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Saturday, May 10, 2014

LA in a day (and a half!)

About two weeks ago, my sister and I along with my cousins went to LA for my baby cousin's baptism. It was a weekend stay, one night and two days but it was still a vacation nonetheless. Going anywhere outside of Vegas, even for a few hours is a vacation to me! The desert gets really old after a while, so a change of scenery is always good.

We left around 9AM and got to our hotel after a few hours (probably 4, I don't remember). My sister and I shared a room whilst my aunt, uncle, and cousins were in the room right next to us. 

I didn't get to bring my DSLR with me since my Mom and Dad took it with them on their trip to Florida for a wedding. For that one weekend, my family and I were on two different sides of the US, pretty cool I would think! 

 We rested for an hour, giving my sister and I enough time to freshen up and change. No way in hell would I walk around LA in sweats. 

Our hotel was a good 15 minute drive from Manhattan Beach, so we opted to park near the pier and walk around. I don't really see myself living in LA, but I do love the atmosphere! It's so laid back and easy going, perfect for those who like living on their own time. As for me, I prefer to hustle and bustle of San Francisco, New York, and London. Big cities are my calling. 

Hello family! The funny thing is, I didn't expect it to be so freaking cold that day. The temperatures read 66 degrees so it was completely doable. HOWEVER, I didn't take into account the windiness of the coast. I felt bad for my sister who wore shorts that day, we stood out like a sore thumb when we finally reached the pier. Many people were bundled up as if we were in the middle of January, but no, we are in April. LATE April!

I do apologize in advance. I took photos with my tiny handheld Canon, so the focus option didn't really do it for me this trip. I don't really mind though, I do slightly like the blurred effect of some of these pictures. 

Remember how I said it was windy? LOOK AT THE PALM TREES! It was that windy! Let's just say that I had one hairstyle going to Manhattan Beach, a totally different one coming back from it. 

After walking all the way down, we finally made it to the pier! This was when I decided to channel my inner "Humans of New York" side and photograph people. By that I mean stand from a very far distance and take stalker pictures. I can only dream to be as great as the HONY blog. 

For a good five minutes I watched as this amazing surfer did tricks on her board. I applaud her for braving the frigid wind and the glacial waters. 

Seriously, with every step of the way it seemed to get colder and colder. At one point I though the wind was gonna pick me up and push me all the way back! 

Walking back I noticed how beautiful some of the coastal beach houses were. I can only wonder how freaking expensive these homes are. But then again it is real estate heaven. By the beach, especially Manhattan Beach, these homes are expected to be at least half a million! 

After the pier we decided to venture out and eat at Milk. I spotted this gem when we were driving. What I love about LA the most is the artistic aspect of the city, street art in LA is often very intriguing. I've no idea who this man is, or who the artist is, but I love it! My only question other than the subject's identity, is why in the flying heck is he wearing a spinny hat? 

Even the telephone poles at Milk have great street advertising on them. 

Milk is one of those places I suggest you do go to when you visit LA. I don't find the place to be that great, but its one of those places that you should go to, just to go to. Hence why this line outside is present. The biggest hype of this restaurant is their Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches. As tourists, we got those, but I wish I went ahead and got their other pastries! They looked a whole lot more tastier than a simple ice cream sandwich.

As a designer, I am however, a huge fan of their logo and namesake. Milk, a simple ingredient found in most pastries, ice cream, etc. What other way is there to advertise it but by putting it simply in milk bottles? Whoever designed this logo, deserves a standing ovation. I'm all for simple logos and straight to the point titles. 

To the left of Milk was this cafe. I love the "Internet Access" poster right under their signage. 

By the time I was at the entrance, I was lucky enough to snap some pictures of their mini ice cream pints for sale. They keep simplicity at its best, I can picture these pints for sale at Dean & Deluca. 

Their infamous Ice Cream Sandwiches. Originally, I wanted the Thai Tea flavoured one, but upon entrance I figured that they sold out. So instead, I opted for Cookies and Cream. 

Various other ice cream flavours. The colors were so alluring and real refreshing to look at. 

Around the corner from where all this ice cream was, was Milk's other pastry selections. 

I think what I love about being in bakeshoppes is the complete and utter eyecandy that there is. Sensory overload when it comes to looking at the pastries! I love it when the colors are all coordinated, with different splashes of it here and there. 

The sheer size of this sandwich was gargantuan! Think of a fist, and add three inches to the height. It took me a while to eat, but it was still pretty good. I just wish the macaron sandwich itself wasn't so sweet. Other than that, the Cookies and Cream flavor is something I recommend. Bummer though, that the Thai Tea one ran out. 

Afterwards, we went back to our hotel to chill out a bit. My elder cousin was arriving from LAX in the next hour so we decided to pick her up, then eat. I didn't get pictures from where we ate because I was just way too famished. With my sister's recommendation, we ate at Ruen Pair. This fabulous Thai restaurant in the middle of Thai Town. 

I really wish I had gotten pictures of the food, but I can now only imagine them. My sister was completely right about their Thai Tea. Nothing like it can ever be found in Vegas. 

The final hurrah of the night was when we visited LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Though we didn't actually visit the museum, we visited the Urban Light installation. 

from good ol' wikipedia: 
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is an art museum located on Wilshire Boulevard in the Miracle Mile vicinity of Los Angeles. LACMA is on Museum Row, adjacent to the George C. Page Museum and La Brea Tar Pits. LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States. It attracts nearly a million visitors annually. It holds more than 120,000 works spanning the history of art from anicent times to the present. In addition to art exhibits, the museum features film and concert series.

We got their pretty late so the museum itself was already closed, but the Urban Light Installation was still up and running. It's way prettier late into the night anyways. 

As an artist myself, I was really surprised at the sheer size of these street lamps. It's a rare occurrence for me to actually see art installations, much less living in Vegas. As good ol' wikipedia states: 

Urban Light (2008) is a large-scale public art assemblage sculpture by Chris Burden located at the Wilshire Boulevard entrance to the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art. The installation consists of 202 resorted street lamps from the 1920s and 1930s. Most of them once lit the streets of Southern California. 

The sheer size of these lamps was pretty amazing to me. While in it, it almost felt mazelike. The lamps are of 17 different styles so it was pretty cool seeing the difference in each one. The white casting on them brightens the place a whole lot more. What's also real cool about these lamps is that they are completely self-sustainable. They are completely solar powered and turned on at dusk, lighting up Wilshire Boulevard. 

Size comparison of these street lamps. My sister is 4'11. You can do the math on how tall these structures are. 

Shoes of the night. My electric blue Dr. Martens and my sister's Tory Burch sandals. 

We called it a night; we had to wake up bright and early the next day for my baby cousin's baptism. It was my first time meeting her, and she is quite possibly one of the cutest babies I have ever laid my eyes on! 

White button down: Comme des Garçons
Pants: HUMAN drop crotch trousers. 
Socks: H&M Union Jack socks
Shoes: Brogue Dr. Martens 

The baptism was at Loyola Marymount, one of the prettiest campuses I've ever seen! My Aunt Kara and my Uncle Tim held their wedding here a couple years prior. Now, it was their baby's baptism! I didn't take many pictures of the event but it was really fun!

Ava is the absolute cutest! She's the most quiet baby I've ever interacted with, and that just doubles her cuteness. Ahh, I wish to see you more!! 


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