A NEW POST!! FINALLY!!
I’ve kind of been on a hiatus for a few reasons. I can’t really discuss all of the reasons why right now, but I will be explaining everything soon. However, a part of the reason I was gone is because I was in California. I had hoped to write and edit while I was there, but instead I decided to take the time to really enjoy the experience. I did vlog a bit while I was there, and I’m so excited to let you all know that I plan to release the California vlog in conjunction with the third and final California Travel Diary. This post will be the first of three, and the third will include a link to the California Travel vlog! So let’s jump right in!
My amazing sister and brother-in-law invited me on a trip with them and my nephew Chidi to California. They’ve been to California a few times, but it was my first time there and I was super excited about going. The weeks leading up to the trip were EXTREMELY stressful. This had nothing to do with the trip itself, it actually involves another situation that I will discuss in a different blog/vlog. But once I was finally in Cali I felt totally relaxed.
We spent the first few days of the trip in Santa Monica. If you don’t know the area, Santa Monica is just a few minutes outside of L.A. and it’s really pretty! Our hotel was down the street from the Santa Monica Pier. My sister and I started the trip off by getting a mani/pedi. Then we met my brother-in-law and nephew down at the Pier. They rode every single ride available, while my sister and I walked around and ate everything.
One really interesting thing that we noticed in the area was how they prepared their fruits. This might sound like a really weird thing to notice, and maybe other people do this and we’ve just never come across it before. But my sister and I ordered a large cup of cut fruit. Once they placed the fruit into the cup they squeezed fresh lime juice on it, and sprinkled the fruits in a chili powder. I was initially weirded out by it. But I kid you not it was soooooo good! I kind of thought I wouldn’t enjoy having spice on my fruit. But it was perfect because the fruit cooled down my mouth after I’d had all the spices. It was weirdly refreshing. So if you’re in that area and you see it being offered and you’re feeling hesitant no worries. It’s really good, you should definitely try it.
We also ventured out into the L.A. area. L.A. is definitely a city that I’ve always wanted to see. And on the flight into L.A.X. they did play La La Land, which just made me even more excited. We did a lot of casual sight-seeing, just driving around the neighborhoods, and trying to get a feel for what it’s really like to live there. I have to say that it wasn’t exactly what I expected. I would describe the experience as a little underwhelming. I expected L.A. to be much more flashy, and very fast-paced. It really was not that way at all. Certain areas were a little more crazy, but in general it exuded that typical laid back California vibe.
One of the first touristy things we did was to walk up to the Griffith Observatory. I added the Griffith Observatory to my list prior to the trip. But then I saw La La Land on the plane and I got REALLY excited about seeing it. The Griffith Observatory was AMAZING. It was a gorgeous day. The view from the top was spectacular. Plus the inside of the observatory is essentially a small museum dedicated to science and its major players.
Griffith Observatory Hack: go up for sunset.
The best part of the observatory is that it has an amazing view of the Hollywood sign. I was not expecting that at all when I went up there. I had planned to see the Hollywood sign on a separate day. But on our hike up we turned around and the sign was right there. So if you’re trying to get a lot of activities crammed into one day, then I would recommend you hit up the Griffith Observatory.
The entire time I was in the area I was told that I was lucky to be visiting at that time. California has been getting way more rain than normal. Due to this the entire place was GORGEOUS and lush. The hills were bright green, poppies and all types of wildflowers were blooming all over the place. The air smelled strongly of wet greenery. It really made every view, even the mediocre ones, spectacular.
After that we got really touristy and went to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That was another activity that I found to be really underwhelming. I thought that the area surrounding the Walk of Fame would be this really pretty, typical Hollywood area. It was not like that at all. It was kind of a…weird…area. But it was still fun bumping into the stars of celebrities that I admired.
And one that I…don’t admire…at all.
As you’re walking down the Walk of Fame you bump into the Chinese Theater. That building is really cool. So if you’re going to go down into that area, then definitely stop by the Chinese Theater. In the cement outside of the theater are the handprints and footprints of a whole bunch of celebrities. It’s really interesting. Michael Jackson’s hand and footprints are there. As well as The Rock, Vin Diesel, Ryan Gosling, etc. There are some really old ones there too. So it definitely has a lot of history. I actually took a picture with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone’s La La Land plaque. I know, I’m a loser lmao.
We spent the last day in the area at Universal Studios. This made my nephews whole life hahaha. It really was a lot of fun. I am a proud PotterHead. So everything in the theme park paled in comparison to Hollywood’s Harry Potter World. I had so much fun! I drank butter beer, I stared at the very really looking Harry Potter buildings, I went on the rides, I watched a little girl get chosen by a wand. I had too much fun. I was really obnoxious.
I definitely want to spend more time in both Santa Monica and L.A. So another trip is definitely going to happen, if not this year then next!
That’s it for this blog. I’ll get a more in depth in the vlog! So stay tuned for that, and stay tuned for the two upcoming Travel Blogs: San Francisco and PCH Highway.
Best places to eat in and around L.A./Santa Monica:
- The Commissary