Author: Adrienne L.
Date of Trip: March 2011
Recently our insatiable thirst for travel led us to Los Angeles, California, commonly referred to as L.A. As our plane approached LAX, we were greeted by one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, the Hollywood sign. After landing we proceeded to find ground transportation that would take us to our hotel. Unbeknownst to us it would take an additional 30 minutes to get out of the airport because our shuttle driver was determined to get maximum capacity in the van. Needless to say, it was a cozy ride. It was a beautiful spring day and the skies were surprisingly smog-free. So we enjoyed a mini-tour of the city while en route to our downtown hotel. Upon our arrival at the Westin Bonaventure we were warmly greeted by the hotel staff, who were very professional and provided excellent customer service. Our room was located on the 36th floor of the Green Tower and featured a view of the aforementioned Hollywood sign.
After checking in, we dropped our bags and took a taxi down to L.A. Live, one of the city’s most exciting attractions. It has been described as a one of a kind entertainment campus and a world-class sports and entertainment destination. It is comprised of apartments, ballrooms, concert theaters, movie theaters and wonderful restaurants.
Although it is always an exciting place to be, the excitement was heightened by the fact that it was March 17th, so St. Patrick’s Day celebrations were happening throughout the complex. It was a festive atmosphere filled with live music, dancing and lots of beer. This area’s color scheme is normally dominated by purple and gold, the colors of the world champion Los Angeles Lakers. But due to St. Patrick’s Day, green seemed to be the dominant color. It didn’t take us long to find out that green is always a dominant color in L.A., because it takes a lot of “green” to take advantage of all that the area has to offer. Los Angeles can be an expensive vacation destination.
Like many other cities, L.A. offers a plethora of dining choices, from street food to fine dining. One restaurant that we really enjoyed was Yang Chow, and judging by the celebrity photos on the walls and the long line out the door, it is an area favorite for many. The portions were quite large and we highly recommend the slippery shrimp. We look forward to dining there again.
Although we were only in town for three days, we managed to see a lot of the area. We spent a great afternoon on Venice Beach enjoying its eclectic vibe. There were street performers, artists, musicians, dancers and of course the beautiful coastline. From there, one of our good friends took us on a whirlwind tour where we cruised Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood Boulevard, and the Melrose District.
Later that night we returned to L.A. Live where we attended a party at the Grammy Museum. It was sponsored by the L.A. Times Travel and Adventure show and guests included Samantha Brown, Rick Steeves and other travel celebrities. We’ve all heard the much-used phrase, “Party like a rock star”, but that night, we really did. The party was catered by Wolfgang Puck and it was open bar. Needless to say, a good time was had by all.
On our last day in town, we took time to enjoy a leisurely brunch at the hotel. As we dined, we began to notice some unusual sights. We saw a number of people entering the lobby and they all had several things in common. They each were dressed in athletic attire, they were moving slowly with great difficulty and appeared to be in a great deal of pain. After about 10 of these individuals crossed our path, it donned on us that they had been participants in the L.A. Marathon. Earlier that morning we had watched the beginning of the race on television and we’d even seen the male and female winners at the end. So we had seen the thrill of victory. Now, 6 hours later, we were witnessing the agony of defeat. What a sight….
Would we go to Los Angeles again? You’d better believe it. L.A. is LIVE!