Los Angeles is one of those places that we’ve passed through or stayed near many times but never really visited. Ask just about anyone from Western Canada, “Have you been to LA?” and the answer will either be, “Does Disneyland count?” or “Well… I’ve been to the airport!”
Since this little dream vacation of ours is such a long one and since I got such a strange, great deal on an Air Tahiti Nui flight out of LAX, we decided to actually try being tourists in LA for a change.
The first touristy area we visited (and that I’d recommend to any family with sports fans) was the LA Live entertainment area. With Staples Center, Microsoft Theater, the Grammy Museum and a myriad of dining and hotel options all surrounding the central square, LA Live is a terrific place to spend a few days if you time it right. And by “right” I mean when you can get tickets for a favourite sporting event (or two) and maybe even a concert.
Our second tourist stop in LA was Hollywood and that gets more mixed reviews. Despite the glitzy photos you might see on tv, the reality of the area is that it includes a lot of the challenges of urban life including all the pros and cons of cultural and economic diversity. Depending on the ages of your kids and your own background, the realities of homelessness and drug addiction might be “too much” to include in a family vacation. Even the trip up to the AMAZING Griffith Observatory took us past multi-million dollar homes and a homeless “tent city” within blocks of each other. One of the things I like about travel is that it can open opportunities for conversation/realization/contemplation and allow us see things with our own eyes.
We did enjoy walking along Hollywood Boulevard in the daylight, seeing The Chinese Theater...
and the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop (yum)… I know, I know… we’re supposed to be staying away from Disney this trip (lol) but if you love collecting Disney pins or eating ice cream sundays this fun spot across from the Chinese Theater is a great place to visit.
I was also really pleased with our stay at the Kimpton Everly hotel in Hollywood. Staff were friendly, the location was great for what we were planning to visit (Hollywood Blvd, Tao and Griffith Observatory) and the free wine hour every evening was a pleasant surprise. Apparently, all Kimpton hotels offer it.
The Frolic Room was high on our, “grown up wish list” of places to visit but it really ended up just being a small, crowded pub that we didn’t like and quickly left — heading back to the Ever Bar at our hotel for a nightcap in a comfortable, roomy atmosphere instead. While there we tried avocado fries for the first time — weird but yummy appetizer!
Anyways, LA is quite the place. I’m glad we finally took the time to get out of the airport and away from the theme parks.
Oh! And on our way out of LAX we went to PF Chang’s at the Tom Bradley International Terminal. I’ve never been to one before. It was really yummy.
Disclaimer: As always, my opinions are my own. I don’t get free hotel stays or restaurant meals for writing my reviews. No one involved is ever even aware I’m doing it.
You might also enjoy visiting these sections on DLTK's Sites:
Wife, mom and the woman behind the scenes of the DLTK's Crafts for Kids websites. The websites are a terrific hobby -- run by (me) Leanne, a mom with two girls as my official craft testers and my husband as my technical support. DLTK are the first initials of each of the people in my family (I'm the L!). Whenever we send out little cards or whatnot, we sign 'love DLTK' ... when I started the website I used the initials. Had I known the website would get actual strangers visiting it, I would have picked a less mysterious name but we're all stuck with it now!
You can view my other blog posts here.