We were just down in Southern California doing some work and exploring. There's certainly some nice things about life down there, but it's also a pretty rough existence. We're not car guys - we got rid of ours in one of the smartest decisions we've ever made. People down in that part of California rely (heavily) on cars and, apparently, they spend a lot of time in them. As a visitor, it's a fairly tough place to be without a car. We did it last time but - with the variety of activities on our agenda - were not able to swing it this time. So.... we spent a lot more time than we would have liked in a car. That part sucked.
Car frustrations aside, we had a great time. We Pricelined our hotel and got a Marriott Residence Inn. We love those places. Being away from homebase so much and constantly in "change" mode, anything we can do to mimic the creature comforts of home is a big plus. The extra space they provide at the Residence Inn makes it easier to work and MUCH simpler to eat healthy by cooking in. Speaking of the food side of things, we had a CostCo right down the road. This was especially welcome because, after being in NYC a couple weeks ago, we realized that we were straying from vegetarianism far too much.
Even better, we found that our gym has a location right across from the Residence Inn that we got. So, we felt very lucky and in balance during this time in SoCal. Welcome, given the whole car/driving situation.
Our schedule was hectic with lots of work activity. For fun, we went to the theme parks. When we saw the prices, we felt sorry for families with kids. Families that are just trying to get away for a bit of leisure time end up spending far more money than they likely expect. We bought multi-day passes, which were a much better deal.
Now we are back in Seattle without a car/traffic to worry about. Perfect.