One of the best things for us about hosting out-of-town guests is getting to go into tourist-mode in our own city. Los Angeles is huge (duh) and broken up in to a million distinct neighborhoods, and it can be easy, during our day-to-day, to stay within our manageable 6 mile radius of Silverlake-Downtown-Echo Park-Highland Park-Los Feliz, and ignore the glittering Westside or the sometimes underrated Valley, or the vast Southside, or even (shudder) Hollywood...
So whenever visitors are in town (note: please visit!) we take the opportunity to break out of our familiar routine and go forth into distant neighborhoods. There we try new restaurants and bars, take more impressive hikes, partake in whatever cultural activity is on offer, all in an effort to entertain and pamper our guests while giving them a taste of the diversity of this city. Also, often, we try and convince them to move here. (Note: move here!) And as a bonus, we pretty much always have an awesome time discovering new things to do.
Usually a large part of our plan consists of simply eating and drinking at interesting and delicious places, because really, what more do you ever need? But last week we were charged with hosting Jared's 15-year-old sister and her best friend for a few days, and for a moment we panicked. What do you even DO with children that age? They can't go out for cocktails, or even most concerts, they're too old for "little kid" activities like the zoo, and their culinary interests are firmly in the spaghetti-with-red-sauce/bean-burrito-no-salsa/cheese-pizza-no-toppings camp. To make matters worse, we don't have a TV, and our apartment is quite small, and we had no idea whether they would be into outdoorsy activities like hiking, or cultural activities like museums or concert halls (lol, as if)
|(Diorama at the Natural History Museum, not a live elephant.)|
Well I'm happy to report that aside from a few flight-related frustrations, the visit turned out to be a smashing success. And in case you are interested, here is exactly how you entertain two young girls in Los Angeles for five full days: