America – home of the truly awesome.
Lady Loves Cake is about to turn into a tale of two cities – the world’s coolest big capital aka London, and Wellington, the world’s coolest little capital that punches well above its weight in terms of fun. But before we move forward, let me tell you about a little excursion I took to California where we stopped for a week to break up the flight between these two most excellent capitals…
Having both been to Los Angeles multiple times, we decided to just use this as a stop to chill and just enjoy ourselves – sleeping, eating, keeping the kids busy, sleeping and eating. That’s how we roll and it worked for us once again.
Mr Man had done his research before we left. He knew I’d have Shoreditch withdrawal so made sure we found decent coffee when possible and specifically looked for hipster hangouts.
We found that in the form of Pasadena – the land that hipsters go to retire or join the mainstream. It’s a cool suburb and one that definitely kept us occupied. Though I don’t see us visiting there time and time again, it worked for us this time, however, as Londoners used to walking everywhere, in car friendly LA we certainly got some spectacular looks as we pushed our kids along Pasadena’s massive boulevards without another pedestrian in sight for miles. Apart from a ride from the airport to Pasadena in a lovely SUV courtesy of Blacklane* we did an awful lot of walking but despite the looks, loved soaking up that Southern California sun…
This is what I call an excellent retired hipster joint:
Jerry Seinfeld took Jay Leno there in what could be viewed as Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee‘s best episode. We knew we had to find Jones Coffee as soon as we saw this:
The coffee was good. They understood my need for a flat white, even if they did call it my hipster drink. They also did a blueberry muffin like no other… I like America and I like their blueberry muffins. God bless America and its lovely buttery blueberry muffins.
It was certainly the best caffeine-based drink we had in LA, but it took us FOREVER to walk there from our hotel. Thankfully it was a chance to soak up the lovely sun. Hello sun, I love you and missed you and now I miss you again.
We came precariously close to buying this entire set…
We did a whole lotta stuff to keep our kids busy, but Lady Loves Cake is here for the old wanna-be hipster that never made it to hipsterdom (I like Boden too much) to discuss hipster places so we won’t go into keeping toddlers busy in LA (it is ace for them though). Have I said hipster too much?
The next place I got my hipster coffee was from this excellent coffee joint:
Intelligentia Coffee – the best flat whites in central Pasadena~
Hipster printed coffee cup and tiny spoons included. We even met a nice guy in Intelligentsia with his baby daughter and he was so delighted to see us “club members” that he nominated me treasurer of the society of thirty-somethings who drag their children to coffee joints.
Excellent coffee again (for America, ha ha!).
Before we set off for LA Mr Man and I had planned a whole week of blog posts for you on all the independent places we ate Korean, Mexican, Pizza etc… but we kept ending up in the bland kid-friendly chains, mostly because we had no car and walking anywhere turned out to be a lot further than Google Maps let on.
But we did a LOT of shopping. I am well stocked up on J-Crew who happened to have a sale on, Forever 21, Apple goods (ok, just a new iPhone 6 but it is SO GLAMOROUS AND AWESOME) and Kate Spade, where all one could afford was a case to cover my GLAMOROUS AND AWESOME iPhone 6 which is actually now covered with a wearable Mophie battery case because the iPhone battery still sucks big time… hmph.
BLC at the Tar Pits – I thought this was the skull of a direwolf but this is actually a coyote…
Random but cool exhibitions at the Tar Pits
Some of the millions of remains they keep digging up in La Brea Tar Pits…
Then there was this amazing day thanks to my friend Ginger who I met Couchsurfing in her San Diego abode many years ago, long before we had kids (hers are proper California lads, SO CUTE!) and were all wannabe hipsters, Mr Man and I at the beginning of a 10 week trip of being backpackers who totes thought we were the only ones doing what we were doing then blogging about it…
Ginger came up from San Diego and took us to the La Brea Tar Pits in Downtown LA then onwards to see her wonderful uncle in Santa Monica.
We hung out on the Pier, ate corndogs and limeade, then Uncle G took us to his favourite restaurant, a tiny Mexican family run business called La Fiesta Brava.
Best salsa ever.
This is what you call an outstanding burrito
La Fiesta Brava is currently at risk of closing thanks to evil developers who want to make the most of Google moving into the area and turn the building into a yuppie hangout. This is a shame because they did the best Mexican food outside of Mexico that I’ve had.
Those were the highlights of what was a bodacious time in Los Angeles. It was chilled, super fun, I got to see Ginger again, and our bellies were always full. Plus, I got to shop at Target like three times… which was the best thing ever.
*Blacklane operate in cities all over the world, including London, LA, New York and Auckland. They gave us a free airport pick-up but compared really well price wise against similar companies when I checked them out. The driver was lovely and waited for ages while we cleared immigration, the car was swish and the service overall fantastic. The hotel we stayed at insisted we use their service to get back to the airport at the end of our stay but Blacklane were overall cheaper, more comfortable and felt way more trustworthy – I would use them again and definitely recommend them.