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A Trip to The Past in a Car For the Future: Driving Around Los Angeles in a Chevy Volt

Alexandra Williams, MA

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Chevy.

Trunk space in the Chevy Volt

Either I am giving myself a jolt with the Volt battery, or demonstrating the roominess of the trunk. Or just being dorky!

pic of Hermosa Pier plaque

The Hermosa Beach Plaque at the Pier

I grew up in Hermosa Beach, in Los Angeles County. Over the past 30 years, I’ve probably gone back 5 times, mostly because I had moved far away. Thanks to Chevy, I was offered a Volt to drive around for the weekend anywhere I wanted to go in L.A. Immediately I knew I’d head to Hermosa for day one. For day two, I picked downtown L.A., as I fell in love with the downtown area when I took a tour with the Los Angeles Conservancy a few months ago.

 

 

Day One – Hermosa Beach:

When I was growing up, Hermosa was a family beach town. Parking was not really an issue. It is now! First off, I didn’t care how far I had to park from the beach, as I like walking. Secondly, it was a moot point, because I was so excited by the OnStar feature that I called to get locations of charging stations, and was directed to a spot about 2 blocks from the beach, right in front of the local surf shop. Not only was the charging station free, I got to park for as long as I wanted, as opposed to the 2 hour max for everyone else. Score!

collage of Pier Ave. Jr. High

I went here when it was Pier Ave. Jr. High. Shop and Home Ec. were where the museum now is. My friend’s parents are listed on the plaque as supporters of the community center that it became. And I played volleyball (dressed in ugly green stretchy one-piece gym suits) where the skate park now is. As to the art show, it’s worth a visit when they hold it. Truly gorgeous works. Oh, the movie “Carrie” with Sissy Spacek was filmed here.

pictures from the Hermosa Beach Pier

The Hermosa Beach Pier doesn’t have concession stands or rides, so it’s uncrowded and worth a visit. You can see south all the way to Palos Verdes, and north to Santa Monica. A few years ago, city leaders added a Surfer’s Walk of Fame, including a high school cohort of mine. If you like to people-watch, walk, bike ride, play or watch volleyball, surf, swim, paddleboard, stand-up paddle, or build a sand-castle, this is the perfect spot.

picture of lifeguard station at 22nd street in Hermosa Beach

This is my favorite picture from the weekend because it’s the 22nd St. lifeguard station at the beach by my childhood home. We would dig for sand dabs, get sunburned, put sand in our hair, bury each other in the sand, swim in the ocean, and even build July 4th bonfires before they were outlawed. I sat here for a while and teared up, thinking of my childhood. Enjoy the present so that you can have happy memories when it’s the past.

picture of charging station at surf shop in Hermosa Beach

A free charging station in front of the surf shop on Pier Ave. & Monterey in Hermosa Beach. I parked here for 4 hours for free! And the Chevy Volt got fully charged in that time!

After walking around H.B. all day, I called my new BFF at OnStar, and headed off to a party that a high school friend was giving. In the 70s, my mom directed plays, and she encouraged this friend in his love of working with sound. He grew up to own one of the most respected sound companies around, doing many of the concerts you’ve probably been to. You just never know how a seemingly small act of encouragement can grow. He credits my mom for his path. I credit him for throwing a party that had fire-dancers, aerial silk artists, and excellent music, sound and a light show. I wore hot pink shorts for the hot tub and completely ruined my niece’s life. I forgot the Auntie Dress Code for a moment! hahahahah. She’s now scarred for life.

Day Two – Downtown L.A:

After sleeping in till 8:30 (it was a non-alcoholic party, FYI; I was just tired), I drove the Volt downtown. Did you know you can park in Pershing Square on the weekend for just $7 all day?

picture of Pershing Square

Pershing Square. Look for the inlaid river going into the fountain. And the pet walk area. In the winter they convert part of the Square to an ice rink.

We (family tagged along) wandered around looking at whatever caught our fancy, and swore that we’d do a Conservancy Theatre tour soon.

Exterior views in downtown L.A.

When you go downtown, remember to look up, as there’s always a unique detail to catch your eye. Or art. Or the reconstruction of a landmark. And even the grand opening of a quirkily-named shop! Watch out for griffins!

When we were kids our mom took us to lots of museums, including the La Brea Tar Pits, where we all threatened to push each other in (my parents had 5 kids, hoping to eventually strike gold, I guess), but I don’t have memories of going downtown. I love history (my undergrad degree was in medieval history, which my dad said qualified me for government work), so I am that nerd who reads every plaque on every building. Downtown L.A. has a lot of historic buildings, so it will take me years.

picture of interior scenes in L.A.

Did you know you can go inside the Bradbury Building, the Biltmore, and of course, The Last Bookstore.

picture of Angel's flight and farmer's market in downtown L.A.

