The last time I was in California, I was about 6 years old and it was in the dead of summer. Because it was the middle of the summer, it was upwards of 100 degrees outside. Going back for a second time was definitely an adventure now that I am old enough to know and understand some of the history and have a more adventurous side that I lacked ten years ago.
We got there Saturday morning, and started as soon as we left the airport. Our first stop was to Venice beach so we could "see the weirdos" (as my cousin put it!). There weren't that many "weirdos" that I could see, but a definite expression of personal styles. I loved Venice Beach for the beauty of the water and differences between each beach house that lined the coast. As we walked down the pier, there was people everywhere and some guy even recording a music video! You don't see that in Lafayette! I was amazed and loved it, despite a strong dislike of the beach! (Side Note: I didn't actually go down to the beach, I only walked on the side walk and down the pier.)
Following this, we went to Abbot Kinney Street to try some restaurant my cousin loves. Unfortunately, we didn't stay to eat there because there was nothing on the menu my younger brother would eat, or even try to eat. He's a little less adventurous than I. We did, however, walk along the street. I fell in love with the murals and graffiti and little shops and Oh! There was so much to see! Though I've never actually been, the atmosphere (or vibes) reminded me of maybe what New York City is like. There were so many colors and things to see, I wish I could show the world. I hope to one day maybe live in an area like that, where there's always something to see and do. We also stopped and Lemonade, where we got so lemonade, naturally, and cookies before going to our hotel and then seeing a movie at the Chinese Theater.
Now, the hotel. My family and I don't typically stay in really fancy hotels because they can be very pricey, and when we were younger, it was troublesome and such. Also, on the more practical side of things, the main point of the vacation isn't the hotel, but what you do outside of the hotel. This hotel, however, was a four-star hotel right in the middle of everything. You walk out and you are standing on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We stayed of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. I thought it was so lovely. The people there were very kind and the view was amazing! And this may seem random, but the shower was so fancy and large and different. (I know, random, but I really liked it.) While I mentioned before that the focus shouldn't be on the hotel because you (we) normally don't spend too much time here, we actually spent quite a bit of time in the room in between our mini adventures.
For the sake of not boring you with a century long post, I'm not going to go into too much detail about the rest of the trip. (Honestly, the first day was my favorite!) The next day it was raining! This rarely happens in California, yet it happened while we were there - just our luck... Because of the rain we just kind of relaxed and took it easy for the day. We went and saw Dodger's Stadium and drove around Beverly Hills. Monday, first thing, we went on a tour of Warner Brother's Studio. I really enjoyed the tour despite it not being overly exciting. One exciting thing that did happen, was that I saw Julianne Moore while we were touring! Later we went to what is my new favorite place - the Griffith Observatory. While the Observatory itself was closed, the view was amazing. We got there just in time for the sunset and I don't think I've ever been more in love. Well, maybe I have, but the view was incredible.
We then drove to Lompoc, stopping in Santa Barbra, to see my aunt. We spent Thanksgiving Day with here driving up the coast to see the sights. We stopped at Pismo Beach to see the Monarch Butterflies, Morro Bay to see some sea otters, and then just past San Simeon to see the elephant seals.
Unfortunately all good things must come to an end, as we packed up and left on the Friday. Almost the whole trip I was afraid I would close my eyes and wake up back home. With this most recent trip I have only one regret: we didn't go to Disneyland.
Some advice I have for those planning to go to California, or Los Angeles specifically:
- Because California is in such a drought, naturally, it is very dry. Don't forget to bring lotion and stay hydrated.
- Be careful walking down Hollywood Blvd at night because there is a large section where there isn't anyone and I felt a little unsafe.
- Because it is a very different lifestyle in California, don't forget to check the menus before picking your next meal.
- Finally, either bring your own plastic/reusable bags to stores or be prepared to pay for the grocery sack.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are ready for the upcoming holidays! I think I might post something later on how I wrap my gifts and I have a little project I'm working on right now that, if it works, I will be really excited to share it with you!
P.S. Just a reminder, that I posted twice as many photos from my trip on my VSCO account, in case you want to see more!