Jason's Pictures

Highlights from the trip to L.A.

Date:Thursday, March 17, 2005: 11:10pm PT

Go on to Page Two to see Thursday.


Date:Wednesday, March 16, 2005: 10:25pm PT

OK, well today was a first. I took so many pictures that I actually filled a memory card. And so, I am going to devote an entire page to today's journey. And so, without further ado, I present
Jason's trip to Universal Studios
Jason's trip to Universal


Date:Tuesday, March 15, 2005: 9:35pm PT

Day two in Sunny California (and yes, it is ABSOLUTELY sunny) is otherwise known as " Jason's trip to DisneyLand. "

The Castle

This was literally my first trip to any Disney park of any kind. I think it was probably much better than even I expected. There were some great sites,

Bobsled Mountain Innovention Celebration
Monorail Chip N Dale Celebration

and, some great rides. Of course, you can see above, there were the usual LARGER-THAN-LIFESIZE characters. Some of the attractions were amazing. Unfortunately, Splash Mountain was closed, but what are you going to do? I was lucky enough to go with my friend Cheryl, who was not only kind enough to come with me, but to drive all the way up from San Diego to take us there.


Pirates of the Caribbean was really cool. Surprises all abound. Star Tours was OK, but was held back by the fact that it doesn't look like ANY of it has been updated since RETURN OF THE JEDI was released in theaters. As such, the film quality is less than stellar (it hasn't aged well), and the videos that accompany the tour show actors that are clearly wearing 80's clothes and hairstyles. Besides which the music and sound effects quality are right on par. Well, I still enjoyed it anyway. We went to the Haunted Mansion, which was incredibly well done. The ghost effects were downright eerie at times. We ended the day with the Indiana Jones Adventure. This was probably worth the whole thing. It incorporated some of the best elements of the films, and was completely immersive for a mini-coaster kind of ride. We were lucky enough to have tickets which let us get FAST PASSes. A Fast Pass for certain attractions gives you a certain time that you have to come back to go on the ride. During that time, (which could be 20 minutes to--three hours,) you can walk around and do other things. When your time comes, you get on a special line which goes right to the front. It's like a ticket to cut the line. Too cool.

Also, interesting of note was that they had a full-size sailing ship there. And wouldn't you know the thing moved? I mean, OK, it was clearly running on a motor, but it was impressive nonetheless to see this thing in motion.

Columbia Docked Columbia Moving Away
Columbia Further Columbia Turning
Last Columbia Picture..I promise eeeeewwwwww

The only creepy thing here was the color of the water that the Columbia (the huge boat) was in. I mean, blue water in the tropics is one thing, but this green was just TOO unnatural for my tastes.

After a long and fun day at Disney, Cheryl took me to IN & OUT BURGER. Now I've heard of them from many places, most notably The Big Lebowski, but let me tell you they make some really great burgers and fries. Not only do you get to watch them make the food, but you also get to watch them prep it. This means you can watch them slice the potatoes for the fries. Also, according to them, they never freeze their meats. And they taste that fresh too. Enough of a commercial, though. Unfortunately, they're not paying me.

Finally, as promised, some pictures of my hotel room. I have to apologize for them being at night, but since I'm in here now it's the only time I can guarantee the bed is made :-)

My Room My Room 2 My Room 3


Date:Monday, March 14, 2005: 10:46am PT

Well, my first day is officially over. As breathtaking as the plane ride was, it still surprised me at the end. The view of the mountains around the area was incredible.

Mountain Range Mountain Range 2 Coming in...

Getting off at the airport reminded me of just about every movie I've ever seen that takes place in Los Angeles. It was funny. I had the theme from " Big Trouble " going through my head. It was kind of funny, really.

LAX LAX Exterior LAX Entrance

Unfortunately, while I did have a free voucher for the SUPER SHUTTLE, it did take a long time for the shuttle to get me back to the hotel. This was because the shuttle circled the airport twice after picking me up, just to make sure there weren't any more passengers....

Tomorrow I hope to post some pictures of the hotel. I just haven't had the time to take any. I went for a walk around town tonight. I got to see all sorts of stuff. Unfortunately, it was getting close to nighttime, and I just didn't feel like LOOKING like a tourist, so I was camera-less. Perhaps later in the week I can do it again. I walked along the Walk of Fame, which was incredible. I walked down both Hollywood Blvd and Sunset Blvd. I got to see the Capital Records building, as well as, of course, the HOLLYWOOD sign. I even walked past TRIBUNE STUDIOS, BELLASARIUS PRODUCTIONS, and the HQ of Klasky Csupo. It was just surreal.

Anyway, it has been a LOOOONG day, and it's time to get some rest. Tomorrow -- DISNEYLAND!!!!


Date:Monday, March 14, 2005: 11:59am CT

And so, I am off again, on my way to LA. We've just reached 10,000 feet, so now I can use my laptop again. I tried VERY hard to get a wireless signal at the airport so I could start publishing, but to no avail.

