Over the weekend I took a quick trip to Los Angeles, and it was pretty amazing. One of my only regrets is that I didn’t stay longer, but that just means I get to plan another trip back. Right? California has always been one of my favorite places to visit. Each time I venture to the West Coast I find myself loving it a bit more. It could also be the Palm Trees. Those get me every time.
My first stop was Baldwin Hills Scenic Overview. Well technically this was my second stop. I played a game of one-on-one basketball at a nearby park. And I completely killed it. But that’s for a later post.
In traditional Iesha Fashion I hiked up the Culver City Stairs in leopard flats, a plaid poncho, and a floppy brown hat. It’s fine. I owned it. I could’ve easily changed into yoga pants and Chucks, but what would’ve been the fun in that? Gorgeous view. Good leg workout. This was a great start to the trip.
Next stop was Santa Monica. Third Street Promenade was perfect for people watching, which is one of my favorite past times. There was lots of live music on the streets. And these were some really talented artists. It was very impressive. I would definitely recommend this area if you’re looking for a laid back evening with a relaxed atmosphere. There was tons of shopping, dining, and culture to soak up. I even found the ambiance to touch on the air of romantic.
The Bungalow. Can I live in this little lounge? This bar reminded me of Rainey Street, here in Austin, so I felt right at home. Each room in the refurbished house had its own theme, such as the game room, state room, and study.
Even the menus were super cute:
After hanging out on the deck for a bit, I was lucky enough to snag a seat on a super comfy couch, right beside a cozy little fireplace.
Everyone at Bungalow was very friendly, and it was easy to fall right into conversations. I even briefly chatted with a guy who went to college in Dallas. Small world. I do wish that I’d spent more time at this spot. But waking up at 4 am and the two hour time difference was catching up with me. Time to call it a night.
Pretty sure I slept for a solid 11 hours on Saturday night, and it was amazing. By 9:15 Sunday morning, I was ready to take on the day. The drive from L.A. to Malibu was absolutely breathtaking. Even though it was colder than I would’ve liked and a bit dreary, the scenery was absolutely stunning. Everything was so lush and green, and the ocean was right there y’all. Right. There.
I’ve always found the beach to be so relaxing, and a great place to be truly reflective. In this instance, the weather worked in my favor as it was an obvious deterrent for most. The beach was practically empty. I contemplated running into the ocean. Fully dressed. But logic won, and I refrained. Insert another regret.
After spending some time in Malibu, I was ready to venture to Venice. Wow. Venice Beach was definitely my vibe. There were a lot of shops and eateries, which can be overwhelming, so I am going to include two places that really stood out to me.
Venice Beach is lined with t-shirt and clothing shops. Any style, color, and design you can imagine, is available. But there was one shop, in particular, that caught my eye. Once I walked into Unknown Artist Apparel, I knew I’d found something special. This is a shirt shop owned by a husband and wife who hand paint their own original artwork. I bought this incredibly soft over-sized sweater that is perfect for transitioning from winter to spring:
The second place I must mention is Menotti’s Coffee Shop. The cute, quaint charm of this place was undeniable. Honestly, I couldn’t stop taking pictures of everything in there. On the menu, Spanish Latte caught my eye as I was unfamiliar with the drink. After learning that it contained condensed milk and cinnamon, I was sold. If you’re on Venice Beach and need a quiet place to unwind, I would certainly suggest Menotti’s.
After a full day of exploring, it was time to eat. My meal of choice was a refreshing poke bowl from 8oz Poke. It was so delicious. And even the small, which I ordered, was a pretty hefty portion.
At this point I knew my trip was basically over. And the impending gloom began to creep its way into my mind. Please know that I absolutely love Austin, and plan to live here for the foreseeable future, but when you go on an inspiring, do-I-really-have-to-go-home getaway, returning to the daily grind can be difficult.
The last part of my trip involved a 4:45 am wake up time and a hike up to Griffith Observatory. It was so cold. I think I got frostbite in my toes. But the view was absolutely worth it; breathtaking. Here’s a picture, taken from my iPhone 7, with no filter. It was truly stunning.
And just like that: I was sitting on the floor of Terminal 10 at LAX eating an entire pizza from California Pizza Kitchen, wondering how I could stay on vacation for one more day.
My trip couldn’t have come at a better time. I didn’t think about work, responsibilities, or a schedule. Instead, I was able to just live and feel rejuvenated. Is it too early to plan my next visit back?
Have you ever gone on a trip that was truly inspiring? Tell me about it. 🙂