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West Coast Virtual Road Trip: Stop Three, USC, Downtown

Hmmm... I seem to have kind of blown my virtual budget for the LA section of the trip already. Where did that money go? Losing apparently puts a serious hurt on my spending habits. Alright, then we're scratching Disneyland and Catalina. Day Three apparently we have to entertain ourselves on a budget, even though we witnessed another tough loss to the Dodgers last night. So, since being on a budget reminds me of my college days, why not head back to ye olde alma mater to catch up on the good times. And since it's breakfast, why not head to La Taquiza?

Seriously, you wouldn't know it from the outside, but this strip mall hides some of the best Mexican food in Los Angeles, and Los Angeles has plenty of good Mexican food so that's a huge compliment. While this restaurant is commonly reviewed for their lunch and dinner offerings, I have to say that personally their breakfast is what I miss most. Particularly the juevos con chorizo and juevos rancheros, which they thankfully serve all day (yes, in college communities this is a necessity).

Speaking of the college community, you'll notice while we're here that the campus at 'SC isn't exactly in the kind of neighborhood you'd expect for how much it costs to go there. Maybe that's why Matt Leinart and his dad thought to rescue Dwayne Jarrett and put him up in Matt's luxury digs. Oops, a review of the rule book probably would have helped before making that decision. Anyway, just south of campus is Exposition Park, where we can go to any of several museums, an IMAX theater, or for an even cheaper treat, just stop and smell the roses.

The rose garden was planted next to the Coliseum with one rosebush for each of USC's Rose Bowl victories over the years. Alright, just kidding, but the garden is beautiful this time of year. Directly west of the rose garden and north of the stadium is LA's Museum of Natural History. I've taken the liberty of finding out what's gooing on there, and it turns out we're just in time for an exhibit detailing the way the Rockies have played against the Dodgers this season called

Yes, mysterious indeed. I just suggest that if we take Clint Barmes along, we stay away from the North American Mammal exhibit.

From here it's a short hop onto the Dash (it's still just $0.25? fantastic!) up to downtown.

When we pass the Staples Center, we'll be headed in the opposite direction, try not to stare at the dejected Kobe and Elton wondering where they went wrong, it's impolite. Once we're there we'll discover we really can't do much of anything except for maybe head over to Phillipe's for some more tasty treats. Taking a walking tour of downtown Los Angeles architecture can be a fascinating trip through time, especially for architecture buffs like myself. Starting with the earliest settlements on Olvera Street winding around up through the noirish City Hall and Union Station and right to the spectacularly designed (by Trojan Frank Gehry) Disney Hall, I find it to be a jolt of culture I wouldn't expect from this city. From Phillipe's it's actually not too difficult a walk to Dodger Stadium, I've done it before (but sisters I would definitely not suggest this at night alone). You head up through Chinatown to a foot bridge crossing the freeway and then up the hill to the Stadium. Whew! Let's be sure to bring a water bottle. Sorry again for spending all our money yesterday or I would call for a cab instead. The star is Phillipe's at 1001 N Alameda.