California Dreamin'

A Weekend Jaunt to La La Land

As many of you know, my husband and I relocated to the West Coast from Boston a couple of months ago. The original plan was to end up in Los Angeles, but our plans changed a bit when my husband got a job offer in San Diego that he could not pass up. But we are close enough to LA that it's now my new favorite for a weekend getaway. 

I know there are tons of people who can't stand LA but maybe they have not been to the right places? I dunno, because I LOVED it. LA reminds me of a sunnier, more spread out version of New York City. Lots of energy but not too much (because after all it IS California we're talking about) and made up of a bunch of neighborhoods all with their own personality. So just find your groove and you too will learn to love LA.

By no means am I an expert in this city, considering this was my first real visit (can't really count the night before my Mexican Riviera cruise in '09) but I can promise you that these things will not disappoint:

Hollywood Boulevard & the Walk of Fame - Okay so this one might disappoint. It's kinda gross (this is where Vivian was picked up by Edward in Pretty Woman...) but it's fun to look for your favorite stars. No need to spend more than an hour or two here and avoid the Chinese Theater if crowds are not your thing--it's like Times Square. TIP: To maximize your time, look up the location (by block) of your star in the search bar here so you're not wandering around aimlessly. 

Su Sussudio... 

Su Sussudio... 

Space, the final frontier

Space, the final frontier

Jessica Fletcher <3

Jessica Fletcher <3

Hollywood Sign - Nothing defines LA more than this and the best view is from Griffith Park. But if there are events being held at the park making it impossible for you to get there (need I mention the awfulness known as LA traffic?!), the next best thing is to head up into Hollywood Hills to Runyon Canyon Park. The view of the city and the mountains are spectacular and you're able to spot your famous sign.

Tough to spot in the haze!

Tough to spot in the haze!

Rodeo Drive - Don your best outfit, don't forget your wallet and take a stroll down this beautiful boulevard lined with designer shops and fancy cars. Big mistake. Big. HUGE.

Gorgeous Via Rodeo

Gorgeous Via Rodeo

Beverly Hills - Home to gorgeous parks and streets, celebs, Rodeo Drive, icons like the Beverly Wilshire Grand and the Beverly Hills Hotel, and the best show of the 90s (but if you want to see the Walsh residence, you'll have to drive to the 'burbs...Altadena to be exact).

Welcome to BH 90210

Welcome to BH 90210

Palm tree-lined streets of Beverly Hills

Palm tree-lined streets of Beverly Hills

West Hollywood - If Beverly Hills is the Upper East Side of LA, then West Hollywood is the Village. This neighborhood feels super trendy/cool and has more going on than adjacent Beverly Hills.

In LA, even the Restoration Hardware is beautiful

In LA, even the Restoration Hardware is beautiful

If you're curious about where to eat, some memorable places include Mario Batali's Osteria Mozza (reservations needed) and the Neapolitan pizzeria and craft cocktail joint Sotto (also need reservations) for dinner. Check out Bouchon in Beverly Hills, perfect for brunch or lunch on a lovely outdoor patio (don't forget to pop into their bakery for a treat and keep your eyes peeled for celebs). For top notch espresso drinks and delish avocado toast, visit Comoncy in Beverly Hills.

And lastly if you're curious about where to stay, first choose your neighborhood (like Beverly Hills or West Hollywood..really I don't know where else you'd want to be) and then see what's available in your price range, roofdeck pool a plus. We landed a good rate (and wanted the Starwood points) at the hip SLS but some other good options are the Mondrian, the Viceroy and the Montage. Enjoy!

Rodeo Drive, oh how I wish I had unlimited funds to spend...

Rodeo Drive, oh how I wish I had unlimited funds to spend...

The Beverly Wilshire Grand

The Beverly Wilshire Grand

The Walsh residence in Altadena

The Walsh residence in Altadena

Melrose Place! For Kyle :)

Melrose Place! For Kyle :)

Volare....

Volare....

Frank Sinatra (tough to read)

Frank Sinatra (tough to read)

For you Auntie Barbara :)

For you Auntie Barbara :)

I love Samantha from Bewitched!

I love Samantha from Bewitched!

Princess Grace

Princess Grace

Bye Bye Boston & Blogger Goes on Break

For those of you who know me personally you've been wondering how it is that I've lived in Boston my whole life. A lover of sunshine and warmth I've wondered the same thing and I've always thought I was born in the wrong place because those brutally cold Boston winters never get any easier despite my 30+ years of experience. So I am proud and excited and scared all at the same time to announce that I am finally relocating to a warmer climate! Yes, you've read that right. I am packing up and headed west to La La Land, a.k.a. Los Angeles. <<cue the O.C. theme song>>

Having never really spent much time in California and always being the crazy planner that I am you can imagine the thoughts and emotions I'm experiencing at the moment. Excited to experience something new. Scared of the unknown. Curious of what lies ahead. Confused that I will not need a puffy down coat in winter or big clunky snow boots (just confused about wardrobe in general....). Thankful to be young and able and to have the opportunity to do something like this. Sad to leave behind friends and family and the support system I've built over so many years. Overwhelmed to find a home, all new healthcare providers, hair stylists, therapists, fitness instructors. Worried how a quiet little New England girl will fit in with all the cool cats of LA. But most importantly, I'm HAPPY to be doing this with my number 1 by my side.

So this Friday I say goodbye to Boston, throw our belongings in storage and hit the road, literally. No planes for us, my husband and I are driving so we can get our car out there, which from what I understand we will be needing a lot more than we've ever needed a car here. We will be taking a (minor) detour to Florida to spend a couple of weeks with my parents and from there we will be making our way west stopping along the way in states that I've never seen. Yay, checking items off the bucket list!

I am also letting my readers know that my blog posts will be temporarily on hold while I take on life on the road but I encourage you to follow me on Instagram @jetsettingwithjess as I road trip across country. Once I'm settled I will pick back up right where I left off, promise!

Oh and one last thing. The invite to LA will always be open! Come on, you know you want to visit us ;)