With the school year finished and my internship not starting until the beginning of June, I had some rare free time. This summer, I am filling this otherwise dead time with a trip to Los Angeles. I am so excited about this trip and to share little snippets of my day both here and on Instagram. I love to travel and I have always wanted to get to know the West Coast better, so I am loving the opportunity to travel and see all that this area has to offer.
Day One: Travel Day!
Call me weird, but I always get SO excited for long flights because I love getting to disconnect and catch up on movies. I am a total movie junkie, so six hours on a plane just watching movies is the best to me. This time, I watched Mary, Queen of Scots, I Feel Pretty, and Smallfoot. Mary, Queen of Scots is one of my favorite historical figures and Saorise Ronan is one of my favorite actresses so I was thrilled to finally get to watch this movie! If you’re a European history lover, I would recommend it, but if not, it might not be your type of movie.
After getting into LAX, we picked up our luggage and rental car and drove a little over an hour to our hotel, Marriott’s Newport Coast Villas. We checked in, dropped off our luggage, and went out for dinner at Sol Mexican Cocina. I cannot say enough good things about this restaurant! We had shrimp taquitos for our appetizer and I got the chicken street tacos as my entree and they were AMAZING. Our waitress was so kind and even gave us a dessert, which was so tasty I never even had time for a photo. We are making plans to get back to this restaurant asap. After dinner, we returned to the hotel to get some much needed sleep.
Day Two: The Richard Nixon Library & Museum and Exploring the Resort
I am a total history nerd and that is about to show through SO much. One of my biggest bucket list items is I want to visit every Presidential Library in my lifetime. Before this trip, I had visited the libraries of Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Franklin Roosevelt. When my dad pointed out that we would be near Richard Nixon’s Presidential Library this trip, I jumped at the chance to go and mark another Presidential Library off my list.
The library was truly fascinating. I’ve studied Richard Nixon numerous times in classes, but I had never taken such an intensive look at him. The library also really dives into Watergate, which I appreciated and found so interesting. My favorite part though was exploring the outdoor grounds. Pat Nixon’s rose gardens are so beautiful, I kept stopping to look at every flower we passed. We also got to tour the house outside that Richard Nixon was born in and spent his early childhood in, which was a really cool and unique experience. While this library was not my favorite of the libraries I’ve toured so far, I truly did enjoy it and loved the opportunity to learn about Richard Nixon from a perspective I haven’t had before.
After we finished the library, we stopped at Blaze Pizza for a quick lunch and then went back to our hotel. It was too beautiful a day to stay inside, so we went out to explore the resort grounds a bit more. This place is so gorgeous, with views of the Pacific everywhere (including our room balcony!). Everywhere on these grounds is stunning and I am truly in love with the resort and with the beauty of California.
Afterwards, we went for a late dinner at Reunion Kitchen + Drink in Laguna Beach. I’ll be honest– I was mostly excited about this spot because I watched every episode of Laguna Beach and the Hills when I was in high school as a guilty pleasure. Getting to go to the town where it all started, even if just for a restaurant, was super exciting. The food also was amazing at this restaurant, which was a wonderful end to a great first full day here in California.
Day 3: The San Diego Zoo
It has been about fifteen years since I last went to San Diego, so you could say my memories of the zoo and the city were pretty murky. I did remember seeing pandas here, so you could say I was slightly disappointed today when I found out that the San Diego Zoo no longer has any giant pandas. Despite this set back, we had a lovely day at the zoo!
Fun Fact: The San Diego Zoo has the largest colony of koalas outside of Australia. I was SO excited to get to see the koalas and they were so adorable. They don’t do much, as they sleep approximately 22 hours a day, but they look like teddy bears when they sleep. I could have spent hours just watching them.
After the zoo, we drove back to Newport Coast and grabbed dinner and called it an earlier night than we have been having. Tomorrow, we are continuing our adventures and heading to Beverly Hills and yes… I will be singing this song the entire day.