Subject: Re: Santa Monica/ Venice Beach Hotels
Ziners, Thanks to all that gave info on Santa Monica & Venice. We've decided on the Inn at Venice Beach (Mark - the French bakery down the street sold me!)

To answer Marcia's question - we will actually be staying in the area for a week (our first trip to California). We plan on doing all the typical tourist stuff. We'll stay in Laguna Beach the first two nights, explore that area, spend a day at Disney, see the Queen Mary and make a stop at the Petersen Auto Museum (a must for my husband!) The next three nights will be in Venice Beach/MDR and we'll see Universal Studios and do the Hollywood/ Beverly Hills thing. Our last full day will be the parade and siteseeing in Pasadena. We'll spend our last night back in Laguna to fly out of the Orange County airport.

Our original plan was to spend the night in Pasadena the night before the parade but that has proven to be impossible. Outrageous rates and minimum stays! So, we'll just drive from Venice Beach that morning since we have a parking pass and grandstand seating. About how long might that take - says it's 30 miles?

Mark - would love some restaurant recommendations as we do expect to be in the VB/MDR area in the evenings. Nothing too fancy. Any regional specialties we need to try?

Also, we are traveling with my 75 year old mother in law and while she is in good shape and a very good sport, I don't want to do as much walking as I typically would. Can anyone recommend a good tour for seeing the sites in Hollywood/ Beverly Hills (one that we could drive ourselves or a guided tour)?

Thanks to all for your wonderful suggestions! This group is priceless! Jennie in Atlanta