Tuesday, November 13, 2012

california adventures 3 :: day 3 part I
pasadena & downtown los angeles

monday (10/22) :: day 3
Leah's friend Catherine who lives near LAX was nice enough to let us stay at her place Sunday and Monday nights while we were in town and even let us sleep in her bed and borrow her car while she was working Monday. She is seriously amazing, and such a generous host.

When me and Leah woke up in the morning Catherine was already at work and the girls had already gone to their morning classes. We decided to pick them up once again and take them to lunch before saying goodbye. My parents had flown back to Oregon early in the morning, so it was just us girls, which was a lot of fun. After grabbing some coffee up the street and having some directional mishaps, we finally made it in to town and decided that we would head for Pasadena once again since it was the closest area with nice places to eat.

We decided to check out one of the many Italian restaurants in the area and found a cute little place called Mi Piace. We ordered their spinach and goat cheese gnocchi, an arugula salad with apples and walnuts, caprese, and a cold seafood salad with everything in it. It was a delicious lunch. It was kind of funny how as each plate was set down at our table we each took pictures of everything before disturbing the food. What silly and similar sisters I have. :)

[[ our delicious italian lunch. ]]
[[ little sister at lunch. ]]

After lunch we were all craving something sweet and found an adorable macaron shop up the street called 'Lette where I had my first ever macaron!! I have concluded that they are delicious if done right, and these ones certainly were. They were so pretty you almost didn't want to eat them... almost. My favorites were the Sweet Wedding Almond and the Columbian Coffee. I don't understand how they packed so much richness in to such a tiny cookie, but I am hooked now.

[[ enjoying our 'lette macarons. ]]
[[ a few pictures of the little shop interior. ]]

[[ playing with reflections. ]]

[[ the scientology building we parked in front of, awkward.  ]]

Now this is the part of the trip I was really excited about... 
As you may have noticed from my many California related posts, I have been all over this summer, but never got to spend any time in downtown Los Angeles. Leah had made dinner reservations with some of her local friends, but after dropping the little girls off at their school and saying goodbye, we had lots of time to kill. We decided to stop in at The Standard Hotel to check out their rooftop bar, which was amazing(!), but I took so many pictures that I will have to give this part of the day its own post tomorrow, so stay tuned for those pictures...

[[ driving around in downtown la. ]]

We were up on the roof for several hours enjoying the sunshine, but after Catherine met up and we had a cocktail and snack, we moved on to another bar close by. Along the way Catherine took us in to her favorite hotel, The Millennium Baltimore, which according to her has hardly been changed since it first opened in since 1923, and it did have the looks and grander to back that statement up. We just took a quick walk through the common areas downstairs and then continued on our way.

[[ the baltimore millenium hotel: gallery bar. sign. front entrance. lobby. ceiling. hallway. ]]

On our previous bartenders recommendation, we found ourselves on another LA rooftop at a bar called Perch. As opposed to The Standard, which obviously took influence from the 1960s, Perch, which was situated above an office building, seemed to be themed after 1920's Paris. We had time for another drink, a mini hotdog (because we are classy ladies), and to watch the beautiful sunset before we had to leave for dinner a few more blocks up the street.

[[ perch: menu. city view. pretty building. tile floor. the rooftop. leah & catherine. me. reflections. ]]

Dinner was at a new restaurant called Baco Mercat that supposedly people have been raving about. The food was just ok...  but the atmosphere was really nice and I got to meet or re-meet some of Leah's friends from grad school. We tried an assortment of open faced sandwiches (their specialty) including the pork carnitas which is their signature dish, as well as a variety of other items. I was drinking Green Flash Saison Diego (a California draught beer), which I thought was pretty delicious (and looked like butter beer). Once we were finished with dinner we headed back to Catherine's place to sample a few more macarons, pack up for our early flights, and get to sleep.

[[ sunset. the alexandria hotel. street lights. baco. ]]

tuesday (10/23) 
I believe we got up some time around 5am, showered, gathered our things, and were at the airport by 6am. I was more than half asleep and settled in to wait for my 8am flight, which I was thankfully able to sleep on a little bit. When I landed in rainy chilly PDX and was greeted by my dad, I was relieved to find some less muggy weather. I eventually got to my car, made the hour and a half drive home, and passed out for about four hours. It was an extremely busy and exhausting weekend, but I would not have had it any other way. Plus, it was great to see my sisters before Christmas time since we are all so spread out now!

[[ view from my plane window at lax, goodbye southern california. ]]