The 101 was soon becoming our best friend as my boyfriend and I were once again on the highway driving back to LA. When initially planning this trip, I assumed that I would love Los Angeles and would want to spend day after day at it’s golden beaches, exploring the famous city on this road trip. I’ll be honest with you, something about the city just wasn’t doing it for me. The traffic was horrendous on a daily basis, parking was expensive and difficult to find and everything just took so much planning. We were also getting increasingly more concerned how the rest of our holiday rentals were going to turn out. Our Airbnbs had been value for money, sure! But moving from place to place with suitcases whilst not feeling completely at home, was to say the least, tiring.
Saturday 7th July – Day 27
When we arrived to our new Airbnb, we were pleasantly surprised. Pulling into La Fayette Square, we were temporarily away from the stress of the city whilst still being only a 15 minute drive away from everything. At first we were hesitant as our host had not been answering our call to let us in, but whilst we waited for her response, we were shown fantastic hospitality from one of her neighbour’s who invited us over to their front porch for a La Croix to cool down from the drive. Soon after, the warm welcome was immediately replicated by our apologetic host who was dogsitting for her daughter. She gave us a tour of the house and we were impressed by her beautiful garden that overlooked the Hollywood sign (although now covered by overgrown trees). This Airbnb was a house that most definitely felt like a home. It was complete with a swimming pool, an outdoor bar, a large backyard, our own bathroom and balcony. As we unpacked our bags in our room, we expressed a sigh of relief and wished we had been staying here all along! Determined to change our perception of LA we decided to drive around and find some dinner. After 40 minutes of crawling and circling around for parking, we found Father’s Office, a restaurant renowned for their burgers. However as we took a seat at the restaurant, we were put off by the pretentious service so decided to keep on looking. Nearby there was also a great looking pasta place, but at this point our appetites and patience had diminished. So we decided to buy some soup from Ralph’s instead to enjoy alongside some Netflix in our new humble abode. On this occasion of LA vs Natalia, it was one – nil to LA.
Sunday 8th July – Day 28
The next morning we woke up to a lovely breakfast prepared by our host. Fresh coffee, fruit, pastry, a yogurt and orange juice – she really went the extra mile for hospitality and we looked forward to breakfast every single morning from there on out! Today was the day we explored West Hollywood and finally went to Melrose Avenue. To my absolute delight Glossier was based there! All my girlish dreams came true as I was surrounded by beautiful pink and dermatological friendly make-up. Music to my ears, as after my skincare reaction, I was not taking any chances! I happily walked away with some Glossier swag and a few gifts for my myself and friends.
Glossier Canyon, Melrose Avenue
Although still sweltering hot outside, we continued to window shop and stumbled across Lisa Vanderpump’s Sur bar. Being a fellow Brit I used this as a great excuse to visit the bar. Although the drinks were nice, we were disappointed by the rude service that made us feel unwelcome, meaning we didn’t stay very long at all. Had we just been unlucky or is this what LA is like? Keen to not think badly of our Lisa, I took a second chance on her and walked down to her second bar – Pump. Luckily my faith was restored! Decorated to the nine’s with pink and red roses I suitably had some rosé. Perhaps, our luck had turned… or so I thought. It was only around 5:30PM on Sunday and as I walked back to the car with my boyfriend – my designated driver – when a drunk girl tried to start an argument with him. Ignoring the lass, we continued walking on to our car only to be bemused at it’s disappearance. As we stood there scratching our heads, the valet parking hosts proceeded to tell us ever so casually, that our car had actually been towed some 15 minutes earlier. Fuming at LA and it’s unclear parking signs, I made several frustrating calls to try and locate where exactly it had been towed to. Some 20 minutes later I received the address of where we had to go to pick up the car and ordered an Uber. We took a 10 minute journey costing us $9, to then only pay a further $208 to retrieve our car. It’s safe to say, that was the most expensive 45 minutes of nothing in my life. It was 2-0 to LA.
To save the day, my boyfriend ordered a pizza to cheer us up. After freshening up with a shower, doing some laundry and eating some comfort pizza, I felt a lot better. We finished off the day sat on the balcony talking and laughing at our unluckiness, whilst watching the sunset over the Hollywood hills.
Monday 9th July – Day 29
The next day, we used our last attraction of the LA Go City card to visit the Warner Brother’s Studio Tour. This is the perfect day for any movie geek where you can explore the sets of Desperate Housewives, Gilmore Girls and Friends to name a few! Complete with merchandise and props from Harry Potter such as trying on the Sorting Hat, and seeing the famous cars from Marvel & DC films, the day was really interactive. We also took a tour around The Ellen DeGeneres set, The Big Bang Theory Lot, Will & Grace and LA LA Land – it’s very worth the money! For dinner we decided to avoid any further LA parking fiascos, so ordered some Mexican food from Door Dash.
Tuesday 10th July – Day 30
The next couple of days we decided to take some R & R. Our host was cooking Taco’s and invited us to have dinner with them. We stayed up talking on the decking with them over a couple of glasses of wine. Perhaps it was the fact that they were from Chicago that their warm demeanor shone, but this simple act of kindness made such a difference to our trip and we even got a Christmas card from them that year!
Wednesday 11th July – Day 31
Wednesday was our last day with our lovely host family. The heatwave was still going strong, so my boyfriend and I enjoyed a day lounging around the pool reading. We couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of finding parking and wanted to make the most of the lovely house we were staying in, for fear of what we may be dealt next! Therefore we gladly took advantage of ordering in again and decided we would sample how the Californian’s cook their curries. That night we ate outside under the fairy lights, and enjoyed the peacefulness before packing up our suitcases, ready for our next stop.
Los Angeles, you were hit and miss, but the day you are able to upheaval your traffic and parking situation, I may just revisit!
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