This is the blog where we actually stay in LA, and I share the few things I like about the city. (It's a big city, just because this blog is long doesn't mean I like the city itself, fyi)
Dave and I love museums, (hey, I warned you in the title this blog is for geeks) so pretty much every new city we visit has a list of museums we want to check out....LA is no different.
Our favorite museum so far has been The Getty, but we also visited The Natural History Museum, The La Brea Tar Pits, and Griffith Park Zoo.
Before we headed off on our museum extravaganza (fyi, we didn't do ALL of these in one day, I just can't actually remember which day we did which...) we had breakfast at this cute little place across from our hotel called Le Pain Quotidien. I thought it was delicious, Dave said it was "too hippy" for him....and to be fair EVERYTHING on the menu said "organic" beside it...I guess it would have been sufficient to just say "Everything is Organic" in one place. Oh well, I enjoyed my organic-fresh-squeezed-orange-juice and my organic-whole-wheat-Belgian-waffles with organic-locally-grown-berries and organic-natural-syrup. :)
We sat outside because it was gorgeous out, but very quickly realized we'd made a bad decision since it was really hot, and we were sitting directly in the sun...thankfully we got a chance to move to a shaded (see photo below...Dave's half of the table was shaded) table before we completely overheated. Trust me it was just a preview of the rest of the day we were heading for.
We went to The Getty first, since we figured the earlier we showed up the better to avoid the crowds. We were sort-of right, it was much less busy then the last time we'd been, but we still didn't avoid the million school groups crowding in front of the major pieces of art.
We headed for the gardens first since we figured it was only going to get hotter as the day went on...plus obviously this is my favorite spot in the whole place....amazing beauty.
This museum is absolutely incredible. The last time we were here we got to chat with one of the museum guards, an old guy who'd been working there for years, and he told us SO much about The Getty Foundation and the history of the museum.
This visit to The Getty was amazing, not quite as much of a "wow" factor as the first time we went, but we were extremely happy we went....it's such a beautiful place to visit.
Dave checked out some different recommended sites around LA, and Griffith Park Zoo came up several times, so we headed out to find it. It's not actually a zoo anymore (it closed in 1966) but it's the site of the old LA zoo, so you can still go through all of the old animal enclosures and see the old design....it's actually pretty creepy.
We were attempting to enjoy the creepiness of the park, but honestly it was so hot I was really having a hard time. The temperature actually hit 113, so even with a tiny breeze it was still uncomfortable.
Honestly our favorite part of the zoo was this awesome squirrel we saw...he kept running around and then flattening himself down on the concrete. Hilarious!
The next place we checked out was the Natural History Museum. We didn't really have high expectations, because we've been to several - and they're all pretty much the same. We were just out of things to do at this point in our trip (again, we're not "city-lovers" so we don't get lured in by all the typical city sites) so we just researched all the possible museums.
We were actually pretty impressed by the museum. Most of the exhibits were pretty much the same as the other natural history museums we've been to, but the building was awesome.
We had plenty of time left in the day, so we decided to check out the La Brea Tar Pits.
The museum had some amazing fossils that had come directly out of the tarpits - pretty cool when you're in the exact place they were actually discovered. Somehow it made everything feel way more real. (Plus, there weren't any screaming kids...bonus!)
6'2" man vs. mammoth skeleton....I voted he loses. :) All I could think of this whole time was the Night at the Museum movies....haha. There were so many amazing spots, the one that really got to me was the direwolf skull exhibit....absolutely incredible, and pretty gruesome.
There were literally hundreds of direwolf skulls on display - it was amazing. Thankfully right after this we were able to escape into the lovely atrium in the museum and lighten the mood.
We may say we hate helLA, but we do somehow manage to have a great time everytime we visit. I guess warm weather and beautiful beaches aren't all bad. :-) We're not sure that we'll be back to the west coast anytime soon (given that we're about to make a big move south) but next time we are I sure hope it's the NORTH west coast! Until next time,
If you read my last post you know Dave and I were out in LA for awhile - and we are not city lovers. There were a few things we'd already planned to do - Joshua Tree National Park was the first thing, and we planned to go back to The Getty Center - but we didn't really have anything else set in stone.
So we decided to take the nearly 4 hour adventure up to Sequoia National Park! I'd actually wanted to go to Yosemite, but Dave talked me out of it because it was at least 5 hours - and honestly after making the actual drive I'm glad we didn't go that far!
Once we were out of LA the drive was actually quite pretty - for awhile. Then it got
Once we drove for what felt like forever (it actually wasn't that bad, we listened to comedy radio and a couple of Zig Ziglar lectures) we started going back up into the mountains again, and the sights definitely improved.
We took a quick break at Lake Kaweah in a little picnic area. The lake looks extremely dried up, but there were still quite a few boats out on it, and the campgrounds were full! (again, this could have been since it was Labor Day weekend)
Lake Kaweah is pretty close to Sequoia National Park, and there is a big fire up in the Kings Canyon National Park area - so even down here the sky was noticeably smoky.
By the time we finally made it to the park we didn't want to stop in the little "town" before the entrance for anything, we were just ready to get up into the park and see the sequoias. We had (we thought) plenty of gas, our car said an estimated 100-something miles until empty, so we just headed in....ish.
