After spending a week visiting our relatives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, my family and I boarded a plane to California before going back to our home state of Alabama. Sight-seeing California was a much anticipated experience for all of us, and we were very eager to finally arrive. After landing on the LAX runway, we grabbed our bags and were taken to our rental car, a Dodge Charger. Immediately we drove to San Luis Obispo where we stayed the night at the world famous Madonna Inn.
Following a wonderful night’s stay in the charming two-story “Sky Loft” room in the Madonna, we drove to San Simeon which is home of the beautiful Hearst Castle. This magnificent estate, originally owned by William Hearst, contains several buildings, ranging from 2,600 to 60,000 square feet each. Each building contains several rooms with antique pieces of brilliantly created artwork and upholstery, and the entire estate itself is clearly designed for entertainment. Two swimming pools, one indoor and one outdoor, sit on this extravagant piece of property. The outdoor pool is constructed with pillars, statues, and fountains, and the indoor pool draws every tourist’s attention to its partially golden bottom. My family and I were fortunate to take a two hour tour of this magnificent estate, and we left in complete awe of the splendid Hearst Castle.
We eventually drove to Santa Monica, ate a delicious dinner, and went to a hotel for a good night’s rest in order to be prepared for the exciting day that would follow in Los Angeles.
Once awakened by our anxiousness, we set out for our day in the middle of Los Angeles. Upon entering the heart and soul of the big California city, we found ourselves driving along the famous Hollywood Boulevard. After finding a decently priced parking garage, we began our exploration and were amazed by what we found. The boulevard sidewalks were busy with locals quickly walking by and tourists taking time to point out each significant mark by taking multiple pictures. My family and I first noticed the beautiful Chinese Theater and later were surrounded by people dressed as celebrities. While my mother spent a few minutes getting her picture taken with “Marilyn Monroe” and “Elvis”, I glanced towards my feet, finding myself standing on someone’s name.
I had discovered the Sidewalk of the Stars with its hundreds of stars lining the sidewalks on both sides of the boulevard. We quickly began snapping pictures of our favorite actors and singers. Finishing our little self-guided tour of the sidewalk, we hopped on a tour bus which took us to the most popular landmarks in the Los Angeles area. The Beverly Hill’s sign, several famous buildings and statues, Paramount Pictures, and a distant view of the hillside Hollywood sign were included in the informative and incredibly interesting tour.
Our next step involved visiting the Guinness and Celebrity Wax museums both of which provided amazement and lots of laughs. Concluding our day with shopping and eating, we were very fortunate to see an actual celebrity in person- Christina Aguilera. Christina was filming part of a video on the side of Hollywood Boulevard, and my family and I were given the chance to hear her sing and take several pictures from the balcony.
On the plane ride back to our home in Alabama, my family and I were disappointed to leave such a remarkable city. However, we were able to bring back pictures, souvenirs, and most importantly, memories of our once in a lifetime family trip.
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