Los Angeles

Lucky for me, my loved ones were willing to meet me in California when I was on my way back from Japan. We would be there for about a week as a way of celebrating my return from Japan. The first couple of days we spent in Los Angeles.

If we were going to be in Los Angeles, we just had to go to Hollywood. We started off at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which is where all of the people who had made it big get their name on a star. It’s not just actors either. Music groups, movie producers, and more had all managed to get a star.

I’d seen the Hollywood Walk of Fame in movies, so I just had to make sure I got to see it in person. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as spectacular as it was made out to be in the movies. It was really just another street that people walked up and down, going about their daily business. You could definitely spot the tourists because they were the only ones stopping to admire the stars. I was definitely one of those tourists.

I was surprised at just how many stars there were. They continued block after block after block. Honestly, I don’t even think I saw all of them, but I definitely saw a majority of them. Unfortunately, I’m young enough that there were quite a few names I didn’t recognize, and there were even names my mom didn’t recognize, but I would get super excited when I did see names I knew, especially the ones of my favorites actors and music groups.

When we had gotten our fill of the stars, we made our way to Griffith Park. While the park has many cool features, I mostly wanted to go because this was where I would be able to get close to the big Hollywood Sign.

Normally you are able to drive up to the Griffith Observatory, but unfortunately when we went, they were doing tree trimming, so the road was closed. We had to park back a ways and then hike up to the Griffith Observatory.

The Griffith Observatory is another famous spot in Hollywood and is featured in plenty of movies. Unfortunately, it was closed on the day we visited, but even the parking lot gave a pretty fantastic view of the city below. Once we caught our breath, we were off to the Hollywood Sign.

A word to the wise… this is not a hike to do on impulse like we did. We took the Mt, Hollywood Trail which starts at the Griffith Observatory and ends at the Hollywood Sign. While it is a relatively flat hike, it’s about three miles long and in the summer, the weather can be absolutely scorching. I learned this the hard way. We climbed the side of this mountain in practically desert like conditions. I wore tennis shoes, shorts and a tank top, didn’t have any sunscreen, and had one water bottle which I shared with another person. I severely regretted not doing more in preparation for this hike. When I finished, I had the worst sunburn I had ever had in my life. I spent most of the remaining vacation in long sleeves and sweatpants because being out in the sun at all just hurt so bad.

05/30/2017 EDIT: Almost nine months later, I still have the tan lines from this sunburn.

We spent yesterday on the beach. We started at Venice beach and walked down the boardwalk, perusing the different shops and taking in all the interesting people we would see on the streets. Most of the shops were geared towards tourists, selling all sorts of souvenirs. My mom even picked up a sun hat, and walked around looking like to biggest tourist I’ve ever seen (but don’t worry Myee, I still love you!)

We stopped at the skate park that is located on the beach and watched the skaters for a while, but none of the skaters were overly exciting, so we decided to continue along the walkway until we eventually came to Muscle Beach. Muscle Beach is basically an area at Venice Beach that has a bunch of work out equipment. The area is completely open, meaning that all the people walking down the street can watch whoever is working out. For this reason, usually the only people found here are those who are really buff. Working out was never something I had a big interest in, but as a tourist, it’s kind of cool to see.

After Venice Beach, we headed to Santa Monica Beach. By this time, the sun was a little lower in the sky, so I decided to suck it up and shed the sweatpants and long sleeve shirt in order to go swimming. This was only the second time I had ever been swimming in the ocean, and I forgot how fun it could be to just ride the waves and splash around. Although, I probably could have done without the seaweed constantly getting wrapped around my feet.

Once we got our fill of swimming, we dried off and then headed to Santa Monica Pier where we rode some of the carnival rides and sat and watched the sunset while eating funnel cakes. It was a fun way to end a relaxing day. Now, we’re off to San Francisco!

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