ytterbiumanalyst Posted September 15, 2016 Share Posted September 15, 2016 (edited) Day 1: Westward Ho! First of all, I have to say a big thank you to Robb, Elissa, and everyone at Six Flags Magic Mountain and Knott’s Berry Farm who helped to put on this event. I know you all worked so hard, and I want you to know that your efforts translated into results. I had such an amazing time over the weekend. Now on to the description of the trip itself. I’ve been reading the reports from the last couple of West Coast Bashes, and the event looked so fun. Once I saw Robb’s announcement video, I decided I must go this year. Originally this was intended to be a trip with my son, as he has made so much progress with his autism, and he hit 48” this year. Roller coasters are his favourite thing, and it’s been a real point of bonding for us. However, as we got into the summer, I didn’t feel that he was quite ready for a trip by airplane, so this ended up being a solo trip for me. Those of you who have kids with autism or love someone with autism, you understand. I only had a few days that I could take off work, so the schedule went as follows: Friday 9/9 – fly to LA, Pacific Park Saturday 9/10 – Six Flags Magic Mountain Sunday 9/11 – Knott’s Berry Farm Monday 9/12 – Disneyland & Disney California Adventure Tuesday 9/13 – Universal Studios Hollywood Wednesday 9/14 – fly home I would have loved to have had more time in LA, especially for Disneyland, but that’s all the time I could get off work, and I wanted to visit all those places, so that’s how the week went. I decided to fly Spirit—it’s the first time that I’ve flown with them—because they are the only airline that has a direct flight from MCI to LAX. The week would already be a big time crunch, and I didn’t want layovers to eat into that time. I had to work a half day on Friday, but after that, I took off for Kansas City. It’s a very well designed airport, and I was able to get in and through security quickly. I was able to get a window seat on the exit row, so the trip was quite pleasant. This is the first time I’ve been west of the Rockies (though I have been to Denver, Colorado Springs, and Albuquerque), and I enjoyed seeing the desert landscapes below us. Skies were clear for much of the flight, so I was able to see a lot. I arrived at LAX around 5:00, caught the shuttle to the Alamo rental car lot, and headed to my first destination: In ‘N’ Out Burger in Westchester. This is simply the best fast food burger I’ve ever had. There are quite a number of transplanted Californians in Missouri, and they all praise In ‘N’ Out very highly. I must say it totally lives up to the hype. Their menu is extremely limited, but that doesn’t matter. It’s amazing. With that ticked off the list, I proceeded to Santa Monica. The GPS directed me to the freeway, so I had my first taste of L.A. traffic. This may amaze some of you who live there, but I loved it! The L.A. freeways are simply the best I’ve ever driven on. For the most part, people know where they’re going and pay attention. I never had to guess what someone intended to do, and I never had anyone tailing me or doing anything else dangerous. It was such a relief from the typical Missouri traffic, where drivers routinely tail me, honk, flash their lights, anything to change my driving—instead of using the perfectly good, totally clear passing lane to the left. Missouri drivers have an attitude that was conspicuously absent in California drivers. Every commute I had on the freeways was totally relaxing. I arrived in Santa Monica and parked in the lot just north of the pier. I had, thanks to TPR’s access to Tickets at Work, a combo ticket for Universal and Pacific Park for about $80, compared with $120 for Universal and $18 for Pacific Park through their websites. Club TPR pays off yet again! I rode the West Coaster twice and the Ferris wheel once. That was all I cared to do as far as rides were concerned. My main interest in the pier was to visit the Pacific Ocean. I’ve never been there before (but been to the Gulf twice and the Atlantic twice). It was very, very cold, and I didn’t wade out very far. I didn’t go swimming at all. Still, it was fun to be on the beach. This was a Friday night, and they had a DJ. Most of the time I just walked the pier and played Pokémon Go. All the Pokéstops were lit up with lures, and there were a number of them. I got several Pokémon that were new to me: Sandshrew, Sandslash, Diglett, Graveler, Onix, Primeape, and Kabuto! The pier was by far the best Pokémon place of the whole trip. I headed out about 11:00 (which felt like 1:00 AM to me, being used to Central Time) to get some sleep in preparation for the first day of West Coast Bash! Theming: It looks amazingly like a pier! Food: No experience with food on the pier. Service: The ride ops were a little unsure of what to do with me as a single rider. Still, I eventually got to ride the Ferris wheel and the coaster. The wristband distribution was quick and easy, though. Well done on that aspect. Flat: The only one I rode was the Ferris wheel, which offered great views of the ocean, the beach, and the Santa Monica skyline. Very fun! Coaster: If you want to ride a coaster here, you want to ride West Coaster, because that’s the one they have. It was an okay ride. If it were in a cornfield, I’d say it’s terrible. But the location by the ocean really added to the atmosphere. I'm in L.A., or as it's commonly known, the City of Our Lady, the Queen of Angels, on the River Porciuncula! First things first. In 'N' Out Burger! I got to sit outside in the cool California breeze and smell the sea air and jet fuel. Wwwwwhat are you doing? Wwwwell, I took the 405 to the 10 and got off on 3rd street in Santa Monica. I arrived just in time to see the sun setting over the ocean and the mountains. Eventually I was persuaded to peel myself away from the sunset and head toward West Coaster. Oh hell no. They had a good number of standard flats, including this scrambler.... ...and this drop tower. This was the actual background for your Ferris wheel photo. Congratulations, Pacific Park, you win. The beautiful Santa Monica beach. There are no single riders on the Ferris wheel, so I was placed with a Japanese family who were kind enough to take my photo. They had a pirate ship that had an odd shield on one side. Not sure what that's about. West Coaster is themed to ladders. After dark, the Ferris wheel was lit up with a great light package. Springfield, Missouri, where I'm from, is the birthplace of Route 66. I've been to one end of it, Grant Park in Chicago, several times, so it was very special getting to see the western end of the Mother Road. End of the trail, and end of the night! Next up is West Coast Bash! Edited September 17, 2016 by ytterbiumanalyst Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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