Wednesday 20 June 2018

Los Angeles Day 1 Spring 2018

Daniel Wellington Abbot Kinney Blvd #LoveWall
It is still hard for me to believe that my dream of visiting Disneyland did in fact come true. Can you believe it because I am still in disbelief that I was at the most magical place on earth in April 2018! The trip to Disneyland happened in a spur of a moment because I found out BC residents are eligible for 25% off tickets to Disneyland, but they must be purchased by February 28, 2018. I honestly only had a week to decide if I was going to go and I am glad that went ahead with it. Since Anaheim is only a 45 minute drive away from LA, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to also explore Hollywood and while I was at it, to also hit up Universal Studios. 

I was in California for a total of 7 days - 3 days at Disneyland, 1 at Universal and the remaining 3 exploring the city of Los Angeles. I am going to be splitting my trip into several posts starting with my very first day in LA! 

LAX | Friday April 20th, 2018 

The first few nights we spent at the Four Points by Sheraton which was approximately 10 minutes from LAX Airport. I got into LA around 11AM and was thankful that my room was ready early allowing me to ditch my luggage and freshen up before heading out to explore. 

Santa Monica Beach

All of my friends insisted that I go down to the Santa Monica Pier. The pier is definitely iconic and has a lot of unique offerings including a miniature amusement park and aquarium, but the Santa Monica Carousel is what really stole my heart. The stunning hand carved carousel is housed in its own equally mesmerizing building. If you ever find yourself in Santa Monica, please do go and visit this magical work of art. I really do hope the city will continue to preserve this stunning piece of history for future generations to enjoy. The current carousel is actually not the original. Instead several other stunning carousels preceded this one, but the centre post still remains the same! BTW, the pig was my favourite animal on the carousel because it is cool.

On the other hand, the 3rd Street Promenade was boring as it was lined with big retailers, all of which can be found in your local mall. I did however come across Carlo's Bakery aka the famous bakery from TLC's show The Cake Boss. Just like the rest of 3rd Street Promenade, Carlo's Bakery was completely devoid of charm that you see in the show because this location is a franchise. I cannot even begin to tell you how disappointing the shop's cannolis were...downright dreadful! 

Thankfully my tastebuds were saved by Blue Plate Tacos! The trendy chic space featured bursts of colour that echo the restaurant's flavour-packed menu which featured Mexican Corn on the Cob!!! I have always wanted to try it and I finally got to and the wait was well worth it. The freshly grilled cob was coated in cotija cheese, Mexican spices and freshly squeezed lime juice. I also shared a couple of tacos between my friends too. 

Venice Beach

I still was on the hunt for a more LA-esque neighbourhood that has cute little indie boutiques and hip restaurants, so I hopped on the bus to Venice Beach. While on the bus, I caught a glimpse of a big red sign - BUZZFEED  -  Yup, I randomly stumbled across the BuzzFeed office and I was definitely going to try and break in. Despite my best efforts, I was not getting in, but nonetheless it was super exciting and fun. 

Eventually I found my way to Abbot Kinney Blvd and it was everything I imagined Los Angeles to be! Abbot Kinney was a never ending street of adorable independently owned shops selling an array of high quality goods. There were some amazing food spots too, but  the focus was definitely more on the shopping. 

Sunset was fast approaching, so I only got to explore a small number of shops along Abbot Kinney. Standout for me had to be the Daniel Wellington Boutique because not only was the interior on point - blue and gold #LoveWall - but their staff was phenomenal. Shout out to Terrence and Drew for hanging out with me! 

The day was coming to an end and naturally I was getting ravenous. I had heard good things about the Butcher's Daughter and despite it being packed with patrons, we were able to get a table. At this point I was quite drained and just did not have the energy to snap pictures of the food. I actually did not know that The Butcher's Daughter was a plant-based restaurant until we sat down and started reading the menu. I had the Jumbo Lump 'Crab' Cake that was made with quinoa and sweet potatoes. The cakes were topped with fennel cucumber slaw and Harissa sauce. I really enjoyed this dish and would order it again. 

Day 2 at Universal Studios Hollywood will be coming soon!

My outfit: Aritzia - Wilfred Free Morgan Dress & an old Talula Cardigan paired with some good ol' Birkenstocks. 


Navel Oranges growing outside a house in Venice Beach
Lobster Tail from Carlo's Bake Shop
Cannoli from Carlo's Bake Shop
Daniel Wellington Venice Beach #LoveWall

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