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Photo TR: Natatomic does the West Coast Trip


natatomic
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Day 0-1: Venice Beach, Santa Monica Pier, and driving up to the Bay Area (which everyone pronounced "B'area" and it took me forever to figure out what in the world they were saying.) (Scroll down)

Day 2: Six Flags Discovery Kingdom - Page 3

Day 3, Part 1 - Gilroy Gardens - Page 5

Day 3, part 2: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk - Page 6

Day 4: California's Great America - Page 7

Day 5: Six Flags Magic Mountain - Page 7

Day 6, part 1: Universal Studios Hollywood - Page 9

Day 6, part 2: Scandia and John's Incredible Pizza - Page 10

Day 7, part 1: SeaWorld - Page 11

Day 7, part 2: Belmont - Page 12

Day 8, part 1: Legoland - Page 14

 

Ah, one more fantastic TPR trip notch to add to my proverbial belt. Let me just say every last minute of these trips is amazing and worth every penny spent. And then some. So...you know, do one. Today.

 

Anyway, Day 0 and 1: Since Robbie (All Clear) and I flew out that morning, we were not around for the Hollywood sightseeing (meh) during the first part of the day, so our trip began at Venice Beach, where we and 5 other late comers stopped briefly to pick up those who did the whole day thing. We were there for, really, only about a half hour, and I didn't explore much outside of a 20 foot radius from the spot I stopped in once I entered, so I don't have much to say about that place. It looked nice from where I stood though. It was a beach and all......

 

But! Then we went to Santa Monica Pier/Pacific Pack and that was where the TPR magic began. For me, anyway. Pretty much every ride we did was fantastic (disclaimer: in a way that only TPR could make them, though, mostly). The the frog hopper was hysterical, the ferris wheel had a ride cycle longer than the cycle I clean my clothes on in the wash, the pirate ship just tickled me pink, and the coaster packed a mean little punch for it's small size and basic layout.

 

And of course there was the 7 hour bus drive the next day, which, you know...it was a bus ride. But it was a TPR bus ride, so that right there makes it awesome. Nearly a credit, even.

 

On to the pictures:

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But I didn't mind the drive really because 1) I wasn't in a plane and 2) I'd never seen California before and while it was 99.9% barren and yellow in the regions we drove through, every once it a while it was absolutely breath-taking. As seen here.

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Anyway! On to the official Day 1 of the trip! Spent entirely on a bus! Yay for a bus credit!

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Hell.

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The.

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What.

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And, um, this guy. Honestly, I have no idea. He was just...lying there. Exposing his belly to the whole world. Saying, "Hal? Hal? Are you there Hal? Haaaaaal?" And occasionally using his metal prongs to touch things. I....I just don't know. I mean...

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...Projectile-vomiting dinosaur water fountains.

 

(I know, I'm beating myself up for not inventing them first, too)

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Eight days later we finally got of the ferris wheel and I took this last shot of the park before heading to, um...3rd Street Promenade? Is that right? Yeah, I think that's what it was called.

 

Anyway, it had shops, mostly, but also...

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And while everyone was busy sharting their pants, I just casually took pictures of my surroundings.

 

(Okay, so maybe I peed myself a little just because of the heights thing, but I pee myself all the time, so no real story there)

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Yep. Still scared.

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...as did Ben and Kim.

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Robbie clung on for dear life...

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Now for the Ferris Wheel of Death, which I didn't really find all that scary (not more so than I usually find them anyway, as I don't particularly enjoy heights)(and maybe I was just jaded by actually surviving our plane rides earlier that day), but apparently everyone else thought it was the most horrifying 25 minutes* of their lives.

 

*Seriously. No exaggeration. I didn't think we were ever gonna get off.

 

(I didn't think your mom was ever gonna get off either.)

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Annnnd fully terrified once again.

