Sunday, February 24, 2013

Los Angeles, California: Part II


In Ottawa, I like to make sure that E and I have something to do most days.  We've taken a number of classes, attended drop-in play groups and spent time with other moms and babes.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find many drop-in options in LA.  Not to mention that the city is so huge that, even if I did find something, it would be nearly impossible for me to get there without a car.

So, although I enjoyed our little routine, I was glad to break it up with spending time with friends/family who visited, taking a couple of trips and exploring with R on the weekend.  Here's some of what we did:

I don't have a tonne of food photos.  I know -- not at all like me.  But, with taking care of E, I'm always one hand short as it is.  Here are a couple of food shots I managed to take. During a hop-on/hop-off tour, we checked out the shops of Melrose and went for lunch at Pink's Hot Dogs



They warned me that the polish dogs were spicy...Yowza!

Another nearby food institution was Cantor's.  I'm a long-time fan of corned beef.  So, I had to try it out. There are also a couple of places in the Farmer's Market that make a good corned beef sandwich.


I was less impressed with Magnolia's cupcakes.  The banana cupcake came recommended by the lady working behind the counter.  But I found the cake was dry and the icing tasted like Wilton's icing (which isn't my favourite).  Nonetheless, they're pretty to look at.


My cousin came out to visit.  He wanted to see the walk of fame.  So, we spent some time walking down Hollywood Blvd and walking around the Highland Center.




While walking down the street, we were approached by at least 10 people trying to get you to take their tour of celebrity homes.

I was curious about what the homes in Beverly Hills look liked.  We decided to take a tour with Hollywoodland Tours because they offered a 2 hour tour of celebrity homes, sites in the city and the Hollywood sign for around $25.  

The sign is so iconic, you need to get a picture of it.  This is the closest you can get to the sign by car.   



People in LA seem to have a fascination with putting a gate in front of their homes (not only celebrity homes).  So, most of the pictures I have of homes in  Beverly Hills are of gates.  The closest we came to seeing a celebrity while on the tour was driving by Larry King's kids play basketball.  Below is the view of Dr. Phil's house.  I remember it because it's one of the homes where you can see more than just the chimney from the street.


Friends with two kids came to visit about mid-way through our trip.  So, I joined them on a trip to Disneyland.  Although E was too small for most rides, I was glad we went.  I liked looking around the shops...though it required a lot of self-talk: "walk away from the $60 princess gown that will fit E for all of one month..." Even though I'm sure she had no idea what was going on, she quite enjoyed the parade and fireworks.  




We also enjoyed going to Santa Monica to check out the pier, walk along the beach and the pedestrian street.  


I had to laugh at this sign right by a play area near the pier:


It didn't occur to me that this would be an issue...though I did find myself giving the stink eye to a man who was taking pictures at the park a couple of days later.  He had a patrol vest on and told me he was scouting locations for a swing set.  


Another outing we did while in LA was visiting the observatory and hiking in Griffith Park. The  observatory offers a number of science-based exhibits and a planetarium.


You can also get some great panoramic views of LA from the observatory balcony:


Just off the parking lot to the observatory, we caught one of the many trails available in Griffith Park.


We figured that as long as we still had some hours of sunlight, water, a map and E was still happy, we could just follow whatever trail struck out fancy at the time.  


Aside from exploring LA, we also took a couple of trips within a trip.  But, I'll stop here for now and will be back with more travel pictures in a future post.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Los Angeles, California


Woah -- I didn't expect that EOK would be without posts for a couple of months!  R, E and I have been away and, although I had internet, it was pretty unreliable.

In early January, R's work finally made some decisions on sending him to to the States, temporarily.  So, we had about a week to prepare (book flights, find accommodation, tie up lose ends, pack, etc.) for a five week stint in Los Angeles.  Or, as R likes to put it, "Hollywood baby!"

We stayed in an apartment about a 10 minute walk way from The Grove, very close to Fairfax and Beverly.  The location worked out really well.  While R was working, E and I would regularly take a walk to Pan Pacific Park.  There's no way she would have had the opportunity to go for her first swing ride at home at this time of year.


After some swing time, we'd walk to the Grove and see if we could catch a bit of Extra filming.



When the movie choice was decent, we'd go to the Monday Mommy and Me movie at the theatre


hang out by the fountain, which is matched to music.


It took me a while, but I finally found the cupcake shop there.




I'd also keep an eyes out for celebrities.  I really wanted to see someone who wasn't there for publicity.  I truly didn't expect a celebrity to approach us.  But, Minnie Driver wanted to talk to E and any attempt to seem unaffected went out the window -- I had to take a picture!


Since it's right next to the Grove, we'd often grab a bite to eat at the Farmer's Market.  


From there, we'd often get a few groceries at the nearby Whole Foods or Trader Joe's.  

I'll stop there because if I try to capture everything in one post, it may take another month to post!
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