Where we stayed: In Laguna Beach we stayed at The Tides Inn – the hostess was super friendly and our room was large and quiet. We had a full kitchen and the hotel was about 10-15 minutes from downtown Laguna. Laguna isn’t cheap, but this was one of the cheaper options. There’s also a pool for the summer here.
December 5, 2009: West coast diaries #7, that’s a wrap!
So here’s my final email to you from our California coast journey. This time we’re in Laguna Beach just south of LA.
Yesterday we had a great time. I started out with a nice run along the beach, then we drove over to NBC studios for a short tour. The main shows they shoot at that studio are Jay Leno and….Days of Our Lives. Since I’ve now been watching Days on and off for nearly 25 years, and d2’s been a watcher for a couple of years, this was particularly exciting (…or sad, depending on your point of view)! We got to see a lot of the set stuff and to peek in to one of the sets. They were shooting next door and we could see the scene on a monitor here. How exciting. We drove from here to a place called Griffith Park, which is a huge park on the hills, with magnificent views and trails. We stepped out of the car to be greeted by a coyote who was wandering around the park, and then went for a walk up to the observatory. There are a couple of pics attached of the city with its lovely smoggy coating, and one of the infamous Hollywood sign. Pretty cool to see that actually. Next we went for a drive on Mulholland Drive, which snakes up the hills and along the ridge at the top. Lots of stars have homes here, and some of them are incredible – it’s like they’re just hanging off the hillside. The drive was pretty cool and at the end of it, d2 is certain that we passed Martin Scorsese in his Benz (I was too busy navigating!).
After more LA, we made our way back out to Venice Beach. We took a look at some shops there and checked out the canals (yep, there are actually canals there like in Venice, Italy). The pics turned out too dark, so you’ll have to settle for a picture of a tasty red velvet cupcake that we stopped to nibble on. Mmmmmmmmm – it was delicious. Lots of good cupcakes on this trip!! As we toured around Venice, I became more impressed with it – lots of really interesting, modern homes there, and neat little neighbourhoods. Then we went for a nice long walk around downtown Santa Monica again and walked down to the pier there as well. A lovely night. Overall, there were some really nice neighbourhoods and spots in LA – some of the residential areas we went through were really nice (and I’m not talking only about the richie-hoods).
Today we made our way down to Laguna Beach. I attached a picture of one of the palm-lined streets in Santa Monica – super cool. We stopped at the Eames house first in Santa Monica. I didn’t know about the Eames until I met d2 – they were a famous husband and wife design duo, and we seem to have stocked our condo with a number of their furniture pieces. Their house is very simple and small and was on a beautiful cliff that overlooks the ocean. Cool place to live. We started to drive from there and stopped at a diner called Pann’s. There are a lot of 50s diners in LA, and this is one of the classics – a number of them were all designed by the same firm, so they have the same feel. Tasty diner food here to give us energy for the rest of our drive to Laguna, with a short stop to shop for a bit, too. In Laguna, we went out for Mexican food for dinner and then walked around the town a bit – there was a sidewalk party going on downtown so the street was blocked off and there were a lot of people. Tomorrow we’re going to get up and run and enjoy the beach one last time before heading back to the airport via a stop at Randy’s Donuts near LAX :o)
What a great time we had on this trip, although definitely ready to go home. Lots of fun sights, tasty food, and great experiences in each place we visited – whether it be our Lincoln Towncar in Seattle, to our tasty Mexican feasts in LA, it was all super fun. As it good as it was, I’m looking forward to my own bed for awhile again. And so to close off the diaries, I’m attaching a picture of the sunset from Pebble Beach, a few emails back. d2 captured the so-called ‘lone cypress.’ The lone cypress is a tree that’s all on its own on a rock just off the shore and is over 250 years old. Spritely little guy! So long for now, Cali!
lots of love to you all,
dpr and d2