Back to Vegas 
This was our last day so we said goodbye to Laura the night before. We wasted some time in the morning then worked our way to San Bernadino where we were going to meet Sarah. She hadn't been to Vegas yet so said she would drive us up.

We ended up getting to San Bernadino pretty early, so we did a lot of sitting around and waiting, which is not too uncommon for us. Once Sarah arrived we headed up to Vegas. We stayed in a better hotel this time. It was closer to the strip, so we went out for a walk. The only thing I wanted to see in Vegas was the fountain show at the Bellagio. We worked our way there, but we had arrived pretty late. We got to the fountain by 12:10am. The last show was at 12... That was pretty obnoxious.

The next morning we still had some time before we had to be dropped off at the airport so we went to the Hoover Dam. It was neat, but we didn't have a ton of time, so we didn't pay the $15 to go into the visitor center. We just walked around the outside and checked out the dam itself. At one point I looked around and could see five helicopters hanging around the area.

Sarah dropped us off at the airport and we had a relatively uneventful flight back home.


Laura's purty kitty.

Laura's adorable kitten.


Hoover Dam

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Laura had to leave at a crazy hour in the morning to go to work on a movie set. Once we got up we headed down to Little Tokyo. We found a little bakery that had a lot of mochi, which was very good. From there we found a plaza area that had a few restaurants, a bakery/ice cream shop and a few shops. We got lunch at a buffet only because we didn't want a ton of food and this way we could pick and choose what we wanted. Not the best food, but still fine.

After lunch, we stopped at the ice cream shop that had ice cream mochi. It was really good and I'm not one that is normally a huge fan of the ice cream mochi.

After Little Tokyo we walked through the oldest street in LA (it's right by Union Station) and walked over to Chinatown. Here there was a large area filled with little separate shops. It was very reminiscent of some places we saw while in Asia. We found Joe's mom a shirt as well as a kimono for myself. All pretty cheap.

Laura got back home at around 7:30pm. We quickly took her out for yummy dinner at a vegan place nearby and then got her to sleep since she had to get up again at 3:30am or some insane hour.


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Whale Watching  
On Tuesday we left in the morning to go to Ventura for a whale watching trip. Grey Whales migrate through the area. This is around the end of the season, but we hoped to still get to see one or two. Even without Grey Whales, there is the possibilities of seeing other whales, dolphins and sea lions.

The trip went great. We saw a Steller Sea Lion right away and saw quite a few California Sea Lions later on. We were also treated to a large pod of Common Dolphins checking us out. As for whales, we didn't see any Grey Whales, but we did get to see a few Humpback Whales.

Upon getting back to Laura's place, we let her nap a bit before going in to work. We decided to go with her since we hadn't been to the Beverly Hills area and because she only had to work a few hours. We explored the area, including walking down Rodeo Dr. We found some yummy food and frozen yogurt before Laura was done with work.


Steller Sea Lion

Common Dolphin

Humpback Whale tail.

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Checking out Koreatown 
Laura had to work in the morning, so we headed walked around her area some to explore. Afterwards we went off to check out Koreatown. One of Joe's goals for this trip to LA was to go to the different ethnic centers to try different foods and explore. The issue with Koreatown is it is a pretty large area. It's not as dense as Little India. There are random areas that will have restaurants but that was all we could really find.

Once Laura got off work she met us there. We found a restaurant that had Korean pancakes. We were going to have dinner with Chris later so we didn't want to eat too much, but we still wanted to try the pancakes. We ordered two for the three of us and that ended up being way too much food. The kimchi pancake was super good. With the food came a number of small dishes with things in them that were also very good.

Once we were done there we headed back to Laura's place to meet with Chris. We ended up just going for a long walk, stopping to get Boba tea and eventually stopping at a pita joint and getting some really yummy felafel.


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On to LA 
In the morning we decided to head back up to the Salton Sea and see if if there were more birds up in the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge. We did a walk from the parking area 2 miles (round trip) to the southern edge of the Sea. There were a lot of different birds there than we had seen the previous day, so it was worth it.

From there our plan was to head to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. After at least an hour to an hour and a half of driving we came upon I-10, which confused us a bit. Upon checking the map we realized that we had missed our turn a very long time ago. After looking over some options, we decided to take a different route towards LA and go through Idyllwild. The mountain road was very windy and beautiful. The town was very cute. We walked around a bit and found a yummy dinner. Once we were done there we headed back down the mountains to Hemet where we stayed the night.

The morning had us heading into LA and right for Little India. We spent quite a bit of time walking around and checking out the shops until it was lunch time. We had a very yummy lunch, then continued to explore the area for a bit. Afterwards we headed to Huntington Beach. There's a small conservation area there. We looked at the visitor center then Joe and Sarah went to the beach while I walked the path around the reserve to see more birds.

Once it was getting a bit closer to dinner time, we headed to Little Ethiopia. This area was not nearly as dense or defined as Little India was. There were some shops and quite a few restaurants but definitely fewer shopping and general browsing opportunities. We found a yummy dinner and then said goodbye to Sarah. We took a bus towards the direction Laura lived so she wouldn't have to drive as far to pick us up.

A funny thing is we chatted with a couple guys at the bus stop. We then hung out in an open air mall while waiting for Laura. After being there for a couple hours, those two guys showed up and were yelling "Minnesota!" It was pretty funny and random that we would run into them again.

Laura picked us up not too late and we headed to her place. Definitely fun to see her again.


Lots of neat birds.

The terns taking a bath near Huntington Beach.

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