I loved this day. I've realized that I have been writing a LOT - so I'm going to try to keep it minimal. Also, I'm watching America's Got Talent and, well, I need to put a lot of my concentration into Prince Poppycock and Donna Summers performing together.
In short, we started the morning at Venice Beach, which is such a cool area. The beach is beautiful and the street right behind the beach is full of tourists, potheads, radicals, sunglasses shops, crappy bookstores, and snack stands. It's just the coolest mishmash of people ever. Did I mention that it's on a beach?
After spending some time by the water and eating some fish tacos from a shack, we headed down to Abbot Kinney Blvd, where there are a ton of shops/boutiques, hair salons, restaurants, architecture firms, etc. The houses all look like fairy tale houses - all different colors of pastel and teeny tiny and cute little yards. I would have moved in right there (by this time I was definitely feeling less homesick).
[um, can I please have a sign like this?]
I had read about a place called the Abbot Pizza Company - and Pete urban-spooned it (this quickly became a verb on our trip) and sure enough, it won his praises. The pizza is all kinds of crazy flavors (Pete got a slice of chicken curry and I had four cheese, which included ricotta) and baked on bagel dough. Yuuuuuum.
I dragged Pete into some stationary stores and clothing shops. We found an awesome shoe store that was way out of our price range. We then proceeded to wander around the neighborhood, gawk at the houses (and the prices OF the houses...yikes), look at murals, and gawk at the houses some more.
We then began our trip out to Disneyland. This took FOREVER. We were about an hour away from Disneyland without traffic. Add that to trying to get there around rush hour and, well...it took us awhile.
Eventually we made it, though, and jumped on a tram to get to the park. Neither of us had been to Disneyland, so it was fun to see how it was set up - it is truly just THERE, just on the street, in the middle of Anaheim. So weird, compared to the way that Disney World is set up.
We only went on one ride (oops!) but we had free passes to the park, so I didn't feel too bad. It's a Small World is just as kitschy as I remember it being. We wandered around the park, people-watching and eating. And taking pictures.
[Pete, being awesome in front of Star Tours]
[oh hey It's a Small World]
Finally, it was time for the Fantasmic! show to start. I can't really formulate it into words, but it just made me so happy. Ever since I could remember, I have loved everything Disney. I loved the princesses, but also Robin Hood and all of the Pixar movies and just...all of it. So Fantasmic! was this huge water show and there were a ton of characters and huge boats sailing through and Malificent (the dragon from Sleeping Beauty) was huge and breathed fire and tried to kill Mickey! But Mickey prevailed (obviously). And I felt like a kid again. Walt Disney tends to do that to me.
[how awesome is this?!]
[forgive the blurry picture; I just wanted to give you an idea of what it was like. This is the Steamboat Willie steamboat, and all the characters you could ever imagine were on it, like Winnie the Pooh & Co., Mickey and Friends, the princesses, Pixar people, etc.
By the end of the day, we had probably walked ten miles between the park and the Venice neighborhood and for some weird reason we chose to walk back to the parking lot, instead of taking the tram. And we had wanted to crash as soon as we got back to the hotel room, BUT I wanted to get some NyQuil from a WalMart by our hotel - since we were getting back so late, I didn't think we would have to wait long. But we stood in line for over an hour! There were hundreds and hundreds of people waiting in line with all kinds of stuff - hangers, cleaning supplies, a week's worth of groceries - at 11:30 at night. I asked the woman who checked us out (when we finally got there) if it was always so crowded, and she said that it was usually busy until 2 AM. What?!