Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Los Angeles, an overrated city that we needed to see, but don't feel the need to return to. What I did on my summer vacation Part 7

When I was a child we drove through L.A. but my dad didn't stop. He wasn't into the hype and had no interest in sight seeing so I always wanted to return on my own so I could actually stop at all these cool places and spend a little time.

Our first stop was the La Brea Tar Pits. The Boy enjoyed the tar farts that came up every so often. And we all loved the abundant amounts of fast food containers and beer bottles that were hopelessly stuck in the tar, to be preserved for generations (I'm not sure if my sarcasm came through on that last sentence so I'll just spell it out here -- some people disgust me).

We toured the museum and posed for cheesy photos in front of their green screen. Jayme happened to be wearing a green shirt so he got lost in the background and it looks a little disturbing. This is one of the many reasons I shoot on white backgrounds when I want to extract. Anyway, let's all point and laugh at the silly photos.

Next we hit the Hollywood strip to see the stars. Only we didn't really see any stars in the living breathing celebrity sense (although Jayme swears he saw Jeff Daniels riding a bicycle through the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco). We made do with the stars on the sidewalk, and then the hands and footprints in front of the Chinese Theater. The girls had to find the Harry Potter stars and we took our cheesy photos, bought our cheap plastic souvenir crap (and Jayme did a little scoffing at the Scientology offices) and then we hit the beach.

We drove to Santa Monica Pier, but we took the long way down Sunset so we could see a bit of the city. L.A. is big. Really big. But it's also smoggy. I felt like a had a layer of film over my eyes the entire time I was there. Like I was seeing the world through a frosty glass. I'm not sure how people who live there can stand it. When we left the city it was like I could see clearly again. The clouds were lifted.

So we walked around the pier for a little while, got ice cream and then hit the overcrowded, polluted beach. It was a bit different than the beaches we're used to in Texas, but I would not say better. There were just too many people and too much trash. The coastline we saw along Oregon was the most beautiful, cleanest and most interesting. The image you see below of my daughter silhouetted against the beach is actually altered. I had to remove about a dozen people behind her in the water and along the sand.

We intended to hit the Griffith Observatory that evening, but the ride back to our hotel took twice as long as it should have. I mapped it out and it appeared that our hotel was about 14 miles away and GPS was estimating 35 minutes to get there. I scoffed because most of the way was an interstate and was sure we'd be there much sooner. Well, I had never experienced L.A. traffic. It actually took us about an hour and a half to go those 14 miles. Lovely. We decided to grab something to eat and hit the hay.

This ended our little excursion down the western coast. We caught a plane for home the next morning and were thrilled to return to the somewhat cleaner air of San Antonio.

I thought the trip was amazing. Sure the kids squabbled but I have the amazing gift most moms have to be able to tune it out. I just heard the sweet sounds of excitement coming from the backseat. Jayme tells me they bickered nonstop. He pulled me aside the evening after we returned home and said "no more road trips. Please." But I don't know. I kind of want to return to Yellowstone National Park next year. What do you think?

Lisa On Location Photography

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