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Old 10-31-2013, 01:31 AM   #136
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Catching up!

I loved that you went to Hungry Bear and it would appear that you didn't order the Fried Green Tomato sandwich either. When Bret and I were there, none of us ordered it either.

Love the costumes that your kids had on.
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:07 PM   #137
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Can't wait to get back to DL again just you and me.
I can't wait either. Let's make it a date!!!

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Originally Posted by mvf-m11c View Post
Very nice updates from MHP.

Nice to see that you had dinner at Hungy Bear Restaurant. Your family look really nice int he costumes during the party.
Thanks! The next post starts with our trip to Little Tokyo. Thanks again for the tips when I asked about it on your TR.

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Catching up!

I loved that you went to Hungry Bear and it would appear that you didn't order the Fried Green Tomato sandwich either. When Bret and I were there, none of us ordered it either.

Love the costumes that your kids had on.
Thanks!

Yeah, Stephanie really wanted to try the fried green tomato sandwich, but the salad was too appealing at the time. I guess we'll try again on a future visit
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:37 PM   #138
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O how cool you got to see Tatiana(Sp?) her and Ariel are 2 must sees on our next visit!!....Sucks about the Cards We will get em next year though
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:42 PM   #139
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Thanks! The next post starts with our trip to Little Tokyo. Thanks again for the tips when I asked about it on your TR.
Your welcome and I will be looking forward to read about your day at Little Tokyo.
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:25 PM   #140
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Day 5 - Wednesday, October 16 - Sightseeing in LA

Happy Halloween everybody! Stephanie took the kids out trick or treating and I'm handing out candy at home. It's sort of rainy tonight, so I've got plenty of time between doorbell rings to get day 5 ready. And here we go....

On our typical Disney vacations, we like to take an day off from the parks to have a change a pace and/or recharge. In WDW, we usually swim at the resort, head to the outlet malls, eat dinner off property somewhere, and probably spend a couple hours at Downtown Disney. On this trip, we were torn about what to do on our non-park day. On the one hand, we were staying at an awesome hotel and could easily just swim, explore, and relax all day without getting bored. On the other hand, there are a gazillion things to see and do in the LA area, and Pickle hadn't seen the Pacific Ocean yet. So, we opted to rent a car and be tourists for the day...

I had already reserved a car for the day with Alamo in DTD. It was supposed to be ready at 9am. We arrived a little late around 9:15am, but it wasn't ready. It took about 30 minutes of waiting for it to arrive, not a big deal, but sort of annoying when we were all ready to get our day started. The people at the service desk were friendly and pleasant though. It was only about $40 for the day, for a full size car with a booster seat included. Not too bad, I guess.

We were on the road at around 9:45. First stop was Little Tokyo, in downtown LA. According to Wikipedia, it's at the heart of the largest Japanese-American population in North America and one of three official Japantowns in the US. (I've already been to the other two Japantowns in San Francisco and San Jose.) The San Francisco Japantown was on our original itinerary for the the road trip that we had to cancel due to my foot surgery. Ninja was seriously bummed about missing out on that. So, I figured it would be nice to take her here instead. (If you haven't read my original pre-trip report or followed along with this one in depth, basically, Ninja Potato is a fan of all things Japanese. From food, to anime, manga, music, fashion, Pokemon, Nintendo, Legend of Zelda, and so on...)

So, we arrived in Little Tokyo around 10:40am or so and parked in a garage directly across the street from Village Plaza (where we spent most of our time.)





Most of the shops didn't open until 11am, so we explored the market/grocery store for a while. Personally, I LOVE exploring Japanese grocery stores. Especially the candy aisles! We easily spent 30 or 40 minutes just looking at everything. The girls loaded up on treats!

Here’s the pile of treats that Pickle got (what’s left after what she already ate before we got back).



Buddy didn’t buy anything and I forgot to get a picture of Ninja’s treats. She only picked out a couple things. Nothing like Pickle did

After that, we explored for a while, but the kids were hungry so we decided to go ahead and have lunch. We looked around and decided to go with Mitsuru Cafe. We originally planned to eat at a sushi restaurant, but the bean cakes and fried foods in the window were calling the girls names ("Hey Ninja, come have a taste. I'm yummy!" JK), so we decided to give it a try. Good call! The food was tasty, even if the place itself was a bit run down and dated looking.

