We decided to drive up the coast this weekend. We’d gotten as far as Laguna before and turned inland, and really wanted to finally see LA. I was jumping up and down all morning while MK worked, all hyped up on Diet Dr.P. It was high time we had our little coast party weekend.
Our first stop was in Huntington Beach. We parked by the pier and checked out the Farmer’s Market, the Pier, the main strip of shops, which were nice and reasonable. Huntington has almost 9 miles of straight beach. Niiice. We shopped, walked, saw tons of volleyball players, and noticed that we were the oldest people there. Well, close. I’m putting median age at 16. Don’t they have school on Fridays?
We drove through Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and up to Long Beach. The LBC! It’s not what you think, if you think like me. Theres a ton of industrial port stuff going on, there were more chains than I expected, and I didn’t see one person that could pass for an up and coming musician…
The drive continued through Rancho Palos Verdes, where I spotted the Trump Golf Course. If I ever golf, I’d do it there, on the cliffs overlooking the ocean. It looked spectacular. The houses there were accordingly insane, some just as big as we later saw in Beverly Hills. We stopped in a cove and watched some dolphins paying in the waves below us.
Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach, which for whatever reason I was expecting great things from, were mostly unremarkable, and we decided to not even stop there. Manhattan Beach was much more eclectic of a beach town, with a nice So-Co (South Congress, that is) kind of a vibe. We drove through El Segundo, and I am happy to report I did not leave my wallet.
We drove through quite a bot of Santa Monica, by the coast, by Venice Beach, and by the mall. Venice by the water was filthy (worse than PB at least), but the shopping on Main Street was cute, it got nicer as you headed north. The Third Street Promenade reminded me of Boston by Faneuil Hall, there were restaurants and street performers and no cars. It was really nice. We hit LA traffic as we headed in right at 7, but got through it easily and saw the longest line in the world for an appearance by Jared Leto. Hmm. We drive right down Rodeo Drive while it was nice and empty, and headed through Beverly Hills to see some mansions.
If any one else said it, it would sound crazy, but it was adorable that my ever-so-unassuming husband actually told BB on the phone that he’d “really like to live here, it’s a nice neighborhood”. Too cute. After driving by the Beverly Hills Hotel and Chateau Marmot and heading down Sunset Strip, I started making reality tv show type recollections, as in gaining the ability to point out to MK many places I’ve seen or heard about (ex. Ketchup – famous from the Hills hahaha) It was a lot of silly fun. We parked to visit the Chinese Theater, Kodak Theater, Hollywood Blvd. stars, and mostly wander through crowds to get some coffee. I love seeing other people love touristy stuff. Our car happened to be right where we could sit and watch Jimmy Kimmel Live’s outdoor stage set up for Paramore. I don’t care what you think, I like that girl’s voice and was pretty excited. We went up north to Valencia to stay overnight.
The hotel we stayed at was one of the nicest I’ve ever seen other than in Vegas. Our room had it’s own patio deck for laying out, and there was a giant pool, fire, and garden. We headed out through the shopping center in the morning. MK actually spent some formative years out here, so he let me know what was new and old as we drove through all of Valencia, Saugus, and Santa Clarita, and he took me to see the house he grew up in. We had a nice little greasy spoon breakfast and went to Vasquez Rocks.
When MK told me we were going there I didn’t know what it was, but I recognized it as soon as we pulled up. I hiked up the whole thing (yes, in a sundress) and we got some great pictures. It was beautiful. We drove past Magic Mountain, where MK spent most of his youth, and got on the road to Ojai, the place I picked for our trip.
Ojai has been in tons of shows and news pieces lately, and I really wanted to see what it was all about. We stopped on the way out there and bought more strawberries and oranges than a human could eat in a year for 10$. We saw Thomas Aquinas College, which was neat. The view from the inland road above Ojai Valley was amazing. We had some local Italian and wine for lunch at Boccali’s, and enjoyed the sunny afternoon as we strolled through the parks and shops.
The whole drive to Malibu we saw some incredible houses. The canyons were immense. There was still some fire damage in some places by Pepperdine. We stopped in their main shopping center for coffee. My husband, who never knows who anyone is, spotted first the swarm of paps, then none other than Val Kilmer running out of Ralph Lauren. I was pretty impressed – by MK.
Malibu makes no sense to me, as there is very little parking and houses on most of the water front. We drove back up through some other hills and cliffs look at houses. We stopped at Will Rogers State Beach, and walked up and down the Santa Monica Pier. I think all piers should be like this, with rides and games and amusement-type things, as opposed to the Ruby’s diners that you usually see.
Back in LA we saw the Sherman Oaks Galleria and the Getty Center. We managed to drive through half of Hollywood and Hollywoodland and checked out the sign. Also of note was the line of 100s of cars and aliens heading into the giant Church of Scientology Celebrity Center.
I’ve got image descriptions for all the pictures, here’s the link!