Ready for the real Southern California?

Next week, this site is taking a detour from consumer advocacy to bring you a place that’s near and dear to me: Southern California.

For two weeks, I’ll be touring the Southland with my family and blogging, twittering and shooting the experience. You can read about it on National Geographic Traveler’s Intelligent Travel blog, on our photoblog, Souvenirist, and here. You can also follow me on Twitter for the very latest.

What separates an authentic Southern California experience from, like, a totally fakey one?

Well, I think I have a reasonably good idea. I lived there five years and attended college in Orange County. But at the same time, I admit there’s plenty for me — for us — to discover. Which is why I’m doing this.
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Which city has the worst traffic in America? Survey says …

laLos Angeles. That’s according to a new survey by Inrix, which provides traffic and navigation services and produces a biannual traffic scorecard.

But there’s good news — or was good news — even for Angelinos who dread their morning commute. Gridlock reached its low point in the second quarter of 2009, thanks to the recession.

Unfortunately, it’s started to rebound again.

Here’s the Inrix list of most congested cities:
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Los Angeles

There may be no better place to see Los Angeles than from Griffith Park Observatory. Aren couldn’t stay away from his telescope.

Iden preferred the indoor ones.

The interactive exhibits were pretty cool, too.