An old Disney friend of mine was on her way back to the States from Australia, which gave me a great opportunity to visit the Golden Coast again. The interesting thing was, she had only been upper North and deep Southern California. She had never seen LA ever, which isn’t a bad thing in my opinion. I had a free place to stay in Burbank so that would be our outpost for the 5 days.

My friend met a Warner Bros Production Manager on her shuttle ride from LAX to Burbank, which is awesome, because he gave us a private tour of the Studios and offices. Lucky for us, they’re on July 4th break, so the only thing he had to worry about was Lebron James being there (sounds like a good worry).

We got to see the editing suites, TV show sets, and even a Starbucks! (Bonus)

Got to hike Runyon, a trail that is “less touristy” and equally filled with dogs (score). It’s a big loop which is cool, and we hit it during sunset. The view of the city-scape, Griffith Park area, and again dogs, was amazing. We got super lucky as there was NO FOG or smog or whatever they call it there. Either way we could see everything clear as a book with reading glasses on.

Having done Griffith Park, I’d definitely suggest Runyon if you’re looking for a more local-feel to your hike.

Drinking is good, if you’re legal, do it often. We ran into a photographer friend of mine from UofA on our way down the hill. This turned out to be more than exciting but useful because her group let us know the best place to eat dinner around there.

Figoro. FIgaro is a French restaurant down the hill from Runyon on Vermont Ave. We had some drinks at their lovely bar while waiting for a seat on the street (suggested). The bread is great, the food is extravagant and delicious. They serve specials every day and also have a great bakery to choose your dessert from (also suggested).

This year is Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary so they’re making sure everything is all special and different and stuff. We got there an hour before open, got our Cars Fast Pass first thing, rode Screamin’ and the Ferris Wheel, THEN had a sugar-packed Brioche French Toast breakfast at Flo’s (suggested).

I got to see the Dapper Dans again (they’re my favorite).

We had the Monte Carlo and Frites in New Orleans Square (suggested). Also, don’t eat a heavy breakfast like we did beforehand. Thankfully our stomachs are made of steel and are never satisfied.

We saw the special night parade followed by the firework show (suggested). If you don’t show up an hour early for parade seating you’ll end up standing behind a lamp post so plan ahead and get a spot, phones have games or dare I say humans have conversation abilities.

After the Main Street U.S.A festivities we headed back to It’s a Small World (duh and suggested at night duh). On your way, you’ll see the tea-cups at night (also suggested) and can grab a nice, cold, creamy treat from one of the street vendors (suggested again).

10 months ago I was working in San Francisco. While there, I was in a Starbucks (suprising) and saw a circle on the wooden table I was working at. “Wireless Charging Coming Soon” it said. My mind was blown and I was all like, “damn there goes Silicon Valley again!”

So it’s weird that the first time I used it was in LA, but I finally did get to use it and the feeling was amazing.

I was still with a first-timer so Hollywood was a necessity (sadly). But, good for me, I got to check out the famous Mel’s Drive-In. The milkshakes were solid (nothing too special) but it’s cool to think so many classic guys like Sinatra were once in the place.

On our way out of Hollywood we stopped at Griffith Park to see the Observatory, James Dean’s beautiful fake face, and hike up across the Hollywood Sign (suggested).