(Happy belated birthday to me!)

Every year I like to try and go somewhere for my birthday – mainly to distract from the fact that I’m getting older and there’s nothing I can do about it lol. This year, my boyfriend and I had initially wanted to go to Vancouver, in hopes of kicking it with my cousin who lived there, but unfortunately (and fortunately), he moved back to Toronto this summer, so that really threw a wrench in our plans.

I mean, it’s not like we couldn’t go to Vancouver at all, but hanging with a local would have made the visit way easier. On top of that, flights to the west end aren’t cheap, so that really made us consider other options. Since I’ve already been to Vancouver before, another place I’ve always wanted to visit was LA. On the contrary, Harold had never been to Vancouver, but has been to LA years back... but like, it was myyyy birthday trip so... #sacrifices... Plussssssss at the time we were looking for other trip options, they had just announced a new batch of tickets for the Museum of Ice Cream. I told myself that if I was able to score some tickets for the MOIC on the release date that LA would for sure be our destination this year. Thankfully I did, so LA it was!

  So yea, I was super lucky to be able to grab some tickets for the MOIC (FYI - they sold out in one day!), so the planning pretty much revolved around that date. Considering I had never been to LA – or to California for that matter – I was pretty much open to anything regarding what we were going to do there. I knew beforehand that LA had a huge art culture, so museum/gallery hopping was definitely on my list!

“What is art? Are we art? Is art art?”

The Light

All of the Lights

Now onto the main event lol: the Museum of Ice Cream, of course! ...Which actually is more of a series of art installations vs. an actual museum. I’m sure we were given a total of like 5 fun facts about ice cream throughout the whole experience, haha.

STORY TIME: We were actually supposed to go on this trip with my cousin and his gf, Vanessa, but do to scheduling issues, they weren’t able to join us. Earlier this year, Vanessa tagged me in a MOIC insty post and was like: LA THIS YEAR? And I was like yaaaaaaaaaaa! At that time, tickets were sold out and some were even being resold on kijiji for $250USD a pop (regular adult ticket prices sold for $30USD on the MOIC website), so when they announced another batch of tickets, I knew I had to get on it! Tickets are sold in half hour time slots, though you won't necessarily get “kicked out” if you stayed a bit longer in one room. The only thing they ask is that if you received a treat in one room (such as ice cream, chocolate, gummy bears, mochi, etc.), that you finish it in the room you received it in, before moving onto the next installation.

Anyway, the day had finally come, so I put on my pink ice cream bodysuit and headed into the most beautiful exhibit I had ever seen! Shout out to Heraldo for taking such sweet pics.

I hear your callin’, “Here I come baby”

Look at all those bananas...

Will cry over spilled ice cream šŸ’”

Sprinkle pool loungin’

Sad story is that my phone crapped out less than halfway through out trip, due to the humidity/moisture in our Airbnb. Super upset because I totally took some cool photos myself that I was excited to share, but I was a dummy and did not back it up to The Cloud. Good thing is that I have the best bf in the world, and he was nice enough to let me borrow his phone to capture some cool moments – yup, he’s a real one!

Another thing that was on our list was to hike the Hollywood Sign. When we were planning the route, there were a few different trail options, including some that only took you to a distant view of the front of The Sign. Although these trails were not as challenging, I geared up for this hike and did not want to settle for anything less than actually making it to the top! It was about a 20km hike round trip – uphill on the way up. It took us about 2 hrs to get to The Sign (including some off trail miscalculations en route), but the view was rewarding and was definitely worth all the effort! The best part of it all was that the way back was mainly downhill, so that helped cut down the travel time.



Another item on my list was to visit the Santa Monica Pier. I didn’t really have any expectations coming here, but the sights driving into the area were sooooooooooo nice. I love me some carnivals, so this place was definitely for me! Only bummer that it was a little too chilly for a dip in the water (though the weather was really NOTHING to complain about at all).


Wish you were here...

Also, funny enough, we were there for Amber Rose’s Slut Walk. Unfortunately, no good photos of that, which is a shame because it was actually such an experience! Nevertheless, here’s an unrelated photo of me feelin' peachy, sitting at a bus stop lol:

Another one of my favourite experiences in LA was Grand Central Market. One of my friends told me that this place was a must if I was ever headed to LA. I actually forgot about it 'til we were looking around for a bite, and stumbled upon it. To compare, it's similar to the St. Lawrence Market here in Toronto, but way more modern, and way, way cooler. We ended up eating here three out of the five days we stayed in LA, and for a city with an abundance of food choices, that's really saying a lot! Shout out to the good people at Sari Sari Store for hooking it up while we were there! If you're in the mood for some delicious (and filling) Filipino comfort food with a twist, you must go here! The tortang talong is to diiiiie for... but so is pretty much everything else on their menu. Buko pie anyone?

Besides that, there are a few taco stalls (all of which are super yummy), as well as the infamous Egg Slut, a vegan ramen joint (complete with a vegan egg... look it up), and a place that serves Thai iced tea so authentic, it's got me missing Thailand like crazy (a post on THAT later).

Sari Sari Store / Sticky Rice

Before leaving for LA, I was actually pre-warned about all the downsides of the city and how it's not actually as it's depicted on TV. To an extent, I kind of got that impression while we were there: there was a larger amount of homelessness than I had anticipated (ie. people squatting in what I like to call "tent city"), there was a lot of pollution and smog, and over all not everything was as glitz and glam as I would've thought. It actually made me miss Toronto quite a bit. Also - PRO TIP: rent a car! Their public transit system won't really help getting around the city. Aside from all that, I still had a great first time in LA! We were blessed with such amazing weather, too! Thank goodness for Sunny California.

To LA, with love.