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Old 06-14-2012, 11:48 AM
 
79 posts, read 168,662 times
Reputation: 79

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I was not happy about having to travel to Los Angeles for work. Don't get me wrong, I love to see new places but prefer smaller towns and natural areas and was not enthusiastic about visiting a vast urban area all alone such a long way from my Florida home. But as it turned out I had a wonderful visit and wish I had scheduled in some extra days since I barely scratched the surface.

1. The first couple of nights I stayed near the airport in El Segundo and found time to visit the beach communities. I loved the character of Hermosa Beach - the pier area with its surf shops was classic - Manhattan Beach was very nice too. I wanted to dine in Marina Del Rey but the traffic was jammed so I headed to Venice Beach - the board walk was quite entertaining reminded me of Key West but with special businesses whose employees wear bright green. I went on to Santa Monica and was blown away by the beach, the pier with the amusement park, the wonderful linear public space along the bluff on Ocean Avenue and the interesting qualities of the community. I could see myself living there! I could not keep my eyes off of the beautiful curving shoreline heading north toward Malibu with the Santa Monica Mountains as a backdrop - it was very familiar to me since I have seen it on TV hundreds of times! Florida has terrific beaches but we cannot match the scenic vistas of the Los Angeles coast. But I will say the ocean water is much warmer here.

2. One of my best days started with a visit to Brentwood, Westwood and UCLA - wonderful campus and wonderful surroundings. I drove around Beverly Hills - extreme architecture and extreme landscaping. It was surprising how fast people drive down Benedict Canyon and other steep curving roadways. Did the tourist things in Hollywood, Griffith Observatory was fabulous, I was amazed by seeing snow out in the distance on Big Bear. In the afternoon I was in the studio audience of the Tonight Show which was a good time.

3. I spent a couple of nights downtown which was at first scary - maybe because I drove there via the south central area (which reminded me of Miami) - and I felt bad for the homeless people. Then on a Sunday morning there was a family bike day where streets were blocked off and an estimated 100,000 riders toured the downtown. I kept seeing buildings from movies - like the Los Angeles Theater - and loved the Grand Central Market and families out walking and shopping in the apparel district. Went to a Lakers game at the Staples Center and was in awe of the retired jerseys and championship banners. L.A. Live was a lot of fun. Took a look at USC - wonderful campus but not so wonderful nearby. Downtown, I discovered, is well worth experiencing.

4. At the end of the trip I headed for Malibu. Point Dume and Zuma Beach were highlights of the trip - Point Dume is a California image that will always be in my head. Then I went further north (west?) and ended up in Santa Barbara which was perfect in most every way, if you are rich. Loved the waterfront, saw some Grey Whales, the downtown street was impeccable (similar to Naples or Sarasota), and the drive along the ridge line up above the town was memorable including a Rattlesnake on the road and fearless hang gliders.

To me the diversity of Los Angeles was biggest surprise. It is not one city, it is a wide collection of places and people. Now I am dreaming of a return visit this time with my family!
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,539,455 times
Reputation: 3999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squiffynole View Post
I was not happy about having to travel to Los Angeles for work. Don't get me wrong, I love to see new places but prefer smaller towns and natural areas and was not enthusiastic about visiting a vast urban area all alone such a long way from my Florida home. But as it turned out I had a wonderful visit and wish I had scheduled in some extra days since I barely scratched the surface.

1. The first couple of nights I stayed near the airport in El Segundo and found time to visit the beach communities. I loved the character of Hermosa Beach - the pier area with its surf shops was classic - Manhattan Beach was very nice too. I wanted to dine in Marina Del Rey but the traffic was jammed so I headed to Venice Beach - the board walk was quite entertaining reminded me of Key West but with special businesses whose employees wear bright green. I went on to Santa Monica and was blown away by the beach, the pier with the amusement park, the wonderful linear public space along the bluff on Ocean Avenue and the interesting qualities of the community. I could see myself living there! I could not keep my eyes off of the beautiful curving shoreline heading north toward Malibu with the Santa Monica Mountains as a backdrop - it was very familiar to me since I have seen it on TV hundreds of times! Florida has terrific beaches but we cannot match the scenic vistas of the Los Angeles coast. But I will say the ocean water is much warmer here.

2. One of my best days started with a visit to Brentwood, Westwood and UCLA - wonderful campus and wonderful surroundings. I drove around Beverly Hills - extreme architecture and extreme landscaping. It was surprising how fast people drive down Benedict Canyon and other steep curving roadways. Did the tourist things in Hollywood, Griffith Observatory was fabulous, I was amazed by seeing snow out in the distance on Big Bear. In the afternoon I was in the studio audience of the Tonight Show which was a good time.

3. I spent a couple of nights downtown which was at first scary - maybe because I drove there via the south central area (which reminded me of Miami) - and I felt bad for the homeless people. Then on a Sunday morning there was a family bike day where streets were blocked off and an estimated 100,000 riders toured the downtown. I kept seeing buildings from movies - like the Los Angeles Theater - and loved the Grand Central Market and families out walking and shopping in the apparel district. Went to a Lakers game at the Staples Center and was in awe of the retired jerseys and championship banners. L.A. Live was a lot of fun. Took a look at USC - wonderful campus but not so wonderful nearby. Downtown, I discovered, is well worth experiencing.

4. At the end of the trip I headed for Malibu. Point Dume and Zuma Beach were highlights of the trip - Point Dume is a California image that will always be in my head. Then I went further north (west?) and ended up in Santa Barbara which was perfect in most every way, if you are rich. Loved the waterfront, saw some Grey Whales, the downtown street was impeccable (similar to Naples or Sarasota), and the drive along the ridge line up above the town was memorable including a Rattlesnake on the road and fearless hang gliders.

