Last month I spent a long weekend in Los Angeles with three of my childhood friends. We all grew up at church together and have kept in touch as we have gone to different colleges and moved to different cities. Three of us live in cities and towns across North Carolina and our fourth friend has lived in Los Angeles for about two years now. We have been trying to make plans to visit her since she moved to California, but with four different schedules to juggle, it wasn’t easy. After two years, the announcement of a baby on the way for one of our lovely NC ladies kicked all of our booties into high gear. Sometimes all you need is a nonnegotiable timeline to get things done. ;)
Our trip was a quick one (we took an early flight and arrived in LA on Friday early afternoon and took an early flight out of LA on Monday morning), and we really only had two and a half days to fit things into our trip, but we made it work! Two things surprised me about LA: it was very chilly, especially for June, and there was no public transportation! I have always heard about LA traffic and how terrible it is, but I didn’t realize that they don’t have a good public transportation system! Every other large city I have visited in the US has some kind of public transportation, and as someone who commutes by bus every day it was shocking to me that LA doesn’t!
The temperature didn’t get above the mid-70s, with the classic West Coast lack of humidity. The low humidity felt nice, but left us layering sweaters and jackets when it got windy or when the sun went down. As I type this, the temperature is 93 with a heat index of 103 in North Carolina, so it was very different from what we were used to and expecting. 75 in LA did not feel like 75 in NC. It was beautiful, but unexpected, and honestly, a little chilly.
We spent some time wandering around Echo Park and eating at delicious local restaurants, but also made sure to hit up Shake Shack and see some of the Hollywood stars on our first night. In the few days we had in the city, I feel like we got a great view of a lot of areas, as we drove around different neighborhoods and up and down the mountain to Griffith Observatory. There was a huge event going on at Griffith Observatory the weekend we were there, so we didn’t get a chance to see the view from there, but we saw a beautiful sunset from the top of another mountain one night and over the water from the Santa Monica Pier another night.
One of our favorite places (hence all of the photos) was The Last Bookstore. It is a book-lover’s paradise. All four of us were immediately enamored and spent over an hour looking around at all of the different sections. If you are in LA, whether you like reading or not, this is a great place to check out. There are thrifted books that people have sold to the store (I got two books for $4 each!), and new books that have just been released. The combination is so unique because you can get great deals on books you recognize, but also see all of the current raves. The bookstore’s second floor is more artistic than the downstairs section. Books create tunnels and windows, local artists studios line one wall, and you can find old books sorted by color (fillers for those perfectly styled bookshelves).
Next up, Santa Monica and Malibu!