I’m so glad to finally be taking the time to write about my LA trip that I took last weekend. I am the slowest at getting back to a routine after any vacation or break from regular life. Ya know, that saying I need a vacation because of my vacation? Yeah, my brain automatically does that upon return & I’m in slow-mo speed for about a week. But I had a great time & I want to share with you all about my experience in the cities of dreams!
This day was by far my most favorite day of the trip for multiple reasons. I got to experience so much so fast that I never dreamed of being able to do in my life & because of that, I don’t think I will ever forget this day! We, my oldest brother Trevor & I, first stopped for breakfast at a place called Urth Café on Melrose. I ordered his usual which was a leek & bacon quiche & though I’m no foodie, I definitely think this was one of the best things I have ever eaten. No joke. And as we sat there & I took in the city I had waited months to be in, we spotted our first two celebrities of the day. Sipping on an iced mocha I see the star of ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder, Alfred Enoch, whizz by on a skateboard. Craziest moment ever for a small town girl like me. Can you say starstruck? No less than 30 seconds later (I’m not kidding) the amazing Julianne Hough pulled into the hotel valet across the street. Double starstruck/heart eyes emoji. What a great first hour in the big city. Next, we drove just up the street to visit the shop NastyGal. Ever since I read the book #GIRLBOSS written by company founder, Sophia Amoruso I have been in pure awe of her, the book, & the empire she has built. It was a living dream to be able to visit the Melrose location, take a look around the store, & to my complete surprise actually purchase pieces from the store! Like, what?!?! I still can’t believe it. After my heart went back to beating at a normal speed, we checked out a few more shops on the street. It was so surreal. Just being on Melrose Avenue & stepping into these beautiful LA stores made me feel like a million bucks & I never wanted it to end. But of course it did. But not before we saw another star, David Walton, while making a bathroom/drink break at a local tea shop. Crazy, crazy, crazy moment.
Later that day we went to visit my brother’s friend, Shanelle, at her work place. She works for an online beauty magazine called Byrdie, which I have ritually been reading since May of last year. So let’s just say I was starstruck again just by walking into the offices of where all the magic happens. It’s also the headquarters for WhoWhatWear & Domaine, which are the fashion & home decor sister sites to
Byrdie. She showed us around & then we headed to a local coffee place called Alfred’s where she says tons of stars like to hang out. Well, no disappointment here, along with enjoying the best iced hazelnut latte I have ever indulged in, I also saw star number four for the day. Walking down the steps to the ordering counter located in the basement, I look up to see/make direct eye contact with the marvelous Spiderman himself, Toby Macguire. I know. I felt like Gwen Stacy. It’s fine. You can be jealous.
Anyway, to wrap up the day’s events as quickly as I can. I talked fashion & blogging with Shanelle which I loved! She’s someone who actually gets my love for those things because she loves them too. We went to the famous Rodeo Drive & walked up & down the expensive storefront street. Indulged in Sprinkles Cupcakes & Ice-Cream. Drove to The Grove, this huge outdoor mall, which felt like a city in itself. Shopped at TopShop, Zara, Madewell, & Anthropologie. I only bought from TopShop though. I saw Nick Viall, who was the runner-up on the last season of the Bachelorette with Andi Dorfman. Swoon! He’s so handsome. And we ended the night at an Italian restaurant where we ate calamari, (my fave!) & were literally in bed by ten.
The second day was all sorts of cloudy rainy weather which completely fit the mood. My feet ached, like bad, from the previous day’s walking. Silly me thought my heeled booties would be comfortable enough do the weekend & boy I was wrong! We started out at Shanelle’s completely adorable studio apartment which I wished I lived in & headed out to walk to breakfast. Hands down, best biscuit breakfast sandwich I had ever consumed. And we talked more fashion & life & I loved it. We then headed to the fashion district in downtown LA where we drove past the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, also known as FIDM. Shanelle went there for graphic design & I only wish I had the guts to apply there as well. It was a shock just seeing the building for ten seconds. We then drove past a market where she explained tons of fashion students would come to buy material for school projects. After driving in circles (literally) to find parking we walked the flea market, found an Urban Outfitters that was located inside an old theater (talk about “urban”) & visited a crazy huge bookstore that was jam packed with book worms from all over the city. We then trecked the streets to find a place that sells the juice brand, Juice Served Here, which led me to discover that I don’t like ginger in my juice! I’ll just take it in my ale. A fun thing about the city was that we spotted tons of fashion shoots just happening on any random corner. Here in Reno, I feel like I’m the only one doing that. But in LA girls just like me were everywhere & it was so cool to see. Next, we visited a place called Poketo, which had tons of trinkets of cool “hipster” knick knacks. I picked up a grapefruit soy candle & that itself explains the type of place it was. A totally new & aesthetically pleasing experience for me. Best part: there was an ice cream truck parked out front that was serving Jeni’s Ice Cream for free. I had heard about this ice cream via the popular blog, A Beautiful Mess, & it totally lived up to the hype. Such delicately constructed flavors that left your tongue & heart oh so happy! After finishing the free frozen treat we drove all the way to Pasadena to visit yet another mall, talk more fashion & LA life & stop & pick up some local tea that happens to be my brother’s favorite. I’m no expert when it comes to tea, but my brother helped me picked out some loose leaf flavors & even got me my first tea ball. Haha, yes! Apparently that is a thing. It started raining when we got there so I had my bro snap a few outfit pics (which I’ll share later) before it straight up down poured. Which I don’t think it ever fully did. But we ducked into a little French café, the name of which I simply cannot remember, & I ate the best grilled cheese & ham sandwich I ever tasted in my entire adult life. It felt like a true delicacy because it came with a side of trio mustard. Fancy, no? It was! The streets of Pasadena were even more fancy though. And I couldn’t believe I was there, it was beautiful, though wet & it was a lot to take in. I found twin donut tee’s at a place called Cotton On which I of course picked up for my sis in law & myself. We walked into my first Lush Cosmetics store& I walked out with a whole new face washing regime. When in Pasadena I suppose. The next stop was IKEA. Haha yes, sadly that was I my list because I wanted a faux sheep skin rug that was only $12.99 & they don’t offer shipping of that product online. So the lovely posse & myself went to that perfect store, a place my brother had never been, walked the whole thing & found myself that twelve dollar rug which seriously made me the happiest girl alive! Yay white rugs! On the drive home we chose to cruise down Hollywood Boulevard, which is something I had never seen at night before. It was mad busy & we stopped to take a few quick snaps of the Chinese Theater, a building in which my great grandfather had done the plaster work design on. Talk about another starstruck moment. It was a crazy feeling to think & look back at the work done so many years before by a man I never met, but had direct influence on my existence. Ancestors are weird yo! We ended the day, my brother & I eating, Chick-fil-a, a sweet reminder of our beloved southern family. It’s a reoccurring thing to end each day with food, a sibling pattern I believe.
