Charlie Brennan

Looking for a Vacation Destination? Consider Los Angeles

Charlie Brennan
April 17, 2018 - 4:17 pm
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Just got back from a weekend at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.  This is the hotel where Richard Gere and Julia Roberts stayed in “Pretty Woman.”  I think if you are looking for a splurge to celebrate a special occasion without the travel and time requirements of a cruise, this is the place. 

The hotel is next to Rodeo Drive, the top shopping district in the country.  Trust me, I bought nothing, but it is fun to browse.  The people watching is good.  The “car watching" is unlike anything outside of a museum.  Yes, some people have—or spend—a lot of money.

The Westwood/Beverly Hills area also has some of the most stunning residential properties in the world.  Again, I was not buying, but it was fun to look.  And, again, some people spend a lot of money.

Beverly Hills is the home of the Paley Center for Media, formerly known as the Museum of Television and Radio.  There, I found a bunch of KMOX programs featuring the late Jack Carney as well as a 1994 Bill Clinton interview by Kevin Horrigan and me. 

KMOX featured in museum
Credit: Charlie Brennan, KMOX

The Center is now featuring 1,000 dresses worn by Liza Minnelli.  The dresses were actually quite interesting and, in some cases, “revealing.”

Walking around the UCLA campus is a very worthwhile excursion.  There you see tributes to Jackie Robinson, John Wooden, Arthur Ashe and schools named after Herb Albert and David Geffen.  The grounds are beautiful with sculpture, fountains and grand buildings. 

 

The school allowed families of prospective students to use their outdoor pools.  It is a real treat for a swimmer from St. Louis to swim in a 50-meter outdoor pool in April.  I was told by one swimmer that UCLA women spend an hour fixing their hair after they complete their laps.

UCLA pool
Credit: Charlie Brennan, KMOX

What else can one do in LA?

  • The Getty Center is a modern architectural masterpiece with incredible hilltop views showcasing works of art by Cézanne, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Monet and Rembrandt.
  • You can walk up the Hollywood Hills to the iconic Hollywood sign.
  • Go to Universal Studios, Venice Beach or the Santa Monica Pier.

The Wilshire Hotel’s workout room is large by hotel standards and has water, coffee, fruit, and “chia bites.” Resembling donut holes, chia bites are edible rounds made with chia seeds, flax seeds, peanut butter, crushed peanuts, honey, walnuts, and covered with toasted sesame seeds. 

Chia Bites
Credit: Charlie Brennan, KMOX

The hotel attracts some real A-Listers.  While we were there, UNICEF held a $1,250/plate fundraiser featuring Jane Fonda, Selma Hayek, Keegan-Michael Key, Don Johnson and others.  They raised $2.3 Million. 

Several airlines offer non-stop service to Los Angeles from St. Louis, so the fares are not cheap, but they are not astronomical. For some reason, St. Louisans don’t immediately think of LA as a vacation destination, but I think it’s a great getaway.