Over the last few months, with the clock ticking down to departure date, I’ve asked myself, what is my L.A. Bucket List? What do I need to squeeze in before I go? I’ve lived in Southern California the majority of my life, so I’ve done most of the typical must-do L.A. things.
I’ve been to the Rose Parade many times. Seeing the gorgeous and impressive floral floats and lively bands in person is a thrilling way to celebrate the new year.
And hanging out in the streets of Pasadena with excited locals and visitors from all over the country and the world as the Goodyear Blimp looms over us makes us locals so happy to live in Southern California!
I’ve been to the Griffith Observatory.
It’s such a gorgeous place to see amazing L.A. views, including the Hollywood sign.
I’ve been to the La Brea Tar Pits many times, as a child, and it was also one of the field trips when I taught first grade.
I’ve ridden the ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier and have done some damage shopping at Third Street Promenade.
I’ve been to Grauman’s Chinese Theater. I even saw a movie inside the theater (it was Double Jeopardy starring Ashley Judd and Tommy Lee Jones).
I used to swing dance regulary at The Derby before it closed down. (A moment of respect for The Derby. Tear…) I’ve seen Marty and Elayne, the husband and wife duo, perform their lounge act at The Dresden as I drank a dirty martini.
I’ve been to every SoCal amusement park, seen countless concerts at the Greek Theater and the Hollywood Bowl. (If you look closely, you can see Harry Connick Jr. tickling the ivories.)
…We could be here all day, folks. But, I did come up with a few random items that I really wanted to experience. I am proud to announce that I have accomplished my very short list.
Get ready. This is a true adventure!
#1 Roscoe’s Chicken N’ Waffles!
I’ve been meaning to try this place out for decades!!! What can I say? I operate on a deadline.
This meal was certainly worth the wait.
Crispy chicken, buttery waffles, sweet syrup. And when the friendly waitress, asked, “Would you like collard greens and mac n’ cheese with that?” we said, “Yes!”
Oh, that’s a perfect bite right there.
My only question to myself is, “Why? Why did you wait this long to go to Roscoe’s? You damn procrastinator!” And the second question to myself is, “Is there time to go again? I need more!”
This place fills up quickly at lunch time. I suggest going at 11:30 and beating the lunchtime rush like we did. I’m definitely bringing John and the kids next time I go. They will love it.
Thank you, Celina, for being my cohort in accomplishing this bucket list item.
#2 The Slide on the 70th Floor of the U.S. Bank building in Downtown L.A.!
Holy cow, that’s a tall building. Let’s go up 1,000 feet and slide down plexiglass hanging over the edge, shall we?
I took this shot on the 70th floor looking down through the building. Beautiful, yet ominous.
There are observation decks where you can take in the beautiful city views.
Look, there’s Echo Park!
A fun photo opp for any Angeleno.
Okay, enough stalling. Let’s see what you’re made of. Here we go!!!!!!
Truth? It’s not that scary. It only slides down one floor. I really wanted to feel my stomach drop. But, it is a very fun experience and I highly recommend doing it.
And then you can drink champage and eat some surpisingly delicious sandwiches from your beautiful vantage point.
Why not? Our kids were in school and we had a few hours to play! Thank you, Mary Ellen, for humoring all of my whims that day!
#3 The Cathedal of Our Lady of Angels
When we had finished the slide and lunch, we walked a few blocks to the Cathedral in DTLA. I had never seen it.
…It’s not what I had expected of a Catholic Church.
Mary Ellen pointed out that all of the Saints are part of the congregation due to the massive tapestries that line the walls. That was my favorite part.
We walked around the mausoleum in the basement to see who we could find.
On the way back to the car we passed some lovely sights…
The Walt Disney Concert Hall…
…and the Los Angeles Central Library, both of which I will have to save for another day.
It was a beautiful, fun-filled day in Downtown L.A. and we only had to pay a bargain price of $35 to park. Haha.
#4 Find Amazing Shaved Ice comparable to Hawaii!
Let’s face it- that’s a tall order.
Ever since I visited my friend, Kate, in Hawaii last year and experienced the best, most heavenly shave ice EVER (they call it shave ice), I’ve been trying to find shave ice in L.A. that compares. I’m not sure it exists.
But Isabel, Brady and I did find really great Korean shaved ice at Boba Loca in Montrose.
I don’t feel like I can totally compare it to Hawaiian shave ice, as it doesn’t include all of the yummy syrup flavors, but Korean shaved ice has got the texture down. It’s soft, delicate and fluffy, and that is hard to find. I’ve tried.
The ice cream, sweetened condensed milk and fresh fruit atop delicate snowy shaved ice is a beautiful combo. A happy find!
Boba Loca also offers a multitude of delicious boba drink combinations, as well as fusion iced tea, slushes, fresh squeezed juice and raw smoothies!
I’m pretty new to the boba train. A drink that you can chew? I like it.
This was lavendar milk tea and it was so good!
I’ve also had the jasmine milk tea and the rose milk tea. Clearly, I’m on a big floral beverage kick. The rose milk tea is currently my favorite. It was sweet, creamy and lovely, with a subtle rosey flavor. It was the color of blush just like Shelby’s wedding colors in Steel Magnolias. “My colors are blush and bashful, Mama.”
We couldn’t resist trying the colorful butterfly lemonade. It was tart, sweet and a little herbaceous, due to the splash of cobalt blue butterfly tea which turns purple when it is added to the lemonade . I just read that butterfly tea, derived from Asia, is known for its anti-aging and beautifying properties! (I’ll justify any treat, just ask me.)
Isabel was very happy with her chocolate banana milkshake. The point is, there are a plethora of beverages to try and fall in love with at Boba Loca!
Since you really can’t have a list of four things and call it an epic list, I threw in…
#5 Throwback Tuesday at the The Regency Academy 6 Theater in Pasadena! Isabel and I saw The Goonies on the big screen!!!
It was a nostalgic and riveting experience. It made me feel like a kid again! The couple next to me had the foresight to bring Baby Ruths for the occasion. And since the tickets at the Regency Academy 6 Theater are so inexpensive, I let Isabel go crazy at the concession stand. I didn’t help her at all (liar). Check out the amazing Throwback Tuesday lineup on their website.
There are countless fun and entertaining things to do in L.A. Sometimes it’s so much fun to be a tourist in your own town. Sigh. I really do love L.A.
There’s really only one way to end this post. Sing it, Randy!