PERSONALMegan Shipley1 Comment

Because seeing new places with old friends will never get old. 

First things first, had to pick up our swanky lil Nissan Sentra which allowed us to squeeze every last bit of adventure out of this trip. We hit up Manhattan Beach, Studio City, Fullerton, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, Venice Beach, and Pasadena all in the course of 5 days. Yet we somehow managed to spend endless lazy hours by the pool. The perfect balance of "going" and just "being." My kind of trip. We ended up renting from Black and White Rentals, initially solely based off the fact that they were the only company who didn't charge an outrageous fee for being under 25. Now that all's said and done, I'd definitely recommend these guys if you ever find yourself in the LA area (they're a local company) in need of some wheels! This was my first time renting a car and I was a bit nervous. Because let's get real, LA traffic + drivers =atrocious and fearless, respectively. The Waze app was our saving grace when attempting to navigate our way from Venice Beach to Pasadena during rush hour. Poor planning on our part. Mantra of that afternoon= "Your Waze our higher than our ways! *swerve* *honk* *suppress curses*" Anywho, first stop after picking up our wheels was Manhattan Beach because it would be a crying shame to make it all the way to California and not put our toes in the Pacific at least once. 

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After Manhattan Beach we headed to Studio City to stay the night with my friend Katie Brown who is literally living the dream. Proud of you girl. Also this girl's got a heart of gold. She was battling some kind of bug but was still gracious enough to open her home to us. Delta love katie! Our host was also kind enough to warn us about the LA marathon which was happening the morning we were supposed to drive to Palm Springs. After grabbing some groceries for our time in Palm Springs (which I'd highly recommend. We didn't ever pay for breakfast or daytime alchy. Saved a pretty penny yall), we headed out. In an attempt to bypass traffic and also get to see some sweet friends we decided to stop by Antioch Fullerton for church that morning!

After an hour or so of listening to Lo and Tor perform Aida duets (and yes it's just as glorious/dramatic/hilarious as it sounds), we were welcomed to the desert by these larger than life quirky guys. 

fair warning. this trip basically consisted of a whole lotta laughter, countless kodak moments, and too much good food. The recommendations are endless, but I'm going to try and highlight some of our favorites--starting with Fisherman's Market & Grill. The ceviche here, out of this world friends. 

And now introducing our accomodations for the week. I know, SWOON. I'm convinced its impossible to be anything less than giddy while staying at The Saguaro. The colors. The facility. The amenities. The staff. The location. The aesthetics. Yes yes yes and amen. When we arrived our room wasn't quite ready so we got free drinks poolside--kudos customer service. Not a bad way to start our stay. 

The Saguaro is home to the ever-tasty Tinto, a Spanish tapas style restaurant that will not leave your taste buds disappointed. Maybe our favorite meal we had while in PS. We ordered 6 or 7 items to share and my personal fav was the Albóndigas. 

girls getaway tip #1: sit down at the beginning of the trip and have each person prioritize 3-5 MUSTS. After doing this, we mapped out a verrryy flexible itinerary for the next few days. At the top of all of our lists-- POOL TIME. And man oh man did we make that happen. 


-pool side with good books

- lunch at Tyler's burgers

- attempting to go thrift (sidenote: all the shops were closed on Monday. booo) 

- truffle time at See's candies (my first time tasting these. GLORIOUS)

- dinner + photobooth at King's Highway // The ACE hotel 

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- morning bike ride through the residential neighborhood near our hotel. The Saguaro had free bike rentals. girls hit your hallelujahs. We all agreed that this was one of our favorite experiences from the week. The houses in this city-- yes and amen friends. 

- tacos at El Jefe. nom nom nom

- more pool time

- Great Shakes on our way out of town. Any drink that comes with a donut attached is a win in my book

- Drove to Joshua Tree. Lo and Tor were real gracious during this drive. It was my idea to take a half day trip to Joshua Tree. However, I, being the type-B non planner that I am, just typed Joshua Tree into google maps and took off. There was one particular spot I wanted to visit and I did not take into account that Joshua Tree is  A NATIONAL PARK (aka. it's quite large) and google maps had us enter the opposite end of the park. Additionally, I had insisted we go close to golden hour because, well we all know how I feel about golden hour, and therefore we were left literally chasing daylight down the windiest of roads. PERK: we ended up seeing the entirety of Joshua Tree National Park (from the road anyways) and Jose Gonzalez provided a soundtrack for the adventure.  

Ruben and Ozzy's Oyster Bar & Grill for dinner. The bartender at El Jefe had recommended this place to us and it did not disappoint as our last meal in the desert. The crab enchiladas-- aye chihuahua so goood. 



And just like that the time came to bid Palm Springs adieu. We stopped by the ACE one last time, grabbed some Stumptown coffee, hopped in the car, and left the desert behind. Tor's flight left that afternoon, booooo. After navigating LAX (yikes), TWICE, (took a wrong turn, double yikes), Lauren and I still had one more day in the Golden State so we stopped by Venice Beach, wished we were skaters for half a second, and then grabbed some delish pizza before heading to Pasadena. Which leads me to, the biggest bummer of the trip.... all of these  pictures are missing my favorite lil blonde lass, Claire bear! If I had a dollar for every time we said "Ohhhhh Claire! I wish Claire could be here!" then we could have stayed at the Parker for a night or two. And believe you me, that's saying something-- that place is FAN-CY. We're talking cute-men-in-salmon-pants-valeting-every-car that-comes-in-the-parking-lot fancy. Anyways, all that to say, we had the perfect end to our trip-- a night at Claire's parents' house, complete with an across-the-pond phone call from Claire bear herself! Any time spent with the Aufhammer family is a special treat. That family--pure gold yall. (Also shout out to Jacquie for the Lavender & Honey rec-- true life, I've since had a dream about their avocado toast. YUM-MY) P.S. Claire-y, though we missed you oh so much, let it be known that I'm so proud of you and the way you embrace life in it's entirety-- the valleys, the mountains, and everything in between. And hey, 2016 sounds like as good a year as any to reunite in the hills of Scotland, eh? (: 

So this post somehow turned into quite the novel. I'm not going to apologize for that. However, I will strongly encourage you to go treat yourself. Be it a cup of coffee, a piece (or 5) of chocolate, a glass of wine, some netflix, etc., you deserve it for making it all the way through. Kudos friend.