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Amparo Bertram

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07:52 am: Long weekend in Long Beach
This past weekend, I accompanied my parents to Long Beach for a cousin's wedding. We arrived Wednesday afternoon and had time to walk around for a few hours to see the area around the hotel. We visited the Aquarium of the Pacific, which isn't as extensive as the aquarium at Monterey, but it did have some interesting exhibits.

The next day, we set out exploring in the morning and came across the commuter train. We saw that it went straight to Los Angeles for a ridiculously low price, so we all hopped on board for some sightseeing. After getting off the train at the final stop, we wandered over to the Los Angeles Public Library, which has some decorative architecture. On the other side of the library, we found a tourist information booth with a helpful attendant who provided us with a map and circled items of interest that we could enter for free.

We had an excellent lunch of vegan ramen and then entered City Hall to catch the view from its observation deck. We could see the whole city, including the distant Hollywood sign.

We continued walking around, also taking in the cathedral, noticing that the sidewalks were unusually empty. I had expected that it would be like any large city--Tokyo, Frankfurt, London, or even San Francisco--with crowds of people everywhere. In contrast, the sidewalks of Los Angeles had only the occasional passerby. The place we had eaten lunch was packed with people, but stepping outside was like returning to a small town.

We ended up at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum, which had displays of costumes from the biggest hit movies of the past year, including Rogue One, Hidden Figures, Star Trek Beyond, Fantastic Beasts, and Doctor Strange. That was spectacular, and definitely my favorite part of the trip.

Friday we had breakfast at a local cafe restaurant, then walked around downtown Long Beach. In the afternoon we shopped at the nearby Shoreline Village, a cluster of shops somewhat like San Francisco's Pier 39, and walked along the water to see the Queen Mary and other ships from afar. We finished off the evening by attending the wedding rehearsal dinner.

Saturday we spent the morning walking along the beach before having lunch at a local mead shop. Despite the early hour, the place was packed with people for a mead tasting event. We attended the wedding in the evening, which was held at a local restaurant. Then we had to leave early the next morning for our return flight.

Work has been progressing on my bathroom project. I'm being kept busy running around ordering and picking up various materials. The new room has wall studs and electrical. It should be ready for the rough-in inspection soon, once the plumbing is in place.

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