Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood Sign as seen from Griffith Observatory

Most of the time on this blog, I share about our travels and how we manage to see and do everything we want to in a short amount of time in a location. This was not the case in Los Angeles. Everywhere we tried to go we got stuck in terrible traffic and horrific crowds.

Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory

We didn’t get off the ship until 10:00 am and by the time we got to the tent where our luggage was, it was probably another hour until we got our rideshare and were heading to LA. The traffic was so bad that what should’ve been a half an hour’s drive to our downtown hotel took at least an hour. We dropped our luggage at the hotel and headed to Griffith Park where traffic was so bad it took 30 minutes just to enter the parking lot. We did manage to get a spot and have time to walk around the observatory but honestly, my nerves were shot and I wasn’t in a mood to appreciate where I was.

We left the Griffith Observatory and headed to one of the most unique food experiences of my life. Carnitas el Momo is featured heavily in the LA episode of the Netflix Special, Street Food USA and I knew that if I wanted to experience LA street food, this is where we had to go. The show focused a lot on their food truck so I was very surprised when the address was a house in a residential neighborhood where people were cooking carnitas under a tent on their front porch. We tried the mulita which is like a quesadilla but with more cheese and let me tell you, it was one of the most amazing things I have ever eaten. My only complaint is being a residential neighborhood, parking was a challenge. We had to park 5 or 6 blocks away and walk and then eat in our car. But, if you are looking for the best carnitas you have ever had in LA, you have to go to Carnitas el Momo, just make sure you’re wearing your walking shoes.

Santa Monica

After lunch, we headed to the place that was probably number one on my must-see list for LA: Santa Monica. Once again, traffic was a bear and it about an hour to get there. We walked to Santa Monica pier where it was wall-to-wall people. We had just eaten so we weren’t hungry and it was too cold for swimming and we drove an hour to get here, so now what? We ended up finding a coffee shop to hang out at for a while before heading back downtown to our hotel.

We ended our day with dinner at Genwa, a Korean Barbecue restaurant. Korean Barbecue is something I have wanted to try for a long time now, but it’s not readily available in our small midwestern town so I figured Los Angeles would be the place to try it and I was not disappointed. They gave us a ton of food, some of it was familiar and some of it was new to me. It was a lot of fun and I am glad we decided to try something new in a city that is known for its food scene like LA.


We had an early afternoon flight the next day, so we decided to avoid all the traffic and stay close to the hotel. We walked to the Grand Central Market (above) for lunch and did our own little food tour. Whatever type of food you are looking for, they have it at Grand Central Market and it is delicious.

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We stayed at Hotel Per La in downtown LA (above) which I have to say is probably the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed at. I had first heard about it in the September issue of Travel and Leisure and I knew I had to say there! The rooms were elegant and comfortable. The common spaces were plentiful and gorgeous and the rooftop pool was amazing! I didn’t want to leave! If you are looking for a place to stay in downtown LA, I cannot recommend Hotel Per La enough.

Angels Flight

Overall, I wish we had a better plan for LA because we wasted so much of our time driving around. An organized tour may have helped with this. I had really hoped to see LACMA, the LA Art Museum but we just ran out of time. If I had it to do over again, I would’ve done that instead of driving out to Santa Monica. The traffic and the crowds left me with a negative feeling about LA and I would probably return to any of the other cities we got to see on this trip before I would come back to Los Angeles.

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to stop by next week when I share about our day in the Happiest Place on Earth (and a place crowds don’t seem to get to me), Disneyland! To read more about this trip, check out the Cruising the Pacific Coast Trip Report. To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! For my list of gadgets to make your travels easier, click here. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.