I waited until the week before Christmas to book my trip to LA. I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone, but I’m glad I booked it. What better way to end the year than in sunny Los Angeles!
First of all, I’d like to reflect on how blessed I am. One, to be able to travel to different places on a zero budget and two, to know so many people wherever I go. I’m so grateful to everyone that came and picked me up (Vaughn, Nneji, Thaina and Yanim) and showed me around town. My experience wouldn’t have been the same without all of you!!
Side note: I take just about all of my pictures on my iPhone. I use the VSCO cam app to edit. I tried to be fancy this trip and use a DSLR but it was cumbersome. My iPhone has never failed me for photos. For me, it’s all about lighting, composition and editing. Some of the pictures below will look different because I took some with iPhone, others with a DSLR. I’ll make a note of the switch. End side note.
You guys may know how much I love meeting new people from social media. There are people I follow on Instagram that I admire and think I would mesh well with in real life. When I meet those people, I’m always right about them.
I started following Nneji after a friend of mine posted her pic on Instagram. Then I followed her on Snapchat just to make sure she wasn’t cray cray lol. I messaged this girl and told her of my upcoming travels and how I’d love to meet her. We exchanged information and she offered to pick me up to hang out. We ate at a place called Kitchen24. YO. I don’t know if I was super hungry or if the food was really bomb but I DESTROYED my kale and salmon salad. I wish we had one in Atlanta. So sad Nneji and I didn’t get a picture together but she definitely made my first night in LA so much fun.
On Christmas Day, I got to meet another Instagram friend in real life. (Can you tell I like meeting people from Instagram?!) The lovely Thaina and I went hiking up Runyon Canyon. Listen……..I was not prepared for the hike OR the weather. I don’t know what got hold of LA weather but it was legit 30 degrees on that mountain. Do you know how difficult it is to hike after not exercising, and battling extreme temperatures?? I felt like I was on Survivor or something. I almost didn’t make it. (iPhone photos below)
Reaching the top and witnessing the view was worth the frozen fingers and loss of breath.
I could see the Hollywood sign from the distance. The plan was to actually take an up-close shot of the sign but I never met it over. Next time.
Beverly Hills is everything I thought it would be. Even at night, I felt like I was driving through a movie set.
The day after Christmas, I got to explore with two Cali natives,my friends Yanim and Vaughn. (camera photos below)
We had brunch at Artisan House in Downtown LA.
I was super excited to go to LACMA. I didn’t know it was famous for those lights you see in a lot of movies. Specifically, I saw them in No Strings Attached with Ashton Kutcher. Thanks, Vaughn, for taking these awesome pictures of me!
Just shooting the shooter.
Me being me, I had to visit all the places I’ve seen people post on Instagram. One of those places being the Paul Smith pink wall on Melrose. Again, THANK YOU Vaughn for these lovely images 😀
I really do love my iPhone’s camera.
Couldn’t leave without getting my palm trees picture. I’m originally from South Florida where there are a plethora of palm trees but I’ve never seen any this tall. A beautiful sight to see.
I thought I would’ve been more enthusiastic about visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame but it was a major bust. For one, the stars are on both sides of the street and span for miles. Who really has time to search for names amongst a sea of tourists? And two, the location of some of the stars would’ve made me upset if I had one. I wouldn’t want mine in front of an abandoned parking lot. But, hey Debbie girl.
Sunday was my solo sight-seeing day. And the day I spent the most money on Uber. From where I was staying in downtown LA, I walked to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. I was in love with the extravagant architecture.
I then took an Uber to the “fashion district” and was sorely disappointed. It was definitely a swap shop. But I found this gem of a wall so that made up for the lack of fashion. Photo credit to the random gay Asian guy who saw me looking helpless, in need of someone to capture this image. Thanks boo!
The best meal of my trip had to be at The Boiling Crab in Koreatown. Err mah gawd. I have to come back for more of this.
My last stop was the Griffith Observatory to see the view of the city. By the time I reached the top of the mountain (after waiting 45 minutes in the brutal cold for a shuttle), I was ready to call it a night. I honestly should’ve spent more days in Los Angeles but there will be a next time.
2 Things I Learned on This Trip to Los Angeles:
- People are still kind: I’m still overwhelmed by the love shown to me by friends old and new. Even strangers! While waiting for the shuttle, I realized I need $.50 to get on but I didn’t have cash. A lady in front of my gave me a dollar. Little random acts of kindness always remind me that there are still do-gooders in the world.
- Traveling makes me feel alive: There’s something about going to a new (or old) place that always reinvigorates my spirit. Staying in one place too long always feels like a slow death. Traveling helps cure my wanderlust.
In 2016, I plan to do way more traveling and sharing all of those experiences with you. You’ve asked and I’ve listened so I will be adding video to boost the content on this blog. I hope I’m inspiring you to travel (or do anything else you want to do in life). Don’t think it’s something you can’t do. You can! Start small and make it a grand learning experience.
If you plan on traveling somewhere in 2016, which I pray you are, share your destinations with me. I might add it to my list as well! Till next time…