Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Our Los Angeles Trip

Thought I'd do a little recap on our trip to LA. Dylan was off work for a few days in late December and he wanted to take a trip to LA. He knows Cali is my favorite place, so he asked if I wanted to go with him, his treat! That was a big ol' YES!!! So, I was up past midnight packing the Friday before we left and we got up at 4:30 AM Saturday morning to catch our flight. Surprisingly, I wasn't tired when we arrived at LAX. I was so excited to be here! 

We stayed at The Beverly Hilton and loved it! Very helpful staff and a beautiful hotel. This is the same hotel where the The Golden Globes were held last Sunday. We were there the week before the Globes, so they were busy setting up for it and it was so exciting to see! And a tip for you...Dylan booked our vacation on the Southwest Vacations website and it was much cheaper than paying separately for airfare and hotel. 




They had these heaters all over Beverly Hills. 



This is the Aqua Star Pool at our hotel. We had breakfast out here one morning and it was so relaxing. As I said, the Golden Globes are held at this hotel every year. This is the same pool that Angelina Jolie famously jumped into (while still wearing her dress) right after she won a Golden Globe. 

beverly hilton aqua star pool


I got lucky and caught a glimpse into the International Ballroom when they were setting up for the Globes...



More equipment for the Globes sitting around... 



Do you recognize these grass walls from the red carpet at the Globes? I recognized them immediately and pointed them out to Dylan, but he wasn't impressed, lol. So exciting to see them at our hotel! 


We were told this scaffolding was for the Globes too...






Here's a few pics of the lobby...


beverly hilton lobby


That's the International Ballroom and down those stairs to the right in the pic below is the Aqua Star Pool and Circa 55 restaurant. We ate at Circa 55 a couple of times and enjoyed it very much. 



If you're local in Houston, you'll appreciate this. Remember Anthony Yanez? He used to do our local weather on ch. 2 news. I totally forgot he moved to LA to do the weather. I turned on the news one morning while I was getting ready and there he was! I was like...wait...I AM in LA, right? Lol! 



They had these great L'Occitane samples in the bathroom of our hotel...



 I love this pic of Dylan while we were walking back to our hotel after a Starbucks run. And P.S. there's a Starbucks in our hotel too, but it turns into a piano bar after hours. ;) 



The iconic Beverly Hills sign in Beverly Gardens Park. 

iconic beverly hills sign

I don't know why, but I was really enamored with these Beverly Hills signs on everything...



Our first day, we walked all over Beverly Hills. 




Notice the Santa with his sleigh and reindeer in the pic below...



I loved that they still had the Christmas decorations up all over. 

This little pharmacy caught my eye. I loved how you could see the pharmacists right there in the windows. Looks like something in small town America, not Beverly Hills. 


We both had the Griffith Observatory on our "must see" list and it didn't disappoint! 



Gorgeous views from here...



Great view of the Hollywood sign from the observatory...





And great views of the city as well... 

city of los angeles night view


And of course we had to take a pic of Uranus while we were there, lol...



So pretty lit up at night. We got there right before sunset, so we got the best of both worlds...


Just so you know, Griffith is closed on Mondays, so plan accordingly. Admission to the building and grounds is always free. 


The only star I wanted to see... 

nicolas cage hollywood walk of fame


Same thing for the hand and footprints... 

nicolas cage grauman's theatre


Grauman's Chinese Theatre is where all the hand and footprints are located. It was shoulder to shoulder crowded here, but I think it's always like that. Hollywood is definitely not a place I would want to be after dark. 



The Dolby Theatre where the Oscars are held...


We decided to do the TMZ tour and LOVED it! 



Walking up to our bus...


The tour was very informative and funny too. I highly recommend it. We saw Hollywood High on our tour...

hollywood high school


I didn't take too many pics on our tour, but trust me, it's fun! We learned a lot too. For instance, did you know they have more security there for the Oscars than when the president visits? And there are snipers on the roof of the El Capitan building during the Oscars. Gotta protect all those celebs. 

