Pleasant Surprises in Los Angeles!
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!
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!