Friday, May 24, 2013

California Vacation: Part 2

The final 2 1/2 days of our trip were pretty jam packed.  There is really so much to see in the L.A. area.

Saturday morning we rented bicycles and rode along the beach strip.  It was really one of the highlights of the trip for me (and of course, no pics).  It was just so beautiful, amazing people watching, and I was doing something somewhat athletic with my husband.  Can't beat that!

Afterwards we headed right into L.A. to see the La Brea Tar Pits.  Guy had been dying to see them.  Me?  It was ok, but I could appreciate how excited Guy was.  Basically the tar pits were formed tens of thousands of years ago and over time the bones of animals trapped in them have been preserved.  

Our next stop was definitely more my style... Rodeo Drive.  Ha!  Actually just finding a parking spot was pretty fun - we parked right in the middle of one of the surrounding neighborhoods and walked a few blocks to get to the shopping.  Those houses are insane!  And, of course, so is the shopping.  So out of my price range it isn't even funny.  

We were pretty tired afterwards to we headed back to Redondo Beach for a little R & R.  Right before sunset we walked over to the marina and beach for a gorgeous walk.  

I would live in California in a heartbeat.

Sunday morning we headed to Hollywood.  It sort of reminds me of a scaled down Las Vegas - a very commercialized strip filled with some interesting characters and plenty of tourists.  We did get a private tour of Grauman's Chinese Theatre which was awesome!  It was neat to hear it's history and learn all the insider stories of the big Hollywood Premiers.

Marilyn Monroe's Vanity

Next up we did some celebrity home sightings.  Of course you really can't see much - they have fences and huge bushes to give privacy but it was kind of neat.  Our favorite one was actually the Playboy mansion.  All you could see was the very top of house, but you could hear all of the animal noises.  It sounded just like a zoo!

Our next stop was a tour at Paramount Studios, another highlight for me.  We learned SO much about the movie business, production, and some actor secrets.  While we were there we saw some of the cast of Glee while they were filming.

We then meandered on to 3rd and Fairfax, where the famous Farmer's Market and "Grove" is.  It was definitely foodie heaven!

Finally we ended our day with one of the coolest things I have ever done - a drive through the Hollywood Hills at night.  The infamous Mulholland Drive is absolutely breathtaking!

Did I mention that we had rented a convertible for the trip?  Worth. Every. Penny.  It really added to the trip and was a blast to ride around in. Doesn't Guy look so cute?  :)

I can't even describe to you how beautiful this drive was.  

The next morning it was time to head home.  Before leaving we took one last long walk around the beach and boardwalk areas.  We saw seals swimming along the boats, had a homeless man playing practical jokes on us, and admired the beach for one last time.

Honestly this was one of the best vacations ever.  It was so good for us to get away and spend time JUST US and explore an area that neither one of us and had ever been to.  I am dying to go on another trip!