la la land

los angeles will always hold a special place in my heart. it's where i wanted to live for the longest time, and Q and i actually became such good friends after living and working out there during the same summer before senior year of college. we both had plans to move there after graduation (and she eventually did it, yay!) but i just fell deeper in love with austin.

this most recent trip to LA was focused around hitting up all of the places i didn't get to during that summer, and revisiting my all-time favorite haunts. first up on the list was pink's hot dogs. i used to live soooo close to pink's and would drive by it almost every day, but never endured the long line by myself. Q and i stopped in on my first afternoon in town (even though she picked up chipotle next door, lol) and i got a chili cheese dog, french fries, and pink lemonade - YUM.

since we were heading to palm springs the next day, we wanted to get our nails done for the pool. olive & june has been on my list for forever after swooning over their cute nail art designs on instagram. the manicure itself was honestly one of the best i've ever gotten. my girl went over and over all the little details and hang nails to make sure my nails looked perfect, and THEY DID! plus the decor was totally my style, i loved the leather chairs, kilim pillows, and hanging florals.

i was so obsessed with my eye ball design (remember i have a thing for eye balls?) so i tried really hard not to bite my nails afterward. i lasted about 2 weeks, woo hoo! after our manicures, we drove out to santa monica and met up with kim and her sister for dinner and margaritas at blue plate taco - one of my absolute favoriteee restaurants in LA, i don't care how touristy it may be.

once we got back from our palm springs excursion, Q actually had to go to work on monday (ugh). so i explored the city on my own. since LA is so large, i divided up my days by neighborhood. i spent monday in venice.

i rented a beach cruiser and biked a few miles to santa monica and then came back to venice to shop along abbott kinney. there are soooo many cute stores along that one strip and i popped into almost every single one. by the end of my bike ride and my walk, i was STARVING. i was excited to try the butcher's daughter, but overheard that the wait for lunch was 45 minutes long - LUCKILY, i was flying solo so i got a spot at the bar immediately hehe. i (bravely) ordered a juice flight - very bold move for me - and avocado toast. both were pretty delish and super filling.

after returning my bike, i headed out to the beach to get some color on my skin and some sand in my toes. the water was FREEZING cold but i made sure to go completely underwater at least one time, you have to! only i ran my phone down to 4% battery, i headed back to west hollywood and after Q got off work we went to the hudson for dinner. one of her roommates recommended it to us and it was right up my alley. we feasted on short rib mac n cheese (YUM!), burgers (duh), and friend chicken sliders (yes).

tuesday was my last day in cali *sigh* and i spent it exploring downtown, an area that i pretty much never ventured to a few summers ago. i started off the day with lunch at honey hi in echo park. i was nervous about what to order since i'm such a picky eater, but i got the miso bowl (and chocolate chip cookie) and it was AMAZING. i think i have a new obsession with daikon sauce.

i took an uber further into downtown to visit the broad museum. unbeknownst to me, there's always a super huge line... so i ended up waiting an hour before making it inside the doors. thank god the weather was so nice. i have a thing for giant art so this museum was right up my alley. i saw this cool weaving created out of aluminum pieces - and then literally stumbled upon two giant KEITH HARING paintings. when i saw them, i swear my heart started beating so fast. they were unreal. there was also this super cool exhibit that was just a basic, black table and chair set but it was GIANT size. the museum itself was pretty small but it was worth the wait for the few pieces that absolutely took my breath away.

afterwards i walked over to grand central market and grabbed an ice cream cone. i swear i ate so much ice cream on this trip. i got WILD BERRY flavor (basically like a pop tart) and it was SO GOOD. i didn't even walk around with my cone. instead i found a table, sat down, and savored every lick.

the last place on my list before heading to the airport was the art district. on my map it looked like a pretty short walk (1 mile) but it was a pretty sketchy area in between the museum and the art district... when i finally made it there, i checked out poketo and wanted to buy every single thing in the store. if only i could fit it all into my carryon... i stumbled upon another shop called alchemy works that was just as cool but with slightly different vibes.

i feel like i got to see so many different sides of LA on this trip which i loved. i've been pretty set on moving there eventually, but now i'm not so sure. the traffic was so crazy and i kinda love my little austin bubble. so for now, i'll just rack up another to-do list before i head out to la la land again. - carm