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California Trip 2013: Day 3 Los Angeles: California Science Center – Space Shuttle Endeavor and a Lady Gaga Concert

California Science Center, Los Angeles
California Science Center, Los Angeles

In the morning Meg and I drove up to Los Angeles to the California Science Center. As a fan of the Olympics and NASA I could take care of two of these loves at once. The memorial coliseum nearby the science center housed the 1932 Olympics. I was happy to find this bit of history but this seemed to be the only Olympic structure I could find in the area. Since LA has hosted the Olympics twice, once in 1932 and once in 1984, I would think there might be something else!?!  If anyone knows of any more in the Los Angeles area please let me know in the comments section!

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

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In addition to seeing the coliseum we were here to visit the recently arrived Endeavor space shuttle at the California Science Center.

The ticket pricing was slightly confusing online but we were able to get tickets to see the shuttle for $2 (note this did not include visiting the rest of the science center, otherwise we would have paid $8.25). The $2 fee was quite the bargain and perhaps made up for the long wait to see the shuttle.

The Space Shuttle Endeavor
The Space Shuttle Endeavor

We were filed into lines and asked to wait although as we were standing in line we kept seeing people walk right into the exhibit which obviously made sense to all of us in line.

Finally we got inside the exhibit and followed the line of many people to the shuttle.  As we waited we saw a video of the shuttle being transported through the streets of LA to the science center. There was some pretty tight spots and tricky maneuvering that was done to not damage the ship or any of the buildings it passed.

Space Shuttle Endeavor
Space Shuttle Endeavor

Toyota was there to pull the shuttle but I think their commercials lead you to believe that they pulled the shuttle further than they did. It was really just a brief part of the trip across a bridge.  The machinery carrying the shuttle and the shuttle’s weight were too much for the bridge so they swapped out the machine for a Toyota Tundra truck.  You can watch the video here to see how the shuttle was taken from the LAX airport to the science center. Regardless of the slight mislead it is impressive that a stock pickup truck can pull a space shuttle!  I’m pretty sure my stock pickup truck can not!

Rocket Engine at the California Science Center
Rocket Engine at the California Science Center

We had finally found our way to the building that housed the massive shuttle. Meg and I walked in and I was a little disappointed as the building was not large enough to get an entire full length shot of the shuttle. You could not get far enough back from the ship for the shot. I still got some photos, even pinning myself against the furthest wall or kneeling down, anything I could think of to try to get a complete shot, but alas no complete shot.  I guess my memory will have to do!

If you would like to visit the space shuttle Endeavor it is located at the California Science Center on 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles CA 90037. They are open 10am to 5pm. Parking is $10 for cars and $25 for buses. They only accept cash for parking.

We were on our way to a Lady Gaga concert that night at the Staples Center. So we drove further into the heart of Los Angeles to our hotel and met up with one of Meg’s friends who was joining us for the concert.

Now I would not call myself Gaga’s number one fan – but I know a couple songs.  What I enjoy about her is her crazy outfits, her stage presence and her devotion to her fans.

Two years earlier Meg and I had gone to a Lady Gaga concert in Tacoma Washington. That night was a sight for sure. People were dressed up in all sorts of costumes immortalizing Gaga. She has a hard core fan base for sure.

This time we were going to the concert in LA. I expected big things. Much to my disappointment few were dressed up. Even I had made an effort to put on something flashy, not that I had soda pop cans rolled up in my hair, but I at least sparkled (PS we saw people in Tacoma with soda pop cans in their hair).

Staples Center Los Angeles
Staples Center Los Angeles

Aside from the lack of enthusiasm from the crowd I was still at the Staples Center and was excited to be in the same place that “The Great One” once played for the Kings.

"The Great One"  Wayne Gretzky
“The Great One” Wayne Gretzky

After we reached our seats I soon realized our seats were less than awesome. I could not see a thing, even with binoculars. This was the most I had ever paid (I won’t tell you how much as I don’t want you to cry along with me) for a concert ticket and to not be able to see much, even on the jumbotron was gut wrenching.

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