Friday, June 05, 2009

Living L.A. Vida Loca!

Hollywood SignAndrew and I will have been married 17 years later this month. Hijole! but that's a long time--and I mean that in a good way.

Well in celebration he called me last week with the surprise that he's got a conference in Los Angeles the week of our anniversary (and while that's a surprise it's not necessarily the good kind unless you keep reading) and has made arrangements to take me with him. Woo hoo!

I'm going to California!

So we're heading south on June 16th and will be staying through the Friday night but my issue is this: I've been to Los Angeles quite a few times but this will be the first time I'll be hanging out by myself for a few days. Andrew will be in conferences until Friday and we've got plans for that day but on Wednesday and Thursday I want to have some fun.

What would you recommend I see or do those days? I've done the theme parks to death, seen Hollywood and Beverly Hills, been up and down the coast but there have got to be some great off-the-beaten-path things to do in L.A. that are just begging for my attention.

Any good places to eat? Fun museums? Fun stores? Must-see attractions not affiliated with a mouse? Help! If I don't get some good ideas I may end up wandering the floor at Ikea for two days.


And if you're looking for something to do please consider entering the Write-Away Contest this month. The topic is "food" and Michelle at Bleeding Espresso is the beautiful Italian judge just waiting to read about your food forays--deadline is June 21st so starting writing! You might just win a picnic basket with fixins for two!

If I can mention one more thing--seems I just learned I'm up for a blog award at BlogLuxe by A Classic Housewife (how sweet of her!) Who would have thought? They allow a vote a day per person and it's under "Blog I've Learned the Most From" and if you feel like making an Alaskan mom's day . . . just click on that BlogLuxe link, pick the bottom category and scroll down till you see me.

Sponsored by Dimples and Dandelions with the Serena and Lily Bedding Collection for children.


One Mom said...

Haven't been "back home" in a while (and I don't do the tourist thing when I do) but the Getty Museum is a must-see if you haven't been there already.

Happy to give you my vote too!

coffeemom said...

I second the Getty!! A MUST see! Also the La Brea Tar Pits and Farmers Market can be good. Montana Ave in Santa Monica is fun for quirky shopping. Drive up coast a bit to Malibu, beautiful coastline. Enjoy!!

J at said...

I don't know L.A., but I've heard the Getty is fabulous. My favorite thing to do down south is to just hang out at the beach. We went to one in Santa Monica (maybe...I don't know LA, like I said), and there were dolphins RIGHT THERE swimming around. Nice place to maybe have some lunch and watch the waves.

Heidi Saxton said...

In my "BC" life (Before Craig/Before Children), I lived in southern California for 5 years. I wouldn't go back -- partial to living in a place with seasons and minimal chance of earthquakes. But I do have a couple of leads.

In Pasadena: The Norton Simon Museum on Colorado Street in Pasadena is fun (lunch at Green Street Cafe, at the other end of Colorado; fresh OJ and wonderful salads).

If you have an opportunity to drive up the coast to Malibu, my very favorite restaurant is called "Inn of the Seventh Ray." It's a little hidden-away place, but everything is organic and delicious. Here:

Melanie J said...

Okay. There are a few I can think of. Wandering through Old Town Pasadena is cool. Funky vibe, great shops and cafes. Then you can zip over to the Huntington Gardens. The grounds are beautiful, of course, but they also have an original Gutenberg bible and I THINK the Dead Sea Scrolls on display.

Tour the Disney Concert Hall. Amazing.

Take in a movie at the Arclight theater on Sunset. You can reserve your seat. Besides that, it's just a cool movie going experience.

Eat French dip sandwiches at Felipe's (hands down the best in the city). Or some Ethiopian food at Jenet's on Fairfax in Little Ethipopia. Injera and dorowat. Yum!

Best barbecue in town is Baby Blues in Venice Beach. Oh, my.

Take in a Shakespeare play at the Will Greet Theatricum Botanicum. It's a amphitheater in Laurel Canyon. They do great productions. I think this year they're doing Julius Caesar and Midsummer Night's Dream.

Hotel Cafe is a tiny venue with outstanding live music every night, no matter what.

Eat at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles on Sunset and Gower. Soul food. Love it.

Uh...I think that's it. Have fun.

Melanie J said...

I meant to type Will Greer theater. In case you Google it.

Oh, and if you go to Felipe's, Olvera Street is right around the corner which is the historic market place for the Mexican community. Kind of cool and it's a fun little thirty minute wander while you eat your sandwich.

Scribbit said...

I haven't been to the Getty actually, it's one of the things we considered doing one trip then ended up at the tar pits and next door museum instead.

Heidi--that sounds great, maybe Pasedena should be one day's adventure. Thanks Melanie, you've got me drooling over the idea of munching a sandwich which strolling through the market.

