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Los Angeles: A Travel Guide

 

Los Angeles, or the City of Angels, is one of the cities in the world that is known by practically every person on earth. This is a status shared with just a few other places like New York, Washington, London, Moscow, and Paris. Whilst other cities are well known, they don’t have the same ubiquity as the ultra elite category.

Los Angeles earned its place on this list thanks to it being home to Hollywood, the largest producer of films in the Western hemisphere and a major source of soft power for the United States of America. Hollywood has become synonymous with glitz and glamour like no other place on Earth, packed with movie stars, musicians and anyone who wants to aspire to be like them.

For tourists who are interested in getting a taste of this world, there are studio tours, the Hollywood sign and tour buses that will take you to look at the houses of celebrities. But there is more to Los Angeles that just this; here is a look at some of it.

Sports

If you’re a sports fan, you have plenty to keep you occupied in Los Angles. The City of Angels is home to teams in almost every imaginable sport, including soccer team LA Galaxy, basketball team the Los Angeles Lakers, and baseball team the LA Dodgers. There are also NFL teams in Los Angeles, the Chargers and the Rams, the latter of which is currently 4th favourite to win the Super Bowl.

The Getty Center

Legendary industrialist Jean Paul Getty became a philanthropist in his later years. One of the things he did was found the J. Paul Getty Museum in Brentwood. On his death in 1976, Getty left a further $661 million to the museum which helped to fund the Getty Center which took almost twenty years to design and build, finally opening its doors in 1997.

The building itself is a masterpiece thanks to the design work of architect Richard Meier. It contains beautiful gardens and sculptures within the grounds. These are trumped by the breathtaking views over Los Angeles thanks to the Getty Center’s hilltop location. Inside, you’ll find art from the likes of van Gogh and Rembrandt, as well as a huge range of other artwork ranging from Medieval times, through to the present day.

Griffith Park & Observatory 

Another Los Angeles landmark originally paid for by an entrepreneur, Griffith Park game to life when a Welsh businessman by the name of Griffith J. Griffith gave 3,000 acres of land to the city as a “Christmas Present” in 1896. The vast space has expanded to 4,000 acres in the years since, and is now home to the Los Angeles Zoo, two public golf courses, walking and horseback riding trails, tennis courts, and much more.

The park is also home to the Griffith Observatory, which was also given to the city as a festive gift. The building’s three domes on top of the hill have created one of Los Angeles’ most legendary landmarks. The observatory is so important to the city, it was recreated in both Grand Theft Auto San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto V, when the franchise was set in “Los Santos”, a fictional depiction of Los Angeles. E

Inside, you can use the telescopes to look into space, explore the 60 space themed exhibits and admire the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, which is housed in the building’s central dome.

Watts Towers

Built exclusively from scrap metal, the Watts Towers were constructed in the 1920s by Italian immigrant Simon Rodia. He then spent a further 30 years decorating the structures by hand, using green glass, tiles, seashells, marble and jewelry. There are a lot, (17 towers!), with the tallest being almost 100 feet in height. Despite being made entirely from scrap materials, they have an awe-inspiring look that you can’t help but admire.

Of course there are plenty of Hollywood related things to do in Los Angeles. However, when you’re tired of placing your hands in the stars on the Walk of Fame and framing the Hollywood sign from as many angles as possible, the city has a lot more to offer.

Five Easy Ways to Reduce Stress When You’re on Vacation with Your Family

 

Going on vacation with your family can be a great way to relax. However, just because you go away for the week doesn’t mean you leave all your stress behind. Vacation creates stresses of its own, especially if you’re traveling with younger and older family members.

You aren’t doomed to be stressed out and disappointed with your vacation just because you’re traveling with other family members. You really can get the nearly stress-free vacation you’re looking for when you follow these tips.

Combine Activities When You Can

Planning a vacation is no easy feat. It can be even more difficult when you’re purchasing multiple tickets for multiple family members. Making your job easier can greatly reduce your stress. One of the best ways to do that is to combine activities when you can.

For example, if you and your family are traveling in Nashville, TN, check out the Pigeon Forge dinner shows that are available. There are many different shows to choose from. For example, grandma will love to see Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Show, while the kids will surely enjoy the Pirates Voyage Dinner and Show.

Dinner is included with every ticket, so that’s one less thing you’ll have to worry about. Plus, it’ll give you a chance to sit down, enjoy some food, watch a show, and relax a little bit!

Travel with a Budget

What you do while you’re on vacation can be stressful, but how much you spend when you’re on vacation can be just as, if not more, stressful. Spend less time worrying about money by creating a travel budget before you leave.

That means knowing how much you’re willing to spend on travel and hotels, but it also means knowing exactly how much you’re going to spend on food and activities. Make sure you don’t go over-budget by pulling out the cash you’re willing to spend. When it’s gone, it’s gone!

