Four Days in L.A.

March 6, 2018

Last summer, I flew to L.A. to visit my cousin Natalie, who had just moved there the summer before. It was both my first time flying completely alone (not ideal for a nervous flyer, but traveling for pleasure is always worth it) and my first time in the City of Angels. The wonderfully frustrating thing about L.A. is that, just like with New York City, you can run around nonstop to fit in as many sights, bars, restaurants and activities as you can in a week, and still leave feeling bummed that you didn't get to see a bunch of other things on your list. It's what makes living in big cities so appealing, and makes leaving one so bittersweet.

Once I literally "hopped off the plane at LAX," my cousin picked me up and took me to her adorable brick-walled apartment in artsy DTLA to give me a quick tour. From there, we kicked off my visit with a walk through Griffith Park and up to the Observatory, and a second walk through Echo Park after my cousin's car battery overheated (never a dull moment with us Goenaga girls). It was the perfect - albeit unexpected - start to a great four day trip.

While I have a long list of things I want to do the next time I visit her, including more hiking, eating and shopping, and some touristy requests (watching an old film at Hollywood Forever Cemetery and going on a back lot tour of one of the film production studios), I'm grateful for all of the running around she did so that I could see as much as possible around her work schedule. We had a great time together and I'm really looking forward to my next visit. 

Here's a look back at my four days in L.A.! 

After a coffee at Verve, we kicked off the trip with a climb up Griffith Park

Griffith Observatory 

Hollywood sign in the distance

Sole perk of the car overheating: a long, leisurely walk through Echo Park

Mid-day pick-me-up from Wild Living Foods

Mediterranean appetizers (this one was delicious) and cocktails at The Exchange at The Freehand Hotel
Not pictured: ended the night at Laurel Hardware

Post-brunch drinks at E.P. & L.P.

The prettiest rooftop 

Some bargain shopping in The Santee Alley (not for the claustrophobic, impatient or faint of heart)

Can't go to L.A. without having some Mexican food

Cole's, a speakeasy-style piano and jazz bar (where the french dipped sandwich originated!)

Tasting our way around Grand Central Market 

Iced coffee and waffles from C&B

Bagel from Wexler's Deli

Our one super-touristy stop to visit two of my favorites :)

Malibu homes

Wine and appetizers on the water at Moonshadows in Malibu, where we spotted a few seals (!)

My first time eating Korean BBQ. So. Damn. Good. 
Not pictured: a game of Mafia at my cousin's friend's apartment in Marina Del Rey, followed by some post-drinks dancing

4th of July rooftop brunch at Perch

Walking along Rodeo Drive

Prettiest pillow placement in Abbot Kinney

Fireworks over the Venice canals 

Solo time on the Santa Monica pier. I enjoyed this view for hours. 

Our goodbye meal at my cousin's favorite inexpensive Santa Monica sushi spot: Ninjin

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