Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by. So I'm finally getting around to write about my stay in California! Although I was mostly there for work ( I have a FT job if you didn't know lol), I planned accordingly and went a couple days earlier with my bf . This gave us time to explore and really see a part of Los Angeles! Now this was my first time ever in California, so I didn't really know what to expect, but I had such a great time! The palm trees are taller, the beaches are beautiful, the food is amazing (worth the hype!) and they have mountains! That is one aspect that I couldn't get over...the beautiful mountains right by the beach! Since it was my first time, I wanted to see the spots that Cali/LA are known for, so that's what you will see here! If you are planning to go, I highly recommend the places we went to! :) SO let's get started!

 "Santa Monica? Santa Monica Pier? Oh yeah, I've heard of that place"...

We landed at LAX on a Friday morning, I booked the flights purposely in the morning so we could take advantage of the entire day! So when we landed, we got our luggage, then headed to the car rental place to get a rental. After that, we went straight to Santa Monica to meet a really good friend (Hi Patti, if you're reading lol) for brunch! We were so lucky that it was such a beautiful day! Not one cloud in the sky!

Quick Shop | shop my $12 LA tee here | Fav aviator sunglasses here

We went to a place called "Back on the Beach". The food was amazing and the view was even better. I would totally come back here to eat, as well as to go to the beach. Since we came during February, it was pretty cold, so we didnt get to really enjoy the beach. So its just another excuse to come back ;)

such a beautiful day!

When I first saw this place, it made me think of Chiara Ferragni. Lol. She had this place shut down when she got married!!!

After brunch, we drove up and went to the famous Santa Monica Pier to finally see it in person. This is definitely a touristy spot, but it was a great experience, as opposed to just seeing it in photos. There's an amusement park on the pier, tons of places to eat, shop, and people watch ;)
I believe we were here for about an hour or less than that. It's a place to stop by for good food or to see it if you have never been, but we didn't spend too much time here. Oh, but I did eat some good churros here too :)

So after the pier, I really wanted to see an installation called the "Urban Lights" that's located at the LACMA. It's a museum of modern art, but I honestly just went to see the outside area. I've had this on my list for so long, I was so happy to see it in person. This is one of those instagrammable spots and makes for great photos! 

We weren't sure if to go inside the museum or not because around this time we were exhausted and hungry again lol. However, the entrance is $25 per person and its free on every first Saturday of the month I believe. We didn't end up going inside, but if you're an art fan, it wouldnt hurt! :)

LACMA Museum
5905 W Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

After the museum, we decided to just drive around and see where it took us. We ended up driving around Laurel Canyon and we saw the most incredible sunset! It's still so crazy to me how these homes are built on a mountain. We went up one to see the different houses, and the higher we got the steeper it was to keep going. There was a point where we just turned around because we didn't want to go further up and get lost. lol.

(this was taking when we were driving around the mountain lol)

The last thing we did this day was head to our hotel room. Since we were on an early flight, our hotel room wasn't ready so we just took advantage of the whole day before we got to the hotel. This was also because our hotel was a little out of Los Angeles and about a 35 minute drive.

 "I live right under the Hollywood sign, so that everyday when I drive home, I'm reminded of why I'm here"

Since the day before we had been up so early, we decided to spend the morning in the hotel and eat breakfast, relax, and then continue exploring. This day is one of my favorites because we went to go see the Hollywood sign! Another place crossed off of my travel list. Not only did we see the Hollywood sign, but this area has the most amazing view, ever! I had researched tons of trails and ways to see the sign, but this one was fairly easy to get to. It was literally up a mountain and took about 40-50 minutes to get there! Since it was up a mountain, the parking situation was almost on a incline, but it wasn't so bad. We arrived there around 1-2p and there were tons of people already! If this is on your list, you should definitely go early to get a good parking spot, and even to watch the sun rise! The drive we took to see the sign is called "Lake Hollywood" park. There is a grass area that is amazing to take photos, there's also a little park for kids and for dogs! Beyond that, you could see many residential houses along the mountain and a even better view of the Hollywood sign, it was awesome! I would love to come back here ! :)

Lake Hollywood Park
3160 Canyon Lake Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90068

Quick shop: | similar style scarf here ($19!)

favorite photo!

Quick shop: | similar cat-eye sunglasses here |

After we left the park, we drove around the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Sunset blvd! We were there the weekend of the Oscars, so I caught a glipse of the red carpet area too :). By this time, it was almost dinner time, so we drove to Venice beach and went to a place called "Cafe Gratitude and had dinner there! It was a cozy little place and the food was so good! It was also a plant-based/vegan spot. Everything was vegan, even the ketchup! LOL.

I had the Black Bean burger and it was delicious!

512 Rose Ave
Venice, CA 90291

Since we were around Venice beach already, we decided to stay around and walk along the boardwalk! It was really nice (and freezing) in the evening, so I could only imagine how alive it is during the day time. I also snapped a photo of the famous 'Venice' sign..because, how could I not :)
I only saw this area at night, but it is definitely worth it to come and experience it during the day!

   "Los Angeles is a place for the kind of people who are willing to try something new. It's a place for people who want to build a new world"..

This particular day, we drove around Beverly Hills to see the area, as well as, get a photo at the famous Beverly Hills Hotel. It's even better in person. :) We also started the way kind of late because we slept in. Lol. 


Lasagna at La Parolaccia Osteria. It was delicious!

I was in heaven with this gelato.

First time trying In N Out. Sadly, I wasn't impressed at all. lol

This was at 'Eat Food Daily'
so So good!

Other notable things to do / try in Los Angeles:

- Try mexican food! There's one in every corner (literally). I tried a restaurant called Taco Surf and it definitely didn't disappoint.

- Plan a day to go hiking to see great views of L.A. If we were there more days, I would've loved to do this. 

-Visit the Griffith Observatory. I didn't go, but this place has such a great view of the city!

-Get tickets to The Comedy Store and watch live stand-up comedy! I had never been to this kind of place and I'm so glad that I did. It was a great experience and it was cool to go to this place that is so well-known. Plus, all the tickets are very affordable!

-Go to one of the million donut shops everywhere! Especially for breakfast!

-Try at least one vegan restaurant. Ones I went to and loved: Cafe Gratitude, Eat Food Daily.

-Visit Abbot Kinney blvd. This area has tons of stores for great shopping!

-Drive down the Pacific Coast Highway for some of the best ocean views! :)

-In the mood for italian food? I had the most amazing Lasagna and gelato here: La Parolaccia Osteria in Long beach! Authentic italian food. :)

Thanks for stopping by :)

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