Why You Should be a Tourist if You Live in Los Angeles
After 17 years of heartache, I reunited with my adopted sister, my baby!! And, boy did we paint the town red... sightseeing all over L.A! There are tons of reasons why you should visit Los Angeles, too.
I was 11 years old when my youngest sibling, at the time, was given up for adoption after being carried to full-term.
I held my sister in my arms and never wanted to let her go, but I had to... for almost two decades. Sadness ate me up until it turned to anger. But, guess what?
I held her again this Summer!!
Who knew that the Florida trip Sevyn and I were planning, to attend a wedding on his 5th birthday, would be the missing piece to our sisterhood puzzle?!! My sister, Trinity, and her family live in Florida, so this meant we would get to hug each other. Long story short, I said to hell with the wedding, and Sev and I spent our time getting to know Trin! And we LOVE HER!! (Stay tuned for the blog about how we started bonding)
Oh, you want to know the second best part? Trinity visited Los Angeles for the first time, straight from our Florida trip! We saw all the coolest landmarks West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood have to offer.
The first night, My best friend who I love and adore picked Me, Trin, and Sev up from the airport around 7:30 pm and dropped us at home where I served grilled garlic shrimp tacos with cream soda. Oh, and pizza with blue Frost Gatorade and vegan cookies for me and my friend's sons. The tacos were delicious.
I think we actually had them twice during Trin's stay.
Before Trin arrived, she asked if we could dine at a Mexican restaurant to enjoy Mangonadas!
I had no idea what that even was but she sent me a TikTok and I ordered all the ingredients and we made them her first morning in town. Yum!
Ingredients: Chomoy, Tajin, 2 Limes, 1 bag of Frozen Mangoes, 1 cup Mango Nector, Cane Sugar.
We swirled the tops of mason jars in chomoy and rolled them in tajin, then we lined the inside of the jars with chamoy, blended the mangoes with lime juice, sugar, and mango nectar, then poured the smoothie-like substance into our decorated mason jars, added a lil' more tajin, and wahlaaaaaa! Mangonadas and Cinnabon cinnamon rolls for breakfast. What a way to start a Cali vacay!!
The next day, we pulled into the In N Out drive-thru, near LAX, for a cheeseburger, a double-double, two grilled cheese sandwiches, animal-style french fries, and an airplane photo-op!
Doing cartwheels in the grass while waiting for an aircraft to fly over us for pictures was surely an experience. We cried laughing at our many bloopers; between totally missing the planes in some shots, blurry images, and Trin feeling the heat from the large engines on the back of her neck as she posed, we actually managed to get a few good pics and an unforgettable moment.
However, after our photography session, our In N Out was cold and....... *gasps* NASTY! My sister couldn't even finish her meal. So, as a Cali girl and super cool big sister, you know I had to redeem myself and run it back later in the trip.
After In N Out and our photo-op, we headed to Dockweiler Beach for a bonfire and a walk along the shoreline.
We tried eloté.. but she didn't like it. The beach was cool even though I lost my favorite pink sunglasses in the sand. We didn't stay too long. But a night on the beach is always amazing.
The next day was exciting!! We went sightseeing! We definitely sight-saw! We ate good! We... alright, alright, let me give you the details.
First stop, see the Hollywood sign at Lake Hollywood Park!
On our way up, we held up traffic at almost every stop sign to take pictures because I wasn't going to be satisfied without a sister-sister picture with the sign behind us in the windshield. It was an unsuccessful shoot but oh well, at least we tried. And we couldn't care any less about the impatient drivers honking. Umm, *Beep Beep* to Y'ALL!
Anyway, as we got to the top of the mountain in front of the Griffith Park Observatory, we couldn't see the letters that well. So, we had a cute photo-op at the observatory and to Lake Hollywood Park we went. Finding street parking was easy in the residential area and the sign was super clear. We got a few strangers to capture our poses. I know you see the amazing views in the photos.
After the sign, Rodeo Drive!
