I might be a country girl at heart, but I’m also very much a city girl, growing up just two hours away from Los Angeles, or “The City of Angels,” as it literally means. LA is not only one of my favorite cities and places to escape to, but there is always something new to see and do, no matter how many times you’ve visited.
This week has been hectic, and I’ve been sick since last Friday, so I haven’t had a chance to sit down and write about the great adventure my parents and I had last weekend. It really was one of my favorite day trips that we’ve ever taken, and we’ve had many in LA, so I thought I would take the time and recall some of the highlights.
We had planned to leave around 8 a.m, but overslept, so we were a bit behind schedule, but it all worked out in the end. We got ready, got breakfast from Jack in the Box and made the trek to Los Angeles.
Our first stop was the Walt Disney Barn, which is only open every third Sunday of the month, tucked away off the beaten path near Griffith Park and just minutes away from the Los Angeles Zoo. We’ve talked about going for quite some time, but it seems like something would either come up or we just didn’t make the trip. But, we finally made it. The Disney Barn is actually a barn that was on Walt Disney’s property at his home on Carolwood Dr. In the barn, Disney would do much of his imagineering and tinkering with trains, which is how he came up with models for Disneyland and much of what we see at the park today. Inside the barn are old artifacts, either from Disneyland when it first opened or Disney’s personal collection. It’s a small area, but very charming and picturesque, nonetheless. The barn can get a bit crowded, but everything is free (though donations are greatly appreciated since it is just run by the Carolwood Foundation) and you can take as much time on the property as you’d like. There are also plenty of volunteers around, who are so willing to talk to you and answer any questions you might have.
Behind the barn, there’s an original Disneyland boxcar that the foundation was able to buy back and restore it to what it looked like back in the day. The volunteer we talked with was very knowledgeable in his facts and the history of the old car. Plus, we got to wear the conductor’s hat, so that was pretty awesome!
It didn’t take us very long to see everything and visit the little souvenir kiosk, where I picked up an old Newsreel (which Disney Studios produces). However, just down the street, only seconds away, there’s a little train ride for $3.00, and it isn’t just for children. It takes you small hills, over bridges, through dark tunnels and through western/ghost towns. Apparently, during the month of Halloween, they also dress it up in spooky attire with graveyards, hearses and the like. I think it would be so fun to go back for, especially at night.
It was still really early by the time we finished, so my dad asked us what we wanted to do. I knew the Teen Choice Awards were happening the same day, so I thought it might be fun to see what was going on around the area with the slight chance that we might meet someone exciting. We drove into downtown LA to the University of Southern California’s (USC) campus, where the awards were being held at the Galen Center. We had to drive around a bit before finding a spot, then parked and decided to explore a bit.
I’ve never been on USC’s campus, but I know many shows and movies have been filmed there, so I’ve always wanted to look around just for the heck of it. Sunday, that’s exactly what we did. We went in the bookstore, saw the football players practicing and even got to see the Heisman trophies in this special building dedicated only to that and the special awards that athletes had been given over the years. The architecture is just stunning, so it was fun walking around and admiring the buildings and greenery in the area. I was especially excited, because my favorite show of all-time, “Gilmore Girls” used the campus when Rory went to Yale and Legally Blonde was also filmed there, among other popular shows and films. Luckily, I also look young enough, so we didn’t look totally out of place wandering around the large campus. It looked like it might have even been some kind of family visitation day, as other parents were with their students, as well.
It was incredibly hot out and we were starting to get hungry, so after getting our exercise in for the day, we decided we’d check out the Teen Choice Awards for a bit to see if anything exciting was taking place, then we’d go eat. The red carpet was all set up and it was getting ready to start, and fans were lined all along the street. I have to admit, I felt like the oldest one there and had no clue who a lot of the bands were when everyone else was losing their minds. Weird! I was only there hoping to see the cast of my new favorite show, “Chasing Life” and also John Stamos. Other than that, I didn’t care much. So, we waited awhile and saw Sabrina Carpenter and Rowan Blanchard of Disney Channel’s “Girl Meets World,” Josh Peck and the girl group, Little Mix. They came right up to us near the barricades, signing autographs and taking pictures, and I was completely in the blue about who they were. My mom actually called it, and I was impressed when I found out later on that it was them. Since then, I have become obsessed with their latest song, “Black Magic,” which they sang on the show that night. A few minutes later, I spotted the cast of “Chasing Life.” I was thrilled to see them, minus Scott Michael Foster, who was off working on one of his other shows, I’m sure. Robbie Amell, Italia Ricci’s fiancé waved to the crowd, as he walked alongside her, too. Most of the other fans in our area were cheering for 5SOS or something to that effect, so we were lost in the shuffle calling out any other names. HA!
After seeing them, I was ready to go. It was ridiculously hot out and it didn’t seem that it was going to be worth standing out there forever! Go figure, I have my degree in journalism and I’m back on the fan side ;). We headed back to our car and decided to eat at a place called Casa Vega. The likes of the Kardashians and Nick and Jessica (Lachey and Simpson) have eaten there, which is how I found out about it. It’s a Mexican restaurant and I’ve always wanted to try it, so we finally decided to for something different. It was nearly pitch black when we entered the restaurant, due to the brightness outside, but your eyes soon adjust (a bit). My mom and I had a tostada, while my dad had a burrito. It was good and the portions were rather large, but I have to say, I think we get spoiled by one of our local Mexican restaurant’s in town. The chips and salsa were very tasty and just spicy enough to give an extra kick! Our waiter later told us that just the day before, Ice Cube had eaten there. The ambiance is very low-key and dark, of course, so I’m sure celebrities like to go there so they don’t stick out as much. Great date night restaurant, but can be a little overpriced.
After dinner, we decided we’d head home, to have a little time to relax and meet up with some family friends for ice cream. Overall, it was such a fun day. I highly encourage a day trip to LA, or any other city that might be close to your area, to explore new sights and to take a break from your normal routine.
That’s all for now,