California Trip

I’m back from my trip!  Okay, technically I’ve been back since about 1 a.m. last Friday morning, but I’ve been trying to get myself back in the swing of things.  I’m up 3 pounds from my weigh-in of two weeks ago, but considering I was out of town on vacation for a week, that’s not too bad.  And actually, I can’t even really use that as an excuse, because I think I gained all three of those pounds over this past weekend.  🙂

I had an absolutely wonderful time in California and I really fell in love with it.  The only thing I didn’t like was the traffic.  I don’t like and get aggravated by traffic here in Kansas City (which has its moments, believe me, and is one reason I work nights), but don’t think I could do it in Los Angeles all the time.  I actually think that I would like to live in California for a while – preferably San Francisco (first choice) or San Diego.  I just wish it weren’t so far from my family!  I did like L.A., but if I ever lived there, I would want to live in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, or thereabouts, of course.  And of course, there would be no chance in hell of that ever happening.

It was really cool to see things that I heard about when I was growing up, such as the Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Santa Monica Pier, Sunset Blvd., Mulholland Dr., Hollywood sign, etc., etc.  We also went to the Winchester Mystery House and Hearst Castle.  I thought the Mystery House was very cool, but my friends were a bit disappointed in it.  Because of that, they ended up skipping the Hearst Castle tour, but I am so glad that I decided to go anyway, because it ended up being a highlight of my trip.  It was fantastic and I am dying to go back and do the other tours (they have several).  It was gorgeous and I was ready to move in!  🙂

Click on images below for larger-sized pics.

  • Los Angeles


  • Walk of Fame

walk-of-fame mickey-mouse

  • Grauman’s Chinese Theater


harry-potter shirley-temple

bing-crosby donald-duck

Useless fact:  my right hand is the same size as Bing Crosby’s.

  • Hollywood Sign

hollywood-sign me-hollywood-sign

  • Pacific Coast Highway

pch-1 pch-2


  • Paramount Studio


  • Kodak Theater – home of the Academy Awards (pic is of me on the stairs leading up to the theater)


  • Mel’s Diner


  • Santa Monica Beach (Santa Monica Pier is in the background)


  • Winchester Mystery House:

stairs-to-nowhere steps

Do you all see the ribbon of light in the pictures below?  I have to admit they creep me out a bit and I’m hoping that they are just a reflection from a window!  I had no other pictures with this in them, only these two near the same staircase.  I originally thought that this was inside the main entrance where there were a lot of stained glass windows, but it was a smaller staircase somewhere else in the house.

ribbon-1 ribbon-2

  • Hearst Castle

hearst-1 hearst-2

hearst-3 hearst-4

I had a blast on San Francisco’s Pier 39 with all of the gift shops and stuff.  Seeing Alcatraz in the distance was very cool, but I hope to go back and tour it, as well, at some point.  It was also great to see the Golden Gate Bridge, but it was a bit foggy (and windy (and cold!)) the day we were there.

san-fran cable-car

mealcatraz ggb

My flights in and out of San Diego were great.  Neither were delayed by very much – no more than 1/2 hr.  On the flight to San Diego, I got to see the Rocky Mountains and a desert for the first time!  The pilot also pointed out an 8,000 year old crater.

rockies crater

The flight home was mostly in the dark, as the sun set shortly after take-off.  It was absolutely gorgeous and none of the pictures I took did it justice, but I thought this one was kind of cool:


We spent the couple of hours before my flight on Thursday at Balboa Park in San Diego.  It was very, very cool and I would love to go back.  There are so many great museums to visit and so much natural beauty to explore.


I think the coolest experience that I had was on my very first night.  We went to see a play called “Desperate Writers” in Santa Monica.  The actors in the play have been in various movies and TV shows and looked vaguely familiar, but I can’t remember any of their names.  Except for the main actor, Brian Krause.  I’ve been a big fan of the show “Charmed,” for quite a while now (since I watched all 8 seasons on DVD).  For those of you who are familiar with the show, Brian Krause played “Leo.”  And thanks to my friends who suggested I wait after the show, I got to meet him and have my picture taken with him!  He was extremely nice and very gracious (a word my friend used to describe him that fit perfectly).  Just last night, I found out that he was the guy in “Return to the Blue Lagoon” in 1991 and “Sleepwalkers” in 1992.  He has also done several TV guest spots and actually has a couple of movies coming out.  Overall, just a very, very, very cool experience.


