Unlike San Fran, which I have been to over a half a dozen times before, I don’t feel as though I have ever really experienced LA before. I’ve actually been three times, but each time, it was to hit a destination and leave. This time, we have several days to explore and really see some things that LA has to offer.
When I decided to drive down the coast I split the trip into two days on purpose so we could stop at stops and take in some cool sights along the way. I’m glad I did that as the travel to San Simeon was enough for one day and the same held true for the second half. The best views of the drive (besides the cliff-side ocean views) were in Santa Barbara. However, by that point, we were kind of over driving and ready to just be at our destination.
The drive took longer than expected and we didn’t get to our AirBnb in Pasadena until about 4:30 in the afternoon. It’s a cute little place on a hill with a super steep driveway. The property has two houses–the one in the front where we are staying which is two bedrooms and one bath, and the one in the back which presumably belongs to the home owner. It is the nicest and cutest place we’ve stayed on our trip thus far and feels comfortable.
Knowing that our time here is limited, we decided right away to venture out to Griffith Observatory and try and get a good view of the Hollywood Sign. That meant more driving, traffic jams, parking woes, and walking. But we did it.
The sun at the time was already low in the sky close to the hills so the view of it was very hazy and we could not get good pictures. It was also too late in the day to hike to the sign as it takes several hours and we weren’t prepared for a hike.
We were not sure what else we could do with the sun setting soon so decided to hit another spot close by which was the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The walk itself is fun—to look at all the stars and spot famous people you recognize but I was quite surprised by some aspects of this tourist attraction. It seems like this area of town was quite dingy and I expected it to be well kept. It’s also a little disturbing to see the sheer number of homeless people on the streets.
I knew there was a problem, but I had no idea that people actually live in tents right on the sidewalks and down every alleyway. The more we walked, the more we saw (and smelled) and it was both sad and off-putting.
We only had 30 minutes on our parking meter but I would not have been inclined to stay longer. Once we were in the car again, the sun was down and there was really nowhere else to go but back to the AirBnb. I also knew a good night’s rest was in order for our long day at Universal on Monday.
So that was it for our first taste of LA.
Excited for seeing more of the city in the next few days.
Cheers to Visiting New Places,