Riding Southern California’s Oldest Rollercoaster at Belmont Park

San Diego really has a lot to offer when it comes to history. Many regard San Diego as the birthplace of California, as it is home to the first Spanish Mission and many more historic locations. It is also home to southern California’s oldest rollercoaster, the Giant Dipper at Belmont Park, built in 1925. I…

Tracing the Journey of Mummified Outlaw Elmer McCurdy to the Long Beach Pike

Last week I talked about the history of Long Beach’s infamous Pike, including the location being used in an episode of Charlie’s Angels and The Six Million Dollar Man. What I didn’t mention was that in the Charlie’s Angels episode, “To Kill an Angel,” a man’s body is found within the Pike’s Laff in the…

The Stunning Art Deco Theatre Hidden Inside Catalina’s Casino

Our main reason for visiting Catalina was to attend Catalinaland, a presentation by Ambassador of Americana, and personal idol, Charles Phoenix. Phoenix was presenting his slideshow celebrating the island in the iconic Avalon Theatre, which is located within the Catalina Casino. When chewing gum king, William Wrigley Jr. opened his “Casino” on May 29, 1929,…

Catalina Island: A Tale of Chewing Gum, Grave Robbing, and Movie Stars

On Sunday, Patrick and I finally made it over to the little island of Catalina. If you aren’t familiar with California geography, Catalina is a small island, roughly 30 miles off the coast of Long Beach, accesible by ferry from a handful of ports on the mainland. At just under 75 square miles, about 4,000…

The Forgotten History of Gower Gulch, Hollywood’s Western Strip Mall

Gower Gulch. Sounds like a small town in the deserts of Arizona, right? But you’d be wrong. It’s in fact a western themed small strip mall that sits at the corner of Gower and Sunset in the middle of Hollywood. But why a western theme? And just how did this corner get its name? The…

Stumbling Upon Pasadena’s Beautiful City Hall

Last Sunday, Patrick and myself met up with some friends for tea at a tea room in Pasadena. Wanting to get out and wear my vintage Gunne Sax dresses more, I opted for one, and in walking from the parking structure to the tea room we stumbled upon the gorgeousness that is Pasadena’s City Hall,…

The Outlet Mall Masquerading as an Assyrian Palace

If you’ve ever driven along Interstate 5 through Commerce, just outside Los Angeles, you’ve likely spied a grand ancient looking palace and perhaps wondered “What on earth is that!?” Well, it’s an outlet mall actually. Yes, an outlet mall, known simply as The Citadel. But it wasn’t always that way. The building was actually built…

Exploring the Historic Santa Monica Pier

Nothing quite says summer like a day at the beach, especially if that beach is lucky enough to have a pier filled with a carousel, roller coaster, games and more. Around the turn-of-the-century California’s coast was dotted with what was known at the time as “pleasure piers” a wooden boardwalk along the coast that offered…

The Food Hall Hiding Inside Anaheim’s Former Citrus Packing House

Orange County. There is a reason it’s called that. It’s well known that the area that is now the Disneyland Resort was once orange groves, and well, that is what most of Anaheim was like. In the late 1800s and through the early part of the 20th century citrus was king here. And where did…