Thursday, May 23, 2013

Back from LA

LA really didn't do it for me. We had a great time, and the highlights (Getty museum, for one) were well worth the trip. However, I wasn't enamored with the city. I am completely obsessed with learning how LA developed, but not ready to pack my bags and move there. 

I keep wondering if I got my first taste for the west coast as a twenty-something, would I feel differently?  The beaches, the sun, the ocean breezes may have out-weighed the infrastructure. The character of the best scenes may have outshone the indifference in between. I just wasn't feeling it.

As a vacation, LA was a great choice! Their family friendly and educational sites must be the top in the universe. It was a fun place for us and the kids. The food was always fresh. Tomatoes tasted like tomatoes, you know?  The weather was beautiful (except for our day in Pasadena, where it was just HOT)

I would love to know what you think about LA?  Love at first sight or did you take time to warm up?

PACKING UPDATE: Four shirts worked well for my husband for 7 days (three packed in the suitcase, one on the airplane). I shopped at Madewell on Day 2 or 3, so I was set. My green jeans looked TERRIBLE after the flight. They were baggy and wrinkled and no hand-washing could fix them, they needed a dryer. I did laundry in the tub four days in a row (each morning). I should have packed two sets of PJs for the boys - one set didn't last all week. Also, I forgot nail clippers (that was annoying) and ran out of baby wipes (bought more). Air Canada forgot to charge us $25 for our suitcase on the way, but charged us on the flight home. I didn't realize they have zero free baggage allowance. We will do two carry on suitcases (or two medium, carry-on-sized backpacks) next time plus a purse, diaper bag and camera bag. $50 is not a big deal, but hands-free (backpacks) beat wheely luggage, anyday! We also took two umbrella strollers and two car seats (no fee for baby equipment).

ps. We got back last Saturday.
pss. Seven days was an ok length (vs 9 days in Copenhagen last fall). We might try 5 or 6 days next time when traveling within North America. I would rather have five great days and return home to unwind, then add extra time and watch the boys self-destruct due to fatigue


  1. LA is not my favourite west-coast city. I've been there a few times in my 20's and the city just didn't resonate with me. San Francisco, Sausalito, Sonoma and Wine Countries are more my scenes.

  2. Your first picture is great! Went to LA/SF for new years eve this year. SF, Sausalito, Sonoma and wine country is way better like Michelle said. Wished I saw the FLW Hollyhock House. Getty and Santa Monica was nice, saw the La Brea Tar Pits ( not my scene) and drove around a bit and saw the HOLLYwood sign ( cool!). If you like the food in LA you will like SF way better.

  3. We lived in LA for a few years and its one of those cities that disappoints a lot of visitors but has some hidden charms (many prefer the more city like vibe of San Fran). Did you get a chance to check out the Abbott Kinney area in Venice Beach? Or any of the little beach towns in the South Bay (Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach) or down to Laguna Beach? We used to live in Manhattan Beach and it was lovely to be so close to the Ocean in a walkable little village where you could avoid the traffic chaos. The LA flea markets are pretty amazing too - Melrose and in Costa Mesa.

  4. LA is not my favourite but then I haven't done real big tours or anything. I love San francisco though -such a cool vibe there.

  5. LA is just so-so. San Francisco and San Diego are much better. San Diego is highly underrated.

  6. I can't tell you how many visits it took for me to come to appreciate LA.
    Its a weird place to embrace for sure, and a bit overwhelming the first time you are there.

  7. Staci @ My Friend StaciMay 24, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    San Diego blows LA out of the water. A city made up of neighborhoods, it manages to have a smaller city feel while including all of the big-city ameneties. People are nicer and everybody's not so rushed as Angelenos are!