Fun fact: The only French Consulate for Southern California, Southern Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado is in Los Angeles. Unfortunately for me, this meant I had to drive 6 hours for a twenty minute visa meeting.
I decided to make a trip out of my visa appointment since 1. I wasn’t going to drive 6 hours there and back in a day and 2. I really wanted to go to the beach. I invited my best friend Harman, and we made it a sisters trip.
As the expert travelers we are, Harman and I created an hour-by-hour itinerary of what to do while on our trip. We had so much we wanted to do in the two days of our vacation, and we didn’t want to waste a moment of it. That’s my traveling pro-tip: always make an itinerary with options so you don’t waste time playing the “wherever you want to go” game when deciding what to do, where to eat, etc.
WEDNESDAY // We started the day by driving through Melrose Avenue. Finding a parking spot on Melrose was near impossible, but our growling stomachs made us persevere. We stopped at the famous Urth Caffé for lunch, popular amongst L.A. bloggers. (Does this make me one of them?) The cafe offers a variety of breakfast and lunch entrees, making it a perfect food destination regardless of the time of day. Its signature salads, sandwiches, and plenty of Mexican-inspired lunch entrees work well to attract Melrose shoppers.
Our group decided to go with the lunch menu, as we wanted to try some of the signature entrees. I decided to order the tostada with grilled chicken, as the Mexican food enthusiast I am. (I constantly get made fun of for ordering the most Mexican dish on the menu anywhere I go).
I also ordered a lemonade to accompany the dish. Harman ordered the grilled cilantro chicken breast with pesto sandwich with a small cappuccino.
The service was wonderful; they served us quick despite a busy Wednesday afternoon. Why was it so busy on a random summer Wednesday? That I don’t know. The food itself was absolutely delicious and not too expensive either.
After walking around Melrose Ave, we drove to the LA County Museum of Art, or LACMA. The museum is closed on Wednesdays (unfortunately for us). Harman and I are quite the art enthusiasts. Our sisters? Not so much. I don’t think they were very upset that the museum was closed. We were all there with the goal of seeing the famous lights anyway.
As you can see, we had quite the photoshoot.
After some time at LACMA, we checked in at our hotel and relaxed for a bit. Once our phones were charged and our beach bags were packed, we headed to Santa Monica Beach.
To make things easier for us, and to enjoy the weather, we decided to pack sandwiches and have a picnic on the beach. Aside from it being overcast and having seagulls approach us for scraps, it was a pretty great picnic. The overcast weather made for empty beaches.
We had originally planned to go to Griffith Observatory after time at the pier, but we were honestly all too exhausted after our busy day. Sometimes you have to cross off things off on the itinerary and choose a nap instead, and that’s okay too.
THURSDAY // We drove to Santa Monica again for my super fun visa appointment. Harman waited with our sisters at a nearby café while I had my very important meeting with the very intimidating consulate.
An hour passed and with that, my appointment was over. It had begun to rain while I was in my meeting, so rather than heading straight for the beach, we decided to kill some time instead. Our sisters chose to visit The Grove. As Harman once said in her graduation speech, shopping is our cardio (though I’ve taken up running since then), so we didn’t protest their decision.
I had never been to The Grove prior to our visit. I was amazed at how busy it was for a Thursday morning, but also at how beautiful the place is. (Is everywhere in L.A. always so busy?) Walking through The Grove makes you feel like you’re taking a stroll through some European city. The jazzy music they play only enhances this feeling, although I’m pretty sure they only play fancy jazz music to put you in a good mood to buy more things.
I guess the jazzy music worked (hence the Zara bags). These pictures are also proof that Harman and I weren’t the only ones taking pictures together. We sent these pics to our moms as physical proof that we were all still alive and well.
I also snapped a photo of the lovely flowers, as I always do. If you’re ever looking for me, I’m most likely where the flowers are.
We stopped at Chipotle for a quick lunch, and then headed to Venice Beach for the remainder of the day. Another traveling pro-tip: high waisted bikini bottoms hide Chipotle food babies incredibly well.
The water was pretty cold, so we opted for a short nap on the beach instead. P.S. the phrase sand between my toes, wind in my hair isn’t accurate. It’s actually more like sand in my hair.
I was the lucky one chosen to take the first driving shift home, which actually meant sitting in the car for two hours without moving much. But I have to admit that the traffic isn’t as horrible as I expected it to be. With Phoenix growing as a city, I think I’m getting more and more accustomed to driving through traffic. Our time stuck on the highway was a great opportunity to roll the windows down and blast American Teen by Khalid. I swear his album is entirely composed of summer anthems.
A special shout out to Harman for being the world’s greatest best friend and always willing to go on new adventures with me. Til next time, L.A.