From Hollywood To Long Beach & Points In-Between

posted in: California | 0

Getting a Taste of LA traffic

Mustang Convertible
Our Rental car for the week

We woke up to a beautiful, sunny day in LA. Not wanting to eat out contently our first order of the day was to the local grocer, Ralph’s, to stock up on supplies. We popped the roof top down and then headed through town to go to Venice Beach. It was still early and all the shops were closed apart from a  medical marijuana shop. We walked the beautiful beach and watched the surfers out on the water. The waves were intense and there were signs saying not to get in just for swimming. From the beach we kept wandering down and eventually spotted the Santa Monica pier. One thing that surprised me about LA was the mountain range behind the city. I didn’t realize how big they would be. Super beautiful spot.

Early morning LA
Between jet lag and an early morning, Devon was ready for a coffee
Venice Beach Surfer
Early Morning in Venice Beach
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier, with the hills in the distance

Trying to cram in as much as possible we left and headed towards Long Beach on the 405 highway. The traffic was UNREAL. Devon was driving and it was bumper to bumper across 14 lanes going 130kms/hour. It was overwhelming and exhilarating all at the same time. We listened to some great tunes and set off. We quickly stopped in Long Beach to explore and then got back on the highway to go to Newport. I’m embarrassed to admit my love for the TV series Orange County, but I just had to go. Even though it wasn’t exactly where the TV show was filmed I was excited to be there. We checked out a farmers market and strolled along the pier. We then went to Trader Joe’s to pick up some lunch.

Long Beach sign 405
405 Southbound towards Long Beach
Tsunami warning sign
First of Many Tsunami warning signs we saw (Newport Beach)
Newport Beach
Still fairly early by the time we got to Newport, but the beach was already starting to fill up!

Our next mission was to head back to Hollywood. I wanted to check out Rodeo Drive and see the Hollywood sign. Trying to find the Hollywood sign ended up being quite the adventure. It was hard to find the best spot to view it so we ended up having a great tour of the Hollywood hills area. The homes were unbelievable.

Beverly Hills Mansion
One of the many huge houses looking over the city as you start to get into the hills.
Hollywood Mustang
Hollywood California

Hollywood Celebrity Sightings and Walk of Fame

We only went into one shop which was the Tiffany on Rodeo Drive. When we got back to our car we saw paparazzi right in front of us taking pictures of who we realized was Amy Adams and some of her family. I was excited to see her and instantly wanted to take a picture but out of respect I just couldn’t. She looked so uncomfortable with the paparazzi coming up to her and her child and it reminded me of being at a zoo and seeing animals in distress over their confinement. I felt bad for her having to deal with them in that way. She was parked right behind us and made her getaway.

Next, we went to check out the walk of fame area to see some stars. Luck would have it that the first one I saw was the Backstreet Boys! I was a huge fan when I was a kid so you can imagine my excitement and Devon’s embarrassment. Haha!

Backsteet on Main Street
Backstreet Boys Hall of Hame star!!!
Just a quick note: The walk of fame is a Zoo. Avoid the street hustlers and get in and out if you stopping by the area. speaking of In and Out…

We were already happy with how much we had accomplished but the day wasn’t over yet. For dinner we decided to try the famous In n’ Out Burger joint that is so popular In California. We fell in love instantly with the cheap eats and delicious offerings. Even though I am vegetarian I still had an option which was awesome. From here, we did more touring and then checked out the Santa Monica Pier in the nighttime lights. It was beautiful but we decided not to pay to go on it and instead walked the beach a bit and then went back to our Airbnb for the night. It was a great day and we saw so much of the city. I was quickly falling for California and every day that passed made me love it more and more.

Santa Monica Pier at night
Santa Monica Pier at night