A pit-stop in Los Angeles, California

Hey followers!

I’m finally on-route to San Diego!  I made a pit-stop in Los Angeles for the weekend to visit a dear Philly friend of mine.

I rented a car Thursday morning and drove down the gorgeous California coast on Route 1.  I drove through Carmel, Monterey, Big Sur, and Santa Barbara, stopping along the way for pictures.  Despite the fog, the views were breathtaking.  It was hard to keep my eyes on the windy, steep, narrow road because it was simply stunning.

I got to Los Angeles around 8 pm, greeted with insane traffic even on a 6 lane highway.  I met Aly at her apartment in Sherman Oaks and grabbed some delicious mexican food before crashing after a long day.

Friday morning, while Aly was working, I biked 13 miles to the Griffith Observatory in Hollywood.  It was quite hilly, with a climb up to the Observatory.  I didn’t have my clip-ins on to help, but after riding across the country, I have a new sense of determination and confidence.  I can do anything.

The views from the top were amazing.  There was a bit of smog, but I still had a clear view of the entire city.  I never realized how spread out it is, though.  I then began what I didn’t know to be an hour-and-a-half hike to the Hollywood sign (one-way).  It was hot, dry, and steep, but worth it.  You’d think after biking across the country, I’d be in great shape, but no.  I guess hiking requires different muscles because it wasn’t easy.

When I reached the sign, it was slightly underwhelming.  You climb up to it from behind, up to a barb-wire, fenced in satellite area.  And the sign itself is fenced so you can’t get to close or take great pictures.  Nevertheless, it was pretty cool to have hiked all the way up there, a place I only recognized from the movies.

It was maybe a 5 mile hike (so 10 miles total) and I biked 13 back to Sherman Oaks, racking up 36 #milesforjamie.  I think every time I bike, I’ll think of this past summer and her.

For dinner, we made bbq chicken, grilled corn, and my favorite watermelon, spinach, and feta salad.  We enjoyed some champagne and wine on her patio and caught up.  I haven’t seen her since April so it was a great little reunion.

Saturday, we spent all day in Malibu.  We began with a short hike along the Malibu Creek.  It was a little stressful getting there because a car crashed into a telephone pole and closed the main road.  But I’m in Malibu, so it was fine.  And the beaches were beautiful.  So far, I think I’m most in love with palm trees.  They are everywhere.  I could probably stare at them for hours.  We went to El Matador Beach, a beautiful, small shoreline with a cliff to climb down and rocks bordering it.  I must be in heaven.

Later that night, we went out for a few drinks in West Hollywood.  I can;t wait to come back and explore the city some more!

This morning, we decided to hit up the Getty.  We were supposed to go to The Price is Right taping, but after learning it would be 6 hours (mostly waiting) and I’d miss my train, we skipped out.  The Getty was a great alternative.  It’s this beautiful museum atop a hill with awesome views of LA and the Pacific Ocean (as long as there’s no smog…)  We saw a cool exhibit on a Belgian artist of the 19th century, and just enjoyed walking around outside.  It was super sleek and had luscious green grass, colorful gardens, and a zen-like fountain.  I wish we had more time to explore and enjoy the galleries because it was gorgeous.  The best part is, you only have to pay $15 for parking and the museum is free!  I’d definitely recommend it.

And now I’m on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner on my way to San Diego!  I’ll be crashing at my friend Michaeleena’s until I find my own apartment.  She just moved there about a week ago and tomorrow is her birthday!

Stay tuned for my initial reactions to San Diego!



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