 

(Also, yay for other TPR people in these photos too. Sorry that's all the commentary you get for now. This is the first part of, like, a 58-park trip report. I gotta blast through these things, people. You'll all get your picking on, I promise.)

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Chris mildly enjoying his terror.

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Again, Chris terrified.

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I don't know if that's some random singleton stranger next to our mister Fudgey there or if it's some local TPR person who met up with us just for the night (it doesn't LOOK like anyone from the full trip, so I hope I'm not making an ass of myself here), but either way...adorable! That's a look of two newlyweds, that is.

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See? Chris terrified.

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And, of course, some perfectly lovely TPR members hogging the first rows.

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Obligatory nerd shot.

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Ugh, so I apparently forgot to include the other photos I had here of "Terrible Pun: the Ride," and since I already uploaded a bunch of others since then, I'm just gonna slip them in now all smooth like.

 

So, here we are on the coaster. Hooray!

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Us: "Heeeeeeey!"

 

So, do you kind of see why it was so epic? No? Well, it was. So there.

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Them: "Heeeeeeey!"

 

(By the way, this is the first of every shot I have of Chris at this park where he looks utterly terrified in every. last. one.)

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Us: "Heeeeeeey!"

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A "Wendy's-themed" pirate ship, as pointed out by, I think, Robbie.

 

And actually, it was one of the highlights of the trip, because 1) it was basically a TPR take over and 2) each time one side would swing up, everyone on that side would yell "Heeeeeeey!" and then the other side would swing up, and everyone on THAT side would yell "Heeeeeeey!" and, yeah, that sounds pretty lame, I guess you had to be there, but here - let me explain in pictures.

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West [Roller] *Coast*er

 

Ha. Ahaha. Get it? GET IT? West Roller Coaster? Like, West COAST? Did my math equation type thing up there helpfully demonstrate that fabulous pun?

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First credit of the trip!

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Or Pacific Park. Whatever.

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...Santa Monica Pier.

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...and this girl was at the end of an unsuccessful skydive.

 

And then we left for...

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...this guy slipped on a banana peel...

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We met up at Venice beach first, where this guy was doing an Irish jig...

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Soooo, I don't like flying. At all. Like, I kind of had a major panic attack last time I flew. So I did my research on plane safety tips and discovered that the most dangerous seats on a plane are basically any of the ones with a view. Which is why poor Robbie had to look at a wing the whole time. I, on the other hand, was under the influence of 2 or 3 Xanax (Xanaxes? Xanaxi? Xanaxen?) and a shot of rum. A giant shark could have leapt out of the ocean and devoured us in the air, and I would have been just fiiiiiine with that.

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There you have it folks - the first chapter of a trip report that is gonna take me 3 years to finish. Stay tuned for Six Flags Discovery Kingdom up next!

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And of course - since this is TPR - what with all that free time on our hands, we finished the night off by drinking. Even I may or may not have gotten, ahem, a bit tipsy. Slightly.

 

(Psst...I know this photo doesn't imply a huge amount of drinking what with those measly two beers, just trust me when I say that we were all getting ready to go to Bennigan's and consume a bit more alcohol than what you see here.)

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No one seemed to mind it too much.

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Then when we were too full to eat any more, but still within the 1 hour before swimming rule, we all decided to stick our feet in the room temperature spa which was full of bugs, hair, and flakes of skin.

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Next was International Snacky Snack Snack Snack Snack Snack time, where everyone loved my balls.

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AND THEN WE ARRIVED AT OUR HOTEL AND THEY LOOKED LIKE THIS OMG! Anyone know if it's legal to marry a hotel in California? Wait, it's California. They MAKE you marry buildings and animals and 8 people all at once over there, don't they? Well, whatever, that just settles it. I'm marrying the Avatar Hotel.

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Plus, I was introduced to this gem of a children's program. And during each Snacky Snack Snack Snack Snack Snack time on the bus, Robb played the similarly-named musical segment from the show, and by the end of the trip, we were all salivating like Pavlov's dog at the tune of it.

