Sight-Seeing in California


Watts Towers in Los Angeles – WOW

One day Simon Rodia, a single Italian immigrant living south of downtown LA started using discarded pieces of steel, wire mesh, mortar, glass, and tiles and by hand, without any power tools, created a set of structures that confounded his neighbors. They called him crazy and taunted him as he labored for years on his project. Today, these major feats, the “Watts Towers” as they are commonly known, are the National Historic Landmark Watts Towers of Simon Rodia State Historic Park and are being considered for UNESCO status.

You can see them from the streets around – for free. I happily paid the museum admission in order to support them and the great cultural events that take place in Sabato “Simon” Rodia’s former home.

Have a look. Do they stir your imagination as they do me?


Pioneertown California a taste of the Old West

If you ever get out to Joshua Tree National Park in California, you might want to stop at a unique little old western village called Pioneertown and a walk down its small Mane Street. (Yes, Mane Street, not Main Street.) There’s no admission fee. Just come, park your car for free, and walk around.

If you are thinking “Pioneertown is a strange name for people to have named their town” when they settled out in this open desert area, you’d be correct. You see, it wasn’t pioneers who came and developed this town.

And then there is Pappy & Harriet’s, a family restaurant famous for its concerts. Originally it was just a facade — the “cantina” set of the town that was used in many a  western film you’ve likely seen. 

If you’d like to stay the night either after a day in Joshua Tree National Park or after a meal or concert, you might check out the Pioneertown Motel which also dates back to the founding of this unique town.

You might also want to mail a letter home while you’re there.


10 Acres of beauty in Chace Park, Marina del Rey

Marina Del Rey, a man-made place of beauty and boating, is one of my favorite places in Los Angeles. Burton Chace Park is a great place to enjoy its air and views.

If you’re traveling to Los Angeles and have the time I highly recommend Marina Del Rey as a place to spend an afternoon.


Don’t miss theater when you travel!

One of the nicest things you can do for yourself when you travel is to experience local theater. Whether it’s a small local theater group, a small traveling repertory group, a small drama theater, or a full-blown Broadway cast on tour — you can’t go wrong getting a taste of the local high culture. Theater downtown LA In my adopted home-town of Los Angeles, CA, I never miss an opportunity to see a show at the Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theater or its smaller Mark Taper Forum, both at the Music Center downtown LA. Busses go right to it and trains get you very close. (They have a 3rd theater in Culver City that’s also accessible by bus.) A show there is the perfect way to top off a day of walking around downtown. I’ve sat almost all over both of these theaters and I don’t think there’s a bad seat in either […]


Fav sculpture in Culver City, Los Angeles

This is one of my favorite sculptures in Los Angeles. As you can see, it’s film themed. No surprise. It’s actually in Culver City. It’s at the Veterans Memorial Complex. The parking structure you may glimpse through the first shot is parking for Sony Studios. Look closely and you can see a Culver City Green Bus. In the 2nd shot you can glimpse the US flag and the California flag below it. I love looking at the sunlight on it and the reflections in the water. There’s no grass or comfy seats around it though so I just stand and appreciate it when I come to meetings in the center here. Culver City has been home to The Culver Studios since 1918. You’ve likely seen some of the famous movies that have been filmed there.


Kayte Deioma’s Things to Do in Los Angeles

Whether you’re visiting Los Angeles, thinking of traveling to LA, or live in Los Angeles — if you’re looking for Things to Do in Los Angeles,  columnist Kayte Deioma’s guide to Los Angeles at About.com can help. Kayte’s been collecting and publishing information about events in Los Angeles to guide locals and visitors alike for many years. She’s got post after post about what you can do in Los Angeles. Her LA event listings are well-written: easy to read, full of the necessary information, and complete with links.


Historic Route 66: 8 States to the Pacific Ocean

US Highway 66 was once THE way to cross the US from Chicago to Santa Monica, CA and arrive at the Pacific Ocean. You may have heard, “Get your kicks on Route 66” from the 1946 song written by Bobby Troup. Then the larger higher-speed roads were built and travelers stopped taking this route. Real travelers continued to choose roads such as this and actually get to see and know the USA instead of speeding past so much of it. When I drove across the USA myself the 2nd time, after traveling much of the world, I sure elected those real-life roads. I highly recommend those smaller roads whenever you have time. Anyway, the historic Route 66 log appears more and more on clothing and products. It’s got the appeal. And happily, towns along the route are helping people know about it. Google Maps even notes it in its directions […]


Free Trolley in Ventura, CA

People come up to Ventura to enjoy the harbor, the amazing Channel Islands, and the fresh breeze — and now the Ventura Trolley will make travel within the area a breeze. Ventura, California is about to become easier for travelers to visit this summer thanks to a FREE trolley system to take you between Ventura’s Downtown and Harbor Village. After living in Los Angeles for many years, I finally got up to the Southern-ish California coastal village of Ventura. I was there to kayak around the Channel Islands and their pristine beauty took my breath away and reinvigorated me at the same time. But while there, I also got to know downtown Ventura — and as I walked around I was sorry I had missed this lovely town for so many years. (I also learned Ventura has two great golf courses and that one is a true Links course. Soon […]


Giving whale watching in Guatemala a miss

Looking at things to experience along the coast of Guatemala, I was excited to see that the beach town of Monterrico offers whale watching — until I saw the price. Products Mundiales’ whale watching is from 1250Q per person. That is US$178! In Redondo Beach, California, whale watching with Voyager Excursions is around $15. I will be doing my whale watching in Redondo Beach.