40 hours in California with Justin
Face of the Day
I had to be in LA recently for work and Justin was able to accompany me for the trip! We only had 1 whole day together, but we were both grateful for the time to just be the two of us! It was long overdue.
He had been to LA before but this was my first time. I asked him to have a general plan for the day but emphasized that it can be really loose and we can just see how we feel as the day goes. It was Valentine’s day as well, and as much as I would have liked to dress up and go out for a fancy dinner, I decided a few days before that I would just throw my hair up and go super basic for the day so we could enjoy the convertible we were hoping to rent!
We woke up early Sunday morning because our “internal clocks” were still on eastern time. Poor Justin was up at 4:00am but I managed to sleep in until about 5:15am! After I stirred he said we could go watch the sunrise at the Griffith Observatory, so we quickly threw ourselves together and did just that (with a Starbucks run on the way of course).
The sunrise was beautiful. It was so cool to see the city from the Observatory, and it was a clear enough day to see exactly when the sun rose from the horizon. It was a special moment.
A local recommended that we try The Griddle Cafe for breakfast. We managed to get there about 10 minutes before it opened and got in line. That’s right, there was a line of people waiting to get into the restaurant when it opened. I knew that was a good sign.
The portions are ENORMOUS. I’ve never seen bigger pancakes in my life!
I went with “the original” pancakes, because I’m convinced that can’t be beat, and Justin got some chocolate bread with chocolate chips concoction. It was a little bit too chocolatey for him, but I was kind enough to share a portion of my stack of massive pancakes with him.
If you are ever in LA, be sure to check this place out. And you could likely feed 4-6 people off of 1 order of pancakes.
After breakfast we went to the airport to swap out the rental car he got for a convertible. We then headed toward Manhattan Beach so he could show me the Strand.
We walked down the pier, I touched the Pacific Ocean, and then we walked up and down the Strand. It was really crazy to be walking so close to multimillion dollar properties. I wondered who lived there and what the inside looked like.
We started to get a little hungry for lunch, so we hopped back in the car and found the nearest In-N-Out Burger, as per my request. I had never had one and I wanted to see what the hype was all about! It was good! It was maybe a little bit built up from all that I hear about it, and I didn’t love the fries, but it was a good fast food burger.
We then found ourselves heading toward the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway). We wanted to take full advantage of the beautiful weather and the convertible, so we planned on doing the drive until we were sick of it. It was absolutely beautiful. The views were breathtaking and the best spot was Point Dume where we parked the car and climbed up a little hill to look over a cliff into the ocean. There were seals sunning on rocks, and we even saw a whale! We got there just before sunset and we got to see the sun go down over the ocean at the end of a really fun day.
Between the sunrise and the sunset, the sunset was 1,000 times more stunning to me.
We were going to get back on the PCH to head back toward LA but (no surprise here) the traffic was horrendous. I navigated us to a back road that wound up through the hills so we took that. It was memorable to say the least! The top was down, the sky was filled with stars, and we were taking our time to get back to the hotel.
We stopped for dinner at a boring place on the way because our energy was quickly crashing! And once we did get back, I couldn’t get ready for bed FAST enough.
He flew out early the following morning, and I stayed back for one more day of work! It was a quick trip for both of us, especially him, but it may be one of the best days we’ve ever had on a vacation.
If you are ever in LA, my “definitely must do” things are driving up and down the PCH and getting breakfast at The Griddle Cafe. I’m sure you won’t regret doing either!