48. The freeways
47. The crazy expensive cost of living
46. The Oakland A’s
45. The Sacramento River Cats
44. The Stockton Ports
43. Disney’s California Adventure Park
42. Hiking to the Summit of Mt. Diablo
41. San Diego, CA
40. Los Angeles, CA
39. Long Beach, CA
38. The Redwood Trees
37. The Beautiful Drive Along Highway 1
36. Big Sur/ Carmel
35. Boating on the Sacramento River, Lake Berryessa, and Folsom Lake
34. Wine Country
33. Big Bear Mountain
32. Hearst Castle
Which brings me to the next FIVE:
31. Hollywood Blvd.
Welcome to Hollywood. What’s your dream? (“Pretty Woman”. 1990. Lawton, J.F. Marshall, Garry.)Stars on the pavement display names of celebrities and individuals dressed in costume stand outside Mann’s Chinese Theater. Handprints, signatures, and some shoe prints mark the entry way to the theater. But this is not Disney Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida. This is Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles, California. Bus, trollies, and car loads of scenic route participants cruise up and down the street while drag queens parade in extravagant attire. Small shops full of trinkets and souvenirs display postcards, keychains, books, etc. featuring Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, etc. Tour groups parade past movie lots, filming studios, old hotels, and the Hollywood sign (from a distance, of course). The glitz and glamor of the 21st century is a far cry from the golden age of Hollywood stretching from the late 1920s to the early 1960s.
30. Rodeo Drive
A person’s first trip to Rodeo Drive is Hollywood magical. I am not a fan of shopping so, for me, Rodeo Drive’s luster came from movies and media hype. Parking across the street, under a tree, at the Beverly Garden’s Park and then walking across to all of the shops was ideal. The street lined with palm trees and high end retail stores makes for a fun afternoon.
Though most of my day was spent window shopping and snacking, my travel buddy and I did venture into Ralph Lauren where I bought a shirt for my, then, infant. I found the prices to be comparable to other Ralph Lauren locations but the prestige of “Rodeo Drive” made it all the more exciting. I highly recommend dropping by for a whimsical walk down this street in Beverly Hills.
29. Knott’s Berry/Scary Farm
Once I had moved to Long Beach, I looked for employment. I auditioned for a Halloween show that was going to be out at Knott’s Berry’s Scary Farm, which is the equivalent of Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights or Six Flags’ Fright Fest. After being placed on the hiring list as an “alternate”, I continued my job search. Two became available, which I took, before receiving a call from the production staff of the show saying someone had dropped out and did I want the gig. Nope, it was too late. But, I did go to Knott’s Scary Farm to show my support and check out the theme park.
Not unlike a Six Flags or Busch Gardens, Knott’s Berry Farm is action packed with roller coasters, water rides, thrill rides, family rides, games, and shows. The Peanuts Gang is usually on hand to meet and greet with guests and perform in productions. During Halloween time, however, they make themselves scarce and the park is taken over by zombies, ghouls, goblins, and haunted mazes. The park itself is transformed from a warm and fuzzy, family friendly venue to a nightmarish, dark playground splashed with “blood” and “guts”. Zombies on rollerblades scare guests in a certain area of the park by sliding on their knees causing sparks to flare from their metal knee pads.
It might not have the popularity of Disneyland or Universal but this place is right up there, in my opinion, with the aforementioned Six Flags and Busch Gardens. Knott’s Berry Farm is located at 8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620 and has been open since 1940.
28. Second Street, Long Beach
I ended up in southern California after I met my husband while working oversees. He was from the Northern California area and I, of course, am from Florida. We were introduced by a mutual friend while we were both in Singapore. After the job ended, I went home to Florida, packed my things, said goodbye to my family and friends, took a HUGE gamble, and moved out to Long Beach, California.
When I was not at work --- I had two jobs at the time --- I enjoyed walking down Second Street, window shopping. Among many places there was Jamba Juice…my then favorite venue. Little shops and boutiques beckon to passersby. Second Street was, and hopefully still is, a lovely area to walk around whether you are by yourself or with a friend.
27. The Boardwalk (Shoreline Village) in Long Beach
If I had some time off and I was not wandering Second Street, I was rollerblading along the path that stretches the beach and leads to the marvelous boardwalk. Only a few blocks from our rental house, the walking/running, cycling, roller blading pathway smoothly sits nestled in the sand and paves the way leading to restaurants and shops overlooking the water.
One afternoon while making my way from my house to Shoreline Village, I passed a dear friend of mine, from my days of working for Disney in Singapore, who was rollerblading in the opposite direction. We both said, “Hey!” as we screamed past each other, slowed down, turned around, and met up to chit chat. Shoreline Village is packed with good food, delicious treats, and a relaxing ambiance.
The beach was perfect for my small children who could play in the calm water without large waves knocking them down. The breakwater kept the surf mellow.
3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised,
and his greatness is unsearchable.
4 One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
5On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
6They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
and I will declare your greatness.
7They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
8The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9The LORD is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made.
(Psalm 145:3-9. ESV.)
(Photo Information: Bing Public Domain.)