So we survived. A lot lighter in the pocket, but we'll recover from that too.
We did really well with everything. So much that on the last day, we were struggling to decide what to do. We did change some things on the fly, but still hit a majority of the stuff, and added a few others. Below is the list and I put a "Yes" or "No" after each item if we did it...
LA Live - YES (X Games were ramping up)
Disney Concert Hall - YES (drive by)
Hollywood Sign - YES (twice)
Griffith Observatory - YES
Universal Studios - YES
Hollywood Blvd - YES
Beverly Hills - YES
Mulholland Drive - YES
Sight Seeing Tour - NO (did our own though)
Star's Homes - YES (it took 4 adresses with tall hedges to get my family to realize that they weren't going to see anything)
Hollywood Bowl - YES (drive by)
Movie Premiere - Spiderman - YES
Getty Center Villa - YES
Korean Friendship Bell - YES
Tide Pools - YES
Disneyland - NO
Venice Beach Canals - YES
Venice Beach - YES
Randy's Donuts - YES (coconut donut was awesome)
Santa Monica Pier - YES - twice
Santa Monica Beach/Shopping - YES
Drive PCH to Malibu - YES
Palisades Park, Santa Monica - YES
Movie Shoot Locations - YES (saw a few recognizable places)
TV Show Taping - YES
We got through everything but scrapped Disney and we did our own sight seeing tour.
Cirque du Soleil - Iris show
Brave at the El Capitan Theatre (Dolby Atmos)
Warner Brothers Studio Tour
Driving to Redondo Beach andand eating at Old Tony's
Visited 3 pet stores specializing in parrots (my youngest LOVES bird) and held/played with dozens of small/medium/large parrots
Went to an aquarium
Swam in the pool
Ate at just about every burger joint possible (Five Guys is my favorite for taste, but isn't cheap and is HORRIBLE for you)
Went to Pinks to get a very good hot dog ($36 for 4 of us for hot dogs... Crazy)
Took the family to a Churrascaria
Oogled over some of the nice cars in the area. Bentlys, Porsches, and Ferraris are too common. Lambos were a little harder to find, but I liked the McLarens, Maseratis, Aston Martins, and Audi R8s. I like the Pagoni and Bugatti best though since I only saw 1 of each of them.
I loved driving, even in the traffic. Gave me something to do than just mindlessly drive. I was good at crossing all of the lanes of traffic eficiently to get into the HOV or to my exits.
I did learn though that everyone in the Los Angeles area with a Mercedes is a jacka$$. If someone is cutting you off, not givng you room to merge, changing lanes right into someone else and expecting the other person to move, then they are the ones driving the Mercedes. My wife noticed this too.
So overall, we got a heck of a lot done. Keep in mind that I also was in the office for a few days (while my family did the Santa Monica beach and shopping stuff).
I am sure that I am forgetting a couple of things, but I knew that we would get through a lot in our time there.
I will say this though. Even with free flights (normally $650 round trip each), free rental car (premium class), 1/2 of the hotel covered, and a few hundred $$$ for food and parking, it was horribly expensive. I mean, we spent well over $1000 in food, and most meals were reasonably priced. We spent several hundred bucks just in parking since you have to pay EVERYWHERE.
While the family had a great time, they also said that they don't feel a need to go back any time soon. I think that they are used to the Florida trips that we've done so much in the past where you drive at or above speed limits, can get to any of the parks in a matter of minutes, have warm air and water temps at the beach, don't have to pay to park everywhere, and can eat for a lot less.
Still, a great family trip. Thanks to everyone that offered up ideas.
Now, I have 3 weeks to recover before heading to North Myrtle Beach for an extended family vacation with the in-laws.