for us to board
We chose EVA Air again because they had the most affordable fares. Plus, we really liked their service. Ezra and I love EVA Air because they always have Hello Kitty as their mascot.
Duty free magazine with Hello Kitty on the cover. Inside you can find loads of cute Hello Kitty merchandise:
Cute Hello Kitty backpack
Hello Kitty perfumes
After a few hours, we made it to Taipei airport
We had some time so as usual we wandered around the airport to stretch our legs before our long flight ahead. Ezra and I were excited to see that they renovated the Hello Kitty terminal
They had a new Hello Kitty mascot in front of the store
We also stopped by the orchid garden again
Everything’s so purple! Like my phone 😀
Ezra and I had to keep checking with the GoPro app on my phone because we were still unsure about our framing.
Finally it was time for us to board
All settled in for our 11-hour flight. Ezra and I actually had a good flight because the lady next to her transferred to an empty seat in the back. We ended up getting the entire row to ourselves 😀
When we arrived in Los Angeles, Kurt, Ate Xenia and Ate Maryann picked us up. I’m pleased to report that our immigration experience wasn’t that bad – we managed to get out much faster than we usually do. The lines were much more organized this year.
The next day, Kurt took Ezra and me sightseeing. He has very limited free time these days since he’s working now, so he makes sure to pack our weekend with lots of activities and make the most of our trip.
Ezra was getting her monopod ready when Kurt saw it and told us that he has a better one:
Monopod battle, lol. (It was actually a piece of his tripod) Naturally we decided to just stick with Ezra’s monopod. We already got a lot of weird stares from people whenever we took it out, so can you imagine how obnoxious we would have looked walking around with that huge thing.
Fun fact: Kurt has a longer “monopod” which we showed us later. He shot this photo with it:
It’s the stick from his boom mic. It was so long that it actually touched the ceiling! You can see my aunt’s entire living room and dining area in this picture.
Anyway, Kurt took us to Third Street Promenade on our first day there
I had the backseat all to myself (but I was willing to share it with some friendly snacks we brought along in case we got hungry during the day).
If you remember, the last time we were here, I was wearing heels which made it very difficult for me to walk. We had just come from church and I didn’t expect that we would be going sight seeing that day. This time I made sure to wear comfy shoes.
Ezra and I actually bought the shoes we were wearing online. They were on sale and we couldn’t resist. We ordered them weeks before we arrived and had them shipped to Kurt so we could wear them as soon as we got there 🙂
Hello dinosaurs shrubs. Did you miss us?
We mostly walked around and admired the sights, occasionally stopping to check out the shops
Kurt brought his glidecam with him and took lots of footage of Ezra and me
We saw lots of people talking their dogs out for a walk:
This fella looks a lot like our darling Greaty 😀
After looking at the shops, we headed down to see Santa Monica beach
It was very windy there
Ezra is not amused
Remember this canon?
Posing in front of a canon for Kurt’s Canon
Saw this street musician there
It was close to lunch time so we went to Hooters to grab a bite to eat.
Hooters may be known for having hot waitresses, but I think they should also be recognized for their delicious chicken wings. Yum yum~
After lunch, we decided to head over to Little Tokyo for some mochi ice cream
I saw this sign on our way there. I didn’t know there was a Filipinotown nearby. We should check it out in the future.
Not sure what this is… It looks like a giant Rubik’s cube
We walked around for a bit before buying our ice cream since it wouldn’t be allowed inside the shops
I found Kim Soo Hyun outside one of the stores there 🙂
Another street musician
Once we were done looking around, we headed over to the grocery to buy our mochi ice cream. We also purchased some Japanese snacks to enjoy later.
I bought a pack of these choco mushrooms. Judy from itsjudytime loves them, so I thought I’d give it a try 🙂
We saw this sign on the parking lot machine. I know that most parking lots have a time limit on when you exit the structure, but 5 minutes seem pretty extreme! That place was huge~ I agree with what someone wrote on the sign. (It’s a little hard to read, but it says “That’s VERY unfair for old people”.)
Before we went back to my aunt’s house, we stopped by Target to go make up shopping, yaaaay~ Make up is so much cheaper in the States, so Ezra and I always go crazy when we shop there. We only planned to make a quick stop but we had fun playing around the toy aisles. We didn’t take pictures but Kurt was able to shoot footage using his GoPro 🙂
Thank you for the lovely day Kurt! Ezra and I had loads of fun. And thanks for making a video to help us remember this day 🙂
You can see a video that Kurt made of this day HERE.