If there is one thing that has been fairly consistent about me since I was 16 is my love for Los Angeles. If you know me, you know how much I rant and rave and dream about my next trip there. Some people scratch there heads – its a big city, a little sketch, kind of dirty, full of homeless people; what is so appealing? For me, its the culture and the atmosphere that greets you when you step off of the plane. Its laid back, up on the new trends, west-coast yogi/health nut lifestyle, and the beach which is an obvious bonus. If I fit in anywhere, LA would be the top of the list, plus I can get that beach-wave/tanned look going if I spend enough time in the sun.
So, needless to say, my May long trip to the city was amazing. My friend Kayla and I made our way through the town, seeing everything we could possibly see in the 3 days that we had. Favourite part? Biking the 26 mile path down the coast and back; it took all day but getting to ride along the ocean was relaxing. Other highlights: Paul Smith’s pink building, Alfred Coffee on Melrose, and the Dodger’s game. Worst part? Staying in a hostel. Might not sound that bad, but my liking for even 5 star hotels is pretty slim; people are gross on principle so having to sleep in the same they once slept in, grosses me out a little.
My anticipation for the hostel was serious anxiety; I was thinking about practicing how to sleep standing up just in case. Thank god it didn’t come to that, but I just didn’t think too hard about it and limited my shower time to 5 minutes in 4 days. Personal hygiene was not worth being in a floor-shared shower for longer than absolutely necessary to get the sunscreen off. But that’s nothing that an In-N-Out burger can’t solve. What we can gather from last weekend is that my love for California is as strong as ever, but next time it take place in a hotel.
Coffee: Alfred Coffee & Kitchen. Also known for “but first, coffee”, Alfred was one of those Instagram famous places that I just had to get to, for the ‘gram obviously. Turns out they offer more than an overused back drop for photos, they’re lattes, juice section, and food was also note worthy.
Hostelling Int’l: Santa Monica. I have never stayed in any other hostel, so I have to say I had nothing to compare it to. All in all it was a good experience: it was all organized when we got there, they had breakfast for us in the morning, and it was right in the heart of beach front Santa Monica.
Bike. The 22 mile beach-side bike ride from Santa Monica to Torrance County Beach was stunning, and totally worth the burnt thighs and sore muscles the next day. Living in a land-locked city makes me appreciate the openness of the ocean so much more. At the end of the trail there is also an amazing Mexican restaurant.
Dodgers. There is nothing like grabbing a beer and a hot dog and watching a baseball game. The atmosphere is contagious and it’s still warm when the sun goes down. We took the bus to get there but definitely recommend a cab if you’re coming from Santa Monica.
Rodeo Drive. We couldn’t afford to buy anything, but window shopping is next level over on Rodeo. It’s a great spot to walk around, plus there are lovely coffee shops and restaurants to stop in at.