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Ultimate Road Trip With Kids – Los Angeles and the SoCal Beaches

    Big Family Travel to Hollywood, La Brea Tar Pits, and the Beach

    We woke up and decided to head back a little into Hollywood. The kids were excited to see the movie stars but settled for the stars on the Walk of Fame. We found some favorites.


    Johnny Depp – Captain Jack,


    John Stamos – Uncle Jessie,
    and a couple of our family.

    Then we measured our hands and feet against the stars’ at the Chinese Theater.


    We posed with Shrek at the entry to the wax museum.


    We practiced winning the Oscar.


    And saw a car that the kids were convinced was the actual Bumblebee car from Transformers.


    AND we also fell into the trap of Hollywood Boulevard and stopped to pet a snake (which we paid money to do – yes, total tourists).


    We walked up into a shopping center to see the Hollywood sign (can you see it there – way in the background?).


    Then the kids found their favorite part of Hollywood, a random fountain that they played in for about an hour.


    After which we had to go find the car which is packed with everything we could need. We unpacked it and changed right in the van– apparently, we are like that now.


    Next, we visited the La Brea Tar Pits. Luke was very excited about this as he wanted to see the Wooly Mammoths, mastodons, and the saber-tooth cats. We learned that they were cats, not tigers. Learning more each day. (Grace is starting a collection of all the things that have tried to attack or bite her -LOL). The tar pits are outside and able to be viewed without going into the museum.

    It’s curious for sure to have big pools of bubbling tar right in the middle of such a big city and interesting to see. We did also pay for the entrance to the museum to see the work that is still being done and the rebuilt animal excavations. It was well worth the admission price!



    We finished LA by trying to visit some of the stars’ homes with a shady map of possible locations that they may or may not have lived in at some point in the past or present. Aside from the addresses of the really old Hollywood legends whom my kids don’t know (which were probably legit), I think it may just have been a scam. Imagine that. Though it was fun just driving around and we were looking at some fantastic real estate.

    On the way out of town, all the kids fell asleep in the car. California is LONG and we had a lot of one-night stays and long drive days. We decided to fine-tune our schedule a bit and subtracted a night of camping in Zion for an extra night in a hotel in Vegas (our next stop). Although camping sounds calmer than Vegas, this change allowed us an extra day with no real plans. Just to rest and relax poolside, no hiking or setting up tents and it allowed comfy beds for an extra good night’s sleep.

    This was also nice as the hotel rooms (we had to get two due to the size of our family) were only $40 a night. Eighty dollars was pretty easy to justify. We had a short drive to Carlsbad which is just north of San Diego and the location of Legoland (one of this trip’s “must-do” attractions according to the kids).

    We got to our San Diego hotel with about half an hour to spare before sunset. We thought it would be fun to grab a quick picnic and go to the beach to watch the sunset. We had to run to the grocery store and then find a parking spot. When we were driving down the road to the ocean, the sun was close to setting I checked the time and per the internet, the sunset was at 8:00 (which seemed really early to me at that time of the year).

    We literally pulled down a side street at 7:55 and we could still see the sun. By the time we unloaded our picnic goodies and towels and got down to the beach, it was 8:01.  I kid you not! We missed the sunset by one minute. The kids did not care one iota though as the water was warm and there was residual sunshine for another 40 minutes. They played in the waves and had the best time. A few of them were even having too much fun to eat, the seagulls appreciated that!



    The hotel we stayed in was one of the best of the trip. West Inn and Suites is located just a short distance from the Pacific Ocean in one direction and Legoland in the opposite. The suite had a separate bedroom and living space with a pullout couch. It was equipped with a refrigerator and microwave. The hotel was abundantly helpful to our family providing a LEGOLand and beach shuttle service. The hotel also offered videos for use in the rooms, free beach supplies usage (chairs, umbrellas, towels, AND boogie boards), a delicious breakfast buffet, AND milk and warm cookies in the lobby in the evening. I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone staying in the area!

    Ultimate Road Trip 2014

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    Terri L

    Terri has been married to her best friend, Scott, for 20 years and together they have 5 children. She has been blessed to be able to be a SAHM since her first was born over 14 years ago. In addition to finding new and creative ways to entertain 5 children, she enjoys date nights with her husband, photography, reading, and traveling with her crew.