This past October, Matthew and I were finally able to return to LA for the ‘real LA experience.’ You know – sunny weather, blue skies, lazy beach day, bottomless mimosas on Hollywood Boulevard, a free improv show, and of course, an appearance on the Price is Right.
Thanks to Google Flights, we were able to find a cheap round-trip flight on United, and thanks to William & Megan (Matthew’s brother and his brother’s girlfriend), we had a free spot to stay and some great company throughout our trip!
Since they were living right down the block from Hollywood Boulevard, we had a prime spot to explore the area – unlike last time when our Airbnb canceled on us, and we ended up in Koreatown (still a fun experience!) – and since they knew the area pretty well and had a car to drive us around – last time we took the bus and train everywhere (still had a blast) – we were able to see a lot of different things!
Because we arrived late Friday night (you have to sacrifice some sleep for those late-night flights ’cause they’re cheaper!), our trip didn’t truly start until Saturday. We began our morning with a hike up Runyon Canyon for a view that was more than worth the steep, steady incline.
After that, the whole day was dedicated to the beach and a significant level of laziness. So, with 2 bikes, beach towels, games, Subway sandwiches (we had coupons 🙂 ), and a cooler full of beer, we drove from LA, through Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Bel Air, and to Santa Monica – a place we visited last time we were in LA, but one that we weren’t fully able to enjoy due to the cold, rainy weather.
What a difference the sunshine makes! We spent all day on the beach, biked to the Santa Monica Pier and to Venice Beach, and ended the day watching a beautiful sunset over the water – all without rain, chills, and a care in the world.
Sunday began with a nice stroll around the Hollywood Reservoir, an easy 3-mile trail around ‘Lake Hollywood,’ from which we were able to enjoy great views of the Hollywood sign.
Then, it was time for bottomless mimosas at Jameson’s Irish Pub, an Irish bar on Hollywood Boulevard. $12 for bottomless mimosas, bellinis & bloody mary’s while watching football and playing beer pong – a fun time until, like always, it isn’t. Everyone was practically dead after a few hours of sugary alcoholic drinks, so we walked over to Matthew’s favorite spot, In-N-Out, which I must admit is incredibly good, especially given how cheap it is.
After In-N-Out & a much-needed nap, we went to an improv show at Upright Citizens Brigade, where you can catch a free show on certain Sunday nights – just check their calendar to find a free show & get there a little early so you’re guaranteed a seat!
The next day, our last day in LA began with a run up Runyon Canyon for an even better view with clear skies enabling us to see for miles from the top!
After that, the rest of our day consisted of our participation in The Price is Right. We were super stoked about this (even though I’d never seen the show until we watched it the night before..). It really was a true LA experience, but one that lasted all day, taking up the final hours of our trip. I urge everyone to go ahead and try it, but only if you’re super into the show and if you have all the time in the world – because it is free, and anyone can be an audience member by grabbing tickets here. BUT just be prepared to be there at least 6 hours, and be ready to act obnoxious so that you may get a chance to be a competitor and have a chance at winning some crazy prizes.
All in all, it was a great trip! But, we agree with William & Megan when they say they couldn’t live there for very long – the traffic is ridiculous, the city is way congested and there’s just too much going on. However, I totally think it’s worth a visit or 2, as both of our LA experiences were fun and eventful, and full of opportunity to partake in unique activities you can’t find elsewhere.
Not sure if we’ll be back after we got our fill of sunshine, but now I’m even more interested in seeing more of that sunny state – stay tuned for more adventures!
frugal & free,