Well this post is a lot later then I intended to post it as I meant to type this up ever since getting home from my trip but it seems to have just kept slipping my mind but I am now sitting down to make sure I actually get it all written up.
As I mentioned in my previous entry I went down to LA at the end of January with my family for a vacation as my Christmas gift, partly because it is warmer down there but also because there are a few people I had gotten to know online that live down there that I've really wanted to get a chance to meet in person and hang out with them a bit. Originally I had been planning on going down to LA later on in the year but found out that one of the friends I wanted to visit was moving at the end of January and so that moved up the trip but it ended up working out really well as the week that we were gone apparently was one of the coldest and worst weeks we'd had for weather in quite awhile :) We flew out of Buffalo with a stopover in Chicago but thankfully we didn't even have to get off the plane for it so we were able to get better seats and stretch a bit but overall the flight was fine and we even arrived a little earlier then planned which is definitely a pleasant surprise. We rented a car and then headed to the condo we were renting for the week which was in Long Beach which ended up being a really nice place.
Before leaving I had ask some of the people I knew that lived in LA if they had any suggestions for places to check out and then went through and looked through them and created a list of places I thought might be interesting. The first place we ended up checking out was the Getty Villa which was really interesting as it held collections mostly relating to ancient Greek and Roman art and culture which I personally have more of an interest in and even just the museum itself was quite something as it was laid out in the style of some of the ancient structures. Another place we visited was the Griffith Observatory which was also very interesting especially the planetarium shows we saw. The last place of note that we went to was Hearst Castle which I thought was amazing partly because I have always found Castles to be really cool but also because they showed a short movie describing the history and construction of it which gave another level to it, unfortunately it was raining during the time we had to walk around the grounds but they were quite spectacular.
I have to say though that my favourite days were the Sunday and the Tuesday of my trip as I got to spend pretty much all of Sunday with my friend Kenny and then on Tuesday I got to have lunch with Kenny, America Young and Teal Sherer. I originally got to know Kenny through his Knights of the Guild podcast then started talking to him through email, Facebook and Twitter and became good friends with him as he is a super nice guy and we have a lot of similar interests. It was really nice to be able to meet him in person and just hang out and talk. He showed me around the city for a bit then we had lunch at Islands which is a restaurant I had heard him talk about quite a bit (which was also really good!) so that was nice then he took me over to one of his favourite hiking spots and finally showed me his house and we ended up watching an episode of How I Met Your Mother before he drove me back to where we were staying but it was an amazing day and I am so glad I got to hang out with him in person for a change :D I originally heard about both Teal and America through webseries' as Teal was in The Guild and America was the star of Geek Therapy (both are awesome if you haven't seen them!) but actually got to know Teal through the I Hearth Geeks podcast that she was involved with. I didn't really get to know America till the CMD Geekify liveathon that I have talked about before. I met them all for lunch at the Universal Citywalk which was interesting in and of itself but I have to say it was probably the best lunch I have had in a very very long time and it had nothing to do with the food (although that was good too :P ) It was so nice to just sit there and talk and connect on a more personal level. I easily could have spent all day there and been perfectly happy :D It was definitely the highlight of my trip. I did end up getting to meet up with another online friend right before the end of my trip which was nice as I knew Aaron as we are both fans of a lot of the same things so kept showing up at the same podcasts and other online events.
I really enjoyed my trip to LA in just about every respect. On a slightly humorous side note I started watching NCIS: Los Angeles not too long after getting back as I enjoyed NCIS but had never seen the other one so it added an extra bit of interest seeing places that we had been appear on the show :)