M Cafe
M Cafe
M Cafe
Lette macs
Cheesecake Factory
Cheesecake on the floor
Transportation was without a doubt the biggest issue in LA. I'm pretty good at getting around on pubic transportation in any given city, but LA was the exception to the rule. The plan for the afternoon was to head to Beverly Hills for lunch and maaaaybe stop in Hollywood for some touristy activities if we had time. Oh, and find a J Crew.

Plan 1: Take a cab to LAX, then take a bus/train/bus combo to Hollywood, and finally take a cab to Beverly Hills. This would have been a great plan had transit not really sucked and would have taken us 197382036012873 hours to get anywhere.
Plan 2: Take a bus to LAX, then take a cab the rest of the way. We were told that transit isn't very safe (which I'm not sure if I believe, but whatever), and that the cab would be super expensive.
Plan 3: Take a cab all the way. We'd be able to get a flat rate from the hotel, but not on the way back. Total cab $$$ for the day would end up being like $150 USD. YIKES.
Plan 4: Rent a car. Ding ding ding. It ended up being the least expensive (besides transit I suppose) and least time consuming option. My mum was a little concerned about driving in LA, partially because she's total crap with directions, and partly because it's LA. She had good reason to be worried. LA drivers are nutso.

Our journey to Beverly Hills wasn't too difficult. We drove down Rodeo Drive, which was all that I got to see of it. In all truth, I really didn't want to walk down there. Driving past all of the boutiques was enough drooling and sadness for me. Sadness because I'll never be able to afford anything in those stores except for Coach. Aaaanyways, we found some free parking (quel surprise) and walked over to M Cafe as per a certain hippies review. My mum ordered the hummus + falafel wrap with scarlet quinoa salad, while I opted for the california club with chickpea + dandelion salad. Both were DELICIOUS. I could not have asked for a better meal. After lunch we walked around and stumbled upon Vosges and 'Lette. At Vosges I picked up a sampler box of chocolate and a bag of BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE!! I had a little freak out when I saw it. I reaaaaally wanted to pick up either Handsome or Intelligentsia beans while we were there, but sadly for me both were pretty out of the way (if anyone wants to SEND me some I would love you forever). I didn't think I'd be able to hunt down Blue Bottle, so finding it at Vosges was the best surprise. At 'Lette I got a dozen beaaaautiful macs... Earl Grey was my fav. We made a quick stop at Whole Foods (the 3rd time so far during the trip) where I found the Blue Print Cleanse drinks! I picked up a CAB + Cashew Milk, loved both of them, and am now debating paying the serious hefty price tag for a 3-day juice cleanse. By the time we were done at Whole Foods our parking was up, so we sadly had to call it a day. It was getting late in the afternoon at that point, so all other plans didn't end up happening. We got stuck in crazy-ass LA traffic on the way back, which I guess wasn't a big surprise. There's no way that I could deal with the commute every day! I don't know how people do it!

By the time we made it back to Redondo Beach it was suppertime! As per the request of my mum + Aunt, we went to the Cheesecake Factory. Let's just say the food was less than subpar and leave it at that. My mum and I got a veggie pizza solely because we had the option of adding goat cheese.... that we ended up forgetting to ask for. I had a couple of pieces along with a glass of wine. It was far from being the best pizza ever. I'm gonna go out on a whim here and say that Panago is better, and I really don't like Panago. What saved the meal was the cheesecake. We each got a slice: Caramel and turtle, Hershey's chocolate, and banana cream. We took them back to the hotel, and we miiiight have eaten them off the floor while the kiddies were tucked in bed.

Day 3 began with more yogurt (and another one later) and an iced coffee drink. I made oooooone last trip to WF while the rest of the crew went to the beach. When I headed back to the hotel, my key wasn't working and I was locked out of the room for a little bit! Once I did finally get in, I did our final packing, which consisted of moving items back and forth between mine and my mums suitcases in order to make sure we didn't go over the weight limit. Then we were off to the airport! A handful of hours later we were back in Calgary.

When it really comes down to it, we didn't actually do a whole lot while in California. The trip was a little too short and we were a little too far away from the city to do a whole lot of touristy activities. I still enjoyed myself quite a bit, and managed to hit up a few of the places that I wanted to go (seriously, waiting on offers for a Handsome Coffee delivery). My dad was in awe that we didn't do any shopping except for GROCERIES of all things. And so continues my obsession with Whole Foods and specialty items that are definitely not available in Canada. I should note that I ended up bringing home 8 (EIGHT!!) different nut butters... which should hold me over until September long weekend. After that I'll need to take another trip! While I'm really partial to going back to LA and seeing all the touristy stuff, I'm also liking the idea of going to Phoenix or maaaaybe Orlando for Harry Potter.


Redondo Beach
Redondo Beach
La Salsa
Our lunch - 'California burrito'
Hermosa Beach
Mum + Fi in LA
Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Beach pier
Last week I was absolutely spoiled by my mum when we took a trip to LA for a few days with my aunt, uncle + their kids. I'd never been to LA, so it made the trip extra special. Before leaving, I made a list of places that I wanted to visit, and - no surprise - they were all food related. I'm the funniest traveler. I really just travel to eat at cool restaurants, spend an atrocious amount of time in Whole Foods + Trader Joes, and hunt down the best coffee in the area. This trip was no exception.

Our first day started off ridiculously early. We were up by 3 to meet the rest of the fam at the airport for our flight. In a lovely turn of events, we got to fly first class the whole way there. I could definitely get used to flying like that, but the likelihood of it ever happening again is slim to none. After a quick layover in Vancouver and an additional 3 hours to LA, we finally made it. We took a quick (ha) cab ride to our hotel in Redondo Beach, and then set out to find some grub. As per a suggestion from my uncle, we got Mexican at La Salsa. My mum and I shared the California Burrito with a side of three yummy salsas (avo, fire roasted tomato + mango). Later that day, my mum, aunt + I rented cruisers and rode by the beach. As it was Memorial Day, they was some festival going on at Hermosa Beach (or maybe it was Manhattan Beach...), so we didn't get very far on our bikes. It was craaaazy. There were so many people out and about! We were moving along so slowly on our bikes that skateboarders and joggers were passing us. It was pretty funny. At Manhattan Beach we got off our bikes and hung out at the pier for a little while watching the surfers. A little while later we headed back to Redondo Beach to return the bikes. My aunt hung out at the hotel, while my mum and I set out on a hunt for Trader Joe's. Okay, while I loooove spending time in the States, it's kind of a serious pain in the ass to get around, since I can't use my iPhone's map for directions. I knew that there was a TJ's somewhere south of the hotel and that it was roughly 2.2 miles, but that's all that I had to go on. Welllll, our walk ended up taking us waaay longer than it should have (see: we got a little lost), but we did eventually make it there. What was arguably even more thrilling than TJs was the Yogurtland payoff after our long walk. I loaded up on Coconut, Birthday Cake (it was meh) and Root Beer Float, topped with some fruit. By the time we got back to the hotel it was roughly 6PM and we were exhausted, so we noshed on our fav chips (Way Better Snacks Sweet Potato Chips) + dip (TJs tomato + basil hummus) that we sadly can't get here. After snack time we both called it a night and passed out the second we hit the sheets.
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