Long Beach loving and a Taking Back Sunday Saturday…

I’ve decided to create a little diary series of our trip to the West Coast of America because I think it will be super lovely to look back on one day and I can share our experience with you all. It’s going to be quite raw in terms of photography because as I’ve said before, I like my blog/Instagram/life to be unedited, so don’t expect any mad photography skills! 

What you can expect though, is an insight into our trip, some tips and inspiration if you are planning your own trip to the West Coast.

We started our trip in Redondo Beach, but headed over to Long Beach on our second day. Phil and I spent a week in Long Beach whilst on our honeymoon exactly two years ago and we loved it. There’s so much character in Long Beach with its beautiful Marina and pastel coloured boardwalk. 

Top: last year from Hush, Shorts: last year from Sainsbury’s, Sandals: years ago from Roxy, Sunglasses: Michael Kors (again from last year!).
The three of us had a mooch around the Marina until Phil left us to go to the LCS studios to watch League of Legends. He gets terribly seasick, so his Dad and I seized the opportunity to head off on a whale watching cruise.

Harbor Breeze Cruises are great for whale watching tours. I went on one in February with my friend Kate and we were lucky enough to see Gray Whales and sea lions!

The migration path along the west coast is great for spotting all sorts of sea life and on this trip we were lucky enough to spot two humpback whales! Unfortunately, one had become entangled in fishing paraphernalia and so a rescue team was on its way. The second whale was loving life wild and free.

My recommendation is to make sure you take a jumper and wear lots of sunscreen. It gets a bit chilly out in the open and quite windy when you are travelling 30 odd knots. I did cover up but I still got wind burn on my face (I’ll wear a balaclava next time 😂), but thankfully I didn’t fry. 

I then took Phil’s Dad for his first ever trip to Hooters. I really like Hooters because I love their chicken wings although on this occasion I accidentally ordered them a tad too spicy!

We then took an Uber back to Redondo Beach. Uber is really cheap in the States, presumably because the cost of driving is much cheaper. We filled up our car for under £20! It costs me over £50 back home.

It was in this Uber that I realised Phil’s Dad had not put suncream on one of his hands and was now sporting one really tanned hand. I laughed a lot in the back of that car.

I had booked Phil and I tickets to see Taking Back Sunday in the evening at The Wiltern in Los Angeles. Although we were jet lagged, it was an incredible gig with a great, well balanced set. I loved it!

Have you been to Long Beach?

L x

My Favourite things to do in La La Land…

It’s absolutely no secret that I adore Southern California. From the golden sunsets to sandy beaches I’m completely head over heels in love. It all started in 2015 when my husband and I spent a month on honeymoon along the West Coast of America. It was such a fun and dreamy time that I would relive over and over again in a heartbeat. We had just so much fun and it was from that moment on that Los Angeles became one of my favourite places in the world. That’s why when the opportunity arose to spend ten days in LA again I leapt at the chance and we were on a plane to soak up the sun by the time you could say USA. Well, almost. 
Anyway after returning from our trip I have been inspired to put together a few things that I love to do when I’m over in La La Land.

Being a Disney addict means that no trip is complete without a Mickey fix and the parks in California are fabulous. 

I must admit that the Adventure park and Disneyland itself are my favourite of all the Disney parks that I’ve visited (which includes Walt Disney World in Florida!). 

I think that the fact that this park was the original just gives it a little extra sparkle and there’s so many unique rides that I just love (the Cars ride is so cool!).  I also like that you can hop between the parks super easily (like in Paris) and it’s not overwhelming (like WDW can be). Plus it’s all in English so I feel like I experience it fully. Anyway, I always have so much fun here so I would definitely recommend a visit!

One of the other things that I love to do is shop. We love walking around the mall having a nosey and until recently you could pick up quite a bargain with the US/GBP exchange rate. A lot of my favourite brands are American so I’m in my element!

A new discovery from our recent trip was Knott’s Berry Farm, which is a theme park located in Anaheim. It’s so much fun and quite quirky. They have a couple of really odd rides there. It’s also not as busy as Disney and we literally never queued for anything. Hurrah!

We stayed in Santa Monica for a few days on this trip and it was really lovely. We loved cycling along the beach (which is also what I loved doing on our honeymoon in Long Beach), and the cycle paths that are literally on the beach make it super safe and easy. There’s loads of places to rent bicycles cheaply too. I think we paid around $16 for a couple of hours. 

There’s quite a lot to do in Santa Monica from the pier to Muscle Beach and the beach itself is layered with beautiful golden sands.

Long Beach is a gorgeous place to explore with lots of nice restaurants and a pretty marina to walk around. It’s also where they filmed a scene in Clueless which always excites me!

I went whale watching on this trip which is something I didn’t do last time as we had just been swimming with sharks in Hawaii and  poor Phil had felt terribly seasick so he didn’t fancy hopping on a boat. We also went whale watching in Iceland last year which was unsuccessful as I didn’t see any whales and poor Phil spent the four hour boat journey vomiting! 

This time I went with my friend Kate and was absolutely blown away. We were so incredibly lucky to see four grey whales as well as lots of sea lions. It was one of the most enchanting experiences seeing these wonderful giants living wild and free. We used our LA Go cards for this trip (as well as Universal and Knott’s Berry Farm!), so it wasn’t remotely expensive. I am planning on going again when we next visit for the summer migration.

Long Beach is also rather lovely with its marina and, er, beach. There are lots of nice restaurants in the hood (including the delicious Wokcano) and there are lots of cute places to enjoy the LA Lifestyle. As well as some totally instagrammable shops near the marina.

Have you visited LA? What would you recommend?

L x