My youngest daughter, college seeker and travel buddy is guest writing this blog post. With Carissa’s frequent appearances here I thought she should be heard as well as seen. Besides, she writes more better 🙂
Upon arrival to LA we headed straight to our airstream airbnb on a picturesque Santa Monica street. We were greeted by Tao and Roisen and shown around their yard with antique cars and trailers, an outdoor shower, and funky patio. We borrowed some antique bikes and relished awe-inspired looks by onlookers as we rode on the beach and through town to Espresso Cielo. We cherished perfect lattes in the familiar blue mugs (last time we were here we loved them so much we bought one), and people watched some intensely relational yogi conversations. For the next couple of days we enjoyed dividing our time between Abbot Kinney Street and the beach. When we were not eating as much as possible, we were down at the beach. Across the street of vendors and restaurants, kite flyers and skateboarders, the ocean crashes and pulled us in with its familiar lull, to walk, bike, and people watch some very interesting locals. It really came alive at night, when all the rides light up on the Pier, giving an enchanting glow amidst the darkness; we couldn’t help but take a ride on the iconic ferris wheel.
Abott Kinney Street is a wonderland, where perfect lattes are offered everyplace you stop, and everyplace you stop is every single place because nothing bad exists here. One can spend hours strolling up and down the sunny street, building more appetites by walking into boutiques in order to try every restaurant, juice stand, and latte. The wait at Intelligentsia is long (in fact you may want to grab a latte at Will’s Leather, a quality leather shop from Oregon that also conveniently makes lattes in the back, while in line), but is certainly worth it for its creative space, hip baristas, and superb coffee. Local 1205, where one can shop for produce and dry goods, get a fresh juice, order a sandwich, or sit at the shrimp/seafood bar, is apparently the latest and most inventive hybrid the kids have come up with. However, no where on Abbot Kinney can come close to the splendor of Gjelina’s. Whether you eat there, only open for dinner, or at their “to-go” miniature restaurant next door, dubbed GTA, the ambiguous black and wood exterior with no sign gives you the feeling of discovering something secret. You may never want to eat anywhere else in the world after experiencing this clandestine temple of gathering, sharing stories, gourmet pizzas, breakfast sandwiches, desserts, salads, and, of course, lattes. Everything here is made to absolute perfection, even down to the design of the cups, the stand up eating area of the GTA, and the community table of the sit down restaurant. And everything is, as goes without saying, fresh & local.
All this fun gave way to college visits the next day, as we visited Pepperdine and Chapman, both beautiful perspective universities with perfect locations.
Thanks for allowing us to share our trip with you, we cannot wait to share about the Silverlake area of LA in our next post.
For more photo’s of our California adventure, click here.
LINKS TO PLACES WE ENJOYED: