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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com



Hey Yall!  I'm back from spring break!  Feels good to be back because I have major jet lag and those flights to and from LA was no joke.






The flight going there had me in all kinds of tears; I thought we were going to die!  Turbulence was coming on so strong having the plane dropping up and down, side to side as if we were riding a roller coaster.  I screamed, yelling out, "Lord, please protect us all!" 😨








What upset me is that the pilot didn't say a thing about what was going on with our bumpy flight ride, which had everyone on the flight scared out their minds.






Once the plane got out of those air pockets, the flight was smooth for the rest of the time.






A few of the flight attendants spoke to me in regards to the turbulence telling me it was normal, they've been in much worst on International flights.  They also said that the pilot didn't say anything because he didn't want to scare the passengers.






My heart was beating out of my chest during the rest of the flight, and Michelle cried saying that she never wants to fly on American Airlines again.  Lauren, she thought all of that bumpiness was awesome.  SMH!!!! 




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After our flight to help calm my nerves, we made a stop at my favorite fast food joint, In-N-Out Burger.  It's a must to visit every time I'm on the west coast or visiting Texas.  Love their burgers!  I wish there were locations here in Atlanta.







Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com



To save a buck or two, we stayed at the Embassy Suites near LAX airport.  I should've spent more and stayed somewhere else; this hotel had me disappointed.  The interior is dated, worn, room needing fresh paint, parking is tight and hard to find parking spaces in the evenings, plus parking cost $29 a night, and the complimentary breakfast was terrible!


Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Seriously, what is going on with Embassy Suites?  They've been falling downhill lately.  Embassy Suites use to be one of my favorite hotels to stay in because of their bigger rooms than other hotels, budget-friendly, and free hot breakfast. It looks like I may need to stay in other hotels from now on or consider renting a vacation home.







My trip was four days, and we manage to do quite a bit.  Check out all that we did below:




Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Disneyland:  Disneyland needs a post all of its own.  Stay tuned for that post coming up next.





Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Venice Beach: My goodness y'all, I didn't know that Venice Beach would be so rough and dirty.  You hear about Venice Beach from movies and video games, so I expected so much from it. 😩




Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com




It's nothing more than homelessness, beggers, dirtiness, with the smell of pee everywhere.  Very rough around the edges, having me hanging onto my purse and the girls tight.


Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com





When we first got there, and haven't even stepped foot out our car yet, a homeless man that came near our car was yelling out profanity to his hand.  That should've been our cue right there to bust a U-turn and leave.



Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com



I was told by a follower on Instagram that there are some parts of Venice Beach that are cleaner and safe, I must've been at the wrong part then.  Still, I won't be coming back.









Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Santa Monica Pier:  Santa Monica Pier is nearby Venice Beach, just about 10 minutes away.



Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com
Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com
Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com
Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com
Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com



Way better than Venice, cleaner, safer, and lots to do for kids.



Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com




Due to the weather being a bit cold we didn't go into the water. Instead, we went sightseeing up and down the pier.



Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.comOur Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com


The pier has a carnival-style amusement park with rides, arcades, and restaurants.  Also, there are vendors selling souvenirs, serenading guest with their music, or dancing, and much more.



Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.comOur Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com






Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Hollywood Blvd: Another big disappointment. 😒 What you see in movies and TV is not what Hollywood looks like.  It's not all bright lights, the glamorous life.



Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com



It's nothing more than a dirty strip of beggars, people walking around in costumes charging $10 for photos with them, street vendors, plus the walk of fame which is underwhelming too.  Basically, it's just a tourist trap.




Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com
Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Mr. M already visited Hollywood before and warned me it's not all that it seems to be, but I wanted to see for myself.




Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com


But, what I will say what we enjoyed was the Madame Tussauds Hollywood Museum located in the heart of Hollywood.  Mr. M and I went to the one in Las Vegas and liked it a lot, and wanted to check out the Hollywood one as well.





The Hollywood Madame Tussauds is just as good, had my girls thinking the wax figures would come to life.






The craftsmanship that went into creating these celebrity wax figures is incredible!  Such talent!



Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  ww.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com



From today's A-lister's, iconic stars, movie directors and producers, athletes, and superheroes, you're guaranteed to be snapping photos with your favorites.   And no worries, you can get up close and touch, unlike the real celebrities.






Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com



Hello Kitty Cafe:  Hello Kitty Truck tour came to Atlanta twice, but the girls and I missed out each time because we just didn't feel like being in a two-hour line.






Since I knew we were visiting LA, I told the girls we'd go to the actual Hello Kitty Cafe that has more stuff than the truck and no lines.






I kept my promise and took the 45-minute drive south to the Hello Kitty Pop-up Cafe in Irvine.





Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  viaa  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com



I'm a huge fan of Hello Kitty, especially the cute frog Keroppi.  I was more excited about this cafe truck than my girls; I was totally fangirling about this.  😁



Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com



We had some desserts, specialty drinks, and I got myself a cute mug to take home.




Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Keep an eye out; the Hello Kitty Truck tour may be coming to a city near you.  If the truck tour goes well, there may be Hello Kitty Cafe stores coming soon.  So far, one permanent mini cafe opened in Santa Anita recently.



 


Also, as for food and drinks, just average, you're paying for the experience which is pricy.








Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Mission Beach San Diego at Belmont Park:  Never have we been to San Diego, so we took a quick day trip there to see what it has to offer.




Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com
Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com


San Diego is the best way to end our trip, gorgeous beaches, scenic views that just captures you. 🏖






We were at first going to rent bikes to ride on the boardwalk, but the girls had some trouble trying to ride theirs and didn't want to ride behind Mr. M and me on double bikes.  So Michelle rented rollerblades, and Lauren got a Razor scooter but quickly returned it because it was too small for her.



Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com
Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com
Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com



Walking along the ocean, we were admiring the vacation homes imagining us staying in them while laying back watching the sunrise and sunset.






Mr. M and I hopped on our phones checking available vacation homes at Mission Beach.  Don't be surprised to see us back in San Diego; we love it so much out there.  Great beaches, stunning homes, friendly people, laid back vibe, great sweater weather, amazing cuisines.  Makes me rethink of why I moved out of California in the first place.






Speaking of food, check out some of the food places we ate at.







In-N-Out Burger: Welp, you know how I feel about this eaterie.  I have several travel blog posts speaking about these tasty burgers and fries joint.  For the love of all goodness, PLEASE BRING IN-N-OUT to the EAST COAST!!!!!  Please and thank you!!!







Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com



Pink's Hot Dog:  After visiting Hollywood and Madame Tussauds Museum, we went down the road to get a quick bite to eat at Pink's.



Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Now, I'm no fan of hot dogs whatsoever, but I kept an open mind since Pink's is a must-have while visiting Los Angeles.



Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com


To me, as well as my family, the hot dogs taste like it was store bought that you throw in a boiling pot of water at home.  I could've made these hot dogs myself.



 

Again, you're paying for the experience.  But, I will say the family that owns the joint are super friendly and down to earth.  For such excellent customer service, I would visit there again to try their burgers on the menu.






Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Crab Hut:  The Crab Hut is all over San Diego, and is a must visit.  You get down and dirty eating seafood with your bare hands, or you can request gloves.  And this is what you call Finger Licking Good! 🦀




Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via www.productreviewmom.com


I haven't eaten seafood seasoned and prepared so well, handed to you in a bag with no plates our utensils since I was the girl's age living in Northern California.




Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles:  The best southern food on the west coast hands down!!!  When you look at the restaurant, it looks and smells like a greasy hole in the wall, but don't let the look fool you, cooks are throwing down in the kitchen. 🐔



Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com
 
Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com



I don't eat fried chicken, so I had an omelet with waffles.  Delicious!  Mr. M had the most popular dish on the menu, fried chicken, and waffles.  His food was so good he cleaned his plate.




Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Roscoe's is a must visit in LA with several locations to choose from.  We went to the one on Pico Blvd that had no waiting time, walking right in and ordered our food.  From what I was told, Pico Blvd is the best location.







So, regarding our flight back home.  Much smoother, no problems at all until we landed back in Atlanta at around 12:30 am.






Atlanta had inclement weather the previous day which led to flight delays and cancellations causing havoc at the airport.






We landed with no available gates or taxi crew to taxing us in, so we were stuck on the runway on the plane for two hours!





Michelle and I made the best of it by dancing in our seats while listening to American Airlines radio. 💃 Lauren ignored us and went to sleep.  Mr. M got on his phone checking websites on the Internet to occupy his time.






Initially, I was trying to have spring break in San Francisco because I wanted to return home and show the girls my stomping grounds, but the flight tickets were super expensive.






Los Angeles was an afterthought, after checking several cities to fly to and LA came out to be one of the cheapest.




Our Travel to the West Coast: Southern California  via  www.productreviewmom.com


None of our trips ever come out without a hitch, but the memories we share together as a family trumps all of that.  Another trip in the books, we look forward to our next travels together this summer.  No idea where to, but with Lauren graduating elementary school, we got to do something special for her.




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Have you ever visited Los Angeles or San Diego?  If so, what are your favorite things to do there?




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4 comments

  1. You guys did a lot. I would have been terrified on that fight too. The pilot should have said something not knowing anything makes it worse.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I need you to plan out my trips. You guys managed to do so much in a short amount of time. I have never been to Cali, but it is one of the places on my to go list.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Whew! You girls did a lot! Hollywood is so bad. Very dirty and kinda scary at times. I would have thoroughly enjoyed Roscoe's and In and Out since I've never tried them.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I used to live in Hollywood and Venice so what you said about the areas does not surprise me at all. I'm sorry that you were disappointed. Venice beach does have some nice parts, you just have to go a little further south to Marina Del Rey where all the fancy houses are. Just not much to look at there. But one place I have never been is Madame Toussauds. I definitely have to go there at least once.

    ReplyDelete