Where: Los Angeles, California
As you may know, I’m from the west coast. And though the feelings are not quite as intense as they once were, whenever I make my way back there, it feels like returning to the homeland. The second I land, my body just knows…it’s California. The air smells different, it feels different. The sky seems like a different color and all the plants seem to be whispering in a different way than they do in Florida (where, really, they’re screaming–not sure what types of fucking bugs live in there) or New York (where you can’t hear anything they’re saying, anyway). So it never matters what time of day I arrive–the initial high I get from being in California keeps me awake and moving until I’m finally peeled away.
We went just about a month ago now, for the wedding of one of my best childhood friends. (We met when we were 8-years-old. She taught me how to wear capris and had older brothers who relentlessly tortured us, like mine did.) The wedding was taking place in my hometown, smack dab in the middle of the state, but, like we usually do, we decided to make a longer trip out of it.
The last time we visited was four years prior–which feels blasphemous to realize–also for a central valley wedding. That time, we’d spent the days prior in San Francisco, evaluating how interested we might be in moving there (not very), and checking out the wine country (much more tempting). So, this time, we decided to visit the southern half–and arrived in Los Angeles.
As you might’ve read, LA has been seeing an influx of New Yorkers as of late. (Although apparently they’ve returned the favor?) That’s been no exception for our group of friends–a handful of whom have moved to LA in the past several years. What’s bad for New York was our gain once we got there, though, because we had a personal airport pick-up at 9AM, followed by a drive to brunch and then a lazy, drink-filled afternoon at Santa Monica beach. By the end of the day, we were reunited with a group of 10 or so friends–most of whom we’d met in NYC (+ my best friend since middle school)!
The remainder of our time in LA proper was spent doing plenty of tourist-y things. I hadn’t been for at least 10 years and my husband never had, so it was worth the touring. We geeked out at the views at the Griffith Observatory, wandered around downtown LA, checking out some artisan flea markets and the Grand Central Market, and finished off the days with a trip to Venice Beach (aka “Silicon Beach“) and window-shopping in Abbot Kinney.
By about 4 hours in, though, we were pretty sold.
I know, I know, it’s so cliche to be wooed by beaches and 70-degree weather. But,… honestly. There’s something pretty romantic about the idea that you could, like, have a car. (I know, we dream big over here.) Or be able to get in that car, and go somewhere. Anywhere. To the coast! To the desert! To the mountains! To the lake! To all of your best friends’ houses!
It’s hard not to feel at home in a place with some of the friendliest faces you’ve known for longest, and I know that probably has a lot to do with my California obsession. But, I can’t help but think that there’s a reason they’re the ones I’ve known for longest–and there’s a reason they keep reconvening on the “best” coast, too.
So, who’s coming with me?
IN A NUTSHELL…
Eat/Drink/Do: I won’t pretend to be the expert here (I’ll leave that to the likes of Emily), but we really enjoyed the Grand Central Market and shopping/eating in Abbot Kinney!
(Stay tuned for more on the California trip–next up, our mini-getaway to Ojai!)