I'm still on cloud 9 from my trek out to California with my Partner In Crime, Brittany. While Brit was there to take in all that IDEAFit/Blogfest had to offer, I was there to pound the pavement (and the Walk of Fame) for CNK! We criss-crossed SoCal for a new interview series (you'll read more about that this Wednesday...), an addition to the Closet, and MEETINGS, MEETINGS, MEETINGS. Work trip was LIT.
In between all of that, we still found time to take in a ton of things LA had to offer in the sleep, see and, eats and, of course WORK department(s). From jaunts around downtown LA, stumbling upon a variety of street art, and indulging in the strongest margarita EVER, take a look below at our CNK Travel Guide from my most recent stay in El-Ay.
Where to STAY
I wouldn't say LA is exactly new to me, but there are definitely parts I have yet to explore. Usually on my treks to la la land, I find myself laying my head in West Hollywood right near The Grove. I've always liked that area and it's super close to everything I've needed to see/do. So, this time I thought it would be cool to explore a different part of the city, namely Downtown Los Angeles, land of Staples Center and LA Live. I had quite a bit of help in area thanks to Brit and her Dallas Fitness Ambassador crew. Since the ladies needed to be within walking distance of the convention center, a high-rise in DTLA was the perfect option.
Enter Airbnb, FTW.
Our suite (a two bed/two batch high-rise) was an amazing find in the heart of DTLA. With views for days and enough space for three+, this pick was top notch. If you're traveling with friends, I'd totally recommend renting an entire apartment and splitting the cost. Not only did I save a TON compared to hotels in the area ($350+/night at 4 nights = EEK!) but, I really enjoyed having other people around to kick it with in my down time.
What to SEE
I'm not big on sightseeing. Never really have been, but I DO enjoy a good exploration and if I happen to stumble upon a landmark or a beautiful view, I'm good with that. Lucky for me, I got both this trip. At the end of the week, on a day that I explicitly marked as 'NO WORK TODAY' on my calendar, I had the opportunity to get my hike on at Griffith Park. With my beloved Runyon Canyon closed for some sort of maintenance, Griffith was the perfect cure for my cardio withdrawals. And yes, it's way harder (and rougher on the shoes) than Runyon. BUT it sure is pretty.
After our hike and searching like hyenas for food, we casually made our way to Hollywood Blvd. Before I knew it, iconic images (like the Capital Records building) were flooding my periphery on Hollywood and Vine. While I don't really get into sight seeing (you'll probably never find me on one of those Celebrity House tours, sorry) it was incredibly nice to see sights that I've never thought to set my eyes on. Welcome to Hollywood.
Where To WORK
I don't know about you, but finding a space to get some work done is imperative for me when I'm away from home. With time zone shifts and an overall desire to just be lazy, it's super important that I find a space that can help jump start my work mode mentality. That's why Alfred Coffee off Melrose was so necessary and so appreciated.
With a wide selection of coffees, drinks (including fresh coconuts), and foods, I didn't have to go far for a mid-morning cup of joe and an early lunch. Because of the central location, I was able to leave my early morning meeting, make a beeline for Alfred's, grab a cup of coffee, work, and take in another meeting at the coffee shop before 1pm. Add the speedy free wifi and ample seating and I could have probably stayed at Alfred's for the rest of the day on full GSD mode. Oh, and did I mention they have beer? Yea. Definitely going back.
Where To EAT
Good food is great. Good food while on vacation is way better. Luckily on this trip I was able to experience tons of awesome stuff with good people. In order to cut down on my rambling, I've taken the liberty of breaking things up into "where to" for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Bon Appétit!
For Breakfast: EGG SLUT x Press Brothers Juicery
Both of these places were EVERYTHING and guess what? They're literally two steps away from one another. CHING! Located in DTLA's Grand Central Market, both are super casual with a great open atmosphere. At Egg Slut I ordered the Sausage, Egg x Cheese sandwich complete with turkey sausage, cage-free scrambled eggs, cheese, and mustard aioli all on a warm brioche bun. Heaven. If the food didn't make me want to give Egg Slut all of my money, their sense of humor certainly did. I love this place.
After running around in work mode, I needed something that would give me a boost of natural energy. Press Brother Juicery was my hero. This simple stand had any and every cold-pressed juice combo you could imagine. In order to boost my immune system, I opted for the 'Charge' - a combination of Apple, Celery, Carrot, Ginger and Lemon (I added a splash of OJ in mine as well). At just $7.00 these juices are epic and so worth it. I even found out you can have pre-made juices delivered to you! WIN.
For Lunch: Kitchen24
Kitchen24 was pretty much a saving grace when I felt like I was about to pass out from hunger. This traditional diner in the heart of Hollywood hit the spot with creamy milkshakes and a bountiful burger. I had the Kitchen Sink burger with the fixin's.
For Dinner: PUMP
Are you a reality TV fan? I'm not the biggest, but I do love me some Real Housewives of Beverly Hills x Vanderpump Rules so, you know I had to find my way to one of Lisa Vanderpump's infamous Beverly Hills eateries whilst in town. Along with some of the ladies I headed to PUMP for an evening meal and it was one of the best dining experiences I've have EVER.
The dining experience was one to celebrate with beyond friendly staff and ambiance in spades. The food was also REALLY good. I had a house salad with vinaigrette to start and, for my entree, the Penne with Tiger Prawns tossed in a light garlic, basil, and onion sauce. MMMMyGosh. So delicious. Plus, there was definitely a waiter who could have been Jesse Williams' double so, yea. *insert heart eye emoji*
Whew! Are you tired yet? As you can see I made a lot of move on this trip! I had an amazing time and definitely got me wondering about making LA my second home. We'll see, though. :)
In the mean time, I can't wait to go back and try new places. Any recommendations? If so, be sure to leave a comment below!