Using cash is also a great way for the kids to keep an eye on their own spending. Give each member of your family their own daily allowance. That way, they aren’t asking you for more money all day long.

Take Advantage of the Hotel Pool

There are a lot of exciting things to do when you’re on vacation. The trouble is, having too much to do can add a lot of stress to your life, which is exactly what you’re trying to avoid!

Instead of trying to pack everything you possibly can into your trip, slow down and make time to just hang out with your family. One great way to do that is to take advantage of the hotel pool.

There are actually many benefits of swimming as an exercise, if you’re looking to stay fit while you’re on vacation, but It’s also a great way to relax and have some fun.

Make Sleep a Priority

With so much to do, you may feel like there just isn’t enough time for sleep. Not to mention, you’re in a new place, which means the kids won’t be sleeping like they should either.

Although it may be tempting to spend less time sleeping and more time doing things, it’s important to prioritize sleep if you want to decrease the amount of stress on your vacation. Ways to make sleep a priority on vacation include:

  • Use sleep masks and ear plugs
  • Ask the front desk for extra pillows and blankets
  • Use a white noise app on your phone
  • Turn off the TV and devices before bed
  • Book a hotel with separate rooms for the kids

Spend Time Apart

Most people book a vacation because they want to spend more quality time with the family. It’s true that a vacation is a great opportunity to spend quality time together, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also spend time apart.

It’s easy to get frustrated with your spouse and other family members on vacation. The kids’ nerves can also run high. It isn’t uncommon for kids to fight more on vacation.

Instead of stressing, simply split up for a while. Not only will it give you a break from some of your family members, it can be a great way to create one-on-one memories with younger members of your family.

Going on vacation isn’t a sure bet that you’ll reduce the stress in your life, especially since it can create new stresses. Don’t let your vacation become one to remember for the wrong reasons. Follow the advice here and you can have a relaxed family vacation.

3 Tips for Getting Some Creative Work Done on Vacation

 

The world is full of people with dreams of achieving creative things – whether writing novels, painting portraits, drawing comics, or anything else you can think of.

This kind of creative work is often deeply fulfilling, and is the kind of stuff that gives life a deep sense of meaning. In fact, as opposed to just consuming entertainment second hand, actually creating things can be a truly redemptive and expressive experience that helps you to feel better about every aspect of your life as a whole.

Of course, over the course of the ordinary working week, we’re often very busy and preoccupied, and struggle to find the time and space needed to commit to following our dreams and making these projects a reality.

Taking your laptop, notebook, or easel with you on vacation can be a great way of getting your creative juices flowing and making things happen. But it takes a bit of focus, and a particular approach.

Here are some tips for getting some creative work done on vacation.

Set yourself up somewhere relatively comfortable, where you have a bit of privacy

If your vacation involves you staying in hostel dormitories with dozens of other people, and moving constantly from location to location, it’s very likely that you’re not going to have the mental or physical space, comfort, or privacy required to do any meaningful work.

Many great authors, for example, have written extensively about the need to tune the outside world out when writing.

Ideally, if you want to get some creative work done on vacation, you could set yourself up somewhere relatively comfortable, where you have a bit of privacy, too. Staying in a historic and luxurious hotel such as the Crowne Pointe Provincetown hotel may give you the kind of space, privacy, and comfort you need.

Work to a set schedule – don’t follow your inspiration

The thing about creative endeavors, is that people often believe that they need to “wait for inspiration,” and heed the call of the “muse” in order to get things done.

Contrary to that, however, many of the most prolific and successful artists of all time have argued the benefits of working to a set schedule, turning up, and grinding away, whether they feel like it or not.

Generally, you’ll find that even if you weren’t initially in the mood, a few minutes of work will get you where you need to be.

Of course, on vacation, you have a lot of distractions to deal with and things you want to get done. This makes it doubly important to work to a set schedule. Have a certain time of day where you do your creative work, and clock off and do other things when the time has elapsed.

When you’re not working, get out and have some fun

Creativity is fueled by all the other things you do in your life. So, when you’re on vacation, don’t just seclude yourself away in your hotel room and try and work 24-hours a day.

Instead, when you’re not working, get out there and have some fun. Explore new places, try new things, party a bit, check out some beautiful natural landmarks, and all the rest of it.

Not only will this ensure that you get the most out of your holiday in general, it will also go a long way towards optimizing your creativity and putting you in the best possible state of mind keep doing your best work.

5 Essential Tips On Planning A Fabulous Beach Wedding

 

A beach wedding sure packs a great deal of excitement and fun. I mean, who does not love the idea of going to a glorious beach wedding or even planning their own destination wedding. With all the beach fervor, the big preps you make, the guests coming over and the party vibes, all these sound exciting. What more could you ask for? While it is fun to travel to a beach event as a guest, planning a wedding at one of the exotic beaches around the world is a bit challenging. However, fret not; we got you covered. Below I will discuss some tips that will make the task easier and enjoyable.

