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First time travelling in LA: feelings and impressions

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This is one of my biggest travel experiences right before turning 30 and I am so glad to have been able to do so before this big step. My job as a marketing professional allows me to travel the world pretty often. I had the chance to travel to LA end of January for a two-week stay. Even though I was working during the week, I fully enjoy visiting the area during my weekends there.

Traveling time and arrival in LA

Of course, going from Alsace to LA is a long way to go.  I, unfortunately, had to take two different flights to achieve my destination on this occasion (I wasn’t able to find a direct available flight from Zurich, maybe next time).

I arrived at Basel Airport at 5:30 in the morning and I flew from Switzerland to the UK London Heathrow Airport, which took me about 2 to 3 hours in total, and then I took a second 10:40 hours flight to LA. So I arrived at approximately 1 o’clock in the afternoon LA time (+9 hours). At the end, it represents 15 to 16 hours of traveling in total excluding the time difference. It was a very long day! 😉 I flew with British Airways and Virgin Atlantics airlines. I was particularly lucky on the second flight to LA because I had the whole range of seats free for me, so I could definitely lie down and have a proper nap 🙂

Let’s say that I was pretty happy to arrive safely in LA, considering that I drove an automatic car from Sixt for the first time in my life and experienced the US motorways and particularly the well-known “freeway” for the first time as well! On the plus side, I got a mini cooper with a sunroof! The guy from Sixt told me that I would enjoy it in the LA weather because the forecast would be really nice during the 2 weeks time I would be here (and he was absolutely right!). Although, I still don’t get why I had a license plate from Florida…This is hilarious because imagine the situation: a french girl driving a car from Florida in LA! You don’t get to see that very often LOL.

All of this in a day, I can’t describe you enough the level of tiredness I felt when I arrived at the hotel  😆 I just took a shower and went quickly to the restaurant to eat something healthy (because let’s say that the food in the plane was not so good with a lack of proper vegetables, and I really did miss my veggies LOL). 

My hotel

I stayed at Warner Center Marriott Woodland Hills, for two weeks and it was really nice. The bedroom was really comfortable.

I really like the fact that there was a Starbucks available in the hallway of the hotel. This is really cool because right before going to work in the morning if you want to have an extra coffee to bring with you to work you can definitely do it. So it was an extra luxury that I really did appreciate when going to work every morning or if I wanted to take a last cup of tea before going to bed in the evening.

A Starbuck’s shop inside the hotel’s hallway – Pic from taken from their official website
The Hotel Bar – Pic from taken from their official website

The hotel’s dining room was absolutely beautiful, and also it was really nice every evening and morning to have a table next to the window and to be able to enjoy the patio’s view.

The Dining room – Pic from taken from their official website

What I really enjoyed was taking my coffee or my tea and being able to enjoy the terrace’s fountain and sit in the couches next to it. Looks at this terrace! It was absolutely great to be chilling in the evening next to the fountain/fireplace. I really enjoyed it.

I did really like to eat at the hotel at night because the food was really healthy and delicious. Here is an example of yummy roasted chicken and vegetables with Guacamole sauce (pic on the left), so delish! I also enjoyed no so healthy food (pic on the right). See how the pictures gradually go from healthy to not healthy 😉

Shopping Time!

I have to say that shopping in the US can be such a spree. You have access to big brands for such a little amount of money there. I have to admit that I went q bit crazy about shopping there buying tons of clothes and beauty products that are so much more expensive here in Europe, especially Us brands. The first week I went to Westfield Topanga and the village to explore all of the available boutiques. I can say that I wasn’t disappointed at all when I saw the available items, my credit card was used a lot during that day… between bags, shoes, clothing, and accessories, I had great items for a great price.

I also discovered the wonderful world of TJMaxx (knew TKMaxx before in GB) and Ross. I got high brand items for a very little price that I probably wouldn’t have gotten in Europe with this price tag. As you can get so much good stuff in the US, now I can easily conclude that LA is my new capital city of shopping 🙂

Japanese store in Fallbrook shopping Center

The Weather

On my second Saturday afternoon, one of my colleagues nicely showed me the beautiful Santa Monica area. It was such a warm and day with 28°C on the thermometer. I can say now that I saw for real, with my own eyes, the famous Santa Monica pier that we see in every movie and pretty much in every American TV show that takes place in LA. 

I really enjoy driving on this particular day alongside the beach again because of the weather and also the atmosphere was very special, experiencing such weather and some sort of “Dolce Vita feeling” beginning of February was an experience. The following picture is one of my favorites because it really captures the essence of the feeling from this day. I like it so much that I printed it out and framed it. Now it stands on my desk and every day I watch it and I remember this very particular day where I felt so happy wandering around in the streets of Santa Monica and alongside the beach.

If you want to have more details about the different places I visited in LA, check out my Vlog video now available on the YouTube channel and read about the more detailed article: https://frenchpivoine.com/travel-throwback-la-vlog-2020

To conclude this article, LA left me with a very good impression. Even though I went there for work purposes, again I had two full weekends where I could enjoy and start exploring the city which I’m definitely returning to one day. There are so many other things that I would like to do for example visiting the famous Warner Bros. Studios or see Hollywood Boulevard etc. Next time for sure!

LA is such a big city that this is pretty much impossible to visit everything in four days. Next time, I will probably go for vacations only and explore this city much further. This is also the occasion to go to a destination where the weather is exceptionally nice during wintertime and maybe go a bit further up to San Francisco which I would love to visit as well.

On my way back to Europe, I, of course, bought some tourists souvenirs at the airport 😉 And  I love these items, especially the hoodie that makes me feel so comfortable this is money well spent!

I can’t wait to see the US and LA again, I really advise you to go there one day this is definitely worth going to!

French Pivoine

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