In-between our trip to Thailand and me touring the length and breadth of the UK with ‘Thriller Live’, my boyfriend and I decided to mark the first quarter of 2017 with a trip to the City of Angels. I had never been to the States before and was looking forward to taking some time to soak in the sunshine, palm trees and good vibes.
Only a few years ago, I suffered from ‘the crack of dawn’ syndrome; so eager to explore new places, I would be up ready at… the crack of dawn. On one hand, I thoroughly enjoy ticking off Lonely Planet’s list of things to do; however, I would return home feeling more exhausted and in need of another break.
Recently, my relationship with travelling has changed. I still have a desire to explore, to connect with people and their cultures; I still create to-do lists; yet, I now also enjoy seriously r e s t i n g. During this two week trip, my boyfriend and I prioritised quality time connecting with each other, with friends and valued moments of the day when we could be still and reflective – with the bonus of being in a new place! We lived easy – cherishing the simple things. I want to share a few of those things with you…
Where we stayed:
An AirBnb in Wilshire owned by a lovely host, Deanna. Her guest room had its own private entrance, garden and patio, it truly felt like our own space. We had access to a grill outside and were blessed with such gorgeous weather that we (well, he) barbecued every day. One of my favourite daily moments was eating breakfast together in the garden, under the morning sun, listening to the soothing waterfall from the pond and the melodies of the wind chimes. If you’re looking for somewhere to call home for a while whilst visiting LA, I definitely recommend getting in touch with Deanna. Check out her place here.
How we moved around:
Most people say it’s essential to have a car when getting around LA – we decided to walk to most places. I’ve always preferred walking places, it provides time to really enjoy the passing sights and creates an opportunity to connect in deeper conversations – I find that the constant change of scenery and rhythm of the walk adds a quality of meditation and helps keep discussions reflective and interesting.
When we needed to get to places a little further out, we travelled by Uber pool which was inexpensive and convenient. Not knowing who we would be sharing the journey with added an element of surprise. Who’d we have a conversation with next? 🙂
Runyon Canyon Park
When you visit LA, be sure to hike up Runyon Canyon! The views on the way up are a striking reminder of how small we are and provides refreshing perspective. Some paths up the hike are more challenging than others – but, regardless of how you get to the top, the views are still as breathtaking.
This shopping area reminds me a little of Disneyland… for the ‘Bougie’! Haha. As we walked in, Frank Sinatra’s ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ was playing; it elevated the mood and got me smiling along to the soundtrack of our stroll. Check out the yummy food stalls (especially the donut stand) in the Farmer’s Market!
This quaint village is full of unique boutiques and quirky places to relax and eat. It also has a spacious yoga studio if you’d like to take some time to practise your Vinyasa. You also do not want to skip on a visit to Salt and Straw – it serves the most amazing ice cream, with new flavours every month… there’s no better excuse to go.
We got to relax, in the purest sense of the word, during our day by the pool at the Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood. The tropical theme and 1960’s styled decor enhanced the LA poolside vibe we were seeking.
Take a road trip! We went to San Diego for the day, which was only a 2 hour drive. Once there, we spent time exploring and relaxing on Pacific beach and ended the day catching the stunning San Diego sunset.
I love this place. Everything is so colourful and youthful. There is an awesome skate park right on the beach and the promenade features many unique street artists, vibrant stalls and good ol’ marijuana dispensaries. Haha – I feel like this beach captures LA’s essence on one boardwalk!
Venice beach is one of my favourite places. I’ll always cherish watching the boyf cruising up and down the boardwalk on his longboard, as I followed on my bicycle… breathing in the sea-kissed air.
Santa Monica Pier
If you continue cruising down Venice boardwalk, the colour and the buzzing energy fades into a typical beach town’s serenity… That’s when you’ll know you’ve hit Santa Monica. If you make your way onto the pier, you can have some child-like fun in the arcade and on the rides. To end the evening, wrap up warm, pick up a cup of coffee or tea and wait for the sky catch fire.
On the second Thursday, of every month, there is an art walk that happens in Downtown LA. Before catching the exhibitions, we visited The Last Bookstore, filled both with second-hand and newly published books and a collection of music/ art work.
We also watched a performance art piece by contemporary calligraphist, Chloe Nili. In light of Women’s History month, the series of performances explored concepts of feminism, equality, diversity, and strength. In my opinion, the art pieces and performances were successful to varying degrees; yet, overall the evening provided stimulus to laugh, think and challenge each other.
If you’re in need of a Saturday night out, there’s a Parisian cocktail lounge on Melrose Avenue that promises a sultry evening. Hip hop and r’n’b music rules the night into the early hours, with interludes of sexy caged burlesque shows and fierce aerial dancers. If you feel peckish, they even sell crepes outside through the night. What’s not to enjoy?
As I move into the second quarter of the year, I want to continue to prioritise living and travelling. With the lifestyle of a performer, I am in a privileged position to be able to choose projects that I want to be involved with, which means that I have ownership over how I choose to share my time and energy. With this in mind, I intend to keep exploring the world and to take the time to cherish the simple things. Thanks for continuing to share these moments with me!