I am officially home from vacation! I had such a good time in LA and San Diego. My friend Ally and I got a LOT of exploring done, and we ate some good food too. We also met up with my friend Kathy and ran into one or two celebs. All in all, the perfect SoCal experience.
I have a lot of pictures to share with you. Several are from my DSLR but many are just from my iPhone (usually with an Instagram filter) – it’s just so much easier sometimes!
On Wednesday we hopped off the plane and headed straight to Sprinkles in Beverly Hills.
We sampled the red velvet, chocolate marshmallow, and chocolate coconut. These cupcakes totally lived up to the hype – the cake was so moist.
Next we walked around Beverly Hills and along Rodeo Drive. We were just so happy to feel the warm sun!
While we were wandering through Saks Fifth Avenue, we bumped into NeNe Leakes (from The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Glee). She was friendly and willing to chat.
Next we went to the Grove, which is an upscale outdoor mall. There was also a Farmers Market next to the mall. We got dinner there at a place called Loteria Grill. It was SO GOOD.
Those were possibly the best nachos I’ve ever had. It was a good first day.
The next day we were up bright and early. My good friend Kathy, who lives in CA, picked us up just after 6am for a morning hike in Griffith Park.
Kathy and Ally
Ally and I
After hiking for awhile we walked along Melrose Avenue, then back to the Farmer’s Market for lunch! There were so many interesting things to see there.
Then we wandered over to see Mario Lopez filming Extra at the Grove. I have to tell you, those dimples were pretty epic in person.
After lunch and gazing at Mario, we explored Hollywood, Chinatown, and Venice Beach. We covered so much ground that day, thanks to our guide Kathy!
Here is a picture of the three of us with cream puffs, and also a pole…
That night Ally and I stumbled across an excellent restaurant near our hotel in Anaheim. It’s called Papa Hassan’s Grill and it fully lives up to its 4 1/2 star rating on Yelp! It is middle eastern food and it was not only delicious, but they were so friendly there and made us feel right at home.
The next day was full as well, including a visit to the Getty Museum. The architecture was so beautiful there. It just felt so fully Californian around there with the intense sun, vivid blue sky, and elegant white structure all around us.
We spent the next couple of days exploring San Diego and nearby La Jolla. I really liked San Diego. It was a totally different feel from LA – way more laid back with a beach town feel.
Our last evening and morning were spent in Santa Monica. That area was one of my favorite places as well.
The best thing we ate in Santa Monica was omusubi at Sunny Blue on Main Street. Essentially it is a rice ball with fillings – our favorite was the spicy salmon. SO GOOD!!
It was a great vacation. My favorite sort of trip is when there is time to just walk around a city and get a feeling for what it’s like. I certainly feel like I have a full impression of both LA and San Diego. It’s always a blessing to share trips like this with good friends as well!