Took a little girls trip and got off the EU continent and headed to LA for some February sunshine in celebration of a good friend's wedding, as we were asked to be her bridesmaids. We flew from Hamburg to LAX via Stockholm with Norweigan air. Surprising Norwegian Air was quite cheap, we got a great deal for 500 € round trip. The fare, unfortunately, didn't include luggage, food or seat selection. However, the plane was super 'high-tech' and they even said their air compression reduced jet lag. I'm not sure it's true because we fell asleep every night around 9 pm after. All I can say is, in the end, you almost end up paying the same, especially if you have to book luggage, plus Stockholm airport is expensive to buy food for the flight.
Once we had a nice sleep in LA to recover from the flight, we started the trip at Venice Beach, where I was lucky enough to meet my Mom who flew down from Canada to meet me as well as one of my oldest best friends. (Great expat tip - have your family meet you on your holiday!) We had some great weather the first days, however, the blizzard followed my mom down from Canada and it even rained! The LA residents were quite confused... but we 'Hamburgers' we're used to it.
Venice Beach Photos
It was lovely to walk down the boardwalk and enjoy the sights, towering palm trees, the winter sunshine and probably the best people watching in LA. It almost made me want to grab a surfboard and jump in the ocean, but it was far too cold and I don't think my surfing skills are up-to-par.
From Venice beach, we decided to keep heading along the coast to Santa Monica, which probably would have been a better idea with a bike or 'beach cruiser' since we wanted to give up halfway. About 13,000 steps later we made it there (thank you FitBit).
And to end the day, we had a beautiful winter sunset at the pier as great end to the day. This is probably my favourite photo of the trip! At this point, with the sun setting, we could really tell that the weather was definitely not summer. Brr!
What's a trip to LA without a photo of the Hollywood sign and a walk down the 'Walk of Fame'. We were able to sneak up the residential area of the hills (best view is up Beachwood drive, after a bit of a hike), luckily didn't get a parking ticket, and got to view the Hollywood sign from fairly close! #Touristgoals
Next stop - taking on the masses down Hollywood Boulevard, finding MJ and an enjoying a roof-top bar in Hollywood.
Venice Beach Canals
Back to Venice beach to meet my Mom, and time to explore the famous canals. These canals were made by Abbot Kinney in the 1900's, where his dream was to make a little Venice in LA. Unfortunately, most of the canals were filled in due to the increasing road traffic, but the ones which are left are magical, and a little piece of heaven in LA. I would love to live in one of these houses, and enjoy my coffee with a view each morning (but maybe not the tourists looking in my window).
Next stop - Malibu Beach
Not so far away, and a beautiful beach drive from Venice, Malibu's coastline and houses on stilts were truly stunning. I loved the chill beach & surf vibes and trying to guess where Charlie Harpers house was. The central part of the town had a lovely pier, where you can find a cute restaurant 'Malibu Farm'. We enjoyed the stunning water views and the February sunshine.
We were curious and drove a bit further up the road, looking to see what else Malibu could offer. Thanks to Google, we found this secluded beach, and restaurant called 'Paradise Cove'. The restaurant was quirky, filled with photos of all the stars who have passed through, and pictures of scenes from the movies filmed on that very beach. They had very delicious guacamole & tortilla soup - the servings were huge! Since it was February, we basically had the place to ourselves! This would be another story in the warmer months.
We then headed back to Venice, walked once again the boardwalk from Santa Monica to Venice, and did some Mother-Daughter shopping up Abbot Kinney Rd, which has some of the coolest shopping in LA (and the price tag to match). We happened upon the cutest restaurant 'The Butchers Daughter' a plant-based restaurant with a hippy-boho vibe and delicious 'healthy' treats. I would definitely recommend if you would like to a veggie meal in a cool laid back atmosphere. I want to take this restaurant and bring it to Hamburg! Germany needs to step up its healthy-food game! Overall, it was a great 'finisher' to a lovely few days in LA & a perfect place to spend the evening with a glass of Prosecco.
Venice Beach and the surrounding area was a treat to visit and a lovely place to explore. Each beachside spot had its own culture, but overall Venice was definitely my favourite. I think I could have easily bought a surfboard and moved right in! It made me miss the west coast vibes that Hamburg & Germany lacks, however my soul will always be 'west-coast' so nothing can take that away from me :)
Hope you enjoyed my first Photo Diary!