Monday, 8 April 2019

Flying to the West Coast - Los Angeles

Following our previous trip to America in 2017, we have quickly become obsessed with America and doing trips where we visit multiple locations. That meant that we had to book up to now go and see what the West Coast had to offer. To be honest, I think I was more excited about this trip than the last because of how amazing the first one was.

For this one, I got back on Skyscanner and scoured the website for great flight prices and times that would fit with the time we could get off from work. Once I'd manipulated our schedule within an inch of its life, we had our final itinerary. This was a big trip as it would be Matt's 30th Birthday when we were out there. First stop L.A, second stop Las Vegas and finishing up in San Francisco. Literally typing that makes me smile and want to desperately go back ASAP. I should add, we had one special item that we had to fit into the schedule and what made finalising our schedule so difficult, we were adamant that we'd make it to UFC 229. If you're into MMA at all, you'll know that this was a massive card for UFC in which Connor McGregor was defeated by the Eagle, Khabib Nurmagomedov. So with the dates boxed in, we awaited our first flight to L.A.

If you've grown up as a 90s child like me, you know that L.A featured in a lot of the TV programmes of our generation. I'm thinking Beverley Hills 90210, The OC and The Hills. We were finally going to step foot in the places that these iconic shows were filmed. For our stay in L.A we got our first Airbnb, and what a precious, amazing and fantastically located one it was. We stayed near West Hollywood, close to Fairfax and Melrose, and we couldn't have picked a better spot. We were right next to The Grove which had some great shops and restaurants as well as a TRADER JOE'S (can you tell I was excited about this) and a Whole Foods.

Our little Airbnb was basically someone's garage that they had converted but it was away from the main house and had lots of privacy. It had a bed and lounge area, a bathroom with a shower and a kitchen area too. Everything you need for a short stay and our host was super nice.

So what did we do whilst we were in L.A?

On the first night we got there, we did exactly as I had planned - went to THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY. If you know me, you know I love food, especially anything faddy that I will have probably seen other American's eating on Youtube. The Cheesecake Factory was definitely one of these places. The food didn't really live up to the hype, but oh wow, the cheesecake certainly did. I got some sort of heavenly smores one and it took me two days to eat because it was so sickly sweet.

After we ate, I obviously insisted we went to Trader Joe's. I watch too many American's on Youtube and they always go to Trader Joe's and talk about the amazing stuff they get here, so I really really wanted to go. It was everything I dreamed of and more and I did not get to spend enough time there. We picked up some cereal and on another trip there I got some funky Mexican salsa (that I then had to pack three times over as we went between locations - clearly a great idea...).

The next day we went hiking up to the Griffith Observatory so we could pretend to be in Charlies Angels 2 (or maybe not). It was a short hike but it gave your amazing views of the city and you could even see the Hollywood sign - probably the closest we got to it all trip.

The next day was pretty cool as we decided to spend our morning in Beverley Hills (you bet the Weezer song was in my head whilst we were there) and we spent an extortionate amount of money on candles and fitness gear. We also got attacked by a GIANT bug whilst eating our lunch which was pretty horrific.

However, after this, we took an Uber to Hollywood Boulevard to see Jimmy Kimmel Live! If you are going to L.A and want something free and totally unique to do, I definitely recommend trying to get tickets to a TV show filming like this. I realised we could do this a week or so before and was lucky enough to get tickets to the one we wanted in which we saw RYAN FREAKING GOSLING and Dana White (UFC President - very apt for our trip). There aren't many people allowed in for each taping so you feel so close to the guests. It's definitely a great experience.

Then on our final day in L.A, we decided it was time to head to the beach. Get the real West Coast experience. We got an Uber to Santa Monica, which I might add was super easy, and then we had a good old wander. Took in the pier, the beach and the shops. Had taco's on National Taco Day on the seafront and then took ourselves on a walk down the coast to Venice Beach. We kind of which we hadn't as it made us feel quite on edge. I wouldn't recommend it really if I did it again, I'd stay in Santa Monica.

Overall our trip to L.A was so incredible, made better by our fantastic Airbnb and the use of Ubers - they are a must in America. As I'm having such a great time reliving this trip, I will be looking to write up the other two destinations on our trip, Las Vegas and San Francisco - and maybe a couple of hints and tips posts. Hope you enjoyed the read!
© this Northerner.

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