City of Angels
Another day, another last minute trip to LA.
I booked my flights about two weeks in advance which definitely didn't make my mom happy. It worked out just fine. I'd do the typical, pack the evening before, open in the cafe, and then jet off to the airport on the light rail. Easy. All was going swell that morning, actually an awesome Saturday morning in the cafe, grooving to music and making coffee for our regulars. I was stoked for the rest of the day.
After my shift ended, I strolled over to the light rail station and headed to the airport, realizing that I didn't have TSA Pre. This was honestly such a privileged thing to get irked about, but when you're expecting to have it and you don't, it throws a wrench into your plans. Anyway, I mostly grumbled about the fact that I'd have to take off my shoes. Luckily, there was literally no one at security and I scampered right up to the podium and was shuttled straight through the x ray scanners after taking off my shoes, laptop, and toiletries all of which were buried deep into my bag.
As I emerged into the main terminal, I almost had a panic attack; construction was being conducted on the central food court and Wendy's was no longer. NO MORE PRE-FLIGHT FROSTY AND FRIES. Devastated and lost, I called Gina for moral support, eventually sulking my way over to Beecher's Handmade Cheese for a grilled cheese sandwich to replace my airport ritual. Truly the end of an era and the indicator of the impending weird flight.
Matters only got worse when I made my way over to my gate, settled into a seat to do some work and some guy walking past me asked where one of the gates was. I was dumbfounded. I mean I was wearing my ascot, but this is completely uncalled for. Things only got weirder once we boarded; we waited on the plane for a mechanic to fix the lavatory, an ambulance pulled up to the gate - lights flashing, sirens wailing, and a few people were in the completely wrong seats, making everyone do musical chairs. The only redeeming quality about the flight was incredible sunset.
As we landed at LAX, the pilot said that we'll be at "gate 52F as in falafel". OKAY. The following events occurred after that: proceeded to wait on the tarmac for 30 minutes, my phone died, had to be bussed to the main terminal (I mean how often do you even have to do that?!), borrowed a Super Shuttle attendant's phone to make a phone call to an irate Gina, dealt with LA traffic, and made it over to UCLA at 10pm, about 1.5 hours after I had landed. What mess of an evening.
The rest of the night was great. I got to hang out with Gina, see her apartment, meet a few of her pals, and ate In-N-Out for dinner. What else could be better?
Sunday, my only full day in town, rolled around and fate would have us waking up early on daylight savings. Gina and her friend Zach were doing their final long run before their marathon the next week. I was collateral damage, but decided to tag along to Santa Monica and post up at a cafe while they ran.
I basically got dropped off at the beach and had to trek up the hillside to get to Santa Monica. I passed the time wandering the Third Street Promenade before all the stores had opened and then sipped on coffee at Demitasse before those two picked me up.
Back to Gina's apartment, we went where we packed up our things and got picked up by Mom, who was nursing a small hangover from the previous night at the Gala and recounting details of which celebs she saw. The three of us were driving across town to Silver Lake to meet Caroline for brunch, well more like lunch at this point, at Sqirl. Sqirl has been on my list of places to eat at for quite some time and I always remind my mother about the time they went without me. Around Christmas time, I was on the search for gifts at a bookstore where I spotted the Sqirl Cookbook and jokingly sent a picture to Caroline and Gina saying that this is the closest I'll ever come to eating here. Caroline surprised me with the cookbook as a present which was SUPER nice - but I was excited for the real thing.
And boy did it live up to the hype. We got lucky with a parking spot close the restaurant and found Caroline close to the door in the line that snaked around the corner. Everyone quickly dived into the menu, firing off preferences and opinions. In the end, we ordered a slew of different plates to give us a variety of dishes. A must: the famed ricotta toast topped with homemade jam. Things like this are the reason why Jessica Koslow is a 2018 James Beard Nominee.
Post brunch-lunch whatever meal it was, we transitioned into go time. On Saturday, Gina and Caroline spent the whole day shopping for our outfits for the annual triplet photoshoot. They came away from their outing empty handed. The three of us came to consensus of sporting white t-shirts and ascots. We changed real quick and zoomed over to the main strip of Silver Lake with colorful walls.
If you would have seen us that day, you would have witnessed one of the most ridiculous sights. As we wandered down Sunset Boulevard, we kept getting double takes and side glances. I mean look at us...
We just laughed it all off and proceeded to bounce from wall to wall and choose our poses. Shoutout to mom for taking all of the photos. Cue the montage!
A pretty successful photoshoot in my opinion. We wrapped it up by popping into La Colombe for a cappuccino and made our way over to the Bates Motel for a few last photos in front of the all white building.
After that, we dropped Caroline back off at her car so she could head over to Santa Monica and conduct photoshoot part 2 of her day at Candytopia. Her instagram is set for the next month now. Mom, Gina, and I slowly made our way back to West Hollywood to drop our bags off at Julie's house, but made a pit stop at Bumsan Organic Milk Bar for a little treat. Apparently, this has been a thing for these two because they went a few days ago and the gal working recognized them which was hilarious. I opted for the classic chocolate (note, not vanilla) and Gina went for the milk flavor. Both were excellent.
We settled in at Julie's for a bit before heading out again. In our rush to get out the door earlier that morning, Gina had forgotten to grab her laundry to do at Julie's. Back out we went making our way to Westwood and giving me the chance to set foot into a few of the buildings on campus like Powell Library. It was gorgeous, but not as cool as Suzzallo.
Gina seems to like it here which is all that really matters.
The remainder of the evening was spent hanging out with the rest of the fam and eating all of the eggrolls Lola made.
Sunday kicked off with brunch at Jon & Vinny's, one of my favorite spots in LA. Lola, Lolo, Chris, Julie, Mom, and I squeezed around a table and caught up on the Gala and random life things, all while muching on staples like breakfast pizza and nutella toast.
After breakfast, Mom and I walked Fairfax, popping into the stores that actually opened at 11am like the hours said and just browsing around. As we passed Supreme, mom commented on how short the line was today - she's the new Supreme expert.
Streetwear shopping aside, we went back to Julie's and made a quick stop at Carrera Cafe to check out the latest mural and soak up some rays.
Before her and I headed to the airport to catch our flights, we tossed our bags in the rental car and went back to Westwood to pick Gina up from class and have quick lunch at Simple Things. We decided to celebrate Pi Day a few days early with this mini salted caramel pie. DIVINE. Then somehow managed to go grocery shopping with Gina at Trader Joe's before parting ways, mom heading to San Francisco and me to Seattle.
It's always an adventure in LA, and even better that I got to spend time with the whole family!