About Me

Hello! I’m Melanie, a SoCal native with a passion for adventure. I’ve called the greater Los Angeles area home for most of my life and I can’t think of a better place to live. There’s so much to see and do! Since I first learned to drive I’ve been traveling the area exploring everything it has to offer and few years ago I decided to start this blog and share my finds with you.  Seriously,  I love it all. From historic homes to state parks from tourist traps to hidden gems from up and coming watering holes to the hottest restaurants I’ll be there ready to check it out and report back to you.

In recent years I’ve expanded my explorations beyond California’s borders and you’ll find some of my favorite finds in Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico and more. The travel bug has bitten me hard and I’m ready to share all my favorite spots, whether home or abroad, with you. Who knows where you’ll find me next?

Of course, I’m not always on the go and in my leisure time you’ll find me delving deep into my love of Classic Hollywood. Turner Classic Movies is my channel of choice and I’ll watch anything from silents to recent classics. I’m enamored with the Golden Age of Hollywood and, as I live near its epicenter, I’m often reporting on my favorite film finds.

On that note, I welcome any and all suggestions on things to see and do. I’m open to almost anything – if it’s ripe for discovery I’m there. Feel free to email me with suggestions. Or tweet me. Or hit me up on Facebook or Instagram.


  1. Jenny Hammerton December 12, 2017 at 2:46 pm


    I’m contacting you out of the blue to see if you might be interested in participating in a cook-along I’m organizing in February next year.

    I’m writing a “Cooking With Columbo” cookbook which will contain the favourite recipes of Peter Falk and many of his co-stars. Lots of the great and good appeared opposite Falk in this classic TV series – Janet Leigh, Vincent Price, William Shatner, Myrna Loy, Celeste Holm – the list goes on and on!

    If you fancy participating in the book’s virtual reality launch party by cooking a Columbo related dish, I’ll add you to the mailing list. More details will be going out mid-January. If it’s not for you – no worries!

    Jenny – http://www.silverscreensuppers.com

  2. Annika Dahlen August 11, 2022 at 7:23 pm

    Hi Mel,

    I am contacting you to invite you to attend a free public tour of the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County (The Music Center). I am a member of the Symphonians, the volunteer Docents of the Center., We give free 90 minute tours of the 4 theaters, the garden and the plaza at 11:00 am Tuesday through Friday, and 10:15 on Saturday and Sunday.

    Many visitors to Los Angeles and also residents are unaware of this historic and beautiful location in downtown Los Angeles. It is one of the largest performing arts centers in the United States.

    Many blogs talk about Walt Disney Hall but we would like to have you include our tours in you blog on things to do in Los Angeles. If you have not done so, please come for a tour given by one of our volunteers and help us make visitors and residents aware of what we do and where we do it. It’s as simple as coming to the lobby of the Walt Disney Concert hall and signing up for a Symphonian Tour.

    If you have any questions, please contact me.

    Many thanks,

    Annika Dahlen

    1. Melanie August 25, 2022 at 1:35 am

      Thank you so much for the offer but I have previously taken the Symphonian tour of the Music Center and wrote about it here: https://la-explorer.com/taking-los-angeles-music-center/. It has been some time so if there are any new updates I’d be interested in checking it out again. Thanks!

  3. Graeme Fernie January 31, 2024 at 10:32 pm

    Hi Melanie.
    I’m slowly uploading the photos of an Australian woman, Wanda Edwards, who visited California in 1921. She seems to have visited what look like Chinese gardens near LA. Some of the temples seem to be miniature. I can’t find a anything about such a place despite an extensive search. Ever heard of them?
    Here’s the travel album. The pictures I’m talking about are at the bottom of the page.

    1. Melanie February 8, 2024 at 1:25 pm

      Hello, I think I have an answer for you. I’m pretty sure it’s Yamashiro in Hollywood. It’s currently a restaurant but was originally a private home built in 1914. If you look at the photos here, the pagoda looks like the same one in Ms. Edward’s picture: https://yamashirohollywood.com/historical
      Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.