Friday, October 28, 2011

Jamie Shaheen's Los Angeles

Jamie Shaheen, my college roommate, has an entire list of places to take people who come to LA. If she ever gives up her career as an entertainer, she can get a job as a tour guide. But, be prepared! Jamie knows how to pack it in in one day. We had a fantastic time, but we went from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. There's no one more fun to spend the day with if you want to pack in an entire day.

We did drive-bys of many of these places, so no pictures of some of them. But, we hit all these places in one day.

We started our day at the Buddhist temple. Very impressive.

The Buddhist Temple

From there, we went downtown. Jamie took me to Chinatown, Olvera Street, and by the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Dorothy Chandler pavilion.

Entrance to Chinatown

She took me by the courthouse where the O.J. Simpson trial was held. And, we went by the Staples Center. From there we went to the La Brea Tar Pits, and walked around. (Just about as sticky as the O.J. trial.)

Lunch was at the Farmer's Market, close to CBS Studios. The last time Jamie and I were at the Farmer's Market together was in 1979 when we took a tour of California and Las Vegas together. It's certainly changed for the better since then.

And, followed lunch by walking through The Grove shopping area. Gorgeous, but since neither of us are shoppers, we just walked it. Jamie then took me on a driving tour of Beverly Hills. (You do get to see more mansions when you take a wrong turn, and the security guard sends you up the hill past more mansions in order to turn around.) From there it was to Rodeo Drive, then past Grauman's Chinese Theater (saw it in 1979). We did Sunset & Vine just to say we had.

From there, we headed to Griffith Park. We did spend an hour at the Griffith Observatory going through all the exhibits. I told her Jim would have loved that.

Griffith Observatory

Have you ever seen Los Angeles from the hills?

And, this was also the best view I had of the Hollywood sign.

Actually, we'll admit we didn't realize how wonderful the Griffith Observatory and the view would be. The real reason we went to Griffith Park? We were heading to the Greek Theatre, an outdoor theatre to see the Celtic Thunder show. I dragged a musician to see the show, and brought back another fan who told me I turned her into a groupie. Yes, we went out to the buses to see the guys. We saw three, but that wasn't as good as I did two nights earlier in Mesa, when I met all six singers, got photos of all of them, and a hug from George Donaldson. Even so, it's fun to see them again. And, I brought back a convert.

We ended the day at the Santa Monica Pier, getting there at 11 p.m. and walking out the pier to see the ocean. Did you know the pier marks the end of Route 66? It also marked the end of that day's LA tour.

I'm going back in February. Jamie's already planning my tour of the Queen Mary and Laguna Beach. And, who knows what else? I have faith in her. She's high energy. We've done Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. highlights in just days. We just cram as much as we can in the time we have together in a city.

So, thanks, Jamie! Best tour guide I ever had!


Karen C said...

I was in LA in 1970 - a very long time ago - and didn't see half of what you did. I remember Olvera Street. I bought a picture painted on bark that I still have and everyone (but me)hates. Too bad, it still hangs on my wall!!

Glad you had a wonderful vacation!

Lesa said...

And, the last time I was in LA was 1979, Karen, so it had been a while. Who cares if everyone else hates that picture? You like it, and that's what counts.

Thank you! Had a great trip!

Pop Culture Nerd said...

Hi Lesa,

I live here so sometimes I don't take time to look up as I drive around, fighting traffic trying to get somewhere. Thanks for making my city look so beautiful and reminding me how lucky I am to be surrounded by all this.

Glad you had a wonderful time. Jamie sounds like quite a tour guide.

Lesa said...

You're welcome! Sometimes those of us who live places don't appreciate it as the tourists do. But, Jamie is a good guide. Even after all the years she's lived there, she appreciates the city, and gets excited about it. She has never been to Union Station, and wanted to go in and see it, but we didn't have time. I'm willing to bet she makes time soon. She's always enthusiastic, and loves her life.

stacybuckeye said...

Spent a summer in LA in the mid 90's and loved Griffth Park and Santa Monica Pier. Someday I'd like to go back.

Lesa said...


I hope you get back sometime. I had a terrific time.

Teela said...

Wow...enjoyed the pix!

Kris said...

It sounds like a wonderful vacation and how cool that you get to go back in February!