Hire A Good Wedding Invite Service

Hire the best wedding invites service that can provide you with an impressive variety of designs to call over your guests to your memorable beach event. Search for reliable, experienced and professional invitation design experts like Basic Invite. Customize your invites with aesthetically pleasing designs that are a creative blend of your selected wedding colors. Use the custom coasters wedding designs and match them with your wedding colors. Give the design for the invitations some deliberation because it offers a sneak-peak into your big event and you want it to be grand & stunning. With a good invite service, you can get personalized wedding cards printed, sealed & sent to the guests. You could also create your own wedding website for your guests to check out.

Hire The Services Of A Coordinator

With so many things to plan and manage including decor, food, outfits, guest takeaways, flowers, and multimedia, you will be fraught with despair if you do not get yourself a perceptive coordinator. Search online for an expert event planner or coordinator having experience in handling beach weddings. The coordinator will most likely help you fix a budget, shop for stuff, manage vendors and handle miscellaneous chores. It is your big day and you deserve peace of mind as a bride/groom.

Find The Perfect Beach

Where should you host your dream wedding? Have your friends and family provide some recommendations and see if they tally with your wedding requirements. If you want something conventional yet entertaining & buoyant, then the Florida beach or any of the Caribbean beaches would do but if you are looking an awe-inspiring and dreamy location, then try one of the African or Malaysian beaches. Seychelles, for example, will serve as a perfect spot to host a private, dreamy and magical wedding.

Flowers & Decor

You need to ensure that the decor matches the beach vibes. For a summer wedding, make sure there is plenty of iced water around for guests, nice canopies for shade and a striking floral arrangement that complements the beach hues and your wedding colors. You would also want to check the decor theme with your florist and coordinator to hone it best for a poignant impact.

Gourmet & Takeaways

A great way to have your guests excited about the big event is to have luscious food to savor and flamboyant giveaways that they can take back home as memorabilia. Have your caterer provide you with delicious gourmet items that would please your guests but more importantly, match the seasonal vibes and local food trends. Seafood, skewered delicacies, tropical fruit concoctions and an impressive slew of cocktails will surely have your guests swooning. Make the most of your big day by handing over exciting giveaways.

City Break Heaven

 

City break heaven, doesn’t that sound like a nice place to be? That’s because it is a nice place to be. If you know you’ve got the urge to go on a holiday, but you don’t really want to spend much when doing so, then a city break is going to suit you. Luckily, Europe is really not that far away, and there are plenty of city break ideas that you could go for. It all depends on what you want, and how long you’re going to go for. So, if you’re interested in having a bit of city break heaven, then have a read of the article we’ve go below for you, and see if we can transport you to another country.

The Iconic New York

New York is one of the less spoke about city breaks. Yes, everyone talks about it, but everyone talks about it as if it is just a trip to America, when it is actually still classed as a city break holiday. But, don’t think that anything about this is going to be big, this is why we’ve started off with it first. You should definitely think about getting a best travel credit card as a way of being able to spend money easily out there. The main thing that people seem to do when they do go there, is spend a lot of money. There’s plenty of shopping to be done there, and just generally being in New York does cost hundreds, even just on the food! Make sure you do everything there is to do there, especially a helicopter tour if you can do one. They’re so much fun, and they give you a view of New York like no other place does! Plus, now is one of the best times of year to go. They’re getting all of the Christmas decorations out, and it really does feel like a place full of happiness.

Irish Madness

Ooft, if you go to Ireland, be prepared to have a lot of fun. It’s a vibrant city with a lot to offer. You’ve got the guiness factory which is always popular, but the thing that people seem to go the most for is their drinking. The Irish love to drink, and thy are crazy whilst they’re doing it. So to be among them whilst they’re all lary and having a good time only eggs you on to drink more. You should also make sure you’re venturing out into the countryside a little bit. It’s one of the most picturesque countries you could ever visit, and to do one of the nature walks out there would just be truly amazing!

London Love

London at the minute is just getting good. Like with New York, the Christmas decorations start to go up, and you’ve got big attractions coming to town such as the Winter Wonderland. We highly recommend you going when that is on. It’s not too expensive to do a couple of things whilst you’re there, but it truly will get you in the Christmas spirit. There’s obviously the other main attractions to try that you all know about as well. Visiting the Camden markets for some street food is also a must!

FREE books from Bedside Reading, now available at luxury hotels

 

Do you travel for work or pleasure? I used to travel for blog related stuff, but sadly, I haven’t been offered a press trip in years.

When I travel alone I tend to spend a lot of time in my hotel room. I always worry about being in a big city by myself. I don’t want to get lost or wonder into unsafe areas. For that reason I tend to stay in my room when I’m not attending to business/blog related stuff.

