The California Science Center

Sorry about the temporary glitch. Today internet has been spotty to say the least, so I’m trying to make up for it (after a night out on the town in Hollywood). So where did I last leave off? Oh yes…

After reaching my limit of literary intake for the day, I crossed the street to walk through the Exposition Park Rose Garden (which smelled great as you can imagine) and made my way over to the California Science Center. Did I mention it is FREE!? FREE!

Payment is donation based so it doesn’t break the bank. When I walked in, I actually bumped into Jack Black with his family. It was pretty adorable. Considering how animated Jack Black is, his parents(?) were surprisingly low energy. As a comedy nerd, I thought that was pretty cool.

The California Science Center has a McDonalds and a gift shop on the first floor, and planes hanging overhead in the center of a three story atrium.

This center is amazing. AMAZING. It even has a rock-wall for children. How cool is that? You can tell this place spared no expense when designing exhibits for children. There are wind tunnels, 3D movies (for an extra cost), wave pools, live animals, interactive exhibits about Los Angeles and the human body. I went as a single adult and had a blast. It’s great for kids of all ages.

Do you see the live animal in the photo, who also shows up on the heat sensor cameras? In this exhibit you find the live lizards and turtles but using heat detection.

For a few dollars, you can ride on the exhibit above. It’s a bicycle that uses balance and gravity to keep the rider on the tight rope… three stories up! It’s scary, but you won’t fall.

There are live fish swimming in giant wave pool tanks. There were several animal exhibits similar to the Long Beach Aquarium, only the LB Aquarium costs significantly more than this center and is much further away.

If you live in LA and haven’t been here, you have no excuse. Now that you know how awesome it is, come check it out!

The LA Times Festival of Books

I must preface this post by saying that I am sipping on delicious homemade sangria made by my gracious roommate. I will blame all typos on the sangria. Am I drunk blogging? No. Am I happy blogging? Oh yeeeeeah. Well, lets get to it!

I must begin by dedicating this post to my Librarian friend Carrie. On Saturday I attended the LA Times Festival of Books down at USC. I LOVED it. I had many errands to run in the morning, so I didn’t get there until 1:30 (also due to heavy traffic and scrambling for a free parking spot).

I got a parking spot (far away, but it was FREE!) and made my way into campus. I followed the giant crowds until I came upon the food truck line in the photo above. They had Cool Haus Ice Cream and the Fry Smith… two of my favorites. Yet as you can see, the lines were crazy long and I just arrived. Despite my hunger, I passed on the food trucks and wanted to explore the whole event.

Across from the insane food truck lines was the cookbook area. “Talking With My Mouth Full” author Gail Simmons was giving a lecture about her book and answering questions about pans when I walked through. There were vendors/publishers in tents all around the peremeter selling cookbooks. My roommate attended the event and bought the new Trader Joes Skinny Cookbook here.

As much as I like cookbooks, I wanted to attend the 1pm show of “Fresh From Figment” and thought I had missed it. When I saw the stage at the cooking event I realized that all the events were on outdoor stages. I figured I should go check out the Figment show out encase it was still happening, and it was! I got to see the end of the show which included from left to right in the image below: Martin Starr, Michael Ian Black, Michaela Watkins (behind Michael), Andrea Savage, Wendi McLendon-Covy, and Michael Hitchcock. What a line-up on the ETC. stage?! The last 15 minutes (which was all I got to see) was really great and funny. I got to see Michael Ian Black read funny poems that had been submited for the event.

After visiting the ETC stage, I still had SO much more to see. Everywhere I went there were tents with authors signing autographs and crazy lines leading up to them. Who knew LA had so many people interested in books?! It made me smile for humanity.

While exploring I passed this lovely golf cart. Yup, that’s Scooby Doo!

I love that this event encompassed all types of books. Even comic books! There was a section for everyone. Mystery, religion, travel, independent, cooking, children.. I could go on and on. And it’s not like these each had one tent. There were all different courtyards filled with tents on these topics. I can’t stress how massive the Festival of Books was.

Remember when I saw the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle van at work? Well now I’ve seen the Scooby-Doo van! It’s the Mystery Machine! If you know me well, you know I love (to solve) a good mystery. They even had a whole section of tents dedicated to Scooby and other Warner Bros. characters.

I was listening to bands play, when I crossed a courtyard just as John Cusack came up on stage. This was a cool thing to stumble upon. I also have to say, that since it was sponsored by the LA Times, there were LA Times crossword puzzle whiteboards all over USC. I had a lot of fun with this, as I love crosswords.

To sum up the Festival of Books, don’t miss it in 2013! I can’t wait for next years event. I only wish I arrived earlier to have more time there. After I thoroughly explored the event I decided to move across the street to see more of USC.. come back tomorrow for a post about that.