Los Angeles, California

I hope you are ready for a long post because Tim and I have gone nonstop since we first landed in LA. There was so much to see and do; it was hard to sit still.

Our first night in LA we went to see Joe Rogan at the comedy club. We got to sit in the center of the second row. It was a very neat experience. The comedy club was located on the other end of Hollywood (West Hollywood) and we decided to walk there to sight see before our show. What we didn’t know was how long Sunset Blvd actually was, and we had to walk almost the whole street. However, we were both distracted by all of the neat businesses to really mind the long walk.

We spent the next day walking around the Hollywood Walk of Fame at the Hollywood and Highland shopping complex. There was a beautiful view of the Hollywood sign in the courtyard. A lot of tourist, us including, were trying to take pictures on the walking path above the courtyard. 

The TCL Theater and the Dolby Theater were both located in this complex. The TLC Theater has had the most movie premieres and the Dolby Theater hosts the Oscars every year since 2002. We got to walk up the same staircase the stars walk on for the Oscars.

In the afternoon we did a bus tour that drove us up and down Sunset Blvd, Melrose Ave, and Beverly. We learned all about the popular restaurants and shops in the area and that Beverly Hills has platinum fire hydrants.

After the bus tour we walked towards one of the oldest restaurants in LA, Pinks. It is a hot dog stand that has been around since 1939. A lot of stars have gone there and even gotten a hot dog named after them.

Before heading home for the day we decided to stop and enjoy a rooftop restaurant. The place was called EP & LP and it had a beautiful laid back rooftop. One really neat thing about this was they had a projector screen and played movies on the rooftop.

The Warner Bros. Studio Tour was one of my favorite highlights of our LA trip. We got to see behind the scenes of popular movies and TV shows including the original Jurassic Park, Pretty Little Liars, The Heart of Dixie, and Gilmore Girls. It was amazing to see how one building could be used for multiple sets and you would never know. The front of one building was used as Spencer’s house in Pretty Little Liars and the back porch was used for Sookie’s house in Gilmore Girls. The same building had many other uses that I can’t remember. We also got an inside look of the Fuller House Set and were able to sit in the studio audience seats. 

Other studios could rent the sets and film on the lot. Old Navy rented The Town Square set (which is used for The Heart of Dixie, Gilmore Girls, and many other shows) and painted the buildings bright colors for filming. Once the commercial was completed, Old Navy had to paint the buildings back to the normal colors for The Town Square. Its mind blowing to think about all the costs involved while shooting.

We are pretty sure we saw multiple actors/actress on the back lots. Unfortunately, Tim and I did not recognize anyone and our tour guides were not allowed to point them out.

We also got to be an in studio audience member at the Jimmy Kimmel Live.

We spent a day hiking in Griffith Park to see the Hollywood sign and the Observatory. We walked all the way from our apartment; the entire walk was up hill and became steeper and steeper the closer we got to the Observatory. Once we entered Griffith Park there was absolute no shade and all the hiking paths were up hill. It was a hot day, but we were able to cool off by relaxing in the Observatory and participating in their free shows. 

Oddly enough, this was not the best place for a picture with the Hollywood sign. It was too far away and way too many people. We found that the best place for a picture with the Hollywood sign was at Lake Hollywood Park.

We took the metro bus to Venice Beach and it was a two-hour drive to go 15 miles and that wasn’t even during rush hour.  Yes, the LA traffic lives up to its reputation. Venice Beach seemed to have every type of personality possible from trick Frisbee to dog surfing, its there. If there is a hobby, it is at Venice Beach. 

It was very entertaining to watch all of the people working out at muscle beach. Each person was trying to out do the last and there were all different types of exercise equipment. There was also a very popular skate park on the beach and we got witness a lot of tricks and a couple fails. 

We walked down to the Santa Monica pier and got to see the end of Route 66.

We spent a day in Beverly Hills and the popular shopping streets. We saw dozens and dozens of expensive cars and we’re not talking about Mercedes and BMWs, we are talking about Bentleys, Rolls-Royce’s, and Aston Martins. It’s weird when the average price of a car is worth more than your house. But then again, the average house price in Beverly Hills is $7.2 million.

During the middle of our LA trip were able to meet Tim’s parents near Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon. We rented a car and drove north towards the park. The city lights turned into dessert after driving 10 minutes down the interstate. We saw multiple pullover areas with water for car radiators. Tim and I were really glad we got to leave the city and see more of the state. 

This timeframe was exactly in the middle of our trip and we really appreciated being able to see our family. 

We kept the rental car an extra day in order to drive on US 1 to Malibu. The view of the ocean was beautiful and US 1 lived up to our expectations. We went to Dume Point and Neptune’s Net for lunch. Dume Point is a large cliff with a  below hidden beach. This is the cliff that Iron Man’s house is at but there is not a house in real life, the house in the movie is CGI. Neptune’s Net was in the 3rdIron Man movie in the scene when Tony has his first panic attack. However, the restaurant in the movie was only a replica. The real Neptune’s Net where we ate is in Fast and the Furious

We both had a great time in LA and are glad we were able to see so much. As our trip continues the more we have see God’s hand in our planning. We have put in minimal effort of planning but God allows everything to connect and continues to open up doors. We are grateful for our smooth our trip has been so far. 

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