In late November my friend Corrine and I went on a quick girlfriend getaway to LA. Neither of us had been before and I had a companion ticket I needed to use up so this was a great time to go.
We checked out AirBnB and found a cute little private guest suite in Topanga. Since neither of us had been to LA before we weren’t quite sure where Topanga was but the reviews sounded good, like it was a good location to get to a lot of places we wanted to check out, it was in the mountain and close to hiking, close to the ocean, etc. We booked it.
I was really looking forward to hiking…despite what Corrine wanted! hahaha. (Corrine was not looking forward to hiking with me because of a previous hiking trip experience in the Grand Canyon.) Well, luckily for Corrine, I had rolled my ankle a week prior to the trip and had a slight break so the doctor told me “absolutely no hiking”. I was BUMMED!!! But I was def going to be walking on the beach.
Day 1 – LA
The day we flew in was a Saturday. We rented our car and headed straight for the ocean. It was a nice sunny day in the upper 60’s; which felt great coming from MN/WI in November! Since our AirBnB was off of PCH 1, our first stop was Venice Beach. We checked out the pier, had some guac + chips and a jalepeno cucumber tequila drink that was delish. Then we took a walk on the beach to feel the sand in our toes. It was glorious!
We saw the outdoor workout area – that was really cool! It smelled like piss around the perimeter but whatev. How awesome would that be to workout, outside, by the beach?!
After a couple hours at Venice Beach we continued our way up to our place in Topanga. It was beautiful with curvy roads going into the canyon to Topanga and up into the neighborhood where our AirBnb was. We arrived to a super cute and clean little place. Spent a few minutes unpacking and looking up a place for dinner and drinks. Conveniently there was Mexican restaurant nearby that was very Topanga…read hippie. I liked it.
Since it was a day of travel, we went to bed around 9 or 10. We’re a good time!
Day 2 – Exploring Santa Monica Mountains, etc.
We didn’t have any real plans or itinerary (other than some highlights we wanted to hit and tickets to Jimmy Kimmel) so we wanted to see where the road was going to take us. Especially since hiking was now out of the question. (Corrine smiles.)
So naturally, since we are working on CST and are both early risers anyway, we woke up at 4 am. Correct. That was not a typo. Luckily our place had a Keurig to hold me over until the coffee shop opened 4 HOURS LATER!! We spent the time thinking of ideas we’d like to do that day. And waiting for the coffee shop to open…
So we took off around 7:45 to the coffee shop to wait at the door to be the first ones in for coffee and breakfast. We’re cool.
Well, the first coffeeshop didn’t open as advertised. HUGE bummer. So we continued into the Topanga canyon and drove through an area that I wanted to go hiking and came upon another coffee shop. It was open! Topanga Living Cafe served an amazing cappuccino and mocha for Corrine. Just look at that beautiful pic! Since we were so early for CA time, we were killing some time. Slowly drinking our coffees. Waited a bit to have breakfast. And I turned Corrine on to Instagram because of this photo. (Now she’s an #InstaQueen!)
Breakfast was fresh and delish too!
After we stayed as long as we could and likely before they were going to ask us to leave because other people needed our table, we continued to drive through the canyon towards Calabasas. I really wanted to go to the Kardashian salad place (I cannot even believe I’m admitting this here) but the damn place wasn’t open that day! We’d just finished breakfast and it was only 10 am after all. So we drove through some of the ‘hoods of Calabasas trying to get some celebrity sightings but we didn’t see anybody (that we knew of, which isn’t saying a lot). Thought we’d check out a grocery store for a chance happening of seeing a celeb because it was Sunday morning and they grocery shop too, right? Nobody (that we knew of anyway). On with our day then.
We decided to do a loop drive and headed south through the Malibu canyon. That was a good decision by us because we came upon Malibu Wines. Oh, this was a huge WIN! We spent the afternoon drinking wine, people watching, talking about our younger days (because the younger people were wearing what we wore in high school and it was “in” again). Wow, I’m sounding old and I’m not even. It was just an awesome afternoon. Since we were driving we couldn’t get too drunk so we sobered up and went on our way.
Pacific Coast Highway
We continued down the canyon toward the ocean and turned north on PCH to take in the views.
