Monday, September 12, 2011

LA Trip {Day 5; August 29th} Downtown Tour & Travel Day

Monday was our last day there. My brother had to go back into work and since we were unable to do his downtown walking tour on Wednesday because of our flight cancellation, we just decided to do it this day.

Before we left, I wanted to get a ride on my brother's Vespa. So we went for a quick 5 minute ride around his neighborhood.
D5 scooter take off

D5 scooter ride

Then we loaded up the car with our luggage and headed downtown. Josh dropped us off in the fashion district before parking his car for work, which began our downtown walking tour itinerary.
D5 fashion district

We were doing things a little different than he typed up for us as the original itinerary had us starting where we'd get dropped off after taking the plane shuttle at Union Station. So it was kinda backward. We walked around the fashion district for a while. It was actually nice being there early in the morning, the vendors were busy getting their stores ready so they didn't haggle us to buy anything. And there wasn't a crowd. We even found a restroom we could use, it was worth the twenty-five cents :-)
D5 fashion district restroom

We walked up to around 9th Street and Santee St and stopped for a little feet rest at Starbucks. Then we continued on Josh's tour. Taking us over to S Broadway and up to 6th Street through the Jewelry district. We came across a guy walking two dogs, one with a camera on his back. The dog went up to Kyle to get some love and the guys said "oh he's making a movie, looks like you're going to be in his movie" lol. The guy ended up walking the same way we were for a few blocks, they were in front of us so it was funny to see the camera dog go up to almost EVERYONE he came across, very friendly dog who was going to do what he wanted, lol.

We took 6th St over to Hill St and walked through Pershing Square park, it had a nice view of the buildings.
D5 pershing square downtown LA

After walking through Pershing Square we crossed Olive Street and went into the Biltmore Hotel. It was a fancy, fancy hotel and a nice place to sit down and relax for a bit (and use the restroom).
D5 biltmore hotel

We came out of the hotel on the other side of the block, onto Grand Ave, taking it up to the next block: 5th, we went over into the Los Angeles Public Library.
D5 bird of paradise

We wandered around in there for a bit, enjoying the air conditioning. It was starting to get warm out and there is not really a breeze in downtown LA like their is over on the coast line.
D5 inside library

Again we walked through the library to the next block over. Makes walking a little better when blocks are done through A/C'd buildings :-) This is the front of the library, we entered on the backside.
D5 library

At this point it was almost lunch time, which our plan was to meet Josh at his office building and take a bus to a little Mexican area to eat. When we stepped out of the library we were on Josh's block, we went two buildings down to The Standard hotel, and went up to their roof top area.
D5 rooftop of the standard

He wasn't quite ready, so it was a wonderful place to sit back and relax, and of course use the restroom again :-) It's gotta be fun traveling with a six and a half month pregnant lady, hee hee. We found a lounger that we could kick our feet up on, happy that it was early enough so the waitress was over by the pool and not in the lounge area. We didn't really want to buy a $5 soda. Eventually Josh was available and gave us a call.... at this point we waved:
D5 josh waving

and made plans to meet down on the corner to hop on the DASH bus. We took the bus to in front of Union Station, then walked over to Olvera Street. Turns out Olvera Street is in the oldest part of downtown LA and is part of the El Peblo de Los Angels Historic Monument. We had lunch at a little Mexican restaurant and walked around the little kiosks that are in the middle of the street.

After lunch, Josh hopped the bus back to work while we continued on our walking tour, picking up where the original itinerary began :-) Heading to City Hall.
D5 city hall

We went into City Hall, through the security to the 3rd floor to observe the beautiful rotunda. Then we took the elevator up to the 20 something floor, then had to get on another elevator to go up to the 26th or so floor, then walked up the stairs through the Tom Bradley room, out onto the ledge at the very top of City Hall. It was a beautiful view!
D5 downtown LA from city hall

We could see Hollywood
D5 hollywood

And got a good view of the Disney Music Hall
D5 disney music hall

We then left City Hall, passed the US District Court Clerk building, this is where Josh worked the last time I came to visit.
D5 federal buildling

We walked up Temple Street to the Cathedral. And when I saw up, I mean UP it was a steady incline. The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels is a famous Cathedral there in downtown LA. Josh had taken me there before of my visits.
D5 cathedral outside

We went inside and took a load of our feet. It was beautiful inside!
D5 cathedral

I remember when I had gone before Josh would try and pick out the saints, on the tapestries on the wall, that looked like famous people, lol. There was someone that looked like Dustin Hoffman and some others I can't remember :-P We rested here for a bit as our feet were getting tired and we were nearing the time that Josh was going to pick us up in his car to take us to Union Station to catch the airport shuttle. So we decided it was better just to have him pick us up at the Cathedral instead of rushing around to finish the walking tour. We still had the courtyard at the Cathedral to explore as well.

I have a picture of myself in a fish that is in the courtyard from my visit back in 2007. I wanted to show Kyle where this was, as he had seen the picture:

So we decided to get a picture of him on the nearby camel :-P
D5 kyle on camel

At that time Josh had pulled up near the curb, perfect timing. He finished up our walking tour via car, giving us a quick drive by of a few sights here and there. Then we caught the 4:00 airport shuttle and headed to LAX.

There was a slight delay leaving LAX, but not but 10 minutes or so, the plane before us was a little late getting in so that just pushed back our departure. No big deal this time :-) Here's the west coast on take off
D5 airplane west coast

And a beautiful view of Catalina Island
D5 airplane catalina island

Downtown LA through the clouds and fog
D5 airplane downtown LA

We had a nice relaxing flight home.
D5 airplane mountain clouds

D5 airplane sunset 1

It was a busy vacation but also had some relaxing times. It was nice getting away, our last 'official' Kyle and I only vacation. We plan to continue to take trips after we have the baby, as we both love to travel. We can't wait to take our kids around the country and show them what this beautiful land has to offer!

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