It’s not often that I travel back to my old stomping grounds of southern California. In fact, the last time I was there was to meet my great niece 7 years ago. We all went to Disneyland together and had a grand time. You can check out my posts about that trip here and here.
This time it was for my niece’s wedding in Dana Point. I traveled with my daughter and we met other family members there. We hitched a ride with my cousin, aunt and uncle who were flying into John Wayne airport within 40 minutes of us. My sister and her husband flew into LAX and rented a car. They were going to pick us up but we changed those plans since it made more sense to go with my cousin, aunt and uncle. We all stayed at the Best Western Marina Shores in Dana Point, about 2 blocks from the wedding site. My other niece, her husband and my sister-in-law stayed at another hotel together further inland. It was so nice to be together with family for such a happy occasion. The bride was beautiful, the groom handsome and it was a perfect day for an outdoor wedding. It was held in a park on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Truly a perfect setting.
My first gallery contains a few photos from the wedding.
Since we weren’t going home until Monday I contacted my oldest friend from junior and senior high school days to see if she’d be able to spend the day with us on Sunday. Again we hitched a ride, this time with my sister and brother-in-law, to the San Fernando Valley where I grew up. They were going to Grace Community Church and then meeting up with a friend for lunch so my friend and her daughter met us in the parking lot of the church and off we went to explore some sights in Los Angeles!
First off, we went to the Getty Center which sits atop the Santa Monica Mountains. The views are fabulous! We enjoyed the Manet Exhibit from the last years of his life and then wandered around in the gardens admiring all the lovely plants and flowers. By then it was time for lunch. Miss M suggested Korean food and everyone agreed so we had Korean BBQ in Koreatown. Miss M has a friend whose mother was a flight attendant and this friend has traveled everywhere. So she texted her and got a good recommendation and we had a great lunch at Bulgogi Hut. Miss M also wanted to get coffee at the famous Philz Coffee and just down the street was another famous place: Amoeba Music. Huge store!! We even saw the Hollywood sign. By then it was time to head back to the valley to collect my friend’s husband for dinner. We drove down Sunset Boulevard so that Miss M could see some famous places like The Comedy Store and The Roxy as well as the mansions in Bel Air and Beverly Hills. We ooed and ahhed all the way to the freeway.
That evening we met the rest of the family and other friends that hadn’t left town yet for dinner at The Smoke House in Burbank, just down the street from Warner Brothers Studios. Another cousin who lives in the area met us there so it was great to catch up with him. I had invited my longtime friend and her family to dinner with us. I wanted to spend as much time as I could with them since we don’t see each other that often. My cousin and my friend’s husband have mutual friends (and musicians) in common so they had a good time chatting with each other.
The weekend went too fast and soon we were on our way back home. But before I leave, please enjoy other photos from the weekend.
Some photos from our brief visit to the Getty Center:
Our flight didn’t depart until the afternoon so my niece and her husband took us to Roger’s Gardens in Corona Del Mar. Um, wow!! This place was huge!! And we only scratched the surface. They already had Christmas items for sale, room after room after room of them! There were many rooms of orchids as well and I was snapping photos of these gorgeous plants. Take a look:
To close, please enjoy a couple more photos of bougainvillea. I love this vine!