Last month, my family and I decided to do a getaway in Los Angeles after I received my second Covid-19 vaccination. We find that we see a lot of visitors from Los Angeles coming to visit San Luis Obispo County and vice versa. However, it has been a really long time since I've really spent some time in Los Angeles. I'm a native San Diegan so usually I am just passing through LA to get to San Diego. I always dread the LA traffic and how everyone seems to be in a hurry. But if my destination is Los Angeles county, it really didn't seem all that bad and long!

Our main points of interest were Santa Monica Pier, eating some seafood and then a last minute visit to the Mattel store located at the Mattel headquarters.

Santa Monica Pier


The picture above was taken by me while we were buying cotton candy for the kids. As you can see, the Santa Monica Pier was still very busy for a pandemic judging by the number of cars. Most people wore masks so that was comforting. We stopped by the arcade there and as always, we'd win something and then I would have to be the one holding everything.


The kids had a lot of fun and I was very surprised with how long and large the pier is! Before we even reached the end of the pier, my kids were tired!


Eating Seafood
I didn't care which restaurant I was going to have my seafood fix at, as long as it was at a restaurant on the Santa Monica Pier. The most interesting place seems to be Seaside on the Pier, even though Bubba Gump is more well known. It has a second story and a lot of seating in the front, back and upstairs. Usually at a place this huge, there's room for us without a long wait and there was no wait! I ordered the fried calamari from their starters/appetizer section as my meal. 

The food was fresh and tasted great! They also serve California beers on tap!

Where we stayed at in LA

I had some points that I had accumulated as a Hyatt member so we used them to redeem a free night at the Hyatt Place/Los Angeles/El Segundo. It was only 20 minutes from Santa Monica Pier and I had the right amount of points to redeem for a one night stay at this very hotel. The hotel is located right by the LAX airport so traffic can be very congested as you get closer to the hotel location. However, I still enjoyed my stay even with all the traffic. I liked that you're like right there in the middle of it all, close to so many places and restaurants. I also liked how clean my hotel room was and my view from the window!

The check in process was easy and I discovered from my room that I could surprisingly see the Mattel sign. Mattel is the company that builds famous toys like Ken and Barbie and Mega Bloks. I did some research about it and it just so happens that Mattel is headquartered in El Segundo! So, we made an impromptu trip to their store right there at the headquarter the next morning!

Mattel Headquarters

When we decided to come 15 minutes before the Mattel Toy Store opens at their headquarters, I thought we were being too early. To my surprise, there were already 20 - 30 people there waiting in line already! I didn't know it was a thing! There is such great value for buying toys straight from the headquarters and there's only 2 Mattel Toy Stores in all of U.S., even though Mattel toys are sold is many major stores all over the country. I even saw two guys bring their Ken collectible while they were waiting in line. I can see how this place can be an excellent photo op!

I'm a Game of Thrones fan so when I saw that there were Mega Construx dragon eggs I could buy, I snatched one of these Drogon ones. This is the very one that I bought at the Mattel Toy Store at their headquarter store. See the video clip below!

I highly recommend visiting this Mattel Toy Store at the El Segundo headquarters if you have the time and are already planning to visit Los Angeles county or El Segundo anyway!