To me the diversity of Los Angeles was biggest surprise. It is not one city, it is a wide collection of places and people. Now I am dreaming of a return visit this time with my family!
Nice write-up, that is one of the things I love about LA, there seems to be something for just about everyone. Pretty great timing to go to Downtown LA during CycLAvia!
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:33 PM
 
7,634 posts, read 3,735,360 times
Reputation: 4211
Rich people really know how to enjoy a city. Assuming you are considering you saw the lakers was part of a studio audience and did all that. For us even living here, it would be like "Someday we will see the lakers.. Some day".

Next time you come, check out Dodger Stadium, and the Mexican food.
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,539,455 times
Reputation: 3999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicano3000X View Post
Rich people really know how to enjoy a city. Assuming you are considering you saw the lakers was part of a studio audience and did all that. For us even living here, it would be like "Someday we will see the lakers.. Some day".

Next time you come, check out Dodger Stadium, and the Mexican food.
Studio audience is almost always free.

My wife and I were walking around Hollywood and Highland a couple weeks ago and a PA for the Kimmel Show walked up to us and asked if we wanted to fill the last two spots in the studio audience, totally free and we didn't even have to wait in line (it was like 10 minutes before the show started).
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:50 PM
 
7,634 posts, read 3,735,360 times
Reputation: 4211
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
Studio audience is almost always free.

My wife and I were walking around Hollywood and Highland a couple weeks ago and a PA for the Kimmel Show walked up to us and asked if we wanted to fill the last two spots in the studio audience, totally free and we didn't even have to wait in line (it was like 10 minutes before the show started).
That's pretty cool. I learned something today..
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,539,455 times
Reputation: 3999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicano3000X View Post
That's pretty cool. I learned something today..
Shows like Conan O Brien have a lottery system, but it if you try enough it sounds like you will get a seat.

The waiting in line is the biggest reason I've only done it that one time.
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:30 PM
 
Location: L.A./O.C.
574 posts, read 1,208,510 times
Reputation: 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squiffynole View Post
I was not happy about having to travel to Los Angeles for work. Don't get me wrong, I love to see new places but prefer smaller towns and natural areas and was not enthusiastic about visiting a vast urban area all alone such a long way from my Florida home. But as it turned out I had a wonderful visit and wish I had scheduled in some extra days since I barely scratched the surface.

1. The first couple of nights I stayed near the airport in El Segundo and found time to visit the beach communities. I loved the character of Hermosa Beach - the pier area with its surf shops was classic - Manhattan Beach was very nice too. I wanted to dine in Marina Del Rey but the traffic was jammed so I headed to Venice Beach - the board walk was quite entertaining reminded me of Key West but with special businesses whose employees wear bright green. I went on to Santa Monica and was blown away by the beach, the pier with the amusement park, the wonderful linear public space along the bluff on Ocean Avenue and the interesting qualities of the community. I could see myself living there! I could not keep my eyes off of the beautiful curving shoreline heading north toward Malibu with the Santa Monica Mountains as a backdrop - it was very familiar to me since I have seen it on TV hundreds of times! Florida has terrific beaches but we cannot match the scenic vistas of the Los Angeles coast. But I will say the ocean water is much warmer here.

2. One of my best days started with a visit to Brentwood, Westwood and UCLA - wonderful campus and wonderful surroundings. I drove around Beverly Hills - extreme architecture and extreme landscaping. It was surprising how fast people drive down Benedict Canyon and other steep curving roadways. Did the tourist things in Hollywood, Griffith Observatory was fabulous, I was amazed by seeing snow out in the distance on Big Bear. In the afternoon I was in the studio audience of the Tonight Show which was a good time.

3. I spent a couple of nights downtown which was at first scary - maybe because I drove there via the south central area (which reminded me of Miami) - and I felt bad for the homeless people. Then on a Sunday morning there was a family bike day where streets were blocked off and an estimated 100,000 riders toured the downtown. I kept seeing buildings from movies - like the Los Angeles Theater - and loved the Grand Central Market and families out walking and shopping in the apparel district. Went to a Lakers game at the Staples Center and was in awe of the retired jerseys and championship banners. L.A. Live was a lot of fun. Took a look at USC - wonderful campus but not so wonderful nearby. Downtown, I discovered, is well worth experiencing.

4. At the end of the trip I headed for Malibu. Point Dume and Zuma Beach were highlights of the trip - Point Dume is a California image that will always be in my head. Then I went further north (west?) and ended up in Santa Barbara which was perfect in most every way, if you are rich. Loved the waterfront, saw some Grey Whales, the downtown street was impeccable (similar to Naples or Sarasota), and the drive along the ridge line up above the town was memorable including a Rattlesnake on the road and fearless hang gliders.

To me the diversity of Los Angeles was biggest surprise. It is not one city, it is a wide collection of places and people. Now I am dreaming of a return visit this time with my family!
glad you enjoyed Los Angeles
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:35 PM
 
Location: West LA
2,318 posts, read 7,126,201 times
Reputation: 1099
Always happy to hear when our city makes a positive impression on visitors! It sounds like you made VERY good use of your time here.
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:29 PM
 
491 posts, read 2,090,743 times
Reputation: 535
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicano3000X View Post
Rich people really know how to enjoy a city. Assuming you are considering you saw the lakers was part of a studio audience and did all that. For us even living here, it would be like "Someday we will see the lakers.. Some day".

Next time you come, check out Dodger Stadium, and the Mexican food.

You are making assumptions and judgements about people you don't know.
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:36 PM
 
491 posts, read 2,090,743 times
Reputation: 535
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squiffynole View Post
To me the diversity of Los Angeles was biggest surprise. It is not one city, it is a wide collection of places and people. Now I am dreaming of a return visit this time with my family!

Exactly! Glad you experienced such a nice variety of things.
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