We drove up to Hollywood, took a trip to the beach, drove downtown, and visited a few places that we had been looking forward to. It was a nice but long day. There was so much beauty and I'm glad we were able to see it.
Before our trip, we had been warned about the crazy busy traffic and to plan for extra long travel time. We left our hotel in Anaheim to head up to Universal Studios. Our phone told us the shortest route and we were sometimes directed though the downtown area. The arts district seemed like such a cool place! Lots of little shops, galleries, and restaurants.
|Photo courtesy of Eat. Travel. Eat! and Wilson Lin|
When we drove up to Hollywood, my girls were excited to see the Hollywood sign. They wanted to go and take a picnic up there, but our destination was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios so we continued on.
It was such a fun experience for the family to feel as if we were part of the Harry Potter world. My girls wore their Hogwarts robes as they traveled around Hogsmeade. It's pretty amazing the detail that went into everything there. We loved the tour of Hogwarts castle that you take as you wait in line for the ride.
Next we drove over to the LDS Los Angeles Temple. The grounds for all the temples are kept so beautiful. It was interesting to see the native plants and trees there.
We decided to take an impromptu trip to the beach. I looked online for good beaches for families and of course ended up with thousands of choices. We decided on the peninsula of Cabrillo Beach because it has a sheltered side on the inside of the pier as well as an open to the ocean side.
As we were walking through the parking lot toward the beach, two surfers stopped us. They asked if we wanted to see something cool. We had no idea what it would be, then he pulled a live lobster out of the back of his truck! They had been in the water by the pier and found this guy swimming! It was pretty fascinating.
We walked down to the sheltered side and watched sailboats enter the harbor, gulls fly onto the beach to look for food, and of course play in the sand for a while. We live in landlocked Utah, so a visit to the beach was something my girls had been looking forward to.
After a while we walked over to the other part of the beach that is directly on the ocean side. The waves were stronger and it was the perfect time to see the sun setting. My oldest daughter remembers when we lived near the beach in Charleston, South Carolina where we played a "keep away from the water game", so we ran away from the waves together while her little sister played in the sand.
I was surprised that the beach was empty at such a beautiful time, but it was a bit chilly (for California at least) so people were probably at home. It was good luck for us though! We were able to walk down the beach, run from the water, laugh, and enjoy watching the sunset all to ourselves.
We ended our day by driving back to our hotel in Anaheim and getting pizza at our favorite place. If you are near Disneyland, you have to visit Pizzaterian. Their crust is amazing, they have a perfect ratio of sauce/cheese/toppings, you can get hot wings with just the right amount of spice, and round your meal out with a salad. We ate there twice and my youngest was sad we didn't go again.
It was a full but wonderful day that we spent in Los Angeles. We are already mentally planning our next trip. We will definitely spend a bit more time at the different beaches, visit one of the many aquariums, and eat some more delicious food.