We started with a few items from the window up front (I wish I had grabbed a photo.) First off, a couple Red Bean Cakes (Imagawaki). It was basically like a pancake with sweet bean paste filling inside. The girls LOVED them. Thought they were incredible. I don't think Buddy tried one, and I thought it was good, but not anything that I'd go out of my way for.



Then, we have a few fried things on sticks! (Sticks make everything better, right?)

On the top, we have Pork Shumai. Second row is Chicken Karaage. Bottom row is Octopus Takoyaki. They were each very tasty. Incredibly tasty. I wish I was eating some right now.



An then we ordered our meals off the regular menu. I went with the Tempura Udon. Very tasty! The broth was excellent.



Stephanie had one of the lunch specials. I can't remember what the special was called, but it came with beef, shrimp, eggs, ham, rice, and a salad. She really enjoyed her meal too!



Buddy went with with Pork Udon. He said that he liked it, but he didn't eat a whole lot of it. Not sure if he really liked it or not, because he never hesitates to let us know if he doesn't like something I tasted it and it was basically the same noodles/broth as mine. The pork was fine, if not a little on the bland side.



It looks like I somehow missed a shot of what the girls had. They shared at Teriyaki Chicken plate and an extra order of white rice. It came with a bowl of Miso Soup too. Ninja gobbled the soup down. Normally, Pickle wants her own bowl of Miso Soup, but she didn't want any today....



Notice the little purple action figure that Ninja picked up from the market. Cute!!

After we ate, we headed back into the Village Plaza to shop.



We spent a good while in the Sanrio/Hello Kitty store, as well as a few of the other household and gift shops. Saw a few Totoro and Cat Bus dolls, which always make me smile! After a while, we headed over to the old run down shopping mall to visit Anime Jungle.

Ninja Potato was in heaven here, and spent a good part of her vacation money





The others decided that we were taking too long, so they headed back to the Plaza to wait for us. We stopped at a couple of the other shops on our way back and then regrouped with the team.



The kids were ready for a treat/snack, so we headed over to Mikawaya for some mochi (ice cream wrapped in fluffy rice dough and dusted with powdered sugar (or something similar).) Oh my goodness!!!! If you like mochi, or even if you didn't before you came here, you'll love it. Best mochi ever! So good. And at a buck a pop, fairly cheap. (At least compared to $4 for a Mickey bar back at Disneyland.)

Lot's of mochi was consumed. We made several trips back up to the counter! (I said that I wouldn't go out of my way for the Bean Cakes, different story here. I would go far out of my way for these. Sooooo good!)

Ninja Potato eating a chocolate one, Buddy having mint chocolate chip, and the one on the table was Choco Hazelnut (made with gelato instead of ice cream.)



Mango!


Mango, Green Tea, and Strawberry...



I think Ninja gorged out on about 5 or 6 of these and I probably had 3 or 4. It's OK, 'cause we're on vacation right?

After we finished up our treats, it was about 1pm or so. We decided to move on to our next stop, Griffith Observatory to see the famous Hollywood sign. Stay tuned
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:32 PM   #141
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Nice to hear that you and your family had a great time in Little Tokyo during your trip. It is so fun shopping and eating at Little Tokyo with all the Japanese Anime and food. I should remember to bring my camera out when I go to Little Tokyo when my DA and I go back to SoCal next month. My DA and I stop at Woori Market on the way home to Sacramento which is a favorite market place for us to pick up Japanese food and treats. Village Plaza is a nice place to go around for different stores and restaurants. I like Japanese Anime (YU-GI-OH! Trading Card Game & Gundam) which are very popular Anime shows.

The food looks very appetizing and the pictures are very nice.

My family love mochi which is one of our favorite treats and nice to read that you and your family enjoyed it so much. After reading your trip report, I will get one right now while reading your trip report.

Very nice update from Little Tokyo during your trip.
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Old 11-01-2013, 02:20 AM   #142
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They have Icecream Mochi in the LA Little Tokyo?

Dang! If I'd known that, I would have been there like a shot! And I love red bean with anything.

