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Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach

Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach

Time for another instalment in my California diaries! I have totally beaten jetlag by now, and I'm already dreaming of my next trip (Côte d'Azur here we come!), but I still have so much amazing Cali content to share. Today, I'll show you our visit to Venice Beach, Los Angeles.

Before taking off for California, basically everyone who had been there told us that L.A. was a bit of a letdown, that the city was dirty, ugly, faded glory. However, I instantly had a connection with the place. For some reason, the combination of all of those classic Hollywood sights you recognize from movies plus the typically Californian Hispanic influences plus the weird/unique details and murals you spot everywhere plus the bit of grit and dirt the city has stuck to its shiny facade... It just works for me, man. 

On this particular day we initially planned to visit Venice beach and Santa Monica first, and then drive on to visit the Hollywood sign and Griffith observatory. However, since L.A. traffic is so intense, we weren't able to squeeze all of those destinations into one day. Bummer! If I were to change anything about our trip, this would be it: to stay a couple of days in L.A. proper (or close to it) so that I could explore more of that fascinating city. Here are some impressions from our day at the beach.

Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach
Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach

We drove to Venice beach first, parked our car there for about $10 for an entire day, and set out to explore the area on foot. The weather was lovely: clear blue skies, a cool breeze, and not too hot - about 24°C. Right after we exited the car, we ran into the recording of a new TV series! 

Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach

That's L.A. for ya. Another reason I loved it so much here. That vibe of stories, dreams and pop culture being created right at your fingertips is palpable. I could totally imagine myself growing up in a small-ish town close to L.A. and setting my sights on a career in showbiz. Or that might just be my obsession with La La Land talking.

Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach
Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach

The road from Venice to Santa Monica runs alongside a vast beach with plenty of space and barely any people, great place to relax and bike/segway/run/rollerskate. When some gorgeous women wearing shorts and a bikini top rollerskated by, I was like "yep, this is def Los Angeles". Definitely one of those iconic images you recognize from movies. 

Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach
dress: vintage via Think Twice - sneakers: Nike Roshe Run - handbag: Kate Spade - heart shaped sunglasses: Claire's - necklace: Onecklace 

I wore my yellow La La Land dress of course, and some comfy shoes for all that walking. I brought a second outfit as well which is featured further down in this post, because I'm a blogger and bloggers are total weirdos.

Travel: California diaries - japadog
Los Angeles Japadog

On recommendation of my BFF Natalia, we had to get a Japadog at the Santa Monica pier. I looooove hotdogs (I could have a hotdog anytime, all day, everyday), and this gourmet, Japanese fusion hotdog stand is a cult favourite apparently - Anthony Bourdain is a fan! I can vouch that these dogs are pretttty tasty. We had the #1 and the #2.

Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach

Apart from the Japadog, the Santa Monica pier wasn't really our style. This was definitely a bit of L.A. we visited that felt a bit dated, too touristy, with not enough interest/authenticity to compensate for it. We were done there pretty quickly and made our way back to Venice, which was much more our vibe. 

Travelwifi

Love our Travelwifi. Just look at that gorgeous, calm beach! We sat there in the sun for a bit and marveled at how quiet it was for being a perfectly sunny day at the beach of such a big, populous, touristy city. 

Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach
Kate Spade

Had to photograph my gorgeous pink bag against those baby blue lifeguard chairs. 

Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach
Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach
Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach

After chilling out on the beach, we got back to our car where I changed outfits (I wanted to wear my gingham romper OK!), we both lathered up on extra sunscreen, and then we started making our way down the Venice boardwalk, which I loved! Of course it's a bit of a tourist trap, but a vibrant, colorful one with a lot of character. Perfect place to leisurely stroll and do some people watching.

Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach
Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach
N'ice cream, venice beach

I had the most amazing melon and strawberry sorbet at N'ice Cream - so good I even finished the melted residu at the bottom of a cup, something I neverrrr do because I hate melted ice cream.

Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach
 romper: New Look - cap: Forever21 - sandals: Nike - handbag: Kate Spade

Not pictured: the muscle man flexing bare chested on a balcony just above the picture frame. Doesn't get more Venice/muscle beach than that.

Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach

See what I mean about little touches of crazy/weird/unique everywhere you go in L.A.? I mean wtf is this hamburger truck, and how does it manage to be outshined by that INSANE(ly cool) house behind it??

Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach
Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach
Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach

And the Americana/retro influences everywhere. Love it. 

Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach

MUSCLE BEACH!!

Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach

I know the dude in the middle is a historic figure I can't quite place right now, but he totally lookes like Al Pacino to me. 

Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach

This is the only "proper" picture we had a stranger take of us during our stay in California, rest of em were selfies. The lady did a great job, love how it turned out!!


