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Beaumont, CA
45° / 68° Rainy

TODAY’S RV PARK: Cherry Valley RV Park
OUR RATING: 4 Stars because it was convenient off the highway, super cell signals, full hookups, nice friendly staff, and great county park within a 5 minute drive
PRICE: $13/day with RPI membership


Yesterday was another day trip day.  This time to see family near Pasadena and to see the famous HOLLYWOOD sign.  These are about the only two things in L.A. that we have any desire to do and see.  The rest of L.A. doesn’t hold much charm for us, except for the awesome Asian cuisine the area is famous for.

After 8 hours of driving and exploring L.A., with it’s winding streets, congested freeways and delicious noodle soup – we are satisfied with what we’ve seen of the large city.

We started with a visit with Steve’s lovely Aunt Lee and her grown daughter, Angela.  Both are very generous women with such a knack for hospitality that we always leave their home feeling overwhelmed with kindness.  The visit is ahead of a family wedding just days away, the whole reason why we’ve been stalling around California.

Aunt Lee is one of those eccentric women who has been fortunate to live in the same home for a very long time.  Through all the stages of remodel that the has has undergone, it holds a charm – equal to a hug – with each passing decade showing off its favorited hard surfaces and design.  My favorite room was the guest bathroom, which perfectly highlighted the changes over the years and whispered “authentic California – then and now”.  The bathroom was complete with art deco wall hangings next to an exotic seashell collection.

Angela was eager to share her favorite local delicacies with us and brought home a luncheon meal – homemade noodle soup and beef rolls.  When we say homemade noodle soup – even the noodles where hand made by stretching.  The meal was a treat on a cloudy day.  The warm brothy soup with spices made for a perfect familial meal.  There are soups you just want to wash your face and hair in – this was definitely one of those soups!  I showed ladylike restraint at the table, and didn’t bathe in the broth, but none of us could avoid noodle slurping.  A fun pasttime.

After a delightful visit catching up on family news and exploring Aunt Lee’s recent renovations, we headed out to explore the city.  Of course the visit wouldn’t be complete without some friendly chiding about us being ultimately touristy to visit the gawdy HOLLYWOOD sign.  We didn’t care.  We haven’t ever seen it, we wanted too, we were only 30 minutes from it.  With a truck full of gas and car keys, we were going!

Hugs and kisses Aunt Lee.  See you at the wedding!

tatanka hollywood

Our Ram3500 named “Tatanka” parked at the Hollywood sign.

The good news was, that for all of the L.A. congestion that existed, we somehow bypassed most of it.  By sheer luck, or fantastic coincidence, the sign was just on the other side of the hill where Aunt Lee lived.  All we had to do was drive around to the other side.  Which ended up becoming a beautiful drive through the county park full of bicyclists, a zoo and more (dang it!) windy sloapy roads.  After snapping our tourist photo in front of the HOLLYWOOD sign we came down a different path which dumped us into Beverly Hills.  We couldn’t see much of it as most homes were basically rooftops peeking over tall stone wall with climbing hedges and ivy.  Taking this one main street toward the highway led us to another iconic area – Hollywood Boulevard.  Home of the Walk of Stars – where we searched for Tom Cruise, just to be ultimately tacky – and meeting him is on my top 100 things to do before I die.  In less than 1 hour, we felts we saw the best of L.A. and programmed Google Maps to take us home to Puddin.

Do it too!!

It is said the best place to see the Hollywood sign is at Griffith Observatory.  And it was!  Be prepared to pay a parking fee of $10 for one hour.  Credit cards accepted at the pay stations.

Plan your Star visit at the Walk of Stars before going.  It’s a long road and lots of stars.  Plenty of parking garages nearby to ditch your ride and hop on a Bird.  We looked up Tom Cruise in the database right away and he was just a block away from where we pulled over!!

To learn more about why we named our truck Tatanka, visit