TJ said...

just make sure you hit up in-n-out, and get yourself some good mexican from a hole in the wall place. i don't know what area you'll be in, but pasadena is a great place. i lived in so cal my entire life until i went on a mission, and then got married and now have lived all over the place. (thanks army). our favorite beach is newport, and balboa island is right next to it. olvera street is awesome, and also, not far from it, is the very first fire station in all of LA county. riding the metro is also fun, especially if you go into grand central station, which also is right next to olvera street. in pasadena, there is the gamble house that you can tour through. the long beach aquarium is pretty cool also, and the queen mary isn't very far from there either. along with the spruce goose. if you even know what any of that is.:) i would recommend hitting up a trader joes and just picking up some yummy snacks for your hotel room. and if you have a lot of time, you can always go to my favorite place, santa barbara. such a happy place.:) especially the guy with a free hug sign. and if you're in pasadena, you can go to the arboretum. it's near santa anita race track, pretty cheap, and someone is always filming something there. remember fantasy island? the white house is there. they have peacocks roaming around, and it's just a really beautiful, calming place.

wish i were still there so i could meet up with you.

if you're near downtown LA, you might be able to see a show. wicked might still be going on, i don't know, but if you like that stuff, it's worth checking out.

Kim said...

The Griffith Observatory is interesting, with a great view (not just of the sky, but of the city below!)

J Fife said...

You should definitely visit the Getty. Fantastic!

If you make your way to Pasadena, touring the Jet Propulsion Lab (my employer) might be fun. You could see the next Mars rover being assembled. Tours fill up fast, though.

Lisa said...

I live here and love reading all of the suggestions. The Griffith Obsevatory is on our list.

I wish I could meet up with you in Pasadena. Also on our list. I'm just down the 210 from there. I will, however, be at girl's camp.

Have fun!

angie said...

Sounds like so much fun!

Have you been to the Getty center (in LA) or the Norton Simon Museum (Pasadena)? What about the Museum of Tolerance (in Beverly Hills)?

The Norton Simon is a great museum, and there is tons of shopping near there as well.

Just looked at other comments. Looks like others are highly recommending the Getty as well. And Pasadena.

I second Felipes for a french dip (they claim they invented it)- very informal.......long, cafeteria style tables, etc. and Olvera Street (first street in LA.......mexican food and kiosks). Central Station is right there too. All of these places are in walking distance of each other.

If you feel like meeting up with any bloggers, let me know. I'm not far from Pasadena.

gerwegirlie said...

Yay! You're coming to LA-LA land! I say you absolutely can't miss a day at the Getty, especially for the architecture (I work there, OK I'm biased ...).

For shopping near Hollywood, visit the arty and interesting shops on LaBrea (especially between 3rd and Wilshire). Go to LaBrea bakery for a treat! You will be in heaven. Or head to West Hollywood to the western stretch of Melrose Ave (Fairfax to Beverly Hills) for great modern design shops.

For amazing architecture, visit downtown (very close to Hollywood) and take a peek at the Disney Concert Hall designed by Frank Gehry, it's spectacular.

Then walk a few blocks to the new Our Lady of Angels Cathedral, designed by a famous Spanish architect (forget the name). You can also visit the MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art), and finish the tour of downtown in Little Toyko or Chinatown, very close.

Oh, and check out this interesting art project/historic state park, it's a great place to see the skyline:

P.S. The Geer Theater is in Topanga (not Laurel Canyon as previously mentioned), which is eclectic and funky, a great stop if you're heading up the PCH to Malibu (go shopping at the laid-back and hip Malibu Country Mart, right off the road).

HAVE FUN!! This city is full of adventure.

An Ordinary Mom said...

Mwah! I miss my hometown, but I will be there in August.

Looks like a lot of my favorites have been mentioned. The Getty is great, 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica for shopping is always grand. If you like tacos, you must try Tito’s Tacosin Culver City ... they are AMAZING!

And the historic Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills is a beautiful place to visit. Absolutely gorgeous. Not many people know about it, and it is free to roam around, but it is so pretty and worth the time.

Anonymous said...







Sucharita Sarkar said...

Oh wow! Happy anniversary and happy california dreamin' (and doin').

I'll vote for you definitely. Your blog is definitely up there in the stratosphere as a learn-worthy blog!

Janet said...

That sounds like a fabulous anniversary! I have no suggestions, having never been to LA myself, but I can't wait to hear all about it. (Well, not ALL of it, but you know what I mean.) We'll be celebrating our anniversary at the tail end of our beach trip. Actually it's on Father's Day this year. Talk about pressure!

Janet said...

Ooh, you should email JCK at Motherscribe. She lives there.

Halala Mama said...

I was in LA several years ago for a class and had a BLAST! I enjoyed going to two different Missions - one in Santa Barbara and one at Saint Gabriel. They were incredible. We also went to the Getty and the views from there were awesome. Of course the theater and Walk of Stars in Hollywood on a weekend night was fun too. Enjoy your trip! Looking forward to reading about it.

Scribbit said...

Thanks for all these great ideas! It's made Andrew want to skip out of meetings and join me for a rendezvous in Pasadena.

As for meeting up, that would be fun--I'd be happy to get together somewhere, though I'm definitely going to be taking my GPS with me. I'm a bit worried about navigating L.A. in a rental car.

Edi said...