^my very own Muscle Beach-man. 

Travel: California diaries - Venice Beach

This is the pair of sunnies I picked up at the Venice boardwalk. They're huge, pink and super cute. I had to get one of those palmtrees-in-sunglasses shots, obviously. Since we wouldn't be able to drive up to Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood sign without being in the car for four hours on the way home, we opted to relax on the beach for a bit before leaving for our Oceanside Airbnb. Kinda wished I had stayed on Venice beach to see the sun set in retrospect, but we did something else that was pretty cool.

On our way home, we saw that the sunset was going to be pretty gorgeous, and impulsively decided to leave the freeway at the next exit to try and catch a glimpse of it. We drove into Newport Beach on a whim and after a couple of minutes of driving by Aston Martins, huge mansions and people in expensive outfits, it became obvious that this was a rich people town. Apparently, Newport Beach is where The O.C. was set - something I only found out afterwards. I can totally see the appeal though, what a gorgeous town! 

There were little beach houses lining the boardwalk that were 100%, absolutely, positively what I would call GOALS. Especially bathing in that pink just-after-sunset light. For a few minutes I contemplated how my life would have been if I had grown up here, with rich parents. I mean, for all of the alcohol/drugs/personal drama experienced by the The O.C. cast, the deal still seems pretttty sweet.

Travel: California diaries - Newport Beach
Travel: California diaries - Newport Beach
Travel: California diaries - Newport Beach
Travel: California diaries - Newport Beach

When we made it back to Oceanside, it was late and most everything was closed - except the fastfood places of course. I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to get a crash course in U.S.A. tradition, so we stopped by Taco Bell for dinner. Since we still had room for a little more food afterwards, we ended our day at IHOP for a cream cheese filled pancake with canned peaches, which was totally not gourmet, totally not healthy or #cleaneating, but effing amazing. Perfect ending to a perfect day! And yeah, IHOP is kind of awesome. Open 24/7, serving breakfast all day, which makes it feel slightly unreal and detached from the rhythm of life outside if you sit there having coffee and a pancake at 11pm. Recommended.


More on California;

Outfit: heatwave and yellow clogs

white shirtdress, yellow clogs, pink kate spade bag

Travel: California diaries - Joshua Tree Park

Travel: California diaries - Joshua Tree Park

I still have so much California content to share with you guys, so today's post will show you some impressions from our visit to Joshua Tree Park. I had wanted to visit the park since, even though we're not exactly hiking enthusiasts, I have a thing for desert like scenery. I remember visiting the south of Spain with my family in my early teens, which was the only holiday we ever went on, and I made a trip to the desert of Almeria and I absolutely loved it. Such a feeling of being removed from daily life, almost like walking on the moon, and that overpowering heat makes for a very humbling experience. Many of the spaghetti Westerns were filmed in southern Spain rather than the Wild West, so I expected a similarly breathtaking impact.

Outfit: pink, glitter boots and embroidered choker

Outfit: pink, glitter boots and embroidered choker

Wishlist: gaga for gingham

gingham new look romper
hat: Forever21 - romper: New Look - handbag: Kate Spade - watch: c/o Daniel Wellington - sunglasses: Claire's

Ola! If you know me at all, you probably know that I am the type of person who is easily excitable and has a new favourite x every other week. Whether it comes to stuff to put on my lunch sandwiches, songs, TV-series, colours or prints: you can bet that I have a fav. Or, like, 10 favs. I'm just a very passionate and opinionated person OK? 

Anyway, I'm having a little gingham moment right now. I have always liked the print, because it just screams summer and brings the girly retro vibes, and y'all know that's right up my street. However, this summer gingham seems to be eeeeeverywhere, and since our brains are wired to aesthetically prefer things we see more often (yep, we're all being brainwashed to be into trends), I have also become like a magpie for gingham prints. 

Up until now, the only piece I have acquired for myself is this adorable tie back romper from New Look (also available in pale pink and light blue!) that I bought for myself as a gift for getting a job offer from my dream workplace, but since I love the romper so much, I have my eye on a couple of other gingham pieces. Obviously not going to buy all of these, but I might just get one. I mean, it's my birthday month you know. I always allow myself a couple of "don't need but so want" gifts from me to me in my birthday month.

Anyway, I rounded up some of my fav gingham gear from Shein (still my favourite destination for super on trend pieces that won't break the bank), all between $15 -22. And since I'm very bad at picking just one favourite of anything, I'll just say these are all my favs. I LOVE YOU ALL EQUALLY.

wishlist: gingham

Click the number of the piece you like to go to the product page: 
1//2//3//4//5//6//7//8//9//10

Now all I have to do is eenie-meenie-miney-mo.