Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer Chillin' in Los Angeles

I had been saving a bookmarked list of things I wanted to see in in LA for the last couple years never thinking I'd ever get out there. So I was so excited to spend a week in Los Angeles in early June!  Everyone I met was nice, easy going and had that sunny laid back Cali vibe.


Walt Disney performance hall
I traveled by myself and have to say that one of the benefits of traveling alone is that I am master of my own day and that includes eating where ever I want. When I travel I enjoy trying out vegetarian restaurants in every city I go to. I’ll write more about this in another post later this week. Something new for me was that Rite Aid has a liquor and wine aisle and plastic shopping bags cost you 10 cents a bag.

Being alone also forces me to be more social with strangers as it gave me the opportunity to strike up interesting conversations with my lyft and uber drivers in which I had a free tour guide sharing some info about their city. As a city girl, I'm comfortable walking everywhere alone and taking the city bus to get around. This gave me the opportunity to explore a lot of neighborhoods including a free celebrity star home tours as the bus went through Beverly Hills. Well all you see is gates and tall shrubbery. lol I also toured San Francisco via city bus and this also proved to be an easy way to get around. Random side note – did you know dogs have to pay their own fare to ride the bus in SF? I saw a Chihuahua get on the bus and take his own seat so I inquired. lol

When I travel I always type up an itinerary of what to do each day as I like to squeeze the most out of every day. I love traveling at my own pace and without compromise. So for this trip I could breeze through the Getty museum as fast as I wanted to or read every single plaque at the Japanese American Museum. Both museums are free so I highly recommend visiting them.

Using the anytrail app  I did a walking tour of downtown LA and the app also gave me a lot of history of the area. I never would have known what sites are worth seeing without it. Then I hiked up to the Hollywood sign which was an hour long, steep uphill hike. LA is actually a city in a desert with lots of great hiking trails.  


I walked along the Hollywood Walk of Stars and checked out the nightlife on Sunset Strip. I also ventured to Melrose Place to go to Dash (the Kardashian store) and next door was Hermes (Kim's favorite designer of bandage dresses) and a Nars makeup store (which there's only 6 stores in the whole US). I kept an eye on Groupon LA before I left and snagged a coupon for a pedicure at Bliss Spa at the W Hotel in Hollywood where I saw Jermaine Jackson. Then I enjoyed strolling down Rodeo drive in Beverly Hills where I saw Tyra Banks. All the best stores are there - Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Prada, Coach, Saint Lauren, Lacoste, Guess, Cartier, Gucci, Dior,  Louis Vuitton, G-Star Raw, and my two favorite brands -  Badgley Mischka and Bvlgari (for sunglasses). Everywhere I went were ads for this funny movie.


bus stop
The weather was a cool 70F degrees in early June but at night it was really chilly. I went to a few chic rooftop bars (The Standard, The Mondrian, Perch) and they all had heat lamps but I was still cold. I didn't feel any of those Santa Ana Winds. During the day there was a marine layer in the air that always provided a light fog, plus the haze of smog (mix of dust and pollution), so no really great views of the skyline.

I got around LA via the public metro and bus systems, pretty cheap way to do it. My only complaint was that the LA transit website and app is the worst I’ve used. For instance it would tell me what bus to ride, but not where to walk to find the bus stop or where to walk after getting off my bus, that’s pretty important details part of the directions.  I've found that mapquest was better for finding public transportation routes for me. Another frustrating thing is that you can not transfer from LA buses to Santa Monica buses (both lines criss cross into each city) you have to pay another fare.


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