We had a light schedule on Christmas Day, which we knew we would and were looking forward to a relaxing day. We took our time with breakfast in the morning and didn’t leave the hotel until about 10:30am. We went to Burbank to see “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” We’re both pretty big SW fans and were amused at the outrage we were hearing about this movie. There was even a short-lived petition to get it removed from the canon on Star Wars films. I’d read so much about how SW had lost it’s way with this film, I was sort of disappointed Luke didn’t turn to the dark side and kill Leia. That’s kinda what I was suspecting after some of the stuff I’d read. So, sorry if this is a spoiler, but nothing even close to that happened. And we enjoyed the movie, in fact Dan thinks it might now be his favorite, surpassing Rogue One which became his favorite after that came out. And for him, he likes them because they’re so different from the other movies. The Force Awakens is one of his least favorite because it was so much like IV, where I enjoyed a lot as sort of an homage.
Enough about all that. For the rest of the day, we just went neighborhood hopping, starting with Burbank where we had lunch. The movie was in the big mall there, Town Center, and downtown butts right up against it. It’s pretty and quaint but doesn’t photograph all that well, I just grabbed a couple below so I would remember it’s what we did next.
From there we went by Dan’s elementary school, which is on N New Hampshire off of Hollywood Blvd. right after it begins from Vermont Ave a block east. Across Hollywood Blvd is Barnsdall Park, someplace Dan had never been despite having lived right by it for years. We took the shot of the school below from there. It’s essentially a hill with some decent views of the city, and there’s a theater up there as well.
Next we went to Olvera Street, a Mexican outdoor market downtown that’s considered to be the birthplace of Los Angeles. It was the first street established in 1781. We were really surprised how many people were out and about here. It was lively and colorful for sure.
From there we drove less than 1/2 mile and parked again over in Chinatown and walked around a bit. There were even more people out, and just about all the restaurants were open and packed, where several had lots of waiting folks hanging out on the sidewalk. Chinese are primarily Buddhist so you can generally rely on Chinese restaurants being open on Christmas! We know families who’ve made their own traditions based on that reliance.
From there we headed to Koreatown, and drove through downtown. This was our 3rd time driving through downtown on this trip and I decided to see if I could grab a few shots. It is really pretty all lit up, and I can’t recall another downtown we’ve been in where a freeway runs right through it with tall buildings so close on either side.
Koreatown was also packed, as always, and after a bit of driving around we found a place to park, and decided on Korean BBQ, always a favorite of mine. Dan was hoping to find soondae (Korean blood sausage) but the place we went last year – him twice – wasn’t open.
They brought a nice little salad first, then the flood of side dishes, which Dan liked better than the grouping we had Saturday night. Korean food is all about the side dishes. Top row from left to right in the photo below: cucumber kimchi (my favorite), a sort of green onion kimchee, a potato salad that also had persimmon in it, kabocha – think acorn squash, which was my 2nd favorite, fish cake, and a noodle dish. In the back were two kinds of wraps, one flour, one pickled radish, which was Dan’s favorite.
That’s it for Christmas Day. It was a nice relaxing day and we enjoyed seeing so many people out and about enjoying the different neighborhoods.