For Christmas I told my boyfriend I would rather go on a trip or do something versus him get me a gift so we ended up planning 5 day trip down to SoCal. It was something that we had always talked about and have friends in the area so we finally planned it out in the car when coming home from our Tahoe New Years trip. A few days later we were back in the car driving to LA.
ally burnham photography
We left home at 6:30am and found that there was no traffic to get down to LA. Our first stop was in Sherman Oaks because there is a large Urban Outfitters Warehouse store there were everything in the place is super discounted and since there are only three total that I know about in the US it had to be the first place we went. It was a good store for sure, but in comparison to the Chicago one it was some what of a let down, definitely much smaller, and higher priced clearance items. Then we checked out some other consignment shops in the area. I know we for sure went into these consignment shops; 2nd street, Start rescue resale store, Wasteland, Buffalo exchange. I would recommend ALL of them except the start rescue resale store. For Lunch we had an ice cream waffle at Dolly Lama, a bunt cake, and a Jamba juice (I know very healthy). After lunch we went to a few other consignment stores and normal shops, I wish I wrote down the names of them all but I believe they were all in Sherman Oaks and Studio City. For sure we also went into free people, urban, and crossroads. By the time we were shopped out we went to hike to the top of Griffith Observatory and got to see the Hollywood sign. However we didn't do the full hike because it was dark and a ranger told us it was quite dangerous at night. Eventually we decided to do dinner in Irvine after two failed attempts at sketchy restaurants with cops and helicopters. We ended up eating at CAVA that night; which is a new chain we had never tried but it was delicious and was like a Mediterranean Chipotle. Then we went to my college friend Melanie's apartment to eat, play card games, and to stay for the night.
ally burnham photography
Thursday morning we woke up and headed to Starbs in the morning. Then we decided to go over to Newport and rented rollerblades for the day. We roller bladed along the beach, through rows of houses, and even onto a ferry which we took over to Balbo island and continued rollerblading there. Eventually we had burgers at fashion island and shopped through Macy's. Then we walked the beach near inspiration point and saw a celebrity filming a workout on the beach. She had a whole entourage around her, at least 4 body guards when she came out of her RV and about 20 people working cameras or setting up props. Then we walked through houses at inspiration point and rated our favorite ones. Once we were done with this we headed back to Melanie's and all had margaritas in the hot tub. Then made taco for dinner and played a fun quarter game and the meme game before we all went to bed.
ally burnham photography
In the morning we left our friends in Irvine and checkout our Riverside ncti parametric program for Brandon to see were he may be going to school. Then we went over to look at the playa vista area and had lunch at Whole Foods. We ate blackberries and pizza. After lunch we walked around looking at 1 million apartments, then Drove to Manhattan beach and Hermosa beach. Then we went to Venice beach for the rest of the day. Brandon went swimming there briefly then we walked the beach and the pier. We eventually got a frozen Krispy Cream donut filled with fresh salted caramel ice cream sandwich, Brandon got a t-shirt from a shop, we took a picture at the Venice sign, and saw Bev building .. but it was sad and all graffitied. I guess they aren't located there anymore (also rip Harold the Bev cat.. he was my FAV). Then we watched the skaters. Unfortunately we learned that if we wanted to rent any skateboards we had to do that before 5pm so we were a bit late when we tried. However we did get to see a foam fight between two huge shirtless men and that was pretty entertaining. As well we went to see the Venice canals at night and that was totally beautiful. Definately worth the walk, if you are on the pier you just take 25th st and it may feel like you are going through the backs of peoples houses but you will eventually land at the bridges and you will know when you hit Mini Venice!!! For dinner we got sushi and ate it in the hotel that night and watched friends/ million dollar house show.
Saturday we left the hotel and headed for the fashion district in LA to do some more shopping. Saturdays are the only day that you can buy stuff from the vendors without a shopping license because it is for businesses and boutique owners. When we got there we parked up a sketchy alley and had to pay $15 to leave our car. Then we checked out a bit of the fashion district, Santee alley and the flower district. For lunch I made Brandon practice his bargaining skills ( which he is not very good at) but we at a $3 glizzy which is a bacon rapped hot dog from street vendor with unions and peppers. As well we got an empanadas filled with rice pudding and 4 mini fresh churros for $5. In total we only bought food and saved $4 total from bargaining. We did considering buying some fake luxury goods, but didn't. Overall we saws lots of cheap suits, hats, shirts, cheap clothes suitcases, and sunglasses. I would say I was expecting a lot more, it seemed a bit like a mini Mexico but I'm happy we got to go an experience it. Who knows maybe its better the other days of the week were only specialized people can go, when all the shops are opened, or not during Covid-19. I would go back and do some more research next time because we may not have been in the exact right time/ place however from what we saw I wouldn't want to visit all the time. After we were done shopping we visited Ventura and saw Brandon's friend Blake and his girl friend Sequoia. We went to a consignment shop, candy store, and to the cutest store Tiki girl. Then had the best lunch at a fish taco shack. Then we went over to the beach and Brandon swam in the ocean at sea cliff beach. Finally we drove a few hours to stop by Slo and walk the down town area. It was funny because then we hear a car screaming our names and notice it was one of my closest high school friends Marissa. So, then we went to her house for a bit and caught up. Finally we drove back to Hayward in NorCal to stay there for the night and ended up eating McDonald's for dinner at 12pm.
ally burnham photography
Sunday morning we went to the grocery store and made a big breakfast; eggs, avo toast, bacon, OJ, and blueberries. After we went for a huge hike 7.5 miles. Then we watch an episode of criminal minds; it was my first time seeing it. Then we packed/cleaned up house a bit and decided to head for home. For Dinner we stopped by Zachary's for Chicago deep dish pizza (its famous)!!!
Overall, it was a wonderful trip and I can't believe I am moving to the area soon. I think it looked a bit different right now as with Covid we couldn't dine in anywhere, there was NO traffic the whole trip, most people were in masks, and all the museums were closed. Although there was still plenty of shops and outdoor activities that kept us busy. I would still recommend going at this time especially if you find things that your interested in doing or to sight see since there was NO Traffic and everything was less crowded. As well you could save some money by pre-making your meals or by just eating things from grocery stores since the dining experience isn't quite the same as of now.