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Michael Paskevicius


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I travelled to Los Angeles, California for a conference last month. The conference, EDUCAUSE 2013, is one of the largest in my area of work in North America so a great opportunity to connect and share with other universities. The conference itself was a amazing and I will share my experience and reflections of the event shortly on my work blog.

I travelled a day early to the conference so had a personal day to explore Los Angeles. My friend Arwen, also attending the conference, was up for an adventure so we rented a car and pulled together an itinerary to explore this massive city.  We were based in Anaheim just outside of Disney Land as the conference was happening at the Anaheim Convention Centre.  Inspired by this post in Discover Los Angeles we formed the following itinerary for our LA exploration.

From Anaheim we drove out to Leo Carrillo beach in Malibu, a drive which took muck longer then I expected mostly cause I had not taken in the shear scale of LA – its huge!  We also fought some LA traffic which was daunting, but I found LA drivers to be super accommodating especially as you are constantly coming up against interchanges requiring multiple lane changes.  I was let in by other drivers a number of time when I was running out of lane to exit, folks were very courteous.  Leo Carrillo beach was gorgeous and not busy at all, Arwen even went swimming leaving me super upset I did not bring my own swim gear.

From Leo Carrillo we head back into LA, stopping at a few lookouts and markets on the way.  We head for Philippe the Original one of the oldest and best known restaurants in Southern California. Established in 1908 by Philippe Mathieu, who claimed the distinction of having created the “French Dipped Sandwich” shaved roasted meat on a bun served with delicious gravy!  It was mighty delicious and we shared the spot with a bunch of LA Dodger fans heading to the game – sorry to hear of the Dodgers big loss shortly thereafter.

From here we head out to Hollywood to check out the Barnsdall Art Park, which provided great views of the Hollywood sign and surrounding area.   Sadly the art park was mostly under construction, so we did not get to explore much here.  We did however spot the Griffith Observatory looming up on the hill to the north, which was not on our itinerary but we decided to check it out.  This turned out to be an awesome trip as the observatory provided even greater views of the whole LA area.  We also got to explore the space exploration museum on site which was well worth a visit.

Nearing the end of the day now, we head down to Venice Beach for a walk.  We arrived just in time to catch the sunset and take a walk out on the Santa Monica Pier.  My sister had suggested trying out the Penthouse at the Huntey for dinner which has an awesome view and decent food.  I enjoyed watching the endless line of planes landing at LAX from the 18th floor looking south as well as the billion lights of LA below.

LA is amazing; all day I tried to recall all of the cultural references from films and TV I had seen that had been set here.   Just check this massive list of films set in LA, and consider all of the talent that resides here, and the innovative work that goes on here. Pretty amazing to explore in such a special place. By the time we drove back to Anaheim we had done over 300 kilometres in our rental car exploring the city – it was a great day of exploration!

New York City
LA to Santa Barbara to Morro Bay

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