More BH signs...


Okay, now our favorite place to eat was Urth Caffe. We ate at this one in Santa Monica...



I had avocado toast and it was so good! And some of the best lemonade I've ever had...



This was another Urth Caffe in Beverly Hills. Look at the size of that cookie! 

urth caffe chocolate cookie

We spent a day in Santa Monica... 


We only spent about 20 minutes on the Santa Monica Pier. It was mostly games and a few rides. 



We spent way more time on the beach. A Santa Monica selfie! 


The beach in Santa Monica was gorgeous. So much nicer than Galveston, lol. 




Swings on the beach with the Santa Monica Pier in the background. Love it! 


My attempt at being all artsy fartsy...


I loved Runyon Canyon! We wanted to get in a couple of hikes and this was one of them. 



Here's my tip though. We did the "easy" hike, which wasn't exactly easy. I mean, it was, but only after you got past the stairs. There were probably 30 or more wooden stairs built into the mountain that you had to climb. Some were about 2 feet high and there wasn't a break between them. It was constant stair climbing for a good bit. And if you have short legs, you're in trouble with those 2 feet tall stairs. You almost had to go in single file because there wasn't a lot of room, which made it hard to take a rest because you didn't want to make everyone behind you stop too. 

So we hiked up to the top, then went back down the other side. And going down was a breeze. What I realized was that we should have gone up the way we came down (on the left side) A lot of people were doing that to avoid those stairs. We could have gone up the same way we came down and just turned around when we reached the top and then gone down the same way. Does that make sense? If you go, just ask someone which trail to take to avoid the stairs and they'll point you in the right direction. 

This is the view from the bottom as we were walking back down. We were at the very top of that mountain! 



This was the view of the Hollywood sign from the top of Runyon...



Such great views! 


So another hike we did was Murphy's Ranch. I didn't know anything about it, but Dylan read about it and wanted to do it, so I was game. 

After our Uber dropped us off in a neighborhood close to Brentwood, we started off on the trail and came upon this gate...


The gate is just to keep cars out, so we walked around it and started the hike.

After a while, we came upon an opening in a chain link fence that led to these stairs... 


The stairs led down to Murhpy Ranch. But...just so you know, there are over 500 of these stairs to get to the bottom! There are no hand rails and it got a little steep from time to time.

I burned so many calories on this trip! 

500 stairs to murphy ranch

And this is what we saw when we finally arrived...



Creepy, right? 

murphy ranch abandoned building


I can't even imagine being here at night. It was really creepy, but we saw some other hikers too, so we weren't all alone. Google "Murphy's Ranch Hike" if you want to know more about it.


This is the abandoned stables at Murphy's Ranch...


murphy's ranch stables

We did get some great views while hiking to Murphy Ranch...



If you're visiting LA, I would skip the rental car and use Uber or Lyft instead. That's what we did and it was so nice not to have to worry about parking. 

Parking is almost non existent in some parts and with a car service, you don't have to deal with that. They drop you off at the entrance and it saves a lot of time too. 

We had such a good time and enjoyed every minute of our trip. California has my favorite weather. With the low humidity, I hardly need to straighten my hair when I'm there. Love that! 

I found some really neat travel accessories and I'll do another post about them soon. I'm all about making travel easier. :)

~Lisa 




2 comments:

  1. Good Morning Lisa. This trip looked like lots of fun and great hikes. How fun you stayed that The Beverly Hills Hotel. Looks like it is a great hotel and vintage California. That was a very nice gift from Dylan to give you. Glad you enjoyed this so much.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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  2. Lisa, it looks like you had a fabulous trip!! How fun that you stayed at the Beverly Hills Hilton! Wow...that's the coolest thing that you were there before the Golden Globes. My sister went one time and said it was a lot of fun. Very glamorous! What a gift that you were able to go with Dylan. Definitely not a trip either one of you will ever forget!! xo

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