Los Angeles Love
Currently in LA! This goes without saying but it is completely different from Vancouver and Canada overall. For starters, there are palm trees everywhere. And I mean, I'm definitely not complaining but damn! It must have taken forever to plant them all since they're not native.
The weather is apparently sunny all year-long which I don't know how I feel about...don't get me wrong, I love summer but, who wants to miss out on that crunchy noise the leaves make when you step through your neighborhood during the early autumn/fall days? Or the first snowfall of the year? Or even the light sprinkle of rain followed by a bright sunny afternoon with a never-ending rainbow from one town through another? Perhaps I've gotten a bit carried away through the seasons but I truly admire our four seasons city!
Los Angeles and the areas nearby are very different. In Vancouver, or Surrey, which is my hometown, cities aren't considered completely different entities. However, in California that's not the case. Anaheim, which is famous for its magical world of Disney, is a completely different 'county' next to LA. It's about the same distance from Vancouver to Surrey or for those that have no idea what or where I'm talking about, it's about a 1hr drive.
Oh goodness, drive. Let me tell you something. TRAFFIC. I complained about tight roads in Toronto but, LA takes the cake for most congested roads! At one point we were heading on the highway to Hollywood at 5 in the evening (yeah...bad idea btw!) and cars were literally parked. The speed was probably 2km/hr. Renting a car is a great option, but we opted for Uber. Much cheaper than taxi's and the drivers were amazing!
It's extremely easy to get lost, confused, or side-tracked in this city. Especially if you go to a place like Hollywood Boulevard. One second you'll find yourself looking at the walk of fame stars and in another instant you'll be holding a snake or taking pictures with a Michael Jackson look-alike! Side note, if you take pictures with anyone in Hollywood then be prepared to pay a bit of a gratitude. Yes, I'm talking money. And yes, I'm talking $5-$10 per picture with each street entertainer.
Speaking of money, prepare to blow a lot of it cause this city ain't cheap! Since a lot of tourist come here, every vendor in the market knows they can make money even if the price is high. Explaining high prices won't do you much justice so I'll just finish off by saying that I bought a churro for $9. Zero regrets though, it was so delicious!
The food choice is very universal in my opinion. I went with my culturally attached mother who cannot function without chai (black tea with milk) and was able to find an Indian restaurant just 2 blocks from our hotel! Disneyland also had a good food choice. Hollywood was chaotic! So many people in one place! The Santa Monica pier was beautiful and breath-taking! Check out my Instagram to see a drone video of the entire city!
All in all, a beautiful city with amazing people lot's to do. Here are some of my recommendations if you decide to visit:
- Plan everything. EVERYTHING. And not just plan, but pre-plan.
- Disney Decisions. Decide whether you and your party want to go to just Disneyland or the DCA (Disney California Adventure). They're literally right across from one another but have separate tickets. Save money, time and a headache by purchasing the park hopper ticket to see both parks!
- Just because you're out of town doesn't mean you get to eat unhealthy all the time. Incorporate fruits and veggies into your meal and try and stay away from fast food.
- "But Hajira, In N' Out?!?!". Yes, it's delicious. Yes it's hard to resist but just bare in mind, it's about 550 calories per burger, just the burger.
- Talk to the concierge if you're staying at a hotel, talk to the Taxi drivers and Uber drivers. Chances are they live in a nearby place and will know some amazing view spots that are pretty lowkey.
- CVS = Shoppers Drug Mart/your typical Walgreens. Most-likely will be 24/7 and on every corner and will have everything.
- Souvenirs are expensive and quite frankly speaking boring and super cliche, I recommend purchasing clothing items or even treats!
Above all, my biggest recommendation with any travelling experience is to enjoy the new environment. Happy travelling!