My first trip to California was Amazing…I spent 5 days soaking in the Cali Life and I enjoyed every minute of it. We had perfect, sunny, warm weather which is always a plus. There was so much to see and do! We rented a car and we did a lot of driving. The traffic wasn’t as horrific as I thought it would be (but I am from NY and travel to the city regularly so maybe I’m used to it). We flew into LAX late on a Wednesday night and we picked up our Camaro (not a convertible, hubby was being frugal) and the first stop was Del Taco YUM!(Wayyy better than Taco Bell in my personal opinion). I had a shrimp taco and it tasted super fresh. We checked into the Best Western hotel Redondo Beach (this time I was being frugal but they did offer free parking and breakfast) and tried to rest up for our first day in Cali.
Day 1: I wanted a beach day so I just googled “best beaches in LA” and Manhattan Beach was one of them. We headed out bright and early to have some fun in the sun. It’s a good thing we headed out early because parking can be a problem. We lounged on the beach and did some people watching. The water was too cold for swimming so I just got my feet wet. There were a lot of Volleyball nets and I hear Manhattan Beach is a good place for a game of Beach volleyball. After our day on the beach we cruised along the Pacific Coast and took in the sights. There were tons of gorgeous homes and scenic points where we took pictures on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and we caught the sunset. We also checked out Redondo Beach and Pier. There was really nothing much there. We just strolled and ate some Mexican food from a chain restaurant (El Torito). The food was nothing to rave about but I was starved and desperately wanted a Margarita so we settled. We picked up some Saltwater Taffy from a shop on the boardwalk. We did happen to see some Seals in the water by the boardwalk but it’s not a place I would visit again.
Day 2: We woke up extra early and headed out for the 2 hour drive to San Diego. We drove to La Jolla Beach. I heard it was a great place to see Seals so we had to check it out. It was amazing and it was my favorite part of the trip. The parking wasn’t the greatest and we almost had our spot stolen by an elderly women. It’s a beautiful beach with tons of seals swimming and sunbathing. They also have some of the cleanest porta potty’s I have ever seen. There was a baby seal who kept swimming very close to shore until a little girl on the beach scared it away. We took tons of great pictures and after walking around we settled on the beach to relax. We dined outside at Cody’s La Jolla. Hubby got Fish and Chips and I got a BLT with Avocado (I LOVE Avocado) along with an Iced Cold beer. On our way back to LA we stopped at Laguna Beach(which was gorgeous) and caught the sunset. We strolled on the boardwalk, people watched and stopped at a ice-cream shop for a treat. That night we also stopped at Wienerschnitzel (mainly because I liked the name) and had some Hot dogs and they were pretty tasty.
Day 3: One of the many things on my Bucket List was to visit the Hollywood Sign and take some cool pics with it. So I threw on a cute romper, hat, and shades(not typical hiking attire) and we were on a mission to hike to the Hollywood Sign. It was a very hot day so we made sure we had plenty of water. The hike we chose to take pictures with the sign was about 1 1/2 hours long but we stopped along the way to take pictures and drink water. We did not hike all the way to the actual sign which is about 2 1/2 hours long(maybe next time). After the hike back we visited the Famous Pink’s Hot Dog’s and the line was pretty long . It was about a 20-25 minute wait to have some yummy chilli dogs with cheese fries. (worth it!) After we scarfed those down we drove to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and walked around to see all the crazy characters dressed up as Spiderman and Batman trying to charge to take pictures with them. I just kept it moving and made no eye contact. LOL. We checked out the souvenir shops and that was about it. I think that place was overrated and overrun by tourists but it’s something touristy you have to check out if you’re in the area. We then drove to Rodeo Drive to window shop and check out the fancy cars. I was trying to catch a celebrity sighting but no such luck. I didn’t even walk into any of the stores, we just strolled around. Then we headed to the Santa Monica Pier, I had always wanted to visit this place. I am a big fan of carnivals and board walks, however the lines were so long to purchase tickets for the rides and for the rides themselves. It was a Saturday night and there was so much traffic and people there that night. We ate at an italian restaurant on the Boardwalk and relaxed with a glass of wine.
Day 4: We went to Venice Beach and played in the sun all day. We got there early and it was nice and quiet with mostly surfers. A woman came around selling mango slices and assorted fruit. We love mangos so we bought one and she sprinkled them with chili powder and some other spices YUM! Afterwards we walked the entire boardwalk and checked out the shops and characters on muscle beach. There was the Venice Beach “Freak Show”, tattoo parlors and street performers. There were many places to eat, however we were holding out for our Fried Chicken and waffles, and thats where we were headed for next! We drove to Roscoe’s House of Chicken and waffles. The waffles were sooo good! I don’t know if it was the butter or the syrup but it was the best waffles that I have ever eaten. The restaurant isn’t much to look at and service wasn’t the greatest, but the food made it totally worth it.
Day 5: We had to check out Olvera Street in Downtown LA, especially since it was Cinco de Mayo. There were a few places to eat and they had alot of small shops and vendors. We ate some Beef Taquitos with avocado sauce from Cielito Lindo. I really wanted churros but we could not locate any. I bought a Mexican Blanket from a vendor that is supposed to be authentic, who knows. We checked out where Rob Dyrdek filmed Fantasy Factory, (I am a fan of Rob Dyrdek but we were really just killing time). On our way to the airport our last stop was In-N-Out Burger. The burger was delicious and we ordered it Animal Style which is one of the most popular “secret” styles (pickles, extra spread, grilled onions, and mustard)
I really enjoyed my first trip to Cali. I tried to fit in as many things on my trip as possible. The only thing that I did not get a chance to do was the Rose Bowl Flea Market(it only takes place every second Sunday of the month) TMZ tour, and the San Diego Zoo. Cali was a different experience for me and I’m hoping to head back soon. Maybe next time I will check out wine country and San Francisco.