You are so MONEY and don't even know it!

Trip Start Mar 20, 2010
Trip End Aug 25, 2010

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Where I stayed
Chrissy's Corner

Flag of United States  , California
Monday, June 7, 2010

From Newport Beach we headed north on Route 1, also known as PCH (Pacific Coast Highway), driving through towns such as Huntington, Long Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Venice.  Of course since we were driving through Long Beach we had to do a drive by to West Coast Choppers (Jesse James' current place of business), however, we unfortunately had no sightings of him, nor his many tattooed female "friends".  Venice is also worth noting, very funky beach town with lots going on and last residence of Dennis Hopper.

Our first two nights were spent in Santa Monica at the Ocean View Best Western Hotel, the remaining week was spent with Brian's sister Chrissy in Westwood / Century City.
Santa Monica
Is the birth place of Robert Redford and home to Jack Bauer (aka Keifer Sutherland), and countless beach bums.  Santa Monica is great, cute town, reminds us of Hoboken, nestled on the beach.  The beach is very large and has a trail on it where you can ride your bike all the way down to Manhattan Beach / Venice.   The Santa Monica pier is pretty well known and has been used in many movies.  The weather wasn't quite beach weather so we took drives through Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Rodeo Drive, Brentwood, Hollywood and took in all the magnificent homes.  One notable event was while in Santa Monica we celebrated our 3 year anniversary on the 8th.  We celebrated with a great dinner at a local french bistro in Santa Monica, Annisettes and ended the evening dancing at Harvelles.  Just before we left, a couple arrived that we swore had to be homeless, but they were able to pay the cover.  The couple looked to be in their 50's the lady was dressed in a ballet outfit and the man in a jump suit who was dancing like michael jackson (moonwalk and all). It was entertaining.

Los Angeles
After leaving Santa Monica we toured north and spent the afternoon in Malibu.  Many of the homes along the beach were gated so it wasn't like we could just walk up to Matthew McCaughney and hang out with him.  We had lunch at the Market Deli in Malibu Country Market, where supposedly many stars hang out..but we came up empty and tried to do some shopping, but way too expensive.  Later we drove to the CBS lot in Studio City where Chrissy works and got a chance to tour the grounds.  We saw the New York street that was used in Seinfeld, and the studios where ET and the Insider is filmed.  That night we hiked Runyon Park and had a great dinner at the Farmers Market in West Hollywood. - Still no star sightings, not even cheesy Ryan Seacrest!..

The rest of the week we spent visiting the different areas of Los Angeles.  LA is so large, with many different sections, each with its own personality.  You can get lost in the pretentiousness of Beverly Hills, hang on Melrose Place or chill in the streets of Las Villas.  Basically everywhere you go to you need to drive and valets are waiting for you at every corner.  The traffic is truly unbelievable.  It doesn't matter what time of day it is, you will encounter a parking lot where it will take you 30 minutes to drive 5 miles (this is without exaggeration).  On Thursday evening we met up with Christina's old roommate from Hoboken, Rachel, and had dinner at Mario Batali's Matz restaurant, which is just a miniature version of his restaurant Otto in NYC and is just as good.  Friday we had lunch at Toast in West Hollywood where supposedly many scenes of Entourage are filmed and did some shopping on Melrose Avenue (still no sightings).  Later that night we went to this really cool wine tasting party Barnsdale Park in Los Villas - this was a lot of fun.  The wine tasting took place on the park's hilltop which overlooked Hollywood Hills / Griffith Park.  With the Hollywood sign overlooking us, we enjoyed the sunset and some great wine.  The people watching was great, anything goes in LA.  We then went over to downtown Las Villas and had a quick bite to eat at Fred 62 where Rachel met up with us again.  We ended the evening at the Dresden, which is the main bar where Vince Vaughn and John Farveour spent there nights in the movie Swingers.  The singers are still there as is the Art Deco back drops with rock walls and dark paneling surrounding the big piano bar in the middle, the entire place has been stuck back in time, but is really cool.

We ended our stay in LA with more shopping and more touring, downtown LA and Venice Beach etc.  On our way out of LA we stopped in Malibu to have lunch at a new Cuban restaurant that had just opened "Cafe Habana" - we were disappointed that it really wasn't authentic, but Brian made a good point - he said "what should we have expected, this restaurant is in Malibu, nothing here is authentic!"
Did you know that in LA there is not one Dunkin Donuts to be found!.actually, we have not seen one yet in California.
Restaurants worth mentioning:
Sushi Roku, Santa Monica - We continue to have great sushi experiences, this place was very good.
Anisette, Santa Monica - French Bistro - reminded us of Pastis and Baltazaar in NYC.  The mussels here were excellent!
Toast Bakery Cafe - cool lunch place with great shopping next door
Farmers Market in Hollywood:  Really cool place, little market with tons of different restaurants where you can order food, then sit in the food court area that also contains cute stores and a few bars...all outside.
Malibu Country Mart - after reading the link above, you would think we would have had a celeb sighting...but no.
Bottega Louie  - Downtown LA is up an coming, and here we had an amazing lunch at Bottega Louie..this is a must see.  Food is fantastic and bakery is superb - delicately detailed.

June 7 - 14
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Joe aka Dad on

From the photos with Chrissy, it looks like you all had a great time.

Kara Corridan on

I've hiked Runyon--it's harder than I thought it would be (but maybe not after all the hardcore hiking you guys have done).

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