Great morning so far; even if you were a little delayed in setting out.
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Old 11-02-2013, 02:44 AM   #143
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Hi

I was looking at DL trip reports and stumbled upon yours. I am also from STL! Your trip looks like so much fun! I would love to return to Disneyland someday, its seems like we never think of heading west. I would love to do a road trip out that way...so much to see!

Anyway, I love that you all were representing our Cards out in CA! My DH loves to have pics of himself taken around the country in his cards gear. I was at game 5 disappointing loss, but I am still proud to be a cards fan!

Your family looks like they are really having a great time I am so glad you are sharing your trip.

I also took a look at your Marceline MO. I am hoping we can make it there next year for toonfest. I just found out about it this year and it was too late to make arrangements to go.

I can not wait to hear about the rest of your trip! Glad I found it.
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:05 AM   #144
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Hi

I was looking at DL trip reports and stumbled upon yours. I am also from STL! Your trip looks like so much fun! I would love to return to Disneyland someday, its seems like we never think of heading west. I would love to do a road trip out that way...so much to see!

Anyway, I love that you all were representing our Cards out in CA! My DH loves to have pics of himself taken around the country in his cards gear. I was at game 5 disappointing loss, but I am still proud to be a cards fan!

Your family looks like they are really having a great time I am so glad you are sharing your trip.

I also took a look at your Marceline MO. I am hoping we can make it there next year for toonfest. I just found out about it this year and it was too late to make arrangements to go.

I can not wait to hear about the rest of your trip! Glad I found it.
That's cool that you were able to see game 5 in person, but a bummer that they lost. You are right, STL baseball fans still have a lot to be proud of

I agree, a road trip out west sounds like a lot of fun. We originally planned to drive out there this summer, but had to cancel and fly due to my foot. We are considering another road trip to California the summer after next I really hope we can make it happen.

Yeah, Marceline is a cool place to visit for a day trip. I think we are going to try and visit again in the spring (they just closed the Walt Disney Hometown Museum for the season.) Toonfest was cool, and I'd love to go again, but due to the crowds, the museum staff isn't able to give you a lot of personal attention. (From what I've read, if you go when they aren't busy, then the staff will walk around with you and share stories.) Lucky for us in STL, it's close enough that we may go in the spring to focus on the museum and then easily go again in September for Toonfest. Maybe we'll see you there
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:25 AM   #145
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Day 5 - Wednesday, October 16 - Sightseeing in LA continued...

Picking up from our visit to Little Tokyo... We decided to head up north to Griffith Park. We wanted to visit the observatory, get a view of the city and the Hollywood sign, and then maybe head further north in the park to see Walt's Barn and/or the carousel.

Hollywood! I have no idea why I wanted to see this so much. I'm not really into movie stars and stuff, it just seemed sort of nostalgic&like you have to see it at least once.



Pickle with her movie star sunglasses



Amazing view. Too bad the smog affected the visibility.



Heading over to the observatory...



Little did we expect, the kids were captivated by the observatory. We spent a LONG time inside. To the point were my foot was killing me. (I had to leave the scooter back at the hotel.) I'm talking serious pain. Anyway, inside, they had all kinds of interactive models and exhibits. Really cool stuff. Buddy loved the working model of the telescope and dome (you could push buttons to move everything around.) Other exhibits included information about how telescopes work and their history. Also information and samples from all types of telescopes (optical, radio, etc.) They had exhibits about the phases of the moon, how ocean tides work, sun spots, the life of a star (and relative sizes to our sun), and so on. In addition to the astronomy related exhibits, they had a Tesla Coil (insanely cool!) and a Foucault Pendulum. Lot's of cool stuff, we didn't realize that this was more like a museum and it it would be fee. We thought we were just going up for the view. LOL. We'd like to make a dedicated visit here on our next trip!





So, we lost track of time at the observatory and it was getting late. If we wanted to get to the beach before sunset, we would have to skip seeing other parts of Griffith Park. Oh well, let's head to the beach!!! We thought that we'd head to Huntington Beach. We expected traffic, but there were a couple of accidents that made it even slower going. (Happy for smart phones and traffic apps!!) Anyway, we were getting to the point where we only had about an hour or so before sunset, so we hit Seal Beach since it was on the way, but closer. This turned out to be a good choice. The beach was lovely and mostly empty.