All the driving and wine drinking was making a couple gals hungry so we drove to Oxnard and found a fish cafe. I had ceviche and lobster bisque that was not worth the calories or sodium. Corrine had fantastic fish and rice. It was late afternoon by this point so we stopped by Ross because I forgot to pack socks and Corrine has never been in a Ross store. Packed. Completely packed. We got the socks and got the H out to head back south.
We continued to take in the breathtaking views as we headed south toward Topanga. I wanted to find another beach to walk on but “conveniently” Corrine, who was driving, couldn’t find a good spot to pull over. 😉 We did find a few good pull overs for surfer views though!
We came across another grocery store, in Malibu this time, and thought we’d pull in and get some wine, cheese, and crackers for a snack later in our room. And maybe get a celebrity siting? Are we ridiculous that we keep choosing grocery stores for chance sitings? This was one of those types of grocery stores though! But nobody.
We arrived back at our AirBnb around 7 and enjoyed more wine with cheese, crackers and chocolate. It was a great day exploring! And yes, another early night.
Day 3 – LA
Naturally, we were up a few hours before sunrise, again. Hey, just one more day until home so why acclimate to the time change now?
Today we were headed to see the Hollywood Hills (no hiking :(), Hollywood Blvd, and to the Jimmy Kimmel Show. We headed out early to beat traffic and to get a cup of coffee. Aroma Coffee was open early and we enjoyed a beautiful cappuccino and mocha.
Last time I was in California a few years ago I had a pitaya bowl and wanted to find one on this trip. We found Naturewell in Studio City. They were out of pitaya so we had acai bowls instead. And a gross “healthy” shot of live cultures. Barf! We thoroughly enjoyed our bowls and I was reminded that I need to start making these at home. Corrine was totally into it!
Ok, so it’s like 8 or 9 am by this point, people. Catching my drift? We had some time to kill so things could open! And since we weren’t doing any hiking, we had to do neighborhood drives. We spotted the Hollywood sign and would drive through all these different neighborhoods to get better views. That was fun and took a little time.
By this point, with all the coffee and live culture shots we had to go to the bathroom really bad so since we were fairly close to Universal City we looked for a good place to go to a bathroom. How about a GROCERY STORE! There’s definitely a trend here. We found a Trader Joe’s, with no celebrities, used their facilities, bought a snack, and went on our way to Hollywood Blvd.
Luckily the stores were open by the time we got to Hollywood Blvd! I turned Corrine on to my fav, Zara! Talked her into some skinny jeans… girl bought a couple pair ! I bought a super cute plaid shirt dress. Checked out H&M where Corrine bought a couple Christmas presents, went to Marshalls, looked at a sunglasses store then went for lunch at…In and Out Burger on Sunset Blvd! Yes! Cheap, good, bloated, super long line.
While walking on Hollywood Blvd Corrine was interviewed by a “local news channel”. Turns out it was for the Jimmy Kimmel show but she didn’t make the cut. She was relieved!
We still had some time before we could line up for Jimmy Kimmel so we had a coffee, of course. We enjoyed our hot coffee on Hollywood Blvd while sitting next to a guy who was taking hits off a bong in between getting questions for directions from tourists. It was good entertainment.
Then it came time to wait in line for Jimmy Kimmel. We were lucky to get tickets! You can register to get on the list for free tickets here. We waited. and waited. and waited…. then were finally allowed in where we waited longer. It was a waiting game. Once we were sat we were asked to be overly exaggerated and ecstatic audience members for the camera. Shia LaBeouf and Anna Camp were the guests. It was a fun but shallow experience. The cool thing was Green Day was their musical guest so after the show we were escorted to the back parking lot where we got to see a Green Day performance.
It was a long but fun day!
Day 4 – Headed Home
Of course we woke up early! We were gone before the sun was even up. Never met our hosts, which was kind of nice, and on the hunt for a coffee shop. I’m seeing some trends as I’m writing this…coffee shops, grocery stores, up before the sun…
Morning walk and yoga on the beach were on the agenda before we headed for home so we headed north on the PCH towards Malibu. We found a coffee shop then headed for a beach. It was a gorgeous morning as we walked, building a sweat. I walked in the soft sand because it felt better on my healing foot and it was a better workout. We found a good spot to do some yoga before heading back to the car to change and go to the airport. I could have stayed there all morning. Breathtaking.
It was a relaxing but adventurous girlfriend getaway! I’d love to go back but stay in Malibu next time. There’s so much to do, see, and experience. Hiking is my goal next time I go back.