California Dreamin’ : We’re Heading West!

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Burgers, Beaches, Mountains= Los Angeles 

Admission- I know, I am really behind in updating our UK trip, but I have to throw this in now! We took an impromptu adventure to Los Angeles, California this June for some exploring and adventure-time that, basically, changed our life!

 

Before I get to the gritty details, let’s just take a short trip down the “holy crap we’re in California” memory lane…

This was our very first experience on the visit to the West Coast:

Animal-style In-N-Out Burgers and fries!!! I get it. I totally understand and get the infatuation and obsession with the fast-food chain because it is basically perfect. While still fast-food, the freshness, crispiness, ooey-gooey deliciousness is just flawless and absolutely fulfills the burger craving that many of us get. And though this was the only encounter with the In-N-Out (we had many other food places to experience) I can still taste the texture and flavor of these magnificent creations. I bow to you.

On this trip, we had a great tour-guide and long-time friend Mike show us around town and sheltered our bodies for the week stay. Thanks Mike! *Also check out Mike’s band Coyote!

Best Friends Forever + photobomb

Best Friends Forever + photobomb

Located right off Hollywood Blvd. we were able to get around on foot to most tourist hot spots and explore the wonders of HOLLYWOOD!!!

So, in reality, all of that did happen in a day- well actually until 4:45 pm..including an hour breakfast at 9 am. Hm…all that glitz and glam summed up in half a day??? Well, lets talk about breakfast because that was AMAZING!!! Recommended by Mike, was The Corner Bakery. Being morning people, we were the first ones in, but it eventually filled up with local professionals. The conversations around us were great to listen to (I have no idea why, but they were all so opinionated and interesting!). The food was fantastic too! The diverse menu had so many options it was hard to choose and the prices were perfectly affordable. I had the English Breakfast and Jeremy had some mega-meat omelet thing…both came with fresh hash browns, and toast. It was delish! The regulars all ordered coffee and pastries to go, so I would assume those must be pretty good too.

Later, we decided to be adventurous!!! Jeremy had something planned and wanted it to be a surprise for me- love him <3. So we set off for a mile or so stroll through Hollywood. Came across these pretty things:

About 20 minutes later we finally stumbled upon Hollywood Forever Cemetery and I couldn’t have been more excited! I am such a fan of cemeteries and love to explore the headstones and memorials of the past. After, I also heard that they hold movie nights here and show classic films on projectors in the back lawn- what?!?!? that’s like straight from the movies- it’s REAL!!! Adorable!

I also loved how individualized each plot was. It seemed as though there was complete freedom for how each person’s plot was arranged. Families could do whatever they wanted. While we were visiting, there were a few couples tending to their loved one’s resting place and arranging new plants and decor. Some had fountains, some had intricate plaques or stones, some were covered in foliage and lively plants, and some simply had teddy bears and notes left. Each space was different and carried it’s own personality. The grounds also raised peacocks and allowed them to roam the area freely. We did not stay long, and the place was too vast to explore in its entirety, but here are a few of my favorite shots:

 

Now you may not believe this, but later this same afternoon, we decided to go for a little hike in one of the many parks in LA. Nearby was Runyon Canyon, a nice 3 mile loop with views of the city, Downtown LA, and Griffith park and the Hollywood sign. We love to hike, but for me, this was a newer experience handling the dry powdery terrain. I admit, I was pretty scared on a few of the steep inclines with 1-foot wide trails bunched between rocky slopes and boulders covered in cacti. Plus, I was wearing slip-on shoes (silly me!) which did not help the situation at all! Lesson definitely learned on this one, but I think this is when we fell in love with the city. Here’s why:

 

After a packed Day 1 in LA, we planned out our next adventure. Mike, our fearless leader, took us up and around the coast to visit Malibu State Park, Malibu Beach, down the Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Monica Pier and the 3rd Street Promenade. It was a “nature” day.

p-45.txt

p-44.txt

So the 2 locations were not far apart but so completely different! Malibu, as you see above, is much more chill and relaxed with a cool, calm, collected atmosphere, while Santa Monica is basically the complete opposite: CHAOS!!! There were so many people at the pier this day (a Saturday, so it was expected) it felt like we were literally at an amusement park (which isn’t really that exaggerated because the pier does have an amusement park atop of it!). I loved the people watching and actually lost Jeremy and Mike multiple times (oops lol). I won’t even get into it, but just show some of the best shots of the day…

 

61d04-smpier1041b3-smpier2So we did a bulk of the tourist sites in the 2 days we explored and then took some time to just live with the locals. We cruised through Beverly Hills, got a glimpse of the Playboy mansion (well, the front gates at least /: ), drove through Burbank and the studios, and hung with some good friends. We ate fantastical food at a bunch of different places but also forgot to take note of where we were to report them to you…sorry 😦

So what’s the bottom line, you ask? Well, after this fantastic trip, and recently completing my MBA, I knew I had to get to the job searching and where to start our new life adventure…so why not CALIFORNIA!?!?!?!? Yup, that’s right, we will be making the long journey to relocate from South Florida to Los Angeles, California this month, August 2013!

The details are fuzzy but, for me, the opportunity to pursue my desired career path is much stronger here. Plus we have mountains, beach, beautiful weather, great friends, and so much good food to find!!! The adventure will continue…

Do you have any suggestions on the best places to live, eat, work, play??? Comment below 🙂

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