We were able to park right up next to the sand...



The kids had a lot of fun playing in the sand and in the ice cold water. Yikes!!



This could have been an outstanding photo. Too bad I cut her head off!!! Doh!



This one turned out OK though



Ninja opted to skip her bathing suit and stay dry



You can't visit the beach without burying yourself in the sand, right?



We stayed until sunset. It was a beauty.



Ninja strikes again



We stayed until it was completely dark. Such a lovely evening!

Time to eat. I've always heard about In-N-Out, but never had one of their burgers. So... Let's find one on the way back to Anaheim!!! Hey look, there's one about 15 minutes from here. Let's do this!!!



Pickle loved watching them make the fries! (I'm not sure why she was making a funny face. But we don't call her Pickle for nothing!!!)



So, in the Midwest, we have Steak-n-Shake and Culver's. Both very good burger chains. I'd have to say that these burgers were in a league of their own. Incredibly delicious!



Ninja had a chocolate shake. It, on the other hand, was just OK. The Midwestern competition wins hands down on this one



A satisfied customer!



It was fun eating outside. Beautiful weather and good energy from the other people around us. Good times.

We took our time eating, and then it was time to make our way over to the Vans Skatepark (in the Outlets at Orange mall, near Anaheim). So, my foot is still healing and I'm not allowed to skate until December at least, but I still wanted to visit one of the holy grails of skateboarding, the Combi Pool!!



We had just missed seeing some of the pro skaters in the pool But we did see 80's legends Steve Alba (Salba) and Jeff Grosso hanging out in the parking lot. I was too shy to go over and say hi. Pros or not, we did see some incredible skateboarding. There were a couple kids, not much older than Buddy, who were tearing the place apart!!! That square end of the pool is like 11 feet deep with a couple feet of vert. These kids were riding it like it was a mini ramp in their driveway. Backside smith grinds around the corners, airs several feet out, 10 foot lip slides, and so on. Amazing! I'm sure that we were watching the next generation of SoCal pro's coming up through the ranks

I took Ninja inside the shop. This being at an outlet mall, they had some good deals. The staff inside were all very friendly and we had a good time browsing around. Ninja Potato picked out a new pair of Vans shoes and a couple of sweatshirts. At this point, it was about 9pm and everyone was ready to call it a day and head back to the room.

We stopped for gas, dropped the car off in the AMC Movie Theater parking lot, tossed the keys in the return slot, and walked back to our room. I have to say, renting a car for the day form Alamo was really convenient. We sure had an awesome day!

Up next will be early entry for Disneyland!
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:38 AM   #146
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I thought it might be fun to show the path that we took for the day...



By the time it was all said and done, we probably drove about 100 miles for the day. Not bad for everything we were able to see!
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:33 AM   #147
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awesome I want to go to the observatory and beach when we go also I really want to see Newport beach and balboa island, looks like you guys had fun on your non park day
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Old 11-02-2013, 01:33 PM   #148
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Hi! I'm from St. Louis too!!!! Hubby and I are leaving for Disneyland in less than 4 weeks! Subbing because I love to read about anything Disney.
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Old 11-02-2013, 03:52 PM   #149
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What a great afternoon. Seems like you saw some of the best LA had to offer. I like Seal Beach as well. It seems underrated compared to some of the other beaches around but that's okay with me.

Gorgeous pictures of your kids and the sunset.

Hope that your foot held up well for the next day.
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Old 11-02-2013, 05:28 PM   #150
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Quote:
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Once we arrived at Build a Bear, Pickle wandered around the store changing her mind about what she wanted. Even though Build a Bear started in St. Louis, this was our first time inside one of these stores (except for Ninja.)
My oldest is 22 yo and still LOVES Build a Bear....fortunately for her, her boyfriend's mom works for them in one of the corporate offices....and she gets her fill of stuffed animals!

I'm taking notes on your cs successes. Putting Garden Grill on my radar but sad to hear about Flo's. Maybe we'll try breakfast there although I do like the idea of bringing some things for us to eat in the room...it's just me and hubby on this trip and we even have a couple character breakfast's scheduled (he humors me with this).
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