Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Jen's Epic Road Trip: Los Angeles

On to Los Angeles! My favorite city of the trip.
We stayed in a gorgeous old hotel, the Millennium Biltmore in Downtown LA. It's kept up its original 1920's glamour and design, which made it a lot of fun to explore. 

Plus, it was super cheap for a city hotel! I think it was $130/night via Hotwire? I wasn't sure what to expect given the price, but Katie and I both loved the hotel.

Tuesday morning, we slept in a bit after driving all day Monday. I was particularly exhausted since I'd had to drive both the steep and windy highway through Big Sur and had to contend with heavy traffic in Malibu, so the extra sleep was worth the heat I had to deal with later while running.

Our plan was to hit the Hollywood Hills so that Katie could check out the Griffith Observatory while I ran on the paths in Griffith Park.

Not a bad view while running! We were in LA during a heat wave, so it hit the high 80's around 11:00 AM, while I was running. But since it was dry heat, I felt okay. It's the humidity that really gets me!

Griffith Observatory is beautiful. You can see it from many areas of LA since the white structure stands out against the brown surrounding hills. It's been featured in a ton of movies, too.

And of course, the Hollywood sign! It was pretty neat to be running up these hills and see the sign over there.

After sweating up and down the hills, and texting Katie that I might die after seeing rattlesnake warning signs, we headed to Westwood for a fantastic lunch at Clementine Bakery!

This place was absolutely fantastic. Katie had a sandwich, I had a salad, and we both had baked goods. It was all delicious. We might have become a tad bit obsessed, since we went back for lunch the next day as well...

After lunch, we drove to the Getty Museum! Perched above the city, the Getty Museum is a gorgeous art and media installation space. Honestly I think we were both a lot more interested in the grounds than the art, since we spent most of our time exploring them.

The Getty is definitely be on my list of "must visit" sites in LA. It just seemed like a uniquely Los Angeles kind of museum.

Next up was Beverly Hills so that I could take a Physique 57 class. Katie found a great happy hour with oysters. One of us made a better decision than the other (oysters > pulsing at the barre).

Thankfully, I still got to enjoy a delicious dinner after the class! A month before the trip, I'd made reservations at Gjelina. It sounded like my favorite kind of restaurant -- concentration on taking fresh local produce and turning it into delicious small plates.

The restaurant did not disappoint! It was probably my favorite meal of the trip. I can't remember everything we got now, but it was all extremely tasty, so I don't think you could go wrong with the menu.

Best part of the evening? Coach Doc Rivers was seated just five feet away from us! He was the coach of the Boston Celtics for a while, but now he's the LA Clippers coach. I might not love the Celtics (to put it mildly), but I always liked Doc, and Katie is a huge basketball fan, so we were both basketball geeking out over being seated near him. Apparently he's into SoulCycle!

Wednesday morning we headed to Santa Monica so that Katie could browse the farmer's market there while I did my tempo run. I started by running in Palisades Park, then ran down to the Beach front path.

Muscle Beach!! "The birthplace of the physical fitness boom of the twentieth century." And yes, there were muscles. Lots of muscles. Not really my type, though, since they were bodybuilders, which I personally find to be an unattractive look. So sadly no eye candy while running.

Of course, by the time I hit Venice Beach, I had plenty of distractions. It's basically "weird hippie" central. A nice distraction from the paces I was having a hard time hitting!

Post-run and shower, we grabbed lunch at Clementine Bakery again (yes, obsessed) then saw The World's End at a movie theater in Century City. This might have been my favorite movie of the summer -- it was hilarious but also really sweet. And I may have a weird crush on Simon Pegg (please don't judge me).

Then it was time for me to pick up Sourabh and Mason at the airport! After a happy reunion, where Mason seemed more concerned with eating his bone than saying hello to me, we headed back to Santa Monica for dinner at Blue Plate Oysterette with Katie. They even let us sit with Mason on our bench as we ate outside!

Another tasty dinner and a gorgeous sunset. I <3 LA.

Thursday, Katie and I spent the morning at the pool at Sourabh's hotel -- he was doing one last interview so had a complimentary stay elsewhere. Then I dropped Katie off at LAX before Sourabh and I headed to Orange County!

Where I saw one of the most beautiful sunrises I've seen in a while Friday morning. Ignore the parking garage at the bottom and concentrate on that perfect sunrise over a mountain. Swoon.

I hit the Back Bay area of Newport Beach for 6 miles before we bid California farewell and headed toward Arizona. Grand Canyon adventures awaited!


  1. I know what you mean about Simon Pegg! LOL I saw that movie too and wondered if anyone else had liked it. Too funny!

  2. Running, eating, exploring ... sounds like a perfect trip! I can only imagine those bodybuilders at Muscle Beach. If that's where it all began, then there must've been some majorly jacked up guys, ha!