this past week brian started his new job (!!!) in l.a. i am so incredibly proud of him and all of the hard work, long hours, blood sweat + tears (kidding about that last bit…kinda) that he has put in to get to where he is. way to go, b!!! and considering i had a week of vacation to use before leaving my job i decided to hop on a plane with him and (literally) see him off for his first day in the office.
what a week.
as i’ve alluded to (+ even shared a bit of detail), it’s been one tough year, and i was very excited to spend a week reflecting, praying, job-hunting + indulging in a few cupcakes. i have never spent any time in l.a. (less than one day prior to this trip) and really had no idea what to expect. i love, love, love new york and frankly expected this city to let me down in comparison. i am happy to report i was oh so wrong. first and foremost the weather truly can’t be beat. i mean, come on, it was 75* on a daily basis and the sunshine was so cheerful + constantly beckoning me to spend my afternoons basking in it (and i did not mind one bit). another thing that i learned to love about l.a. is the many neighborhoods that are incredibly diverse and offer so many different experiences. our hotel was in beverly hills close to brian’s office, so i spent a lot of time exploring that area–beautiful and entirely reminiscent of highland park. hollywood was also within (a long) walking distance, and while i did not venture as far as sunset boulevard (the one place brian + i hit last time along with the hollywood sign hike), there was some fun shops to step in to + lots of sites to see. over the weekend, we drove up the coast grabbing brunch in malibu + hitting up the santa monica and venice beaches/boardwalks; i loved how each beach town had an entirely different flavor. the final thing i ended up (surprisingly) enjoying about l.a. were the people. like any big city, there is such a mixture of natives + people from all over the country (a large midwest contingent for sure), as well as people from all over the world. it’s so fascinating to me to get to know their stories, and more often than not, they were friendly, welcoming + helpful.
and if someone happens to be planning a trip to the city of angels any time soon, there are a couple of things i would highly recommend adding to your to-do list. one, even though it’s not new york, try walking as much as possible. exploring on foot is the best way (in my opinion) to get a taste of the different areas; one street corner to the next can make all the difference. for instance, i loved exploring a local farmer’s market i stumbled upon in west hollywood and had no idea it existed before seeing it hidden behind a shopping center.
two, l.a. has some amazing museums (not normally my thing, but i was in the mood to appreciate art, ha!). i loved exploring the los angeles county museum of art (lacma) + the getty center was just about the best thing i found. the museum was huge and the views of the city were unbeatable–i can’t say enough good things about the getty and (here’s a tip!) next time i am going back with a bottle of wine, some picnic essentials + a blanket to relax on the rolling green lawn between the buildings.
three, not surprisingly, l.a. has some great eats. among my favorites of the week were cuvee (best salad i have ever tasted!), the farm in beverly hills and geoffrey’s in malibu (awesome brunch spots), + crustacean (amazing for dinner + drinks).
four, if you are “in to” the celebrity thing, there were several tours recommended to me that would take you to all the hot spots celebrities are spotted in and around the city. this is not really my thing, but i still wanted a taste of hollywood (the history fascinates me), so decided on a paramount pictures studio tour. it was so interesting + really fun and i highly recommend the experience. spoiler alert: hollywood is complete smoke and mirrors and it is amazing how much they can do + how real they can make a movie or show look.
lastly, if you stay inland like we did (about 15 minutes east of the coastline), you have to get out to see the ocean and drive up the PCH. this, more than anything else, sold me on the california lifestyle. brian and i rented a car for the weekend and had an amazing time beachtown-hopping, soaking up some rays, and taking in the beautiful scenery all the while. we hit malibu for brunch and a cruise through the canyons, and then the santa monica pier and venice beach for some excellent people watching + to get a little sand in our toes. i could not have asked for more.
we topped off a wonderful week with a christmas party for brian’s new company + had the time of our lives dancing the night away. i am thankful for the last-minute getaway we had and am feeling refreshed + ready to face the world. hope you had a wonderful week + weekend!
until next time california, i’ll be dreaming of you…