LOS ANGELES

February 1, 2016

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When I booked a flight to Los Angeles, I had no idea that it would coincide perfectly with last weekend's record-breaking snowstorm. Either way, that California sun was exactly what I needed, as frigid temperatures have set in here on the East Coast in recent weeks. I, for one, was thrilled to be able to wear sandals, dine al fresco, and ditch the parka in the dead of January, even for a couple of days.

My brother and I kept a loose itinerary for the long weekend, but knew that we wanted the trip to involve time in both the city and in nature. Between bigger plans such as a hike in Griffith Park, a road trip to El Matador State Beach, and a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park, we filled the spare moments in between with incredible options near the Silver Lake area: amazing food, coffee (of course), and simply soaking in LA's warmth and relaxed atmosphere.

In order: Venice Beach, an amazing lunch at Gjelina with the lovely Michelle, Griffith Observatory (then a hike to the top of the Griffith Park), Dinosaur Coffee, The Bates Motel, the mountains of Santa Monica on the way to Malibu, El Matador State Beach by sunset (alongside probably hundreds of other photographers), Santa Monica Pier by night, breakfast at Sqirl (that infamous ricotta toast!), and the stunning, otherworldly Joshua Tree National Park, which has been a long-time bucket list item of mine.

And lastly, here are a few extra photos that I posted during the trip, from my Instagram:

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