Apparently visiting a national park on a holiday weekend isn't a great idea if you don't want to be stuck in traffic. We didn't plan for this.
There were some serious wildfires in the area (I think I said something about them earlier) so the sky was significantly smoky - we could hardly see some of the peaks.
So....remember how I said we didn't stop to get gas in town because we had plenty and didn't want to waste anymore time because of the traffic? Yeah.....mistake. Since we were stuck in traffic in the park too we practically crawled from 1600' above sea level to 7400'.....and our gas gauge dropped SOOOOO quickly. Not good....
We went into the park at the Foothills Visitor Center, and the next gas station was in Stony Creek Village - 33 miles away. We should have been enjoying the drive much more than we actually did...probably because we were pretty sure we were going to run out of gas.
I wish we'd been a little smarter and actually gotten gas before heading into Sequoia, we didn't really dare stop and get out to look around....our gas gauge was pretty deep into the red zone and we still had about 11 miles left to the gas station at this point in the drive.
Our car was puffing on fumes, but we made it to the gas station!! Unfortunately we'd already driven past most of the biggest trees - but there were still some gorgeous views. The other great thing about being up this high on a hot day is the temperature was only about 75 here - and back in LA it was almost 115!
King's Canyon National Park was shut down because of the wildfires, so we just headed back to LA after we finished in the park. We didn't want to drive way into dark, plus I was starving!
Last Thursday my husband and I had to fly to Los Angeles for a little over a week (we got back to Maine this past
Saturday) for some business appointments, but we had a ton of free time...and we pretty much hate giant cities.
I'm a hotel snob (Definition: I HATE staying in places with old quilted bedspreads that don't get washed, and have a potential bedbug problem) so thankfully we stayed in an awesome place in Marina Del Rey called Hotel MDR. Seriously perfect. Awesome pool, great little restaurant downstairs (Barbianca) and really conveniently located.
Our first night we didn't get in until late, so we just hung out and enjoyed the view from our balcony. Awesome. Hotels with outdoor spaces are absolutely my favorite, and my husband's too. I took a great picture of him on the balcony but he won't let me share it :-P something about it stealing too much of his soul.
We took a nice little stroll from our hotel down to the marina, and then to Venice Beach. (p.s. it wasn't a stroll....it was a freaking hike)
The day we landed in California was beautiful, and the forecast I looked at said MAYBE 80's for the high....BUT....an (apparently random) heat front hit the day we showed up and blasted us the whole time. So our "stroll" down to the marina was pretty damn sweaty.
Dave hates his photo taken - can you tell? I told him he doesn't get a choice anymore because otherwise I'll have zero pictures of people. (Sorry babe) We hit up Venice beach for some cheap sunglasses & cheap sightseeing. :-)
Our biggest plan (actually our only plan as of the beginning of our trip) was to go back to Joshua Tree National Park. We LOVED it last time we visited....and since we really didn't want to hang out in LA the whole time it seemed perfect.
The sheer beauty of this place is incredible. Seriously. Granted, this time we'd already had the "wow" factor of the park, and it was MUCH hotter this trip, but still entirely worth the drive.
Dave was nice enough to take some photos of me while I'm stuck behind my camera...plus the GoPro was MUCH easier to tote around than my camera, especially in the heat.
This is probably gonna be a longer post than usual...but I was a little trigger-happy with my camera in the park - impossible not to be......try it for yourself and find out!
The park was actually quite a bit busier than last time we visited too - probably because it was the Friday before Labor Day weekend. Anyone who knows us knows we are NOT crowd people, so even up here in the "remote" parts of the park there were more people than we really wanted to see. Ha.
Last time we came up here we walked the Barker Dam trail and really enjoyed ourselves (with the exception of being annoyed with some rowdy teenagers). It's a pretty short hike, but really pretty - although the actual Barker Dam is more of a rock pile in front of a mud hole.
We didn't want to do the same hike again, so instead we decided to head up to Lost Horse Mine. It's a longer hike then the Barker Dam, but we had plenty of time - we just didn't factor in the heat.
I'm glad we took a lot of photos - honestly I'm enjoying the hike more via looking back through them then I did while actually hiking! Ha. It was just so extremely hot, and we only had about half a bottle of SUPER warm water. Oops.
In closing - I would definitely recommend going up to Joshua Tree National Park if you're in the area and don't want to hang in right in the city - it's only about a 2 hour drive, and there are some GORGEOUS views. However, if it's hot out (like, anything over 80) make sure you bring a cooler and lots of cold stuff to drink!
For one of the last nights or our time in California Dave decided we should go watch the sunset from Sunset Cliffs. We had an early dinner, and then headed over to LaJolla to find a good spot to sit down and watch the beautiful Pacific sunset.
We climbed down the LONGEST stairway in history (not actually...but it was a pretty darn long set of stairs) and crawled around the rocky beach under the cliffs. If you know either of us you know we don't like visiting anything unless we can actually climb on/up/around it and explore.
I can't even put this beauty into words - and of course photos don't do justice to actually being there.
Dreamer, decorator, wife, business owner, personal fitness trainer. 20-something.