Introduction (LA, Los Olivos, Marathon, San Diego)
Pre-Trip Road Trip to DC: John Kerry at Senate Visit
Hollywood, Daikokuya Ramen, Universal Studios
LA, Sideways Wine Trail, Santa Barbara
Operation Jack Marathon, WB Studio Tour, and Socal Beaches
San Diego Zoo and Seaworld
Hollywood Sign, Rose Parade Floats, and More Ramen
San Diego Model Railroad Museum
Andaz West Hollywood
We checked into Andaz West Hollywood. There was an open lobby with the check-in process very informal. There was a welcome drink and we could relax on the couch as we checked in. There was a full bar and restaurant on the second floor, along with a small gym. They also have jogging maps in the gym. There was a rooftop pool but it was much too cold to swim in. It had a good view of the city and would be a great place to be during the summer.
This room has two parts, the bed/living room, and then a sitting area right near the window. We elected to get the city view room and we could see much of the cities. However, you need to shut the shades when you sleep as the giant glowing billboard will keep you up. There was a small TV out there as well. It didn’t work very well when we were there, so we had to watch the Christmas basketball games on the bigger TV. There was a bench on the left with a armchair and ottoman on the right near the small TV.
When I came here three years ago, my friend took me to a traditional chinese breakfast place, Garden Cafe in Alhambra, CA. She really liked the meal and was glad to finally take her here to try it. She really liked it when we went to Hong Kong back in 2007.
We drove to the LA lookout point near the Griffith Observatory. We found a spot and got a great view of the city.
We parked briefly by Hollywood to check out the different theaters. We walked around in the mall adjacent to the Kodak Theater, which was renamed the Dolby Theater after the bankruptcy. We also walked along Hollywood Blvd and showed her how it was very similar to the East Village in NY.
Afterwards, we went to Daikokuya Ramen. This is my wife’s favorite place out of the three we went to. We went back a second time but there was a long wait both times. I think the first time was about an hour in the middle of the day while it was closer to 90 minutes the second time when it was around 6pm. I thought the ramen was good as well, but their fried rice was even better. You can get it as a side to the ramen.
We walked around Little Tokyo after our dinner and found a macron place. The store’s presentation was amazing and so were their macrons. There were soft and light and perfectly cooked.
The following day, which was Christmas day, we went to the Denny’s for breakfast as this was the only place open. We had it to go so we could eat in our rooms and watch the Christmas Day basketball games on TV. The Celtics were on in the morning so we watched that before going to Universal Studios.
We got to Universal Studios in the mid afternoon. I had thought the park would be less crowded but it was pretty crowded. We did go on a few rides but my wife didn’t enjoy them very much. We went on the studio tour as well, which we both enjoyed.
It also ended up being a very cold day when the sun set so we were looking to leave the park shortly after dinner. We were due to check into Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach after going to Universal Studios.