Many people do not know this, but Daddy Nomad actually graduated High School in Southern California. Yep. I bounced back and forth between a high school in the Philippines and a few high schools in Southeast Los Angeles and Northeast Orange County. However, the Nomads, as a traveling family, had never been to the area. With our home base, in SW Utah, being about 6 hours from Los Angeles, we could not resist a trip. This is how we did Los Angeles in a day.
Now, before you think that we saw everything there is to see in Los Angeles in one day, let me put that thought to rest. That is virtually impossible.However, we did visit quite a few different and diverse spots, all within a 24 hour time period. It helped that some of the attractions in LA were ones that had reciprocal locations in Orlando, Florida. So, we did not have to put Disney or Universal on our list.
First of all, we headed to Northern Orange County. Some friends of mine insisted that we stay with them at their beach front home in Sunset Beach, California. Our hosts were Mr. Edward and Mrs. Paula Harding. What many of you may not know is that Ed Harding is one of the kings of direct sales. He actually gave Tony Robbins his first job in sales and taught him to sell. Before Ed, Tony was broke. After Ed, he began his skyrocket to success. Nonetheless, Ed and Paula are pure gold and they treated the entire family fabulously.
We arrived to their home and settled in. It was not long before hors d’oeuvres were served. We enjoyed them while we watched the sunset between Catalina Island and Long Beach. We walked out onto the beach for a bit, enjoyed some good conversation on the deck and then adjourned for a fantastic steak and lobster dinner. Like I said, they are pure gold and took great care of us.
The next morning The Nomads woke up bright and early. We headed to a local place, called Woody’s, for breakfast. Great food and equally great service at a reasonable price.The wait was not long and our food was served quickly. This was great as it allowed us to grub and hit the road quickly. We had a lot to do.
From here we headed from Orange County into Los Angeles County. First stop…Hollywood. Or so we thought. Mother Nature called and we had to find some place to answer the call. So, we pulled off the freeway and actually ended up in Chinatown. We spotted a Starbucks and looked for the first open parking spot. What do ya know, it had time left on it. We parked and walked to Starbucks. We used the facilities and ordered some refreshments.
I saw my boys and Mama Nomad whispering and looking rather suspicious while we waited on our drinks. I walked over and asked, “what’s going on.” They told me that Hal Sparks was standing behind me. I said “who?” They said, “Davenport from Lab Rats!” I said, “Oh yeah!” That was a Disney Show that they liked to watch. Mr. Sparks has been on many TV shows, like Queer As Folk, and the VH1’s I Love The 90’s.
Hal was on the phone and actually put them on hold because my family was looking at him like a crazy man and asked us how we were doing. I held the door open for him and told him my kids loved him on Lab Rats. He said, “Thank you very much. Have a nice day.” And he went on about his business. That was a great intro to Los Angeles for them. Okay…now…next stop, Hollywood.
Trevor and Ethan wanted to see the Walk of Fame. On the way to Hollywood Blvd, I explained to them that the Walk of Fame spanned 14 blocks and actually went down another street as well. Once we arrived and they saw the crowds and the lack of parking, they decided that seeing the stars from the car was sufficient. Although, I was unsatisfied. So I pulled in behind a tour bus, jumped out and snagged a dozen or so pix of the stars that were within 1/2 a block from me.
I jumped back in Ebony and we were on our way. Our next stop was more of a journey than a specific stop. We wanted to get some good shots of the Hollywood Sign. No one wanted to hike up behind it to get close to it because we wanted to see it from the front. So, through research that Mama Nomad and I conducted, we found a few different places that were supposed to give you good views of the sign. This ranged from a spot on Mullholland Dr to a neighborhood that was at the bottom of the mountain below the sign, by the Hollywood Reservoir. The latter gave us the best, uncrowded views. We even took a walk around the reservoir while we were there.
After checking the Hollywood Sign off of our list, the next stop was Griffith Observatory, which is above Griffith Park. I thought it would be interesting for the rest of the Nomads to see a real observatory. And, the boys like the movie Yes Man, which has scenes at the observatory. On the way there we passed the Capitol Records building and the Scientology Celebrity Centre; both well-known buildings in LA.
As we got nearer to Griffith Observatory the traffic began to get horrible. Cars were pulled over on the side, people were on foot and it was a mad house. We got to the parking area and realized why. The public parking was full and closed. With no where to park, we marked Griffith Observatory off of the list and headed onto our next destination.
We left the Los Feliz area, where Griffith Park was, and proceeded from the Hollywood Hills to Beverly Hills. Rodeo Drive is iconic so we had to go check it out. From there we went over a few blocks to the Ivy. This is a famous restaurant where celebrities are known to dine. As we passed by, we did not recognize anyone. So we moved on. We got hungry and stopped off at this little hole in the wall German and Hungarian restaurant nearby. The food was more Greek-like. But it was good and reasonably priced.
With a full belly we decided to get out of the city and head towards the beach. Which one? Malibu. So, we took PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) from Beverly Hills to Malibu Beach. We just enjoyed a relaxing drive down PCH after a hectic day in the city. When we reached Malibu, we deviated off of PCH and onto Malibu Road. This is a road that runs parallel to PCH and to the beach. It was quiet and without any real traffic. We found a place to park and walked down between some beach front houses to the beach. We got there just in time to enjoy watching the sunset. Great timing.
After soaking in the sunset, we hopped into Ebony and made a mad dash towards Anaheim. My brother and my niece and nephews were waiting for us at a restaurant there. It was about 45 miles away and we were supposed to be there in about 40 minutes. So, with a little good fortune, favorable traffic and good navigation, we made it there “almost” on time. Dinner with family was a great bookend to a fantastic day.
Like I said, we did not see everything in Los Angeles in a day. But we had a list before we went and we were able to get most of it done as well as a few unexpected or unplanned locales. All in all, it was a great day and a fantastic weekend. We may even have to go back. Safe Travels.