Los Angeles Vacation – Visiting My Family

This post is waaaay overdue, I know.  But as I explained a couple posts back, Blogger was giving me so many problems to the point that I didn’t want to write on Blogger anymore. Now that I have WordPress, which is a lot easier to write on, I can finally finish writing this.

Today, I’ll write about meeting my dad and sister. First, I’ll talk about meeting my dad. He picked me up from the airport on Monday July 17 as I wrote about in a previous post. After we left the airport, he took me around to see some sights. We went through a town whose name escapes me at the moment. But pretty much every house in the neighborhood had roofs like you see in this photo, which is a stock photo from the Internet. I do not claim any credit for it. I thought that was pretty cool and I felt like I was in Mexico – LOL.

We ended up going to a place called Hennessey’s Tavern, located over in Hermosa Beach. It is an Irish style pub that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We went to an outdoor patio located on the second floor overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was an awesome view. There were several volleyball courts near the tavern and a lot of them had some 2 on 2 action going on.  I didn’t take any pictures there because of my no-phone policy when I’m meeting someone one on one in a sitdown place. I’ll talk about my no-phone policy in a future post, but anyways, it was about 11am Pacific time. My body was still on Central time, which would make it 1pm for me, but I decided to have breakfast anyways. I ended up having scrambled eggs with toast and breakfast potatoes. It was a very delicious breakfast and the breakfast potatoes were especially very good. In fact, the best breakfast potatoes that I ever had. I just now made a mental note to post a good review on Hennessey’s Tavern on a few of the review sites like Facebook and Yelp. But I’ll say this right here – if you are ever in LA in the Hermosa Beach area, go to Hennessey’s Tavern. You will not be disappointed 🙂

My dad talked to a customer sitting at a table next to us and asked if she could take a picture of us and she did as shown below.

After we ate, we decided to take a walk by the beach. We had some time left on the parking meter anyways. I took a couple  pictures at the beach. The first one is of the pier. Lots of people around that day.

And the next picture is of the beach itself, looking north of the pier.

According to a nearby lifeguard station, the water temperature was in the mid 70’s. Near the beach, a temporary arena was being built for an upcoming beach volleyball tournament. There was enough seating to hold a few hundred people if not more. I thought that was cool.

We then left and went to Palos Verdes. There, we stopped at a museum called the Point Vicente Interpretive Center. The following is a quote from the website that I just linked.

This beautiful park, located adjacent to the Point Vicente Lighthouse, offers recreational and educational opportunities to the public.

The Interpretive Center opened in 1984 with a mission to present and interpret the unique features and history of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The almost 10,000 square foot newly expanded Interpretive Center, re-opened on July 15, 2006, features exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the Peninsula, with a special emphasis on the Pacific gray whale. This premier whale watch site provides spectacular opportunities to view the annual migration of the Pacific gray whale, from December through April.

It was indeed a beautiful area. I  learned a little about whale watching. Unfortunately, the whales weren’t out at this time, but I do have plans to return to LA in the near future so I can see them. We also went to see a huge battleship called the USS Iowa, I believe. I forgot to upload the picture of the battleship from my phone, which is currently charging at the moment, but I’ll post the picture of the battleship in the near future.

He took me back to my hotel after that as it was a long day for me. We made plans to get together on Wednesday (this was on a Monday) as he lives over in Orange County, or the OC as the locals call it.

Tuesday night, I met with my sister Kate for the first time since she was a little girl about 25 years ago. We went to an Italian restaurant called Fritto Misto, located over in Santa Monica. It was small, but busy. We didn’t have to wait long for a table though. I just had a simple spaghetti plate with marinara sauce. My god, it was one of the spaghetti dinners that I ever had, if not the best. In fact, nothing around in my hometown could even compare to this. Just no contest. This place was awesome and I still have to make a review for them as well on Facebook and Yelp.

I got to know Kate as well as more about my dad’s side of the family. I also got to meet Kate’s 4 year old son, RJ, who is an awesome little kid. After we ate, she took me through Santa Monica for a little sight seeing and we even visited the famed Gold’s Gym on Venice Beach for a photo op. That photo is on my Facebook profile for my family and friends only. After that, I went back to my hotel to rest up for the next day.

On Wednesday, I met with my dad with plans to go to the Griffith Observatory. We parked about a mile away from the observatory so we can hike up there. Hiking is what I enjoy doing. I forgot to load my GPS unit with geocaches for this particular area so I didn’t get a chance to geocache on this trail. I will next time I visit.

Anyways, the trail was steep at times and we both had to pause for breaks a few times during the hike. Follows are a couple pictures of the observatory, taken from the trail. We still had about a half mile to go from the point of this picture.

And the next picture, we were still a quarter mile away from the observatory.

And yes, for those of you who have played the video game Grand Theft Auto V, that is the same observatory where the Galileo Observatory is in the game, right down to the last detail. When I finally reached the observatory, I felt like I was in the game itself – LOL.

Once at the top, we visited the observatory inside and also explored the grounds. We even went to the roof, where I took a selfie of myself with the famed Hollywood sign way back in the distance behind me. The sign is to my right. You can barely see it, but it’s there.

We thought about hiking closer to it as there was another trail that leads to it, but we both were tired after the hike and decided to hike back to his vehicle. The hike down the hill was easier than the hike up, but we still had to be careful as it was steep at times and me with two bad knees that tend to buckle at times if going down a hill. The knees held up well and didn’t buckle once. Props to my doctor for a job well done doing surgery on one of my knees when I tore an ACL 10 years ago.

After we left Griffith Park, we went to a place called In and Out Burger. I never had their burgers, but my dad said they have the best burgers ever, so we went to the location near the LAX airport. The place was super busy. Imagine a new fast food place that just opened up for business and customers flock to it to try the new place. But I was told this place was busy like that every – single – day. I was shocked. They even had a security guard at the door to help maintain order.

The menu was simple – just hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and fries along with beverages. We waited about 15 minutes or so for our food, then we ate outside to watch the planes land and take off since we were next to the airport.  While we were eating, a massive C-130 military plane made a landing. The plane was fucking huge! I’ve never seen anything like it and both my dad and I were like, “Holy Shit!”. We both marked out over that plane.

After we ate, I took a couple videos of a commercial plane landing and a commercial plane taking off. I still have to edit the videos and upload them. When I get those videos done, I’ll post them here. And as for the cheeseburgers that I ate, I’ll say this – best cheeseburgers that I ever had. Even better than Mickey Lu’s, located here in Marinette, so says my dad – LOL.

He took me back to my hotel, where we said our goodbyes since I fly back home the next morning. I had a great time getting to know my dad and hope to see him again next year.

Thursday morning, I met with my sister Kate again for a quick breakfast before I have to go to the airport. We talked a bit more, I got to know a bit more about her family, then it was time for her to go to work and me to the airport. I had a great time with Kate as well even though I didn’t see her as much. I hope to see her again in the near future. I had a great time in Los Angeles and will definitely return.

On my next post, I’ll write about my solo hike at Will Rogers State Park in more detail.

Stay tuned 🙂

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