Hanging out in a hotel room can get boring. There is only so much television I can watch. For that reason I usually pack a book or a few magazines to read.

A new company called Bedside Reading is now offering guests at luxury hotels FREE books. Yes, you read that right, 100% FREE books for guests to read AND take home with them. How cool is that?

Bedside Reading is a great way for author’s (both new and established) to get their books into the hands of others. This is a fabulous idea because there is nothing better than “word of mouth” advertising.

I used to have a home business. I know just how valuable “word of mouth” advertising can be.

People/Brands can spend thousands – even millions – on advertising, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that something will sell. People like you and I tend to listen to what others (friends, family, co-workers…) say about product when it comes to making purchases.

By providing hotels with books for guests, author’s and publishing companies are hoping that the guests who read the books will recommend the book to others, in turn increasing sales for the book.

Guests get free books and publishers/author’s sell books. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Bedside Reading is the only company that provides complimentary books bedside at luxury hotels.

Titles are always changing, so travelers can dive into a new book every month.

Here are an example of books that were available at participating hotels last month.

Acqualina Resort + Spa in Miami, FL

  • Wicked River by Jenny Milchman
  • Last But Not Least Lola by Christine Pakkala
  • Jock Talk: 5 Communication Principles for Leaders as Exemplified by Legends of the Sports World by Beth Noymer Levine
  • Forks Knives & Spoons by Leah DeCesare
  • Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

Dream Inn in Santa Cruz, CA

  • The Dinner List by Rebecca Serla
  • Becoming the Light: Realize Your True Enlightened Nature by Vivianne Nantel
  • Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

Hotel Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica, CA

  • The Telling Image: Shapes of Changing Times by Lois Farfel Stark
  • The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C.

  • THIRST: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World by Scott Harrison & Lisa Sweetingham
  • Pieces of Her: A Novel by Karin Slaughter
  • Little Girl Lost by Wendy Corsi Staub
  • Last But Not Least Lola by Christine Pakkala

Mandarin Oriental, New York

  • Last But Not Least Lola by Christine Pakkala
  • The Dutch Wife by Ellen Keith
  • Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica, CA

  • Lincoln’s Last Trial by Dan Abrams
  • The Dutch Wife by Ellen Keith

Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

  • Runaway by JB Schroeder
  • Forks Knives & Spoons by Leah DeCesare (Audio Book apart of Bedside Reading Listening)
  • Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

These are some pretty interesting and entertaining books.

I received a few books from the ones that were available last month through Bedside Reading. I am currently working on reading Forks, Knives & Spoons.

Here is a brief synopsis from Amazon.

Forks, Knives, and Spoons is a light-hearted, thought-provoking coming of age story that takes readers on a nostalgic journey back to the 1980s and 1990s. Romantic, witty and warm.

There are three kinds of guys: forks, knives, and spoons. That is the final lesson that Amy York’s father sends her off to college with, never suspecting just how far his daughter will take it. Clinging to the Utensil Classification System as her guide, Amy tries to convince her skeptical roommate, Veronica Warren, of its usefulness as they navigate the heartbreaks and soul mates of college and beyond.

Beginning in 1988, their freshman year at Syracuse University, Amy and Veronica meet an assortment of guys—from slotted spoons and shrimp forks to butter knives and sporks—all while trying to learn if the UCS holds true. On the quest to find their perfect steak knives, they learn to believe in themselves—and not to settle in love or life.

I’m maybe 1/4th of the way into the book. I love to read, I just don’t have the time to read like I used to. So far I am enjoying the book.

Two other books I received from Bedside Reading include Dream Daughter and Runaway. Dream Daughter is the next book I am planning on reading when I finish Forks, Knives & Spoons. 

I like that Bedside Reading is offering hotel guests a variety of books too. They also offer AUDIO books as well, which I think is awesome. Guests can download the book/books and enjoy them on their travel back home or to their next destination.

If you are interested in learning more about Bedside Reading, or if you are a publisher or author interested in having your book featured at Bedside Reading, visit BedsideReading.com. Also checkout @BedsideReading on social media and/or the hashtag #BedsideReading to see what others have to say about this awesome program.

For a list of hotels that offer Bedside Reading, visit their hotel partners page.

Bedside Reading is also hosting a giveaway where a lucky winner will receive an assortment of their favorite titles. To enter, visit Bedside Reading’s website, or you can enter here.

Be sure to sign up for their mailing list to keep up-to-date with new titles, new hotels and more. You can find the sign up section on the right hand side of their home page.

What do you think about Bedside Reading? What do you think about FREE books (and audiobooks!) made available for you to enjoy and take home with you at a hotel? Personally I think it’s a great idea and I wish more hotels would consider partnering with them.

Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

Kimberly

*I received a few free books in exchange for my post. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in anyway.