Los Angelos, CA

Travel Dates: June 18- June 22, 2015

Travel Dates: October 30-November 5, 2016

What did Drake say? Top 5….LA might be my #1 fav US city. The chill-laid back vibe, the weather, the beautiful beaches just everything about LA screams you need to live there for at least a year, so in the mean time I’ll just keep visiting. One of my favorite cousins moved to LA after she graduated from an university in upstate NY, so it was only natural that I went to visit her after she got settled in and my funds permitted. I also met one of my closest friends while we both lived in Boston, Ma and after she relocated back to the west coast we made it a point to link up whenever possible.

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Kalyn and cousin, Marissa on Santa Monica Beach

My first trip to LA, my cousin was working a lot so I spent majority of the trip entertaining myself and catching Ubers, which wasn’t a problem at all. My first day of venturing, my cousin’s lovely roommate dropped me off to Rodeo Drive and gave me a mini tour as we journeyed from their apartment in Studio City. I spent the entire day window shopping and looking for celebrities and it was honestly a day well spent! I obviously couldn’t visit Beverly Hills without hitting up Sprinkles and getting two cupcakes, one pumpkin flavored because pumpkin is ah-maze balls and one red velvet, which both were delicious.

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Rodeo Drive; captured by super friendly strangers

I ended the day by meeting my cousin, after she got off work in Hollywood. The uber driver who picked me up from Beverly Hills and drove me to Hollywood was one of the nicest people I’ve encountered as she turned her meter off and toured me again around Beverly Hills giving me a quick run down of places to visit while on the west coast. In Hollywood I did all of the super touristy things such as taking pictures with my favorite boardwalk stars and visiting the Hollywood Wax Museum and Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

My cousin was off on the weekends so we were able to explore together on those days, starting with a hike up Runyon Canyon. If visiting LA, I highly recommend packing some yoga pants, a t-shirt and comfy tennis shoes to take the trek, the views once on top are amazing.

We spent a day at Santa Monica beach reading books and putting our feet in the water, mainly enjoying the views and each other’s company. After the beach, we went over to the Griffith Observatory to catch some amazing views and a quick science lesson.

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At night we went to a premier show of one of her good friends and that really gave me the Hollywood vibes I see in the movies/reality tv shoes!

Very in touch with her religion, my cousin made sure we went to church on Sunday and invited me to worship with her at One Church LA where Toure and Sarah Jakes Roberts are co-pastors. The service was amazing and was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. After church I begged my cousin to visit a LA delicacy, Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles , where we both got the Obama special, Roscoe’s did not disappoint!

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Nubia and Kalyn at SUR Restaurant

My second trip was a cousin link up, where myself, my cousin Nubia and Marissa all met in LA for cousin bonding time.  I spent a week in LA the second time because I enjoyed myself so much the first time I had to extend my trip.

The second venture had similar destinations as my first such as One Church LA for service, Santa Monica Beach & Pier to enjoy the views, Runyon Canyon and even Hollywood but we explored further and different areas I’d yet visit on my first trip.

LA traffic is all that it’s cracked up to be, unlike my first trip Ubering around, we rented a car for our second trip. After driving in NYC, driving in LA was a piece of cake.

We visited the Glendale mall and spent more money than anticipated, but I mean can you really put a price tag on good fashion? ….if anything they put 1000% tax on everything.

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Dressing Room in Downtown Glendale Mall

As a huge fan of the Real Housewives franchise, I was adamant about visiting SUR restaurant and it was definitely all that it was cracked up to be sitting in the West Hollywood area of LA.

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Kalyn at SUR

On the night of November 1,  as a pre-birthday turn up to myself, we spent a night out on the town, heading over to Library Bar in downtown LA.  We met Danielle, my west coast friend, out and she took us to a few bars in the area, but Library was definitely my favorite.

In true PSU fashion, with our expansive alumni network, I was able to meet up with fellow alum and mentor, Iyare, in the Studio City neighborhood of LA.

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PSU Alumni Kalyn and Iyare meet up in Studio City

LA will forever keep a piece of my heart because I have so much love for this city. Anyone looking to visit LA definitely visit the beach, Santa Monica is beautiful and the pier is a ton of fun, hit up local eateries such as Roscoe’s and Sprinkles and burn off all of the calories at the Runyon canyon. You can’t visit LA without going to Beverly Hills/Rodeo Drive or Hollywood! And if you’re looking for somewhere to worship, OneChurch LA will make you feel like you’re at home and feed your spiritual soul. I have yet to pay for lodging while in LA, but each time I travel I pay about $300 roundtrip from NYC. LA is EXPENSIVE, drinks, food, clothes, breathing…so be prepared, but it’s worth it!

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Kalyn at Santa Monica Pier

 

 

 

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