California – Round 2

Downtown LA
Downtown LA
California

I don’t know what I’d do without California right now. It’s getting rightly ‘Brrrr’ outside and the rain is a most familiar thing. Now, I’m not complaining but I was more than happy to scoot on down south a little bit for a change in temperature!

So off I went Thursday night to meet Korey in LA. This time we stayed in the Marriott Beverly Hills which had such an amazing view of LA. Locationwise – I would probably go back to Santa Monica because who doesn’t want the beach on your doorstep? The interior is sleek though so can’t really be too fussy haha šŸ˜€

That night, we came across Sotto, a basement Italian restaurant and snacked on olives, bread, olive oil and wine. Lots of wine. Lots of tasty wine. šŸ™‚ I loved this place, with it’s very chilled vibe and unreal bar tender! She was more than generous with our tasters and gave such great (accurate) descriptions of the different wines.

Universal Studios

On Friday, we took off for Universal Studios, something I hadn’t really planned on visiting before but so happy I did! The highlight for me 100% was getting to Hogwarts (I reverted back to a 10 year old!) and seeing all of the different shopsĀ and rides!

Hogwarts!
Hogwarts!

 

I loved the Harry Potter ride (Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey) but I think the Transformers one was probably the best. We also jumped on the Jurassic Park river rideĀ (I got soaked) and of course finished up with the Universal Studios tour. We passed through loads of familiar scenes like Jaws, Desperate Housewives, Fast and Furious and my favorite, Whoville! It was $99 to book online and there’s parking as well for $18.

Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood
Natural History Museum

We were up early Saturday so had a head start on the day. We decided to take a look at the Natural History Museum and spent a couple of hours there. There was a spider exhibition on as well so we got to see that. Not my favorite thing in the world (not a huge fan and it was all open, Like a garden of spiders. Everywhere.) but I’m glad we did it. The museum is full of insane pieces, like the dinosaurs (with a lot of their real bones!), the mineral room (I wanted nearly all of them) and well the dinosaurs again to be honest haha! Tickets were $12 standard and $5 to hang with some spiders. You can park there as well but it $12 and cash only.

T-Rex, NHM
T-Rex, NHM
San Diego

Where to start about this place. This is where I could happily spend the rest of my days! We finished up in the museum around 1 and decided we’d head down for the evening. It’s about 2hrs south of LA so totally doable. We made it thereĀ before sunset and got a bite to eat withĀ some BEAUTIFUL margaritas in the Sandbar. It’s located on Mission Beach and has an outdoor patio with a great view of the sea. PerchedĀ on that stool is where I decided I was 100% not going back to La. After catching another beautiful sunset, we strolled down the boardwalk and arrived at Draft.Ā After a few pints, the decision was made to stay the night! šŸ˜€

The Sandbar, Mission Beach
The Sandbar, Mission Beach

We checked in to the Marriott Marquis San Diego (Oh my lord is all I can say) and headed out for the night. We went out down around the Gaslamp Quarter and barhopped around there. I think the icing on the cake for me though was waking up and seeing the view from the hotel room. Our room was overlooking the marina and I swear I thought I had died and gone to heaven! It’s kind of similar to the Dubai marina but somehow nicer?! Both our phones were dead (and we had nothing with us) so no pictures but I’ll be back!

Mission Beach, San Diego
Mission Beach, San Diego

We got up the next morning and tore off back to LA to catch our flights. We made it just in time and said our goodbyes (him Hawaii and me Portland). It was one of the best weekends I’ve had (and they are racking up here in the US!) and I am suffering immensely from the Monday blues. The weather, craic and company couldn’t of been better! I can’t wait to go back again and explore more of The Golden State, it’s an absolute gem!

More pics added to the Gallery!

On the road to San Diego
On the road to San Diego

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