Staycation at Residence Inn LAX – Part 3 of 3: Photowalk at the Venice Canals



Our evening was threatening to come to a very early, very boring end.

My son and I had accepted an invitation to stay overnight at Residence Inn LAX, and the property only took about 15 minutes for us to explore before he whipped out his Nintendo 3DS and started to play. Clearly I could have told him to put that away, but then what? We hadn’t brought any games or art materials. And it was August, and we were right near the beach.

Unfortunately my kid was already beached out. So, thinking quickly I remember the Venice canals. Ah, the beautiful Venice canals. This kid had been there as an infant, when my brother visited from Massachusetts, because I usually only go to the canals with tourists.

venice canals 2005With Uncle Kevin, November 2005

But here we were: tourists.

After dinner at the nearby C&O Trattoria on Washington Blvd., we wandered into the canal neighborhood. I gave my DSLR camera to my son to take pictures, and at a few stops along our walk, I showed him different technical features of the device. I’m no expert myself, so it’s not like a showed him a magic trick or anything, but it’s really neat to look at the pictures and see what caught his eye. I’ve pulled some of them to show you here.





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IMG_1263Sunset really is a spectacular time to visit the Venice Canals. You should arrive with enough light to get yourself acquainted with the neighborhood – the houses are spectacular, the people so interesting, and the “please pick up your dog’s waste” signs curiously plentiful. Then, as the sun sinks down behind the horizon, the whole area has the most lovely glow. Capture it with your camera or just your memory. It’s such a lovely outing.

Venice Canals
Start at Washington and Strongs Drive

Staycation at Residence Inn LAX – Part 2 of 3: C&O Trattoria


In August my son and I set out to experience an overnight stay at Residence Inn LAX, which is walking distance to the airport, some other hotels, a vacant lot, and a parking garage. We used the pool for a bit, and checked out the property, but that didn’t take very long and at around 5pm my son settled in to play video games on his handheld player.

That wasn’t what I had in mind!

I asked the concierge for some dinner recommendations and he gave me a little card with a few local restaurants on it, but nothing that really seemed right for both me and my picky eater.

I considered the advantages of our location. Here we were on the west side, which we never come to anymore because of the prohibitive traffic between it and The Bubble. I thought about finding some local friends to hang out with…on zero notice. Then I remembered the Venice canals.

Yes, the Residence Inn is still a 15-minute drive from the canals because of local traffic, but that’s still at least an hour closer than where we live. And why not? My son has shown interest in using my DSLR camera lately, so I thought maybe he’d enjoy taking pictures there.

IMG_2329He took this photo all by himself!

But it was dinner time, and the solution was upon me.

“You know what’s close to the Venice canals?” I asked my thoroughly disinterested son.

“Mmm?” he mumbled while still playing his game.

“C&O’s!” I exclaimed. “Get your stuff together, we’re going.”

He protested but followed anyway, only complaining a few times when we were stuck at a light on Lincoln and had trouble finding close parking (naturally) because that day Ciclavia had gone by this area. But before long we were sitting at a table on the patio section annexed to the main restaurant. I was excited because I was about to blow his mind with garlic knots and fresh pasta.


I had first visited C&O as a young, single woman in the 90’s with my friends. We roller bladed from Santa Monica, down the boardwalk, and ate dinner on this very same spot…roller blades and all. At some point during dinner, wait staff came out and led a sing-along of That’s Amore. I went back many times, but this was the first time I would be bringing my own child.



In the end, yes he loved the garlic knots, but of course he ate too many and so wasn’t really blown away by the cheese ravioli. I savored my chicken marsala and my nice cold wine, but my son’s favorite part of the whole experience was following the little painted footprints on the sidewalk to the restrooms. That was okay – we both enjoyed our visit, in our own special ways.

C&O Trattoria
31 Washington Blvd.
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

As we left, we began an impromptu photo walk in the colorful surroundings of Venice Beach, which, in our next episode, will take us among the Venice canals.