So sad to be writing about my last day in LA because it was a sad feeling that I carried with me throughout that entire day. We started out at a cute little coffee shop where I drank my first flat white (which is a drink of espresso & foam) & had great conversation with my brother’s friend, Shanelle, one last time before the trip was over. We talked church & life & the art of Instagram photography. Because let’s be real, that totally is a thing. We thanked her afterwards for showing us the city in a way we would have never been able to see it on our own. Then my brother & I headed out on an adventure to a place I had long been waiting to see: California Donuts. We typed in the address & much (much!) to my surprise it was in the Korean part of LA on a corner street. It was so cute! It was just a big glass window with tons of donuts just sitting there waiting to be pointed at, paid for & to be yours forever. Or however long it takes you to devour them. The anticipation behind their specialty donuts sure was worth the weeks of waiting & I’m so glad to have made a stop there! Next we went to another place I had long been waiting to go, a place called Johnny Cupcakes. But don’t be fooled, no sweets can be found there except in the form of sweetly baked tees. Yep! It’s a t-shirt shop that looks like a bakery, but only sells shirts with cupcake designs & sayings on them. They’re pretty funny & pretty cute too. I even got my bro to buy a few & he became a JCLA fan. And I hear his tees have been a huge hit down in Las Vegas since he’s been home! Up goes the lil sis points! I also made him go to American Apparel which he was not a fan of, but I did buy a super sweet brown suede handbag. And I even bought a long vintage maxi skirt when we visited a clothing exchange place recommended by a follower called Buffalo Exchange. I really did go all out on this trip & I have no regrets. And I still have half of a day left to unfold. Dun dun dun…
The next to thing to cross of the list was to see the Hollywood sign (though I’ve seen it before) & to pick up an LA mug & deck of cards because I’m a collector of the kinds. So we went to Hollywood boulevard & crossed both off the list along with a pit stop into a second Zara store where I scored some sweet deals. We also took some pics outside the Chinese Theater again to show my grandparents, which they loved. It’s an interesting place to really take in & realize how many iconic people had been right at the exact spots we were standing in that day. No matter what you’re into, movies are a part of all our lives & the people who created them have been remembered there for decades & will be for decades to come. Weird sentimental emotions. Haha anyway after this stop we had one more to make in order to complete our list & be able to head home. It’s something I knew I wanted to do the second my brother gifted me with the trip & I knew it was something we HAD to get done.
We went to the beach at sunset. Cue romantic music here…except please don’t because remember I was with my brother guys. We walked around the cute seaside shops where I found a pink motel. So dreamy! The real reason that I wanted to go to the beach though was because the ocean is my grandma’s most favorite place ever. I remember the last time she saw it, the last time she’ll ever have seen it in person, & I remember how big of a jerk I was about being there. I was 16 & only wanted to go shopping so I was mad that we were wasting our mall time at the cold beach in November. So bad attitude Abbey ensued & I didn’t stop complaining the entire time. But looking back on the memory, I also thankfully remember how big of a smile my grandma had on her face that day. She was so happy to be there & see the vass creation that she loved. Being older now I wish I had had a better attitude then. But I’m glad I can remember the way she felt & how happy she was & I’ll never forget that.
When I told my grandma I was going to LA she insisted that I go to the beach & take a picture of it for her. But I one upped her & took a long video of the ocean as the sun was setting. When I showed her the video just yesterday (after her asking where the picture was while showing her all the pictures from my trip) she completely teared up. She loved it! And I loved being able to capture that for her. She was so grateful that I had done that & I told her if she ever wanted to see the ocean, she just had to look on my phone. So glad technology from my generation was able to share something so dear to a generation who only dreamed of that ability. Watching the sunset on the beach was a great way to end a trip of a lifetime.
When my brother told me this last summer that he was gifting me with a trip to LA for my birthday/Christmas present I was in total shock. I joked about him taking me to Disneyland, but knew this was a trip to discover all things fashion in the city. I had developed a list of things I had wanted to see/experience during my three day weekend in the city & I’m ecstatic to say that we did it all! My brother was too sweet during the entire trip making sure I got to everything on that list & that I was happy the entire time. Some things were silly, others were big, but we did it all & I’m so grateful for this experience that I would never have been able to live if it weren’t for him. I loved LA so much & cannot wait to go back! Thank you so much Trevor! I could never thank you (& Shanelle) enough for this experience! I’ll never forget this weekend & I’ll forever & ever be grateful for this LA trip. Love you bro!
— abbey kay