Saturday, April 29, 2017

We Interrupt 1989 For This Post About L.A.!!

Duane and I were able to get on a flight to Los Angeles for spring break a few weeks ago, and spent a really LONG (for us!) FOUR days soaking up the sun, and doing fun "touristy" things in California!!!

We flew out early Monday morning, and made it to L.A. by 10:00.  OF COURSE we went right to our hotel (which we love...and have stayed at four times!) after picking up our rental car, then headed to Pann's for breakfast.

We met the most DELIGHTFUL server, Brenda, and had a great time planning our adventures over pancakes (Duane) and a Pann's Dreemburger (me).



After Pann's we hit an Albertson's for supplies, then headed to Manhattan Beach to enjoy the ocean...











We shopped a few strip malls in the area, and went to Carl's Jr. for Santa Fe Chicken sandwiches (me), because that's what we (me) do.


After Carl's Jr., we headed back to the hotel and spent the remainder of the evening sitting on the deck, looking out over the AMAZING pool area at the Marriott!!


On our first full day in California, we hit the ground running (as we usually do!).  We started with ANOTHER breakfast at Pann's, then drove to Antelope Valley to see the poppies...








I "bumped into" a friend from my high school in Iowa...from 34 years ago.  Small world!

...then we visited a presidential museum in Simi Valley (I won't say who...because I'm not a fan, and, in fact, only took THIS photo while there...)...


After the presidential museum (which was, actually, pretty cool...except for the docent who pestered us at the ticket counter to buy a ticket AND give a donation to a school...which was tax deductible (which she said about FIVE TIMES)...but almost DOUBLED the price of the entry ticket...). 

We then headed back to the hotel, and again sat on the balcony...

The SECOND full day in L.A., we headed to the farmer's market and the Grove.  We LOVE the farmer's market, and we got there early enough to get good parking AND enjoy a not very crowded market...











My FAVORITE shop at the farmer's market!!!!






After coffee (me), and doughnuts (Duane), and a bit of time exploring the market, we headed to the Grove for some "hoity toity" shopping.  We actually spent most of our time at the Barnes & Noble, and exploring the lovely park in the center of the shopping complex...















After a DELIGHTFUL lunch at Maggiano's (and sooooo nostalgic...we miss the one in the twin cities!!!)...


...we headed to Griffith Observatory (the only official stop on our unofficial "La La Land" (the movie) tour!!)... 











After walking around the observatory, and taking in the lovely views, we headed to West Hollywood for some pie!!! I had a slice of chocolate chiffon at the restaurant, and got a "to go" slice of pineapple pie for later,,,yum!!



We then went back to the hotel, and OF COURSE spent time on the balcony!!!

On our THIRD full day in L.A., we went to Pann's for breakfast (duh!), then headed to Universal Studios!  I LOVE Universal Studios!  When my sister and brother-in-law lived in L.A. I would visit every summer, and we would ALWAYS go to Universal...such a cool place!

An added bonus this time was the "Wizarding World Of Harry Potter"!!!  My inner book nerd was in HEAVEN!!!!!!  We started by touring Hogsmeade, and it was AMAZING!!!!!












 Butterbeer!!!!





Since the wait for the "Forbidden Journey" was over two hours long, we opted to explore other parts of the park...including the back lot tour (one of my all time favorites!)...and the minion ride...



 The "flood" site from Lady Gaga's most recent video...





 The airplane "crash site" from War of the Worlds, starring Tom Cruise...







...then went BACK to Hogsmeade...and...with the wait at only an hour and ten minutes, got in line for the "Forbidden Journey" ride...TOTALLY worth the wait!!!















The "tram" in which you take the "forbidden journey"!!

After the ride (which we SERIOUSLY considered doing again...although another 70 minute wait wasn't desirable), we headed to Santa Monica for Mexican food at El Cholo!  It was DELICIOUS...but EXPENSIVE (when factoring in the $64.00 parking ticket for parking in a "preferential parking zone"...whatever the HELL that means...)...



We then went back to the hotel and collapsed exhausted (but happily) into bed!

On our FINAL day in L.A., we checked out of the hotel, went to Pann's for one last breakfast (at which, sadly, Brenda had the day off), and then went back to Manhattan Beach for one last walk on the beach (and pier)...










As always...an amazing trip, and we can't wait to go back again!  

Here's hoping YOU were able to "revisit" a beloved place recently too!!!!