But the best part of the whole trip was getting to see my friends!!  Who, crazily, after spending about a gazillion hours in the car with me driving back and forth across California are now on a cross-country road trip.  I’m wishing them a safe and fun time!

I can also consider the entire trip a NSV (non-scale victory).  These same friends lived in CA a few years ago and I never went to visit them, because it was after my brother had died and when I had gained the majority of my weight.  I didn’t want to try and fly at that weight, so I didn’t end up going.  Just one more dream that my weight kept me from experiencing, and one more thing my weight loss has allowed me to check off my “Bucket List.”

May 19, 2009admin 6 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Life in General

6 Responses to this entry

  • Diana Says:

    Thank goodness you’re back! I missed you.

    Sounds like you had an awesome time. I love all the pictures. My first choice to live in the whole world…San Diego. The best two years of my life were spent there. If only I could turn back time (Cher).

    Three pounds. That’s nothing. It’ll be gone in no time.

    Welcome home!

    Diana’s last blog post..The motivation and a message to my fat girl

    Posted on May 20th, 2009 at 9:07 am Reply | Quote
  • Lisa Says:

    I am going to Cali in 15 days… 🙂 GREAT pics of your trip! I am a little scared of my trip because I am from Cali (moved to TX two years ago) and I am more excited to go back to eat at all of my fav places than I am to see my family! 🙂

    Lisa’s last blog post..Had to change my settings

    Posted on May 20th, 2009 at 9:12 am Reply | Quote
  • Hanlie Says:

    I’m packing! I want to go too! It looks like you had a fabulous time…

    Hanlie’s last blog post..Might as well jump

    Posted on May 20th, 2009 at 12:26 pm Reply | Quote
  • Sherre Says:

    I’m so glad you had a great time. I LOVE Hearst Castle. And can STRONLY recommend the tour at Alcatraz for your next trip.

    Sherre’s last blog post..Pay It Forward

    Posted on May 20th, 2009 at 6:16 pm Reply | Quote
  • Pamela Says:

    First, thanks to everyone for their comments and for taking the time to scope out my pictures!

    Diana, what did you like about San Diego? We only got to spend a few hours there, so I really didn’t get to see too much of the actual city, but it looked great!

    Lisa, I hope you have fun on your trip! What part of California are you going to? I completely understand what you mean about going to eat at your favorite places. Unfortunately, I fell in love with In and Out Burger and Hamburger Hamlet while I was there!

    Hanlie, let’s go!

    Thanks, Sherre! Have you done the other tours at Hearst Castle? Are they as good as the basic first-timer’s tour?

    Posted on May 20th, 2009 at 6:25 pm Reply | Quote
  • Diana Says:

    Pamela, what didn’t I like about San Diego would probably be easier to answer.

    I loved the following, not necessarily in order:

    1. The weather, the most perfect weather on the planet.

    2. The feeling of a small city even though it’s a big city.

    3. Living right on the ocean, not this stupid Puget Sound that I live near now. I like real waves and the real thing. Puget Sound feels like a giant lake. It’s pretty, but not like the actual ocean.

    4. I loved where I worked and the people I worked with. I worked at the San Diego airport. A small airport with a lot of camraderie among the airlines.

    5. I met my husband there, and we dated for a year and a half before getting married.

    6. Because he had just moved there and I had just moved there when we met, we explored every park and every nearby city. Places like La Jolla are just beautiful.

    7. I loved the sunsets and watching the sun sink into the ocean.

    8. Did I mention the weather, always perfect.

    9. Near Los Angeles, where anything you want you can find.

    10. Near Mexico – great Mexican food.

    11. It’s just a lot fun there. People are always outside, always doing stuff. I totally and completely loved it. I wish we’d never left. If my life was a do-over….

    There were probably some negatives, but honestly, I can’t remember them.

    Posted on May 20th, 2009 at 10:25 pm Reply | Quote

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