{trip report} Day 1: La Brea Tar Pits & Hollywood

After the flight and the early afternoon at the ocean, we drove into LA to visit the La Brea Tar Pits. Absolutely fascinating that such a vast contribution to natural science happens to be in the middle of modern day LA. Highly recommend visiting the pits and the associated museum!


Hollywood was next on our must-see list. A good friend (thanks, Annie!) recommended Loteria Mexican Grill for dinner so off we went! The food was very different than the Mexican I’m used to, but the guac was the best I’ve ever had. The black beans that come with the entrees made me a believer in beans.

So good! And a cold michelada to wash it down? Perfect summer evening with my family.


As the sun was setting, we walked Hollywood Blvd. to check out the scenery. Despite the stars along the walk, this place also felt sad to me! Like the land of broken dreams and forgotten hope. Not sure what my deal is with noticing how sad Venice Beach and Hollywood Blvd. is, but the energy was intense at both places! Maybe Colorado’s perfection made me forget about the real world? Either way – we walked the street and had a great time!


I stopped with some of my favorite heroes to grab a picture in true tourist form. My brother who lives in LA was a great tour guide and showed us around. Last place before calling it a day was the Chinese Theater – home of numerous red carpet events, movie premieres and awards shows.

The place made me want to get all glammed up like a movie star and walk the red carpet! Or just hang out with superstars like Shrek!


After a long day, we headed back to our hotel and were asleep in two shakes of wanna-be actresses fake assets (numerous on Hollywood Blvd.)


Have you traveled somewhere only to find it to be the exact opposite of what you expected? I want to hear your stories!


{trip report} Day 1: Santa Monica Pier & Venice Beach

For the next ten days or so I’ll be posting about my family’s trip to the west coast. There will be tons of photos. It was my first week with the new camera!

Day 1: Flew from Denver to Burbank/LA

Recap: Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach

My morning started early with a drive out to DIA to meet my parents who flew in from Atlanta and then we headed to Burbank. Great to see them, eat breakfast with them, and sit on a the plane between them. Family is great!

We landed in Burbank (fab airport, tiny and easy), drove to my brother’s apartment to scoop him up and then headed for the OCEAN! There was tons of traffic which made me wonder, do people in SoCal work? Why is there traffic at noon? Quick pit stop at In ‘N Out in true SoCal form.


Anyways – the ocean at Santa Monica Pier was our first stop.


We walked in the sand (I managed to burn a huge chunk of my big toe) and put our toes in the ocean.


We walked under the Santa Monica Pier – I’ve always loved piers at the ocean! For as long as I can remember, the smell, the weird stuff (and people), and creatures that live under piers fascinate me!


At the end of the Santa Monica Pier we played with a massive pelican – the fisherman called her Sandy – and watched her almost perform for the crowd hoping the fisherman would drop her some fish. One lucky, happy and friendly pelican!


Next up, we walked along the ocean, and then headed to Venice Beach. The cultural phenomena that is Venice Beach was a bit sad, lots of homeless folks, young teenagers without direction, and some interesting artists. The beautiful side of Venice Beach was its free spirit and energy that comes with skate parks, beautiful ocean views, restaurants and a walk filled with art!




Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach are both must-sees while visiting LA, and can be done in about three leisurely hours. Just make sure to stay hydrated!


Tomorrow, I’ll share our adventures in Tar Pits and Hollywood!