After our three days at Disneyland, we had two more days set aside for time to explore Los Angeles! Monday, March 21, 2016 We started out that Monday by going and touring the Los Angeles Fire Museum.  They had several antique and older fire engines there, as well as having a couple fire trucks from the television show Emergency. 362 From there we made the journey to the Santa Monica Pier to see the end of route 66.  Finding a place to park was grueling, but so worth it.  The views at the Santa Monica Pier were amazing. 410411416 One of the highlights for the boys while we are on the pier was seeing a seal swimming up right to the end of the pier.  Silas was mesmerized, watching its every flip. 430423 We had to make the big drive back from Santa Monica to Medieval Times.  None of us had been before, but were hopeful that it would be similar to Dixie Stampede.  The boys enjoyed watching the show and watching the knights compete.  The food tasted delicious, but despite checking, I had a bad reaction to something in the food after we ate. 434455457482 Tuesday, March 22, 2016 We started out Tuesday morning by driving through Angeles National Forest.  I was thoroughly amazed at how beautiful the scenery was all through out California.  We stopped a few times to walk around and take some photos of the area.  It was worth the stop! 513516518 From there, the plans of the day were to hit the typical Hollywood stops!  We arrived to Hollywood and went to the Grauman Chinese Theater and looked at the footprints.  The boys were on a mission to find John Wayne’s foot prints! 532540

548 The boys were pretending to “steal” John Wayne’s foot prints like Lucy did in I Love Lucy.

We walked a couple blocks down the road and took the boys through Ripley’s Believe it or Not.  The boys thoroughly enjoyed the museum, and we were glad to take them to it.  They were fascinated with all the different things in the museum and what they learned. 560 The boys were amazed at how tall the tallest man in the world was! 569 Posing like Superman. Next up on the schedule was to go to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.  This was quite a hit for everyone.  The boys loved posing by all the statues and getting their pictures taken. 580 It’s Dorothy!  Gideon loves Wizard of Oz! 581 Silas and I love us some Gone With the Wind! 591 Silas thought the Aubrey Hepburn one was funny.  603 My favorite one!  Silas insisted on wanting his photo taken with every statue.  The husband jumped in on this one to cover Cleopatra’s cleavage.  It was hilarious. 609 The boys were pretending they were stuck in jail. 638 Getting in character. 644 “Dad, take our picture in the England phone box!” 658 Posing! After the wax museum, we were ready for some lunch.  We had done some research, and discovered this restaurant called Pig ‘N Whistle on Hollywood Blvd that was a hot spot for actors back in the golden days of Hollywood, including the boys favorite Shirley Temple.  It was fun eating at the historic restaurant and reading on the history. 668 Silas and his pig mask from lunch. After lunch, we ventured out of Hollywood and headed to the Japanese Gardens.  This was an important spot to hit for the husband.  Apparently they filmed Star Trek episodes or something there (oops!  Not a trekkie.  Hopefully I got that right!).  While the husband enjoyed the sci fi aspects of the gardens, I found them completely interesting and beautiful. 677 Apparently this was used in Star Trek, but don’t hold me to it! 697674 The beautiful views of the garden. 680682688 Some family pics around the gardens. After we spent all the time we wanted at the Japanese Gardens, we headed to our last stop:  Griffith Observatory.  We wanted to go to the prime location to see the Hollywood sign, and to get a great panoramic view of Los Angeles.  It is apparently a very popular location and parking was hard to find.  We eventually found a parking spot and walked towards the observatory.  It was very windy, but the views were amazing.  I definitely could have stayed and looked for a while, and would have loved to have hiked around there! 705735 The Hollywood Sign 752 Observatory Shot 753 A great pic to show how windy it was! Tuesday was definitely a full day.  We headed back to our hotel and packed and prepared for our journey to San Francisco. After our time in Los Angeles, I definitely think we could have hit all the highlights we wanted in one day, versus adding two extra days after Disney.  We were glad to experience Los Angeles, but overall weren’t huge fans of the area.  The boys highlights were seeing the Hollywood sign and John Wayne’s Footprints.  Part 4 of the blog will be over our time in San Francisco.