Los Angeles has never appealed to me. I know several of my readers happen to be Angelenos, so please, don’t take offense!
I had a flight connection in LAX a number of times (on our way to Hawaii). Since I redeemed miles, I could have added a free stopover according to program rules, but didn’t bother. Recently, I had a choice of having an overnight layover in either Los Angeles or San Francisco on the way back from Australia. I chose the latter and didn’t even hesitate. Normally, I try to visit a new city whenever possible, but not this time.
I don’t know what it is that bugs me most about the idea of LA. Is it the shallow Hollywood culture? The infamous traffic? The pollution? Like most white people, I have severe allergy problems, so… Folks say that LA has the best Mexican food. Let me tell you, they probably have never visited taco stands in Central Florida. It’s on, amigos!
I admit, I think of LA as the land of the Kardashians (plus Kanye West, who fits right in) and “The Bachelor” franchise. Of course, stereotypes are silly. Los Angeles is a city that has people of all types. Most probably have never met, nor do they care to meet the Kardashians. They have families just like mine, and want the same thing I do.
To rest in a hotel or go somewhere?
Despite my aversion toward all things “Los Angeles”, we will be there for part of the day whether I like it or not. In a few weeks, we are set to fly from LAX to Tahiti, and our flight will depart at midnight. We will be arriving at LAX around 2 PM the same day, so will have a few hours to kill.
My in-laws will be flying the day before because unlike me, my sister-in-law loves the idea of visiting LA. She has booked an all-day-tour so they can hit all the major Hollywood sights. I used my Hyatt points for Hyatt Place Los Angeles El Segundo It’s a Category 3 (12,000 points), and I booked it for two nights so we would all have a place to shower before the flight. My in-laws are set to depart for New Zealand at midnight as well.
I used the points I got from my sign-up bonus on The Hyatt credit card (my personal referral link). It’s an excellent “keeper” card for most traveling families. You get 45k points after meeting minimum spending requirements, adding an authorized user and paying $75 annual fee. The renewal certificate (good for Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort) can be used for this LAX property, which is an excellent deal. This credit card is currently NOT subject to 5/24 rule
Knowing my husband, he will want to take a long nap as soon as we get to our hotel room, considering our long flight from Orlando. So, realistically, we won’t be able to go anywhere till 6-7 PM at the earliest. That means I would have to pick just one thing to do. The quintessential LA experience.
Then again, I saw a comment online and a guy said “It’s just a stupid billboard, people!” Exactly. It was set up to advertise a real estate development called “Hollywood Land.” I get that it’s an iconic landmark and all, but it’s still a billboard.
Perhaps we could go to Griffith observatory After all, both my husband and I love planetariums. As a bonus, we would be able to have a clear view of Hollywood sign, plus the city of Los Angeles.
I started getting all excited that I found the One, but then I realized that we would have to go there during rush hour. Uber estimates the journey at around 40 minutes without traffic. Ugh. If we end up sitting in the car for an hour or more, this would not be a good way to start our whirlwind journey of South Pacific. My husband may get annoyed, book a flight back to Florida and send me to Bora Bora on my own.
Though once again, there are beaches galore, so I had a tough time deciding which one we should visit. After doing some research, I settled on Manhattan Beach It looks like a laid-back community, with a nice pier and various funky restaurants in downtown.
Best of all, Uber (my referral link, you will get $5 off your first ride) estimates that it’s located only 9 minutes from our hotel, and we don’t have to get on any major highway. We could leave after 7 PM (when rush hour is over), and get there in time to see the sunset from the pier. To me, this option looks like a winner.
All of this, of course, assumes that our flight from Orlando leaves on-time. Also, my husband may decide he doesn’t want to go anywhere after landing in LAX. Still, I would like to take advantage of our few hours in Los Angeles if at all possible. Who knows, the city may surprise me. Plus, I’ve never met a beach I didn’t like.
Angelenos, what do you think of my plan? Yay or nay?
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.