I love visiting my family in Los Angeles…the City of Angels. My angelic granddaughter and two of my sons live there, so of course I want to be there as much as I possibly can. Thanks, Delta, for all the frequent flyer miles I can earn by using your credit cards for both business and personal use! I redeemed just 22,000 miles for a visit during the week of both my birthday and Mother’s Day. It certainly helps that I can work my travel business from an I-Phone, right?
Each time I visit I try to see new places, eat from a different restaurant, and hike on a different trail. Goodness, dining in LA is so wonderfully diverse. On this trip I also had the pleasure of having lunch on a cruise ship in Long Beach with my travel agent friend and his group of clients. Lots to share, so let’s dig in!
Our group boarded the Carnival Miracle on Saturday at around 11 am, and enjoyed a brief tour of the different room categories first. Most rooms are similar in size on this ship, most with balcony. Some obstructed by life rafts, but most with a little balcony with two chairs and a table. It’s luxurious to open your door to fresh air while sailing, to be sure. Think starry night skies and a beautiful breeze. The Grand Suites are the largest, and can be connected with a balcony room to sleep up to 8 people! Lovely to have a larger living room, bar and table for dining in. There are very few ocean view cabins on this ship…just one lower deck of them. To save, you can still opt for no window and sleep in an inside cabin. I actually like these for sleeping…nice and dark!
Lunch in the buffet was yummy, as Carnival does a nice job with food preparation. I find there serving stations nice, but I do wish folks knew better how to use them. Everyone still wants to line up and that makes me crazy! The cling clang and tight quarters has me wanting to bring my plate to the great outdoors…if you move aft to the Serenity adults only area, there is a nice bar and a few little tables where you can eat outside. Do that if you can! Yes, a bit of a walk back to get seconds, but totally worth the effort. As a guest who must disembark in a couple of hours, I had to use a credit card for my glass of vino.
Carnival calls their ships “Fun Ships” for a reason. The decor is crazy colorful and a little bit wild! Loved the Mad Hatter lounge area and the Red Frog bar. This ship has a nice water slide outdoors, tons of bars and places to grab a snack, and let’s just say you probably can’t get bored. If you want solitude, though, it’s available. Check out the photo of the little Secret Garden area. One of my favorite things to do on a cruise ship is to hunt for the little hideaways. I go hard all day with lots of energy, and at some point even I have to re-charge!
Ask me if you want more information about the ship, okay? Carnival is great for party groups, multi-generational celebrations, and there were a couple of weddings during our visit (guests can either book the cruise or leave after the festivities are over). It was a fun afternoon!
Saturday evening was for #2 son, Michael and my Godson, Justin. We met at Mike’s apartment in the Venice Beach area, then walked to dinner on Washington Avenue at the Corner Door. Our group loved their unique cocktail menu, and each tried a different concoction. With names like Oscar G-Knight and Pineapple Lamp, the presentation was beautiful. A variety of tapas followed, and we witnessed the owner?/manager’s birthday song at the bar, followed by some swings at a pinata. I think you would enjoy this place if you stop in.
On Mother’s Day, Mike took me to an amazing car show on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. One of these cars made a grand entrance (shown left here) and I was told it is the ONLY one in the world. You should have seen all the car buffs crowding around it for a look! When I quizzed my car expert son he said the value of that vehicle is “essentially priceless”. I asked about another of my favorites (right) and was told 2 million. Yikes!
We were both a bit hungry after the show, and I noticed historic Mel’s Diner across the street. We loved our meals…an omelette and eggs over easy with toast and bacon. Service with a smile, and just after I sat down, a nice server brought me a rose. Sweet. So we sat outside on the patio and watched all those amazing cars leave the lot, some zooming up Sunset showing off for the spectators who were gathering along the street. My favorite blue car (you’ll have to ask my son what the heck it was…I forget!) drove by, and I watched longingly. I have a need for speed…one of these days I am going to pay to drive a hot car around a track!
After breakfast I suggested to Mike that we go walk around at Greystone Mansion, a little known public park in Beverly Hills. I had been there before. You should read the long list of movies that have filmed here! Mike was impressed, and had never visited before. He was a great companion for me here, because he loves nature photography as much as I do. Next time you do the Hollywood visit, add this to your list. You’ll drive past lots of mansions to get there, and then see their rooftops from the hilltop. Bring your camera! After all the rains this spring, the gardens were absolutely stunning!
The food scene in LA is so international that you can dine in a different country every day. I love the diversity here. We ordered Indian take-out from Annapura Cuisine. Ate in at a place called Tacos Por Favor, and they made a mean burrito and the beans were awesome. And had yummy sushi from Ugly Roll Sushi that is just down the street from #1 son, Tim’s apartment in Mar Vista. You can google them for addresses and phone numbers. And enjoy!
On the last day of my visit my granddaughter, her dog Tigger, my son, Tim and I enjoyed a nice hike in the hills above Playa Vista. The name of the park is Steve Soboroff Court Park, and dogs may be off-leash! Tigger and Rae both enjoyed running up the gradual hill, and the pretty yellow flowers were still blooming. There were a couple of information boards that names the local flora and fauna, and as we walked along, Rae would occasionally blurt out the name of one animal or the other. So excited that she loves nature like her Nana. At the beginning of the trail there are some strength and exercise stations, so she had to hang for the monkey bars and walk on the “balance beam”, like she does at gymnastics. Okay, yeah, so did I!
Enjoy your own visit to LA and, if you go soon, note that they are working on many of the LAX terminals. While I was there, Delta switched from terminal 5 to 3…lots of airlines shuffling around so be sure to check which terminal you are leaving from before you go! I had the pleasure of a complimentary chair massage from Delta because there were a few flight delays. That was beautiful and very much appreciated, as I had been feeling icky the last few days of my trip. Thanks, again, Delta, for taking good care of this frequent flyer!