Guys, I finally went to LA and it was magical! I feel like I was one of the few people I know who hadn't been before so I'd been having an itch, and with Pat moving out there temporarily it was the perfect opportunity. I wasn't really sure what to expect. People told me it was amazing but also kind of weird at the same time, with a lot of seedy neighborhoods and grimy looking architecture. I think this description is suitable and even though it sounds negative, there is something about the weirdness that fit it perfectly.
We rented an Airbnb in Venice Beach (one of the only neighborhoods we visited where I could actually imagine myself visiting) and did a lot of exploring that naturally involved eating good food. I loved the character and charm of Venice, and being so close to the ocean was amazing. From the freshest sushi I've ever had, delectable pasta carbonara at Rose Cafe, an epic cheese plate at Gjelina, super rich roasted strawberry and toasted white chocolate ice cream at Salt & Straw, to not one, but two visits to Gjusta for breakfast for the granola bowls topped with beautiful fruit, it's safe to say that the food was unforgettable. I even brought back some Gjusta granola and Compartes chocolate, so I can continue enjoying.
Other highlights include a trip to Hollywood, which kind of shattered my vision of what I thought the area would look like (it was full of adult video and book stores!), falling in love with fresh mulberries at a farmers market, driving through Beverly Hills so now I can envision myself among my favorite Real Housewives, a hike in the Santa Monica Mountains, and leisurely strolls through the Venice canals, which was one of the most tranquil and beautiful places of the trip. My list of things to do and places to eat in LA is only growing, so I'll definitely be planning another trip soon!