Friday, September 18, 2015

LA: 2 days in LA

Day 1: The Arrival

Heard so much about the Skid Row being one of the "dangerous areas" in LA, I immediately called for a Uber pool the moment I stepped out from the bus. Waiting time was short, before I realized it, I was already in the car drinking the free mineral water my driver provided. My Uber driver was an attractive young lady, very charismatic. After some chat (we drove around downtown for awhile in a failed attempt to pick up another passenger), she offered to drive us through some of the highlights before finally dropping us at Inglewood.

We cruised around LA, drive through places such as Downtown, Hollywood Boulevard, West Hollywood, ethnic neighborhoods, Beverly Hills and so much more. She even took her time to highlight some fun facts and history to us, which we enjoyed, very much. At the end of the ride, guess what, our fare was just $1 per person, now this is what I call “a sweet ride”!

Read more: Free taxi in LA? Transportation hacks you have to know.

Our host is one of the coolest person we ever met, talking with her can be so enjoyable and inspiring I literally don't mind sitting in her apartment all night just talking. That is why I love couchsurfing, and if you haven't try this yourself, you probably should set up an account now! You'll meet some of the most interesting people around the world!
When evening approached, she took us out to the nearby attractions.

Venice Boardwalk 

The "people-watching" alone is a solid reason for you to be here. Plus, it is a good place to start if you are looking for souvenirs. Here you'll have the stunning view of pacific ocean on one side, while on the other side, you'll find all these weird performances, street art, hipster music, freak shows, skateboarders trying to get out of your way (or you get out of their's) and Weed (Yea, weed... I kinda gotten used to the smell since the very first day. Yup, that's weed. )

Venice Beach
It wasn't that great but It's refreshing stepping into the cold water when you've had enough of the Broadway.

Venice Beach Recreational Centre

Check out the Muscle beach, skate park or have some fun trying one of these!

Santa Monica Pier

We finally reached the Pier after the long walk, just on time for sunset. And when the lights at the amusement park lit up, people started pouring in. Come here to take a staple photo of the End of route 66 sign. And before you call it a day, grab a Terimayo Japadog! We also tried a Pier burger with shakes... It was a good day!

Day 2

We woke up quite early and found breakfast ready. (Awww... that is very sweet of Katie.) That was the best breakfast we had in our entire trip. Katie printed out a Hollywood Sign trail map for us (something I always wanted to do) and drove us to the Metro station.

Hollywood Boulevard
The walk itself was not as glamorous as I imagined it to be. Instead, I find it to be a little cheesy, especially hated it when the costume character pulled me aside to take photos when I clearly said NO. I was underwhelmed. Walk the walk of fame if you are in LA for the first time, but I do not recommend staying too long. There are some fun spots along the boulevard: Chinese Theater, Jimmy Fallon's Show... and there are some great places to nab some snacks.

And oh, I met my road trip buddies here for the very first time! It was the happiest moment I had on the Hollywood Boulevard.  

Griffith Observatory
Took an Uber out of Hollywood and we got lost in a porch neighborhood on the hill (Uber GPS system broke down). Nevertheless, it was a eye-opening detour!
Griffith Observatory is worth a visit if you like stars, even if it is not your cup of tea, come to enjoy the panoramic view of LA. Besides, you will get a descent photo of the Hollywood sign. The Griffith park itself is an attraction with a lot to do and see: Merry-go-round, pony ride, Travel Town...  

Hollywood Sign

There are a 3 routes to hike to the top of the HOLLYWOOD sign-- the easy, moderate and difficult road. We started the hike from Griffith Park, initially intended to take the easiest trek but we ended up somewhere in between. If you do not have a map, ask for one from Griffith Observatory. Remember to bring enough water as there are no water tanks along the trek and the one on top of the hill was empty.

Read more: How to hike to Hollywood Sign Trail

What else after a good exercise? 

Treat yourself to a good dinner in LA! You will not be disappointed.
Read more: What to eat in LA?

Katie sent us to the Union Station with an Uber. We had the best time in LA and I am looking forward to meet her again... :)

If you have more time, 

courtesy of

The Getty Center
Closed on Monday!!! A museum featuring spectacular views of the L.A. basin and the Pacific Ocean, and not to mention the enchanting gardens. Entrance is free.

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) 
Opens daily, free on Thursday 5 – 8 p.m.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) 
Closed on Wednesday.
Highlights: Sundays Free classical live concerts (Bing Theatre) from 6-7 p.m.
                   Friday outdoor jazz free concerts from 6– 7 p.m.
Entrance is free after 5 p.m., on the second Tuesday each month, and during some national holidays.

The Getty Villa
Closed on Tuesday. Entrance is free.

Universal Studios Hollywood and city walk.
If you are a Hollywood movie buff, the studio tours should be on your to-do list as it takes you behind the scenes of all your favorite movies.

Walt Disney attractions (Disneyland, Downtown Disney, Walt Disney Concert Hall)
If you are not willing to spend big bucks on admission tickets, stay long enough in Downtown Disney to catch a glimpse of the fireworks show by the magical world of Disneyland, FREE!

Thank You for Reading! 
This post is based solely on my personal experience. 
Feel free to share your thoughts/ suggestions with me by commenting below!

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