One time for my LA Sisters

Feeding my need to travel my latest destination was Los Angeles. This isn't the first time I have been to LA - I spent three weeks there for Christmas 2014 and fell in love with the place. It was time to go back again so I booked a ticket and flew out the first week of February for 10 days. Naturally thought I would blog my trip this time to share my LA experience. (Also was an excuse to use a lyric from a J Cole song as the title to this post...)

Air New Zealand was my choice of airline and after a 10 hour flight I arrive in LAX from Heathrow. I have to say I was really pleased with this airline and highly recommend them - the service was so good and it was a direct flight. 

Public transport in Los Angeles is not the best, to be honest I would call it non-existent! If you speak to anyone who lives there they will say they drive everywhere as buses can take hours and that is so true! I barely saw a bus when I was there. 

For the first few days I was in LA I was chilling and spending time with my family (who live out there), so I didn't need to hire a car to begin with. However when a friend from the UK came out to LA that's when we hired a car. I thoroughly enjoyed driving around California, even if you do spend a lot of time in traffic!

I would defo recommend hiring a car when you are out there as it's so much easier and cheaper in the long run. Petrol is so cheap out there and there are plenty of places to park. There are several hire companies but I used a company called American Car Rental and highly recommend them. 

As mentioned for the first few days I didn't hire a car so naturally I needed to get from the airport to my family's place. My family couldn't pick me up from the airport on this occasion so I used Prime time shuttle, which actually worked out cheaper than uber. They have a fixed rate of $21 and will take you right to the front door of your destination and pick up right outside the terminal at LAX - super easy and handy! I would defo use them again. 

What to do and see
Los Angeles is MASSIVE and naturally there is a lot to do and see. Last time I was there I pretty much did all the 'touristy' things, such as Disney Land, Universal, went all the beaches and even went Las Vegas so this time I pretty much went to other places I hadn't been before.

My friend hadn't been to LA before so we did do a few 'touristy' things, such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Santa Monica Pier but apart from that everywhere else I went was new. 

Downtown LA (pictured above) is a must visit. I had been wanting to go here for years, especially from back in the day when I was studying fashion at University as after all it is known for it's fashion district, so it was nice to go this time around. It's literally full of fabric shops and if I was still doing fashion this would have been a haven for me. It also has a really cool flower district and since I was there ahead of Valentines Day it was heaving with beautiful flowers! There are also plenty of cool bars and restaurants in the area not to mention cool artwork. 

If you like exercising and hiking then I highly recommend you pay a visit to Runyon Canyon - you may be familiar with this place if you follow celebrities such as Justin Timberlake on social media as this is the place they all go. We did the whole hike in about an hour and when you get to the top you can see the views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign. Pictures do the views no justice and trust me it will be worth the uphill hike! 

On my last trip to LA I never went Venice Beach (pictured above), as I heard it is quite commercial, if you want to see a proper beach then you need to go Newport Beach or beaches in the OC area. This time though we went and boy is that place something else. It's full of random touristy shops and has cool artwork scattered around. However if there is one thing that stuck with me from Venice Beach and it was how happy people are - even the homeless people there, who only had a trolly full of items to their name, yet they were so happy - they were dancing around and in their own world. It made me think that there are some people that have everything yet are not happy, yet here these guys had nothing yet they still could smile! 

A beach I recommend you all visit is Newport Beach. I had actually been there before but I was meeting a friend who lives in the OC so we met there. Even though I had been there before it was still nice to go again - you cannot beat watching the sunset on the pacific ocean - magical moment indeed. Again photos do no justice to this place, just look at the sunset above - it looks like a painting right?! FYI, no filters are involved. 

Other places we visited on our travels included Malibu, which has beautiful beaches in fact even just driving across the Pacific Coast highway is enough. Seeing the beaches and ocean when I would look in my rare mirror was something else!

Following Malibu we stopped by Calabasas, yep home of the Kardashians! It was a cute town and made a change from the hustle and bustle of downtown LA and Hollywood.

We also made time to go Laguna Beach - I loved watching the show so naturally had to pay a visit. The beach is super small but the actual town is quite nice, especially if you want to have dinner - if you go there I highly recommend you go to Romeo Cucina, it is a nice Italian restaurant and it caters for gluten free! Perfect for me. The food was really good as was the service. 

We also visited the Griffith Observatory and made time to go to a few gigs out there. There was so much on being Valentines Day, Presidents Day (National holiday), Super Bowl, oh yeah and the Grammy's and we sure did make the most of this! We actually went to Power 106's Valentines Crush concert at The Forum and saw The Weeknd, Migual, Kehlani and Tory Lanez (the latter two are defo artists you should check out, if you haven't already). Further to this we started Valentines Day off by going to see Ashanti and J Rule in the Nokia Club, at 1am. Yep you read right, Ashanti and J Rule, who were AMAZING (see some pics below)! 

Clothes Shopping.

Anytime I go to the States I shop! It's a given as I prefer the style of clothing out there and save a ton thanks to the dollar rate! I pretty much haven't bought my clothes in the UK since 2014. Apart from obviously going to Forever 21(I recommend you visit the one in Montebelle as it's massive and open till late) I do think you should check out the below shops.

Nasty Gal
I have been a fan of Nasty Gal since it came onto the scene all those years ago, not to mention I find Sophia Amoruso super inspiring so I had to go Nasty Gal. We actually went to all the stores in Los Angeles - defo worth a visit. I got myself a Girl Boss plaque, which is siting nicely on my desk! 

You can't go to LA without visiting Dash - the store is super cool and much smaller than it looks on KUWTK. The Dash Dolls are also super friendly and with parking outside and super cheap it's really easy to get too.

This is another cool place, my friend actually came across them via Instagram, and I highly recommend you go if you want to get pieces no-one else has. The store is super cool and near Dash and Nasty Gal so you can visit all three easily.  

The Grove
The Grove is also worth a visit - this is where Topshop is located! There are also a few other shops and some cute restaurants, it has a downtown Disney vibe to it. 

As always I had a fab time in LA and can't wait to go back again! The above is just a quick version of what we actually did in the time we where out there, (if you follow me on Snapchat you would have seen my every move, if you don't you should follow me - I'm MeeraSharm) so it was a jam packed 10 days. 

Finally, if I had to sum up my trip with a sign, then this one I saw in Laguna Beach would sum up the Cali attitude....

Have you been to LA? Leave your comments below as to what you thought. 


Meera Sharma

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