We walked alongside the most expensive (and sometimes racist) European designer shops, admired the infamous 'Life is Beautiful' sign, located smack dab in the middle of the sidewalk, and found an interesting museum.
The Museum had lots of cool art. We enjoyed the large 'Big Boy' and naked statutes, and the Coca-Cola, French Fry, Automobile, and Light Bulb paintings. The modern, yet historical museum is very bright with a stairwell that leads to the awesome exhibits upstairs. It was worth the random visit, for sure...Something to do on Rodeo if you aren't shopping.
After an hour on Rodeo Drive, we headed to see the Beverly Hills Sign
The Beverly Hills sign is about a one-minute drive to the right of Rodeo. Luckily, I found street parking just steps away from the pond it sits on.
When we got out of the car, of course, we had to chase Sevyn around, then we posed for family and individual flicks, took pictures for other families, then bounced.
The sign is actually very basic, but its location in the heart of Beverly Hills makes it something to check off of your Los Angeles bucket list, especially if you're in the area.
The grassy area makes for nice scenery and Sevyn was excited to throw pennies in the pond. And, our photos came out super cute.
Now, it was time for us tourists to eat a Mexican dinner at Javier's!
Remember when I said Trin asked me for Mexican food and mangonadas? I still had Mexican food to check off of her list. We were headed to the Santa Monica Pier, but when we passed the Century City Mall, I knew stopping at Javier's would be perfect!
The ambiance was super fancy. Upon arriving at the host stand, a fire was ablaze above the restaurant's sign. To the right, there was greenery. When our waiter came to seat us, we were amused by the crystal walls, extra large 'Last Super' table, and deep booth tables.
Right away, we were served sparkling water and limes on ice, in a palm tree-like design, with house salsa and crispy chips. Trin and I ordered taco and enchilada combo meals, Sev had a quesadilla, and all plates came extremely quickly and were served with refried beans and Spanish rice. The scenery was beautiful and we all thought the food was delicious! I'll be back for sure!
After eating, Trin was pretty much done for the day. But, I still drove to the Santa Monica Pier so she could see it before calling it a night.
The last day was a lazy day... until we took a nighttime walk around Miracle Mile, on Wilshire.
After a long day of laziness, watching movies and shows on the projector, we decided to take a nighttime walk around my neighborhood. We stopped at LACMA to explore the Urban Light exhibit.
We learned that there are about 206 iron street lamps that an artist gathered in the 50s to create this piece of art. By day, the lamps are not lit but shine through the night.
This particular exhibit at the Museum is open 24 hours a day. So you can see it anytime.
10 out of 10 would recommend.
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is located just steps away on the same sidewalk; and, although it was closed, the statues and outdoor exhibits were pretty cool to see and you know had a photo-op.
When it's open, you can watch old cinema and enjoy exhibits about the award show's history over time and learn all types of interesting film and production facts
The museum just opened at the beginning of 2020. So, it was nice to check it out for the first time.
To end the trip, we went to Universal and walked the Hollywood Walk of Fame!
Universal was a short excursion, it was late so we literally drove along all the rows of palm trees and stopped at the top to see the sign, then headed to the Walk of Fame to see some of our faves!
My best friend took some pictures of us with his DSLR. But, the area was sort of wet, so our poses were limited. Nevertheless, I managed to strike a few poses under the waterfall, nothing too crazy. Ta-da!!
Next up were the stars!! How can you visit Hollywood and skip the stars? You can't! So, we didn't!
Oh, yeah! Before heading home we ate at another In N Out Burger in Hollywood.
But this time, I went inside and politely urged the cashier to make our sh*t HOT, scorching if they had to! I couldn't go out like that, my baby's California experience was on the line! And, yes.... our food was fresh and hot.
Trinity actually enjoyed the fast food joint on the second try, although she did ask me to tell them to hold the secret sauce on her cheeseburger. "Spread" is def an acquired taste.
If ya know ya know!
Sissy, if you're reading this... I hope your first trip to Los Angeles was amazing!!
I love you!!