Eats Life Other Places

West Coast Bound: California

March 22, 2017

California bound and returned! This spring break was a much-needed one from the already stressful semester I am having and I still can’t believe it’s already over. Going to explore California for the second time was just as exciting as the first. I can definitely understand why Californians are so adamant about returning back to California after living in New York: the weather there was somehow ALWAYS perfect.

Our trip started out chaotic as we were suppose to leave last Friday night but after continuously tracking our flight and the continuous delays, it was cancelled at the last minute. They rebooked us for another flight for the next day and upon arriving in Cali, our first stop was In-N-Out. Being used to the ridiculous prices of food in NYC, I was so surprised that two burgers + fries only costed me less than $10!

I was able to stay at my boyfriend, Alex’s, new home and it was so beautiful, from their views to the actual interior or their home. We spent the first few days in northern California exploring Cupertino (where Alex lives) and San Francisco. We went on a hike at Hunter’s Point which was basically in the backyard of their home, we went to San Francisco a few times to stroll the streets and to eat delicious food and we spent time just relaxing and hanging out with his family.

the beautiful view from the hike we took where we could literally see right into the city

we walked through Dolores Park–the atmosphere there can only be described as “chill”

Alex and I during our hike!

The most anticipated part of this break was our plan to have a short road-trip down to LA since I have never been and it was always on my bucket list. The first day we were there, Alex and I had a pretty relaxing day going from beach to beach. We started at Playa del Rey beach since we were staying at his cousin’s place that was nearby. It was a beautiful beach and it was so relaxing we took a much-needed nap (more so for Alex than me since he drove the whole way haha). After, we went to Venice Beach and just walked along the pier towards Santa Monica Piers. Venice Beach was quite interesting to me, you can definitely see the various niches coexisting in one area while Santa Monica Piers reminded me of an amusement park with the food carts and ferris wheel. A super cool thing we saw at Venice Beach was a group of people doing acrobatic yoga-they looked so talented and strong as they flipped each other while still maintaining the “inner peace of yoga”.

we were strolling along playa del rey beach and stumbled upon these big rocks and I couldn’t turn down an oppurtunity to snap some pics

not pictured: my wimpy butt being afraid to climb higher onto the rocks

while walking along venice beach piers, we saw an artist at work and his finished work was so amazing to look at

view from the walk along santa monica piers-the view of the beachfront was so mesmerizing, especially around sunset

part of the santa monica piers amusement park in the background

the sunset coming through the palm trees at venice beach at the end of the day

We had a super busy second day as we had a lot planned. I wanted to make sure to hit up all the famous artsy walls in LA from the pink wall to the wings. After living in NYC for a couple of years, I thought that we could just park the car anywhere and walk to the all places we wanted to hit up but boy was I so wrong. It is impossible to get around LA without driving, at least for us. Knowing where to park was definitely our biggest concern. We wanted to go see the Hollywood sign and after realizing that we both didn’t bring hiking gear to hike up to the sign, we had to find an alternative method so we went to the Griffith Observatory, hoping to be able to see it. Alex made sure to pinpoint every scene that Lalaland took place as we were walking through the observatory as we had just seen the movie a couple of months ago. We did get to see our Hollywood sign even though it was small and made a mental note to bring hiking gear the next time we go to LA. We took a nice and relaxing stroll through the Grove which is an outdoor shopping mall and sampled a few local vender foods and window-shopped. Later, we stopped at the LACMA hoping to visit the museum but ended up with just pictures of the light fixtures outside since it was closed. We drove through Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive and it was such a different vibe than the rest of LA. We were hoping to spot some celebrity but honestly Alex and I are so bad at spotting them that even if one was right in front of us, we wouldn’t even know it. But I was so happy to see all the palm trees everywhere since that was what I had always envisioned to be in LA!

the infamous pink wall by paul smith!

alex looking cool at a random wall that we found while walking

the wing wall- except I’m so short that they look like antlers….

the griffith observatory (where part of Lalaland was filmed)

the observatory was so picturesque – I can see why so many people come here just for the pictures

we actually went to the observatory just to see the Hollywood sign but it was actually super difficult to see and even hard to capture on camera 🙁

view of the city from the griffith edge

the love wall!

LACMA – we were dumb and paid $17 for parking just to take pictures when we could have parked for free a couple streets away

driving through rodeo drive

The best part about LA was definitely the food and it was the part that I was most excited about. We tried a place called Humble Potato the first day there which was a fusion between American and Japanese food; it was super interesting and definitely not something you can find everywhere. We also had delicious Mexican food the first night with the best baja fish and barbacoa tacos at a place called Ceviches and finished it off with cayenne chocolate ice cream at a nearby creamery called Jeni’s Ice Cream. We stopped by Pasta Sisters in LA  for lunch one day and if you are as obsessed as we are in watching Buzzfeed videos, you would recognize that they covered this place in one of their videos. We also tried Randy’s Donuts which according to Alex was a famous location that always appeared in movies. The donuts there were nothing short of amazing. If you like your donuts warm and bready but light, definitely make a pitstop there. We also tried Lebanese food for the first time at a restaurant called Open Sesame with his cousins and the food and company was both superb.

humble potato! I got a marinated steak over rice dish while alex tried a burger with japanese curry and because we are both fatties we had to get their parmesan fries

the barbacoa tacos!

where the fluffiest and yummiest donuts live

Pasta Sisters! This place is a must must must if you go to LA!!!!

as I said before, alex and I are fatties so we couldn’t turn down the chance to get milk tea AND cotton candy even though most of it ended up on alex’s clothes than our tummys

the seafood place we stopped at during our drive home – the BEST fried fish we ever had

 

The past week was both chaotic and relaxing…if that’s possible. We are both definitely not ready to be back and to be in the midst of classes and homework again—why are two-week long spring breaks still not a thing? But in the meantime, I will be trudging through my responsibilities while continuously reminiscing the last week….

Until my next lil’ thought then,

Jen

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