Pleasant Surprises in Los Angeles!

Pleasant Surprises in Los Angeles! title=
Pleasant Surprises in Los Angeles!
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By Robert Bernstein


Early this week, we had early morning business in Chatsworth. We decided to stay the night before in nearby Canoga Park. I know nothing of this area and was curious what there was to do in the area. We had a most pleasant surprise!

Here are my photos of these pleasant surprises!

First was The Japanese Garden in nearby Van Nuys. It is actually a part of the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant.

Before we even entered we were greeted with a surprise that made me laugh! Photos of Starfleet Academy in Star Trek! Starfleet Academy was supposed to be in the San Francisco of the future. The Japanese Garden in Van Nuys turned out to have the perfect futuristic feel to it! All they had to do was add a backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge to make it work!

Sure enough, as soon as we entered the garden we saw this futuristic scene

Having just visited Lotusland, the comparisons were quite notable. First we saw a Japanese lantern like the ones at Lotusland

And then there were actual lotuses! Not in quite the pristine condition as at Lotusland. But still quite beautiful.

And they were in a long pool with plenty of water lilies, too. Just as at Lotusland.

A dragonfly posed for us

As we left that area we came to gingko trees full of fruit

The large central pond was full of fish

The pond offered a variety of bridges and paths

We strolled along a bamboo-lined path

To a Tea House

From the Tea House we had close views of wildlife. Including this duck mother and her ducklings

And other birds feasting on abundant small fish

We could also see a nearby weeping willow tree as we looked back toward the main building

We left the Tea House

Where another visitor kindly photographed us

The latter photo next to this pleasant little waterfall

We spotted another little visitor there

We continued our walk around the pond for more views

And a clear view of more little fish that were a bird feast

More creative landscaping

A longer view of the Tea House on the water's edge

This young woman posed as we came to the main building

We climbed the stairs to the "Plant Process Viewing Tower" and others followed behind us

Another futuristic building view

And we indeed were looking at the pipes and other equipment of the Water Reclamation Plant

We descended from the observation tower

As another happy family was coming up

That platform offered a spectacular view of the entire Japanese Garden

We then entered the futuristic main building which merged with the water

Some unusual videos played on big screens. This seemed to involve Asian youth

And there was a video of a massive "tug of war" with supposedly the biggest rope in the world made of rice straw

A few more scenes before we left

It was still only about 3:30PM and we had hours more to explore!

It turned out Universal Studios was not much further down the road. I first made a wrong turn into the actual Studios and they kindly let us make a U-turn back out!

We discovered that parking for Universal Studios City Walk is crazy expensive at $35! But a helpful parking attendant told us we could park much cheaper if we went to Jurassic Parking! (Valet parking)

We walked around for a bit and took in these "only in LA" type scenes

But then we saw someone flying! For real!

I had to do that!

The company is called iFly. They offer a "vertical wind tunnel" that lets you have a real sky diving experience! Just a few minutes of training. Then a trainer goes with you into the wind tunnel.

Here I did the High Fly with him!

Thanks to my wife for making that excellent video! I highly recommend the iFly experience. They have many different options as you gain more experience. Just one thing to know: You may want to make your own photos and videos as they are still perfecting their "professional" photo/video process.

By the way, it turned out that this iFly experience also gave us totally free Jurassic Parking. A lot cheaper than the $35 regular Universal Studios parking!

All of these sights may be familiar to others. But I actually venture to the Bay Area and other points north more often than I go to LA. So this was all a pleasant surprise for me!


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sbrobert Jul 27, 2018 12:20 PM
Pleasant Surprises in Los Angeles!

PURPLEBEE, ESL_TEACHER, LA SANITATION, JQB and ANON: Thank you for the very kind words! Yes, sometimes it seems I am looking more through the camera than with my eyes!
Yes, PURPLEBEE you are correct. What really takes time is editing afterwards. I very much appreciate the time people take to view my photos, videos and articles. I want to be sure that time is well-spent. Thank you all for your kind words. It makes it all worthwhile!

PurpleBee Jul 25, 2018 04:06 AM
Pleasant Surprises in Los Angeles!

I marvel at the time it must have taken to not only see these things, but to photograph them, and finally write them up and post them. When did have time to do anything else on your trip? Glad that you shared. I truly had no knowledge of the park before hand!

LA Sanitation Jul 23, 2018 02:32 PM
Pleasant Surprises in Los Angeles!

Thank you so much for visiting The Japanese Garden! We loved your photos and shared the article on our social media accounts. We hope you'll return again someday - Japanese Gardens change with the seasons.

a-1532380626 Jul 23, 2018 02:17 PM
Pleasant Surprises in Los Angeles!

I hope to see that type of garden rampant before I die.
I scrolled quickly through the latter part of your post -- Until I saw Sky Fly! LOVE it! Thanks, as always, Robert.

sbrobert Jul 23, 2018 11:42 AM
Pleasant Surprises in Los Angeles!

MISSBLEU, WINTER, REX, NAMASTE, DUCKY, TINKER, FLICKA and more you have really made my day with your very kind words! Thank you! Yes, it is wonderful to discover so much beauty in unexpected places! At a sewage treatment plant, no less!
NAMASTE: Yes, the admission is $5 each for adults. Parking is free. I would say it is a bargain. The Japanese Garden in San Francisco Golden Gate Park charges $9 and I think the LA one is better.

a-1532319846 Jul 22, 2018 09:24 PM
Pleasant Surprises in Los Angeles!

Thank you, Robert, for the reminder that there's beauty and magic to be found everywhere for those willing to look.

tinker1 Jul 22, 2018 09:21 PM
Pleasant Surprises in Los Angeles!

I grew up in lLA and my parents loved to explore. I saw many lovely places growing up despite LA's reputation

REX OF SB Jul 22, 2018 04:51 PM
Pleasant Surprises in Los Angeles!

Wow, that looks amazing! GREAT pictures. I never think of the Valley as being particularly interesting, but it seems that parts of it are indeed spectacular.

winter Jul 22, 2018 03:44 PM
Pleasant Surprises in Los Angeles!

Lived in L.A. many years ago...
Thanks for the beautiful and uplifting photos.
There are a lot of hidden treasures there !

MissBleu Jul 22, 2018 02:44 PM
Pleasant Surprises in Los Angeles!

Again Robert Bernstein...
A very Life Affirming photo essay... After my sisters moved
away from Alta Dena to live elsewhere , I too have had no inclination to
voluntarily go South. Very uplifting...

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