No trip to downtown L.A. is complete without a visit to Angel’s Flight (you can ride it when it’s working, which is rare, sadly) and the Farmer’s Market.

You got that, Chevy Volt people? I need the car again FOR YEARS, as I finish these trips through history and my memory. I promise to stop yelling, “Charge me up, baby” at all the charging stations!

pic of some oddities seen in downtown L.A.

I decided that I need to wear THIS and decorate the tailpipe of the Chevy Volt with THIS. So L.A.

This trip started and ended with the Chevy Volt, so it’s fitting it should start and end with pictures of it. In my own inimitable style, of course. If you are on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, you can see my other photos using the hashtag #ChevyFitTrip. Four other bloggers will be sharing their trips around Los Angeles and New York using this same hashtag, so follow along all summer.IMG_7876

And of course, for more about fitness, fun and active aging, follow Kymberly and me:

1) Follow us on Google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit.

2) Pick up the phone or email us to book us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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44 Responses to A Trip to The Past in a Car For the Future: Driving Around Los Angeles in a Chevy Volt

  1. Coco June 19, 2014 at 5:22 am #

    What a fun trip — and cool car! So cool about your mom encouraging your friend, although I’m sure you’re right about the party!
    Coco recently posted..A New 7 Minute Workout AppMy Profile

  2. Linz @ Itz Linz June 19, 2014 at 5:22 am #

    seriously so awesome!
    Linz @ Itz Linz recently posted..Healthy Edible Cookie DoughMy Profile

  3. Joanna {Baby Gators Den} June 19, 2014 at 5:40 am #

    What a great trip and fabulous car! I was behind one the other day and thought about your #chevyfittrip :D
    Joanna {Baby Gators Den} recently posted..BOKS Active Kids Day: fun for the entire familyMy Profile

  4. Maureen June 19, 2014 at 5:45 am #

    What a fun trip!! I love that you can plug in and not have a time limit on parking! I am also like you and will read every plaque about every building when we are in historic areas….maybe this is why no one wants to go to museums with me!
    Maureen recently posted..Rocklin BrewFest 2014My Profile

  5. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie June 19, 2014 at 6:54 am #

    What a fun trip!! I’d love to explore California in this car. And have On Star! Oh now nice!
    Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie recently posted..Waikiki Adventures Part 1My Profile

  6. Anne-Marie Kovacs June 19, 2014 at 10:03 am #

    Love it! What a great way to test a car, especially one that needs “special” refueling. Sure doesn’t seem like that was a problem. I love the “Electric Vehicles Only” parking privileges!!
    Anne-Marie Kovacs recently posted..A Woman’s Travel Guide to Paris: Tips for your Solo TripMy Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit June 19, 2014 at 10:56 am #

      I thought it might be a problem, as the first place I went to charge was full. But the second place (by the surf shop) had both spots empty, and was even closer to the beach. I couldn’t figure out the pay slot, so I phoned the number on the charging meter. The guy told me that those two meters didn’t actually cost; they were free. So I think that’s why those spots were open. So glad I phoned up or I wouldn’t have known that hot tip.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Chicken-Wrapped Bratwurst in Honey Peanut Butter SauceMy Profile

  7. Christina Simon June 19, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    You make test driving the Volt look like so much fun! The car is appealing because of its eco-friendly qualities.

    • AlexandraFunFit June 19, 2014 at 11:00 am #

      Thanks, Christina. It WAS fun. I really did have fun, especially all the hands-free and techy stuff. I played with the radio a LOT, plus called OnStar about 10 times. #CandyStoreMentality As to the eco-friendly, I’m pretty sure that’s why they chose me, as I am all about the environment and sustainability.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..DietBetter: 4 percent Weight Loss in 4 weeksMy Profile

  8. Yum Yucky June 19, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    You should sell a picture book with all the awesome pics you guys take. Your pics are so much fun. Just sayin’.
    Yum Yucky recently posted..Health Alerts! Spanish Flu and the Chikungunya Mosquito VirusMy Profile

  9. Melissa Running It June 19, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    So. Much. Fun. We’ve spotted the Volt a few times around town, but you just took it’s wow factor up a few notches for me. :)

    Auntie dress code. Haha – I can’t wait until my nieces & nephews are teenagers!!
    Melissa Running It recently posted..Hump Day Run ClubMy Profile

  10. Erika Grediaga June 19, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

    How fun!! I do have a Chevy and I love it too. It’s not the Volt, but I really like what they are doing with their cars now. What was your total mileage and how many times did you have to charge it?
    Erika Grediaga recently posted..My list of Baby EssentialsMy Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit June 19, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