Again, we just had another beautiful takeoff. It was incredible. I know I've said this before, but I just can't get over how beautiful the clouds look. This time we punctured through the cloud layer on our ascent. Once we got over them, the blanket was so exquisite. The clouds look fluffy, but solid enough that you swear you could reach down and scoop some out for yourself. I imagine that it would feel light. Not as light as cotton candy. More like a mix between shaving cream and a recently fallen snow (light and flaky, not wet.)

Clouds Horizon Even More Clouds

This time, instead of sitting just in front of the engine, I'm sitting right next to it, on the other side of the plane. It's eerie, but I can see a reflection of the plane in the engine. I keep resisting the urge to yell (in my best Shatner), "There's...someBODY on the wing!"

Engine Reflection

I wish I could have gotten a network connection at the airport. I'd love to start uploading some pictures, but that will have to wait.

In the meantime, it'd probably be best to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.


Date:Monday, March 14, 2005: 9:34am ET

It's so beautiful up here. The patchwork ground is amazing. You know, you see it in so many pictures, but they don't even come close to seeing it in person. The details, the motion, it's all so incredible to see from up here. It's a little reminder that no matter how you look at it, we're all still on the same mudball together. It's all just one world.

Goodbye NYC Patchwork The City Below
Some snow More Snow Beautiful Skyline

The clouds have just rolled in below. From below, it's probably a little depressing, but from up here it's amazing. The light and fluffy. It's cliché to say that they look like cotton, or like light pillows floating lazily in the sky, but you know what? I think there's a reason why people say that.

Here Come The Clouds More Clouds More Clouds

I tried to get some reading done before, but couldn't. I couldn't help but glance outside. What can I say? I guess I don't fly enough. I'm assuming that by the end of my trip to LA, I'm probably going to be less enthralled.

9:38 - They just announced that we are starting our initial descent. You can see a tiny movie of it here. I guess I should start stowing the laptop.


Date:Monday, March 14, 2005: 8:23am ET

Well, what a long, strange trip it's been. And the funny part is, I'm not even there yet!!!! I woke up this morning, half an hour early for my car pickup. Usually, when I wake up early, it's a bad sign. This morning was no different. I told the gentleman on the phone that the pickup was for Monday the 14th. With a 7:50am flight, and no car at 6:15am, I decided to call and see what the deal was.

" Yeah, it's tomorrow, right? Tuesday the 14th."

" No, today is the 14th. Monday the 14th."

" Oh, man. I wrote it down. Tuesday the 14th. I'm so sorry. There's no way I can get anyone out to you."


And so, I had to find another way to the airport. I call the local cab company. They say they couldn't possibly do it. All their cars are doing JFK, and I'm flying out of LGA.


So they refer me to one of their out-of-town companies. I'm desperate, so I take it. They say it shouldn't be a problem. He shows up at 6:35am. Remember now, the flight is 7:50am. I should be there by 6:50. I tell the driver this, and he tells me he'll do the best he can. He offers me a newspaper to read, which I READILY accept. Anything to take my mind off of the fact that I very well may miss my flight.

What I didn't realize was what the true purpose of him giving me that paper was. It was to distract me from realizing what he was about to do. We must have broken every speed limit imaginable, and broke MULTIPLE laws of physics. When I could peel my eyes to look at the road ahead, I saw us weaving in and out of traffic that I would have deemed un-navigable.

We arrived at the airport at around 7:10. I was a mess. The driver, who was, by the way, incredibly nice throughout and did a stellar job, hefted my large suitcase at the check in attendant with incredible deftness for something that was so heavy. The attendant gave me my information and sent me running to the gate.

Here was where I swear my mind hit mach 20. The world slowed to a crawl as I approached the screeners. I put my bag on the belt and watched it go in. The attendant there asked me if I had a laptop in my bag. I told him I did. He sent my bag back out and asked me to send it through separately. Not only that, but the attendant next to the screener asked me to remove my cellphone, jacket and belt and send THOSE through. Quickly complying, I said a silent prayer that they wouldn't ask me for anything further.

Gathering my stuff as fast as possible, I ran at breakneck speed straight for the gate. I arrived just in time for boarding. I got on the expansive line, boarding pass at the ready. I watched as the flight attendant swiped each boarding pass, allowing the passengers on.

Now it was my turn.

*SWIPE* Nothing. *SWIPE AGAIN* Nothing.

Have you ever just thought to yourself, "WHAT MORE COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?!?!?!?!"

Luckily the flight attendant was VERY nice, and manually input the code for the pass. Having recognized the pass, I then boarded the plane.

Waiting for Takeoff
More Waiting

Now, here I am, winging my way to Chicago. Of course by the time this is posted I will already be in Chicago, or possibly LA. Either way, I'm just glad I'm going to be somewhere.

More Waiting