A May 2003 trip
to California by wordly woman
Quote: Smog Capital of the world . . . The best part of the vacation was when we were leaving Los Angeles and Southern California.
Hotel | "Courtyard Torrance"
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 12, 2003
Courtyard by Marriott Torrance South Bay
1925 West 190th Street
Torrance, California 90504
We spent the first day of our trip seeing Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. In Hollywood we encountered alot of freaks and geeks walking along the walk of fame. We saw many people dressed in ridiculous costumes and eccentric outfits. In our opinion the area was a tacky tourist trap, and not worth the time. From there we went to Beverly Hills. I was surprised that the town only encompassed a couple of streets. We visited Beverly Hills on Memorial Day and the town was empty many of the stores were closed. Since we could not shop we decided to catch a bite to eat. We checked out the Airstream diner but found it to be a little to loud inside for our ears. We instead went to Triulli's an Italian restaurant which was quite good. We were shocked to find that the menu prices at several Beverly Hills restaurants were cheap. Prices ranging from $8-20 for dinner. After Beverly Hills we went back through Los Angeles, driving by the Shrine Auditorium. We did not get out of our cars since we felt the area did not look too safe. We made a couple of wrong turns and ended up in East Los Angeles, which looked like a war zone.
After encountering the freaks and geeks in Hollywood, and getting lost in Los Angeles' war zone. We decided that we had experienced enough of the smog. For the rest of our trip we left LA and traveled to other areas. In getting out of the city we experienced a whole different California.
We spent one day touring the Seqouia National Park. Seeing the giant seqouias and standing on Moro Rock 8,000 ft up and looking down on the world was fabulous. The road traveling up to the giant forest and moro rock was breathtaking and exhilarating. Although we traveled almost four hours one way from LA, I would definitely recommend this side trip to anyone.
The next day we left Los Angeles and went to Palm Springs. Maybe because it was extremely hot 110 degrees to be precise; but we did not feel like walking around the streets. Instead we decided to take a drive through the Joshua Tree State Park. This was awesome. From the view at Keys Point we could see all the way to Mexico. The different flora of the desert was such a contrast from what we had just experienced in the Sequoia National Park.
On day four, we took the Pacific Coast Highway Route 1 from LA to Solvang, above Santa Barbara. We intended to ride horses in the Santa Ynez Valley, but since we did not make reservations we were not able to do so. Instead we winded up touring the town of Solvang. Solvang is a cute Danish town full of windmills. We ate pastries and drank coffee at Mortensen's bakery which was delicious. The view driving along Route 1 looking out onto the ocean is magnificent.
All in all the best part of our trip was the time spent away from LA. The traffic was lighter, the smog had dissipated and the ride was scenic. I definately cannot wait to go back and tour the parts that we missed, Until then I will be California dreaming . . .