      Which Chevy do you have? I only know the Volt, and love it. My boys, of course, want the Camaro! I got about 66 mpg, and I charged it for 4 hours on Saturday, then overnight each night. I could have had higher mpg, but I forgot to call OnStar on Sunday to ask for a charging station, and then didn’t want to leave Pershing Square in case the charging station was full later when I remembered to call.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..I Spa. Do You? A Visit to the International Spa Association Media Event at the Beverly WilshireMy Profile

  11. Donna June 19, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

    So happy the chevy people gave you some time to show us around LA. I only loved it!! It’s always best to see a town through the eyes of someone who once owned it…
    Donna recently posted..NUTZ!!!!My Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit June 19, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

      The funny thing is that I couldn’t wait to leave L.A. when I was done with college. Now I love going there and make a trip at least once a month. But Hermosa Beach was a rare visit. And I agree – it was such a fantastic campaign with Chevy. Their only requirement was that I do fun stuff I enjoy in L.A.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Best Workouts to Burn Fat For Women Over 50My Profile

  12. Kerri Olkjer June 19, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

    Throw me a bone here… did you at least try ON the dress?? ;) What a fun weekend!
    Kerri Olkjer recently posted..Paleo Banana Bread Recipe + A Paleo Baking Essentials Giveaway!My Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit June 19, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

      I wish I could lie and make you happy Kerri, but the owner (she’s in the background of the picture), came out and was rather crabby. She thought I had tipped over her dress, when I had actually picked it up from being tipped over. She did NOT encourage me to try it on. Maybe she could tell that my massive cleavage would break it!!! hahahahaha.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Honor the Isla Vista Murder VictimsMy Profile

  13. Donna June 19, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    What a fun day! I’ve never been to most of those areas…no excuses, I’ve been in Cali for 30+ years now. Cute car, too! Spacious yet economical!
    Donna recently posted..The Misunderstood Role of a Social Media ManagerMy Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit June 22, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

      What??? Time for you to take a road trip Donna! Although I will admit, I didn’t fully appreciate L.A. until I moved away. Now I love it.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Best Workout SurfacesMy Profile

  14. Jody - Fit at 56 June 19, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

    So friggin fun!!!!!! LOVE all the places you went & the pics – you are always great with pics!!!!!
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted..Thermo Heat Maximum Strength Fat BurnerMy Profile

  15. GiGi Eats Celebrities June 19, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

    BOO YA!! I wish we “bumped” into each other! LOL!
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted..The Three Amigos Are A Delicious MealMy Profile

  16. Carol Cassara June 20, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    I feel like I’ve been on a mini-vacation!
    Carol Cassara recently posted..Prayer by any other name is…prayer.My Profile

  17. Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com June 20, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    Hi Alexandra! What a fun trip. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. Thom and I have a Ford C-MAX Hybrid and we thought about getting the plug-in before just going for the hybrid version. But I do believe our next car will be an all-electric. There are just too many good reasons for them. And if you get free “fuel” and a free parking space that is all gravy. Thanks for the fun post! ~Kathy

    • AlexandraFunFit June 22, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

      Thanks Kathy. We tested out and all-electric, but it only got 40 miles per charge, so it would have been too close of a call each day as we live on top of a mountain, so a bigger charge is needed to get home. I like the hybrid Volt because the gas kicks in once the charge is gone. Better for my travelling ways!! As to the free “juice” and parking, I’m all over that!!
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Hiking at Sky Ranch Fitness Spa: My Naughty Dog StoryMy Profile

  18. Robin June 20, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

    I’ve never been to California and there are lots of places there I want to visit when I finally ever do get to the west coast… and now after reading this, there is another place I want to visit. What a fun weekend!
    Robin recently posted..Baby StepsMy Profile

  19. Bex Mawn June 22, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    What a fun trip !!!

    I love your giveaway too! My fave is the saying “stronger than yesterday “!

  20. Sheryl June 22, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

    Don’t you know dorky is the new…cute? Love your photos, esp. the last one. How’d you climb in that high??
    Sheryl recently posted..In Defense of Eating RightMy Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit June 22, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

      I was dorky for a long time, so I will happily agree with you Sheryl. As to the side plank on top of the Volt, I took off my shoes, totally dusted off my feet, opened the back door, stepped one foot on the seat, then slid on top so that I wouldn’t make any marks or dents. Then I moved VERY carefully while shouting instructions to my son to “hurry and take the pictures.” Then I slid off into his interlocked fingers.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Ultimate Baby Boomer Workouts: 7 Key Training PrinciplesMy Profile

  21. Chloe Jeffreys June 23, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    I now totally have electric car envy. Parking for free? And get refueled? For free? How does this exist? If I lived full time in the city I’d definitely be looking into this.
    Chloe Jeffreys recently posted..Bellman, there’s a naked man in the hallway.My Profile

  22. James July 10, 2014 at 4:18 am #

    It seems like a fun trip and really like your photo on the car roof. Other pictures are beautiful, especially the lifeguard station with the view of the sea.

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