Edited by natatomic
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I'd never seen California before and while it was 99.9% barren and yellow in the regions we drove through, every once it a while it was absolutely breath-taking. As seen here.

 

My old stomping grounds in the San Joaquin Valley--that sums it up pretty well. The hills are pretty--the flat valley to the east of them, not as much.

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^Yeah, that drive between LA and SF is pretty dull, with the occasional cool thing to look at.

 

Good report, though you forget to mention the awesomeness that was Shark Attack 3. Well, I thought it was awesome, anyway.

 

And I still say we could have easily re-created that "show" the guy was putting on at 3rd Street by giving Piers a bottle of Bacardi...

 

dt

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Specifically, what hotel did you stay at? I'm going to call them and find out where they got those coaster photo-collage things. I want those in my house!

 

I went up to the front the desk and the guy told me the hotel made them theirselves. The little pixels are actually heads of avatar employees and random famous people.

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What camera do you use?

My lovely beat up Rebel XT.

 

Good report, though you forget to mention the awesomeness that was Shark Attack 3. Well, I thought it was awesome, anyway.

 

Holy crap, I did! For some reason that movie feels like it was a few days into the trip.

 

So allow me to mention the awesomeness that was Shark Attack 3 here and now:

 

Shark Attack 3? It was awesome.

(Haha, no really - it was!)

 

I went up to the front the desk and the guy told me the hotel made them theirselves. The little pixels are actually heads of avatar employees and random famous people.

 

Huh, I could tell it was a mosaic of some sort, but I didn't look close enough to see what the tiny pictures actually were. Funny, though, that they used a coaster that was hours away from the park, rather than one that was literally across the street. But I wonder if I could call them up and see if they have any extra copies laying around that they could sell me...

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^ Oh yeah I was with Bas when we asked the guy that because we were being nerds and wanted to know what the coasters were. He didn't know but he did say his picture was actually in them if we looked since every employee had a square. It was part of the whole theme of being next to yahoo, so they used avatars just like the name of the hotel.

 

 

A giant shark could have lept out of the ocean and devoured us in the air, and I would have been just fiiiiiine with that.

 

That made me literally laugh out loud.

 

Awesome PTR.

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Awesome nighttime photos, especially from the half-hour Ferris wheel ride!

 

I wish I had gone to the Third Street Promenade. I really did try, but by the time I made as far as the Santa Monica Pier sign, I thought my poor pulled-muscle foot was going to fall off (actually, I was kind of wishing it would), so I went back to Playland and played some pinball instead before finding a nice, comfy bench to rest on for the last 45 minutes. Glad I got to see a little of the Promenade here. Poorly executed dinosaur fountains rule!

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Huh, I could tell it was a mosaic of some sort, but I didn't look close enough to see what the tiny pictures actually were. Funny, though, that they used a coaster that was hours away from the park, rather than one that was literally across the street. But I wonder if I could call them up and see if they have any extra copies laying around that they could sell me...

 

You could always use this program:

 

http://www.andreaplanet.com/andreamosaic/

 

for example, the disney castle, mosaic-ed with pictures from this trip

http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/6495/tprwestcoast20091590moz.jpg

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Great TR as always Natalie, I THOUGHT you were on the West Coast Trip but didn't know for sure...until now.

 

I wonder which trip you'll be going on in 2010? (Middle America, Brazil, and UK Trip #2 are the ones that R&E mentioned in the questionairre awhile back)

 

Can't wait to see your photos and report about SFMM, KBF, and SFDK!...But I guess I'll HAVE to wait.

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I've always thought that my main concern for going on a full TPR trip would be concentrating every fiber of my being to finishing the subsequent photo TR in under two months.

 

Awesome shots/captions as usual Nat. Need to add a Canon Rebel XTi (or whatever the slightly cheaper SLR is) to my Christmas list.

 

Completely OT, but how did you do with the wisdom teeth recovery?

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