Monday, December 8, 2008

Back Home Again In Indiana...

It's been two days since we returned from our trip to Los Angeles, and I'm still a little jet-lagged. V must be, too, because it's ten o'clock in the morning, and he's still asleep! It's been tough getting back into any sort of routine, but that has a little to do with our traveling fatigue. We had a wonderful time with B's younger sister in Pasadena and other areas of L. A. just seeing the sights and sampling wonderful food. Here are some of the highlights from our trip:

We spent Monday in planes and automobiles trying to get to our destination, so we didn't really see anything until Tuesday. We decided to spend that day walking around Pasadena and getting to know the neighborhood around our hotel. Everywhere we looked, shops and restaurants were decked out for Christmas.

V really enjoyed all of the fountains we saw around town.

Christmas in Pasadena means lights everywhere, including on the trees along the side streets.

We took the light rail and subway systems to Hollywood on Wednesday. On our list of things to see and do were the Highland Center (a big mall at Hollywood Blvd and Highland), where you can get a great glimpse of the Hollywood Sign; Grauman's Chinese Theater with celebrities' footprints embedded in cement for posterity; a walk along the Hollywood Walk of Fame; and lunch at Pink's for some amazing and unusual hot dogs.
The entrance to the Highland Center

V and I in front of a very tiny Hollywood Sign

V tried to fill the shoes of a famous actor...

One of the hundreds of stars along the Hollywood Walk of Fame

A place famous for their hot dogs, which can be ordered any way you want them. I had the "Hollywood Walk of Fame Dog", which consisted of a hot dog with cole slaw and tomatoes on top. B shared his "Three Dog Night" with V, which was three hot dogs, three slices of cheese, three slices of bacon, and lots of chili and onions, all wrapped up in a tortilla! Talk about a heart attack waiting to happen!

After lunch at Pink's, we hopped a bus at Santa Monica Blvd, and took it to Beverly Hills. Ever since I saw "Pretty Woman" for the first time, I'd always dreamed of walking along Rodeo Drive and looking in on the rich as they indulged themselves in fine food, expensive jewelry, and beautiful clothing. The experience didn't disappoint, and it was made even more spectacular by the fact that everything was decked out for Christmas.
Another fountain V had to stop and look at...

The sign points the way to extreme indulgence...

The fountain in front of Two Rodeo, an extravagant outdoor mall in Beverly Hills

We had dinner that evening in Koreatown, where my sister-in-law and her roommate introduced us to Korean barbecue. It was fabulous!

On Thursday, we decided to do some more kid friendly activities. There was a cute park near our hotel in Pasadena where V was able to play and run and have a wonderful time.

After our visit to the park, we decided to drive to Griffith Park and walk around the Los Angeles Zoo. Though it was really chilly that day, we still enjoyed seeing the animals in their exhibits.

While in Pasadena, we spent our evenings either eating at my sis-in-law's apartment or eating out with her. While hanging out at her place, V had lots of fun playing on her Nintendo Wii.

My sis-in-law had the day off from work on Friday, so we spent our time with her in Glendale and Burbank shopping, eating, and enjoying the spectacular views of the mountains. Lunch was at Porto's in Burbank, a wonderful bakery and sandwich shop. When we got back to Pasadena, we had her drive us up to the Rose Bowl. B and I had tried to walk to it on Tuesday with V, but we had taken a wrong turn somewhere and ended up seeing it from far away. We discovered that it was much easier to just drive up to the entrance and walk around on the lawns just outside it.

One thing I absolutely loved about Pasadena...roses in December! They were everywhere!

We spent the evening in the hot tub at our hotel before heading to my sister-in-law's house for some Chinese take out for dinner and Dots cupcakes for dessert. It was a relaxing way to end our stay in L. A., and we came home Saturday exhausted, but happy, from our many travels.

It's Monday, now, and B's back at work. V's finally awake and having a late breakfast. I need to stop writing, hop in the shower, and start doing the many chores that have been neglected over the past week.
I hope you all had a wonderful week while we were away.
Best to you all,

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