I’m back from my vacation to Los Angeles! Trips are always a nice way to get refreshed and appreciate your hometown (and bed). I’m still on the road to recovery in terms of catching up on sleep since I like to be go-go-go on vacation with little sleep in between days. I definitely wore my friend out that I was staying with – sorry! I’m so thankful that she was able to host me and show me around LA and Hollywood where she’s been living the past few years.
The weather while I was visiting was less than perfect, but I didn’t let it hold me back. With the exception of Sunday, the weather was rainy and around 60 degrees each day. I was still doing better than my Minnesota counterparts who woke up to blowing snowfall on Friday morning – glad I missed out on that. I took off from MSP early Thursday morning and landed in LA around 9:00 AM, leaving the whole day for exploring. After an afternoon nap, we visited the Magic Castle, a private club located in Hollywood. Thanks to my friend’s amazing coworkers, we were able to wine and dine at this historic club, as well as see a few magic shows. I’ve watched magic shows on TV of course, but seeing it performed in front of you is a treat. Not going to lie, I left the shows and tried to Google how the performers do their tricks – couldn’t figure it out.
We spent the next day at the Hollywood Walk of Fame! I’m not big into movies or the Hollywood scene, but it’s still an attraction to see while visiting. My dad requested that I find his favorite band on the walk, Rush. Ask and you shall receive! We also visited the Chinese Theatre along the walk and saw the hand/foot prints of the Harry Potter stars. Before leaving Hollywood for lunch, we stopped in High Voltage Tatoo, Kat Von D’s studio. I remember watching her on LA Ink years ago, and then later watching her own show. Now I’m loving her for her makeup line! For lunch we had some local Mexican food at Salsa and Beer which was packed. My friend said she’s never been there and not had to wait for seating or eat the bar. That evening we went out to a Burlesque show at one of Hollywood’s local night clubs.
Saturday we got up bright and early to take a day trip to Santa Monica. Again, the weather was a little rainy, but it cleared up towards the end of the day. For lunch that day we ate Stout Burgers and Beer, which served mostly burgers (obviously) and had a lot of their local and craft brews on tap. I ordered the veggie burger and it was honestly the best veggie burger I’ve ever had. I also ate it on a bed of arugula, best idea ever, as opposed to a traditional bun. I highly recommend checking out this restaurant if you’re visiting Santa Monica.
After lunch the rain subsided so we walked down the pier and the beach. We also took the three mile walk down to Venice Beach – definitely an experience. We stopped for ice cream at one of the shops along the way where they served peanut butter Oreo ice cream – this flavor needs to be available every where! We walked off the ice cream taking a trip through the Venice canals which I had no idea of – it really was like a little Venice in California.
I was so happy when I noticed the sun popping out from behind the clouds and rushed back up to the pier to watch the sun set over the ocean and Pacific Coast Highway. This was easily my favorite part of the trip. I’ve never watching the sun set over the horizon and after three days of rain, it was so refreshing to see. If I lived there I would run along the coast just to watch the sun set everyday. We headed back through downtown Santa Monica where there’s an outdoor shopping mall, something that you can’t find in Minnesota. Before leaving for the day, we went back down to the pier for a night time stroll. I racked up 33,000 steps this day according to my Fitbit – my highest yet. I really loved this part of the trip.
Sunday we got up early to get lunch and see the Hollywood sign. When we were at the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday, the weather was too cloudy to see the sign up in the hills. For breakfast we stopped at Kitchen24, which had a full service bar and was decked out as a 50s diner – I loved this place! They made an amazing tofu scrambled and a mimosa with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. Absolutely delicious and recommend it in you’re in the area. After breakfast, we were surprised by a little farmer’s market on the streets where vendors were selling handmade items and different cuisines.
Our final site seeing was the Hollywood sign, which I could clearly see in the beautiful 70 degree day. We drove a bit up the hills and I had my friend snap some pictures of me with the sign in the background. I was definitely standing in the middle of the street for the pictures, but they were totally worth it! Sadly, my trip ended here as we battled through traffic to get me to LAX for my flight. I loved visiting such a high energy city and seeing what all the fuss is about. Maybe I’ll make this an annual traditional so I can visit my friend every year and keep going on adventures in the LA area.
Happy to be home! Thanks for reading!