Flashback to My Childhood in L.A.

This past May, on our last trip back to Ecuador, we detoured from Philly to L.A. for a couple of days. (The reason for this little jaunt is the subject of another post.) Having spent some of my teenage years in Anaheim, I was excited to get back to SoCal and to show Stephanie a few more things I remembered from when I was a kid.

This trip was also a chance to reconnect with a few old friends. We stayed with our friend Priyanka whom we met on a cruise several years ago and hadn’t seen since. Priyanka and her husband, Murali, have an adorable six-month-old named Viraat, and we immediately set about scheming as to how we could kidnap him and take him home. (Ironic for people who decided not to have kids of their own yes!)

We also got to spend a good amount of time with my best friend from high school – Scott. One of the first things Scott did was take us to a pool party on Hollywood. Now as everyone knows, a pool party/BBQ in Hollywood means tons of celebrities just causally lounging around acting like normal people. In this case however, there was not one celebrity – a fact for which I blamed Scott entirely. After all, he lives there; he should be hanging out with the A-listers, right?

Best friends from High School

Best friends from High School

Luckily for Scott, he climbed right back up in our good graces by playing tour guide for our three days in L.A. First stop: Hollywood Boulevard and the Walk of Fame, and Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

Ready to tour the Walk of Fame

Ready to tour the Walk of Fame

Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre

After a quick swing past Jim Henson Studios and Pink’s (where-the-line’s-too-long-to-actually-get-one-of-their) Famous Hot Dogs…

, we dropped Stephanie off on Rodeo Drive for some light shopping.*

*Did I say shopping? I meant photography.

Next stop: the famous Hollywood sign. Now, it’s commonly thought that there is no good spot to get a nice close-up pic with the sign. When faced with this challenge, Stephanie took to the internet, and came up with street-by-street directions to the most prime photo spot in Hollywood. There were signs everywhere saying the streets were closed to non-residents, but no one seemed to be enforcing it. Our suspicions were confirmed when we parked (right by a “Resident Permit Parking Only” sign) at the top where someone was selling snacks and drinks out of their carport to tourists like us. And as you can see, we got some killer shots…

At the Hollywood Sign

At the Hollywood Sign

We also realized we were in the heart of Scientology country. For a minute, we got excited enough to take a few photos before we remembered that we don’t care.

As a kid in L.A., few things are as exciting as the La Brea Tar Pits. On our last trip to Los Angeles, we couldn’t get in. (Apparently, they actually close the gates after 11:00 pm. Go figure!) This time, we hit it in broad daylight, and got to take in all the dizzying excitement of stagnant tar-water bubbling with stinky methane.

The La Brea Tar Pits

The La Brea Tar Pits

We also swung by the art museum next door for an up-close look at some large art installations including “Urban Light” – an installation of vintage, cast-iron streetlamps, and “Levitated Mass” – a big ol’ rock suspended over a walkway.

Now that we’ve pretty much done all the touristy things except Pink’s (where-the-line’s-too-long-to-actually-get-one-of-their) Famous Hot Dogs, the way is clear for our next L.A. visit to do that most important of attractions: Disneyland! (July 22, 2016, if you’re interested in joining us.)

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