Where I went, what I did and what I wore…
So, in case you couldn’t guess from my Instagram feed, I just spent ten days in LA. Instead of taking a summer holiday, Dan and I waited a bit and decided to head away in October. I would actually highly recommend it. We got to enjoy the nice spell of weather in Ireland and as soon as it started getting colder, we got to enjoy the Californian sun.
This was my first time in America and I was so excited to just see everything with my own eyes and get to immerse myself in the culture for a few days. We picked LA as my brother and his family live there and of course, the weather is awesome.
I tried really hard before I left to plan outfits that would be suitable for the weather while also being nice enough to shoot a few shots with. As well as running through what I did and where I went in this blog post, I’m going to give a lowdown of the outfits I wore.
Venice Beach and Santa Monica Pier
Unfortunately, our first day and a half in LA were super stormy and rainy. So as soon as the weather started looking up, we packed our bags and hit Venice Beach. Parking is plentiful! Either pay the meter on the strip or pick one of the many parking lots nearby. Even though we went on a weekday, the strip was still buzzing. You’ll see people from all walks of life soaking up the sun, trying to sell their wares or racing up and down on motorised scooters.
We spent the day exploring the strip, weaving in and out of shops and taking pictures. The entire length of the beach is super long so I’d recommend renting a bike. We rented motorised bikes which were a hell of a lot of fun and cost about $35 for an hour. I picked up an amazing Vietnamese iced coffee while we took a look at the bodybuilders on Muscle beach and watched the skaters doing tricks. Towards the end of the day, we headed to Santa Monica and enjoyed some of the arcade games in the Pacific Park on the pier. Before we jumped back in the car, we also took a stroll up to the Venice canals.
Apart from my Adidas Campus runners, the rest of my outfit is from Shein. The checked shorts are part of a two piece set but I wore them by themselves with this lace cami. I really liked this outfit cause it looked stylish yet was super comfy and airy at the same time.
The Getty Museum, Beverly Hills and Hollywood
Of course, I couldn’t visit LA without also heading to the most famous parts. After an amazing stack of pancakes in iHop, we jumped in the car and drove about an hour and a half to the Getty Museum. The Getty is a stand out location in my mind when I think of LA and I really wanted to see it in real life. The centre provides free parking for the first hour and is $15 after that. We got a tram up to the top and got to see an amazing view of LA city looking down. We only spent about an hour there but I could have explored the grounds for hours more.
Our next stop was UCLA campus to have a quick look around and then we drove off to Beverly Hills. (Handy tip – the parking lot on 9510 Brighton Way is free for the first two hours). We spent the next while exploring the boulevards and admiring the pretty fronts of shops I could never afford to shop in.
To end the day, we drove a few miles down to Hollywood to explore the infamous strip. Wow. Hollywood is not what you expect. It’s dodgy, dingy and not at all glamorous. To tell you the truth, I wouldn’t walk down the street by myself at night. Be wary of all the people dressed up too! They’ll try to wrangle you into a picture and will chase you for a tip afterwards!
On this day, I threw on my favourite high waisted shorts from PrettyLittleThing, my Stan Smiths and wore this Primark swimsuit as a top! I also brought my denim jacket which came in super handy throughout the nights when it got a little cooler.
Obviously, the beach was on our list of things to do. We couldn’t go to California without seeing one of their beaches! We stayed in Costa Mesa which is about a ten-minute drive to Newport Beach. Laguna and Huntington Beach are also nearby that area so it’s a good place to stay if you plan on spending a lot of time by the coast!
Despite the sun shining, the water was still a bit too chilly for a swim so we stuck to the sand and the local doughnut shop. I’m so chuffed with the shorts I’m wearing here. They’re vintage Levi’s and I picked them up in Urban Outfitters about two days before I left for only €8 in the sale. Score! Once again, I picked up this one-piece swimsuit from Primark.
I wasn’t expecting it, but the shopping in America was incredible. Shopping malls are huge and nearly all outdoors. My favourite trip was to the Citadel Outlets where we picked up some insane bargains. Two pairs of shoes, shorts and a t-shirt in Adidas for about $80. I was shook. I’d literally move there for that outlet… ok not really but close.
My other favourite American shop was Walmart! Yes, you hear so much about this store but it’s truly a site to see. It’s literally the supermarkets of all supermarkets. During the ten days, we took three trips there. The snacks aisle is my new favourite place in the world. Everything is so CHEAP too! If Walmart ever comes to Ireland I’ll cry tears of joy.
(PS. If you’re into thrift shopping, check out a nearby Goodwill. I picked up two 100% silk pieces for less than ten bucks!)
Went for a casual-cool look in this outfit and paired this white crop top with a denim mini from Shein.
One of our other big day trips was to Downtown LA (DTLA). We hit up the Peterson Automotive Museum (for Dan) and the Urban Light installation (for me). The Athena parking lot on Wilshire Blv is only $5 parking on Sundays! It was kind of surreal being outside LACMA and seeing such a famous Instagram spot in front of me. The place was teeming with photographers, bloggers and tourists trying to get that perfect shot for the gram. Of course, I joined in and coerced Dan into taking a zillion shots of me.
As it got darker we drove deeper into DTLA and through places like the Korean and Fashion District. This drive was eye-opening. LA’s homeless situation is heartbreaking. Streets upon streets of tents are pitched up in the centre of their city like it was normal. The gap between wealth and poverty is staggering and nothing like I’ve seen before. Have to say, it made me glad I live in Ireland, despite how much we complain about it sometimes…
Here, I wore a vintage grey crop top, this gorgeous slit midi skirt from Shein and my new babies – these low block heels from Nasty Gal.
Just For Fun
During the short ten days, we packed in a hell of a lot of activities and thrill-seeking adventures. From zip-lining down the mountains to shooting a handgun, we definitely veered on the side of having an adrenaline holiday. We wanted to really soak in the things that are stereotypically American and not available at home. One of the most fun days out was to Six Flags. It’s honestly the best theme park I’ve ever been too and is a must visit for roller coaster lovers. We also did a few rounds in the batting cages. Let’s just say I’ll be adding baseball to the ever-growing list of sports I’m not good at…
Other outfits I wore;
- The most summery wrap dress from iClothing. I’m obsessed with polka dots at the moment in case you haven’t noticed.
- A palm print bikini from Shein… I feel like I wore a lot of Shein clothing this holiday, anyone want a review?
- My Primark mom jeans and classic Levi’s t-shirt. Looking super American in that outfit with the baseball!
- This floral black midi dress from iClothing below. I need another opportunity to wear this gorgeous dress but judging by the weather in Dublin I don’t think it’ll be soon!
- Rent a nice, comfy car – you literally can’t go anywhere without driving and public transport is pretty bad. We rented a Chrysler 300 for the 10 days from Hertz.
- Pack lots of fluids and snacks for the car – with traffic and the size of LA, you’ll be in the car for a while. Make sure you’re comfortable!
- Watch the roads! – I can’t say people are the most cautious drivers stateside. Let’s just say there’s a lot of merging lanes with no indicators going on.
- Put a travel note on your card – just so they won’t block it while you’re abroad!
- If you’re planning on shopping – bring over an empty suitcase. Trust me, you’ll need it.
- Research activities that aren’t the norm! – We went zip-lining at Pacific Crest, shooting at Riverside gun range and batting at Home Run Cages.
- Recreational weed is legal so hit up a local dispensary. We sure did!
So there it is – a quick-ish rundown of what I did in LA. I tried to keep it concise but I also spent time with family, ate a ridiculous amount of fast food and just admired the environment around me.