Instagram Diary Series: #mydayinLA

Instagram Diary Series: #mydayinLA

Earlier this month I took a much-need vacation on the West Coast to absorb what I call “California chill vibes.” I’m one of the few people i know who believes in taking time off every few months to hit the reset button, and California sunshine was just what I needed. 

California is always amazing. My trip was a completely delightful surprise filled with road trips, window shopping, and of course plenty of delicious food and drink. Luckily for you all, I obsessed over everything I fell in love with using the #mydayinLA tag on Twitter and Instagram, originated by L.A. Times City Beat. Below, a collection of photos from my favorite experiences in SoCal.

Phoenix, AZ to LAX, CA

Phoenix, AZ to LAX, CA

Kicking off my excitement to be on the other side of the country was the view from Phoenix to L.A. My jaw dropped as I stared out my airplane seat to see such stunning landscape from above. The Southwest region is unlike any other place I’ve seen! 

Abbott Kinney in Venice Beach

Abbott Kinney in Venice Beach

Last time I visited L.A. I fell head over heels for Venice Beach, so I knew I wanted to return. My first full day in L.A. my wish came true as I hit the road with my travel hubby Spencer Spellman to Abbott Kinney, a boulevard lined with cute design-inspired boutiques like Will Leather Goods and Aviator Nation Cali wear, happy hour restos like Oscar’s Cerveteca, and beach-side bungalows. My favorite shops were actually home & office furnishings at Firely and Tortoise which made for a stationery nerd’s heaven. 

I highly recommend checking out Abbot Kinney if you want a laid back afternoon window shopping near the waves and like the hippie feeling of retro cool. 

As an East Coast-er it’s hard not to poke fun at Angelenos so I figured I’d have some fun taking on L.A. stereotypes. One classic L.A. activity I was told about is doing a morning hike up Runyon Canyon Park, which offers vast views of the city’s grid as well as optimal views of the Hollywood sign. I decided a little exercise wouldn’t kill me so I strapped on my sneakers and hit the ground. 

After hiking Spencer took me for a drive weaving in and around the hills that make up Hollywoodland which was incredible. So many mansions on the hillside! 

Nick Metropolis

Nick Metropolis

For some added L.A. quirk, we set out to a roadside attraction called Nick Metropolis which houses an impressive lot-filled collection of Hollywood props like game show signs. If you know and love Billy’s Antiques here in New York, you’ll definitely want to poke into Nick’s. Be prepared to laugh but also be scared at what you find…

The biggest bucket list item for my visit to L.A. was seeing the Pacific Coast Highway. I had never seen or been in the Pacific Ocean but when I stumbled upon this feature on Gear Patrol, I immediately made it the top of my to do list. So we hopped in the car, turned up our California playlist, and drove out to Highway 1. 

On our route we drove through Beverly Hills and the Pacific Palisades, quick to call dibs on our future house. After about 30min on the road we entered the Malibu city limits where I could see surfers riding out waves and cyclists taking on the seemingly never-ending road ahead. Best of all, Spencer spotted some of his favorite off-the-beaten-path spots including The Rock at Point Mugu which offered a serene break for us to appreciate how gorgeous California truly is (watch for a video upload shortly). From there we explored El Matador Beach and Zuma Beach (aka Baywatch) to dip our toes in the sand and people watch. 

I was blown away at how beautiful PCH was. I can’t truly put into words how I felt smelling the salted air and hearing the waves crash upon the cliffs of Malibu. I was born on an island and spent many childhood years frolicking around the beaches of Puerto Rico, so to be back near beautiful blue water sent me into child-like joy. I loved ditching the car and making our way down to the water so I could feel the sand on my feet and the waves wash over me. I even took a break to score some tanning time and run around in the ocean as well. One of my all time favorite travel memories for sure. 

Driving around L.A. can be a nightmare I’ve been told, but I think the California chill vibes gods were with me as I got the chance to drive myself downtown (DTLA if you’re a cool kid) on my last day in L.A. I was determined to taste Egg Slut in all its glory at the Grand Central Market. What is Egg Slut you ask? Let Katherine Spiers answer that for you in this video. If you watched like I did, then you are drooling and dying to stuff your face with a Fairfax sandwich, which, I did!

Simply walking around Grand Central Market was exciting enough as it resembled my beloved Gotham West Market back in New York, but older, bigger and better (sorry GWM!) 

I loved the variety of vendors at Grand Central Market – pupusas, tacos, cuchifritos, sausages, candy, juice, mole sauces, and a dozen more stands were packed by hungry, patient patrons. Overwhelmed at where to start, I opted to take a caffeine boost with G&B coffee – smart choice if I do say so myself. I picked up a bag of candy for my sweet tooth boyfriend then proceeded to devour an egg sandwich at Egg Slut. Do yourselves a favor and go to Egg Slut. NOW. Trust me.

I could not leave L.A. without trying to find my soul mate Larry David in Santa Monica. So after scarfing down delicious food from the Grand Central Market, I headed down to Santa Monica Pier to see if I could find LD. As luck would have it, he was nowhere to be found. BUT! I did take in some final sun and people watching that made for an entertaining afternoon. Couples strolled along the boardwalk hand-in-hand, teenagers dived on their boogie boards to ride out waves, dogs ran around chasing frisbees, and tourists mobbed the bars and restaurants that lined Colorado Avenue. 

Santa Monica

Santa Monica

What a lovely way to say goodbye to L.A.

Photos c/o Spencer Spellman 

Photo Essay: Pacific Coast Highway - Malibu City Limits

Photo Essay: Pacific Coast Highway - Malibu City Limits

Portugal on a Budget: Highlights from 7 days in Lisbon

Portugal on a Budget: Highlights from 7 days in Lisbon