Arrival to Los Angeles

Posing in front of the Universal Studios Hollywood gate

After a long flight over the Pacific, we arrived at LAX on a hot sunny Tuesday afternoon. We are staying in the San Fernando Valley suburb of Studio City in greater Los Angeles for a couple of days before heading to Bolivia. My uncle lives near Universal Studios, so in trying to stay awake we went out to dinner and soaked up some of the atmosphere. As you may have read in a previous blog post, I had horrible experience at Universal Studios Japan because of the immense crowds. It was nice to see the original theme park in Hollywood. We didn’t go inside, and at $100 per person, I don’t think it is worth it. Since Comcast bought NBCUniversal, the park has turned its finances around with 6.1 million visitors in 2013 and over 1.3 billion dollars in revenue at the Florida/California parks.

California reminds of Spain and Cyprus, a typical Mediterranean climate. The state is going through a multi-year drought and it did look very dry from the airplane. Water rationing is in full force for the people of LA, and we needed to take short showers and not rinse dishes before putting them into the dishwasher. Big fees are given to heavy water users and all consumers were asked to cut their water use by 25%. California agriculture however, uses most of the water and the “world’s garden” may need to come to terms to using so much water. Above is a photo I took tonight of the moon behind some palm trees. LA is known for its palms, but there is only 1 species of palm native to here.

We are looking forward to exploring one of the world’s great cities some more in the next few days.

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