California Dreamin'

Last time I was in California I only spent a few hours in Los Angeles before I had to hit the road. This time around Elizabeth and I got to spend three full days touring the "City of Angels." If you're more of a visual person you can take a look at my entire photo album instead

How did we get there?

Elizabeth and I flew Delta from Omaha (OMA) to Los Angeles (LAX) with a connection in Minneapolis (MSP). I reviewed those flights in greater detail on my last post, so you can read about them here.

Starting our journey to LA

Where did we stay?

No fancy hotels for us on this leg of the trip. Our friends Colin & Anna have an apartment in LA so they were kind enough to put us up for the three nights we were in town.

What did we see?

Right after we landed we were whisked off to the mountains for a hike up San Gabriel Peak. It was a great afternoon to be outside and enjoy the sunshine. The hike was just over four miles, but there were some spectacular views along the way. It’s tough to tell from my photos, but you can see the LA skyline from the top of the peak.

The squad

Views from the top of San Gabriel

Elizabeth and I

Sunday we set off down the Pacific Coast Highway en route to Malibu. We decided to make a quick pit stop at El Matador State Beach and boy am I glad we did! El Matador has got to be one of the most picturesque beaches in California. I thought I was reliving the opening scene of Grease right there on the sand.

El Matador State Beach, California

El Matador State Beach, California

Toes in the water

We hopped back in the car and continued to our final destination, Malibu Wines. It’s situated in the hills of Malibu and offers a fantastic place to hangout and enjoy some great wine and even better company. There are tables available on a first come first serve basis and you can bring in whatever snacks or food you'd like. We brought along quite the spread and before you knew it, we’d gone through well over 4 bottles of wine! It’s a great way to spend a Sunday.

Malibu Wines

Malibu Wines

Malibu Wines starter pack.

Matt Bellassai has nothing on us!

Monday we got up and hit Abbott Kinney Boulevard in Venice. GQ Magazine named Abbott Kinney the "Coolest Block In America." We grabbed some coffee and walked the length of the street enjoying the sights and sounds.

Abbott Kinney Boulevard

After that we shot back over to Santa Monica for a walk along the pier. I swear I could go to California a handful of times a year and I’d never get sick of Santa Monica Pier.

Santa Monica Pier

Where did we eat?

Our first night in town we went to Hanjip Korean BBQ. Elizabeth and I had never had Korean BBQ before, but it’s changed my life forever. I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir, but you can literally eat as much meat as you want! How good does it get? They just kept bringing plate, after plate, after plate of delicious meats to your grill. I was in protein heaven!

Korean BBQ

We went through some MEAT!

Sunday morning we had brunch at Malibu Farm. It’s located at the end of the Malibu Pier and offers a great selection of both breakfast and lunch foods. The food was delicious, but the views were even better. You can’t beat eating brunch while gazing across the Pacific Ocean. I had the burger and broccoli mashed potatoes (I know you’re thinking that sounds really weird, because I thought the same thing). Believe it or not, but it was actually quite tasty!

Malibu Farms

Malibu Farms

Malibu Farms brunch

Brunch with a view

Monday we grabbed lunch at Mendocino Farms. I’d classify this place as an upscale Panera if you would. They offer a variety of artisan sandwiches, salads, and soups. If I’m not mistaken, the majority of their offerings are either raised or harvested right in California.

Menocino Farms

Delicious artisan sandwhiches 

Located conveniently next door was Sidecar Doughnuts. I mean who can say no to these?

Sidecar Doughnuts



I haven’t spent a ton of time in Los Angeles, but every time I visit I seem to like it more and more. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: thank you Anna & Colin for being such great hosts every single time we’re in town!

What are your favorite things to do when you visit Los Angeles?