Loving it in La La Land!

One of the things that all full time RVers have to deal with is getting their vehicle serviced and maintained. My son continually reminds me that it’s similar to owning and supporting a brick and mortar home – the difference being that most often a service person comes to your home, fixes whatever needs fixing and you certainly don’t have to relocate. With our motorhome it’s a different story. It has been in the shop since the end of January and due to parts needing to be ordered and weather cooperating with work to be done, it’s still there!

Because of this delay, after returning from our month-long Baja adventure, we have been staying with Bill’s daughter, Sarah, in her new home in Hermosa Beach! We are into our second week and have been thoroughly enjoying southern California! She has guided us to sights and tastes in the area quite masterfully before flying to New York City yesterday for a few days of meetings. Not wanting to wear out our welcome, the motorhome is due to be completed by Friday, March 8.

So what exactly have we experienced, you ask? Let me share…

The Strand – This is an extensive concrete  walk for runners, bikers, walkers, skateboarders and rollerbladers and others that runs forever through what locals call the “South Bay,” which includes Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Manhattan Beach, and beyond. Almost every day we have biked or walked on The Strand, delighting in the homes, the volley ball games, surfers, and the people that we pass.

IMG_5125The Piers – Each of the three towns mentioned previously have piers that jut out into the Pacific Ocean. The structure in Hermosa Beach includes the Volleyball Walk of Fame, displaying winning teams of various volleyball championships. The Manhattan Beach Pier hosts the same for surfers, while Redondo Pier is home to a very loud barking seal!

The Queen Mary – This magnificent ship has been docked in Long Beach since 1962 and is a hotel and restaurant. They also have tours each day and an exhibit of Princess Diana memorabilia. We spoke with a bellman about the restaurants and he calmly shared that Sir Winston Restaurant had a great filet mignon dinner for $50 and in order to get to the restaurant all you had to do was purchase a $46 ticket to “come onboard!” We passed on the dinner but enjoyed seeing the vessel from the outside!

The Stadium – Although nameless at the moment, the state-of-the-art football stadium that will be shared by the LA Rams and the LA Chargers is well under construction in Inglewood. It is two years away from completion and is actually being built deep into the ground so as not to interfere with the flight patterns of LAX! Can’t even imagine how amazing this stadium will be when completed.

Scenic Drive – The temperature has been lower than the average for this time of year, but on a beautiful day Sarah took us on a scenic drive down the coast through magnificent neighborhoods overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We traveled through Torrance, Palos Verdes, San Pedro, and Long Beach. We stopped at a Starbucks with the most beautiful view and then at Trump National Golf Course (didn’t know he had one here!)

The Comedy and Magic Club – This past Sunday night we put our names on the waitlist and were able to get tickets to see Jay Leno. Apparently he has been doing Sunday night gigs here in Hermosa Beach about twice a month at this club for a very long time, even when he was still doing his late night show. Two comics opened for him, one having been a writer for the Tonight Show. Everyone was funny and it was a great time!

IKEA – This may sound strange but I had never been to an IKEA before! We visited on a gloomy day as did half of Los Angeles, but it was a great time! I’m hooked!

Randy’s Donuts – On Fat Tuesday we couldn’t go without a donut, so we ventured to Inglewood to an iconic donut location. Do you recognize Randy’s from several of Snoop Dog’s videos?

Not only have we played tourist but we have also sampled a plethora of local eating establishments, partly due to the fact that Sarah’s kitchen renovation is not quite complete! If you are ever in the Hermosa Beach area, all of these restaurants are worth the visit –

Polly’s on the Pier and Martha’s 22nd Street Grill – great breakfast spots in Redondo and Hermosa, respectively.

Captain Kidd’s – Awesome fish market and restaurant. We’ve been there twice already!

Tender Greens – An innovative restaurant “where damn amazing food is made!” Emphasis is on comfort foods – with “an elevated spin.”

Abigaile – Went here for dinner because of a gift card from my son. Read my review on TripAdvisor… great food, weak bartender, weak service but overall a “4.”

IMG_5100 (1)Tower 12 – Ate here our very first night in town. Sit high above Pier Avenue and enjoy shareable plates as you take in the sights. It’s also a very popular venue for sports viewing!

Pitfire Artisan Pizza and Paisanos – These have been our two pizza stops thus far – both very good but still can’t beat New Jersey’s pizza.

Mickey’s Deli – A great deli and market only about two blocks from Sarah’s home. One afternoon after a long bike ride we tried a sandwich and last night Bill and I ordered takeout for dinner. Mickey’s was a “leap of faith” 65 years ago and it’s still going strong!IMG_5141

Hook and Plow – Bill and I stumbled upon this gem while walking to the post office. Very quaint place with unique food. For lunch I had a cup of the most delicious seafood chowder along with a garden salad, while Bill had the soup as well with half a short rib/gorgonzola cheese sandwich on sourdough. They serve chicken and waffles as a special on Wednesdays and when I questioned what “Tomahawk Thursday” is, I was told it’s a 36 oz T-bone steak with two sides for two people for $90!

Starbucks – Starbucks is Starbucks but you’ll never encounter one with a lovelier view. I could have sat there all day long! IMG_5149

So, as you can see, we have been totally consumed with the Southern California lifestyle and thanks to Sarah Moll and her generosity and hospitality, we have experienced Hermosa Beach and its neighboring areas to the max! For Sarah’s sake, I hope the RV is ready soon so she can return to her normal routine…until her sister and nephew arrive in about a month! Thank you, Sarah and continue to enjoy your new, beautiful home!


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