Thanks to the wedding of a high school friend of B's, we had an excuse to visit California in April. The wedding took place in L.A., but while we were already on the West Coast we took the opportunity to visit San Francisco (briefly) and Sonoma Valley as a slightly early anniversary gift to ourselves. Needless to say, I took a lot of photos, but thanks to an over-full hard drive (6,000+ Europe pics, anyone?) and a MacBook Pro that had slowed to a crawl, we had to do a little technical refiguring and external hard drive purchasing before I could edit these to show you. But anyway. We're here now.
So. Los Angeles.
This city is just not my thing. There. I said it. Sure, the weather is nice, but the traffic is beyond horrendous. I just don't understand L.A.. It's basically a really large collection of suburbs. If I'm going to live in a major city, it's going to be a New York or a Paris, one large compact walkable metro area with substantial public transportation. Normally when I travel somewhere I'm all, "Ummmm, B, can we move here now? Please?" But the first time I visited L.A. I said I would never want to live there, and after a second trip I still stand by that.
But it's not so bad for a long weekend. Although we mostly just hung out and went to the wedding, we did manage to have a little fun along the way. Here are our suggestions for what to do in L.A.
where we ate
Rock'n Fish // A cute but expensive restaurant on a street perpendicular to Manhattan Beach. Undoubtedly its near-beachfront location contributed to the prices, but the food was pretty good. I had the roasted artichoke appetizer and B got the fish tacos.
Manhattan Beach Creamery // This happened to be right beside the one parking spot we found, which is fortuitous, because their cookie ice cream sandwiches should not be missed. B and I split a salted caramel chocolate chip one, and um, wow. They also have dipped frozen bananas, cupcakes, macarons, and regular ice cream, along with chocolates and candies of all kinds. In other words, heaven.
In-N-Out Burger // After a long day of travel, we spent a lazy Friday night with B's parents getting takeout from In-N-Out. Not particularly healthy, but just what the doctor ordered on that particular night. You really can't go wrong with anything here.
Poquito Mas // California has no shortage of Mexican food, including this one only a few hundred feet from our hotel. Not super fancy, but the ahi tacos were wonderful, and I loved whatever they did to their black beans.
what we did
Manhattan Beach // It was super-windy and kind of chilly, but we stopped briefly here to eat lunch, walk around, and stick our feet in the water. I wish we had had more time to spend there (and that the weather would have cooperated more).
Santa Monica Beach + Pier // We met B's parents here on Friday afternoon to walk around and see the sights. There's a lot to see, and a lot of people-watching to be done. For instance, a guy dressed as Jesus was playing the guitar, while a guy came up and did push-ups in front of him, so now my mother-in-law claims she found Jesus on Santa Monica Pier. There you have it. But seriously, it's fun to walk around, and there are a lot of stores and restaurants in the Santa Monica area.
Dodger Stadium // So technically only B and his dad did this, but they both really enjoyed the experience. They got to go into the press box, guest locker room, dugouts, and all kinds of other, typically off-limits places. Please note: B took all the pictures of the stadium himself. He has a natural gift for setting up a great shot. It boggles my mind sometimes that my sweet engineer has such a high level of artistry.
more photographic evidence