Maybe you've already been - but I really liked our quick tour of China Town in LA and in Santa Monica - the 3rd Street Promenade for shopping.

glitzen said...

Yeah for Alaskan blogs! Found you again through The Mommy Machine, and I'm so glad I did. I will haunt your blog now.
Have fun on your trip, sounds awesome. I don't know if you would like it, but I took my girls to The American Girl Place in LA and it was lots of fun. I don't know too much besides theme parks, so hopefully some CA gals will chime in.

Melissa-Mc said...

Sounds like you have plenty of ideas to keep you busy. I hope you have a wonderful anniversary trip.

Helene said...

How fun!!! I've been to LA plenty of times but it's always to Disneyland (thanks to the kids!)

I found your blog through Kim at Mommy Machine (you were interview today) and I'm so glad I stumbled upon you through her. I just spent the last 30 minutes reading your posts on blogging and you are a wealth of information!!!

Laurel Nelson said...

I second everything that was said. Have you been to Olvera Street as well? Take a drive up/down the Pacific Coast Highway. I love the Santa Monica Pier. You could just hit the beach - it'll definitely be hot enough for sure - go to Zuma. OOHH!!! Venice Beach. I went there once with my aunt and cousin and it was pretty cool! Griffith Park, you could catch a Dodger game if they've got any home games there. Also Universal CityWalk. I second Old Town Pasadena - heck just drive around Pasadena and check out the cool houses. I LOVE THEM. You could go to the LA temple as well - I think it's a great place (obviously.) And I have been to the Inn of the Seventh Ray with my parents and Grannny - she loved it a bunch. If you're there on a Sunday - go to the West Hills Ward in Canoga Park and tell them Laurel Buterbaugh said hi. :) (Just kidding on that one, you don't need to do that.)

PS - I grew up in Los Angeles...

Margaret said...

LA has a large garment district, with stores open to the public as well as designers, wholesale, etc.

Check out for more info. Fabrics, trims, etc.

Cathi said...

Hi Michelle, I'm so excited for you. Hooray for the Getty! Both the "old" and the "new". The admission is free and there's public transportation to get there.
The Museum of Tolerance is another museum to see.
Olvera Street is a kick.
Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica is interesting.
and you can always lunch at my house!!

Linda said...

I was going to say the Getty Museum, but it seems that everyone else seems to say the same thing... I can also recommend the Holocaust Museum, and there's a FABULOUS French Dip place that looks like a total hole in the wall, but contains the food of the Gods. I'm not sure the address, but I'll try to find it and send you an e-mail It's well worth the drive through a scary place of LA.

Linda said...

so the French Dip place is Felipe's. The gal with the comment about the Mexican market around the corner says that she's been there too... And she's right. It is HANDS DOWN the best place to get a French Dip. EVER. Unless, of course, you despise French Dips.

Terresa said...

Congrats on 17 yrs of marriage!!

In LA, personally, I'd find some great restaurants & eat some SoCal cuisine as well as do some crazy shopping. But that's just me. Enjoy your trip!

PS: Thanks for the heads up on the writing contest. I love those!

Chris said...

Museum of Tolerance for sure.....ditto to a lot of the other suggestions! Just have a happy anniversary and a wonderful time...good idea to take the GPS!!!!

Prohomemaker.Com said...

First it's Phillipe's:

You can easily take the subway to Union Station and head across the street to Olvera Street.

Great unusual tur in Hollywood is the Dearly Departed Tour, which takes you to where celebs died and were murdered. Been on E! and othe rplaces:

The Hollywood Museum on Highland and Hollywood Blvd is a 3 min walk from the Redline stop, and great for any movie fan.

Hope these help :-)

Hazel said...

Never been to LA, never likely to unfortunately but why is no-one suggesting "the best bookshop in town" - particularly second-hand (would you say "used")?
You ever get to London and I'll take you to craft shops and book stores until you drop - and, of course, my very favourite place, the British Library to see the King's Library (a collection within a collection)! to see some of the goodies online

Stephanie said...

First of all, I LOVE your title. So creative.

Second, Happy Anniversary.

Third, I've been to L.A. many times, but I can't think of anything creative at the moment. Sometimes the simplest things are the best: why not take a walk along the beach and stop in at a beachside cafe for breakfast or lunch? :)

Anonymous said...

Spend a day at the beach! Manhattan Beach is my favorite.

Jenna Consolo said...

Michelle! Let's meet up for lunch at least! I live right here! I'm behind on blog reading, but it would be fun to meet you somewhere. I've been wanting to "do the Getty" too. My kids have all gone on school field trips, and they all rave about it. It's a beautiful building, and not far from the temple. Hey! Do the temple! There ya go! The temple and the Getty. Off the same highway! Email me, if you want.

mcmilker said...

I live in LA too!( Funny I hadn't been over to your blog in awhile but a offline friend (TAN) who I turned on to your blog told me about your trip.

I'm up for meeting for lunch on Wednesday or Thursday too - especially since I missed actually meeting you in person at Blogher last year!

Let me know where and when and I'll be there!