Stopping by to say hello! If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you already know that I’ve been spending my past two days soaking up the sun in the West Coast. It’s my first time in California and I feel a bit silly for having waited for so long to come here — the weather is gorgeous and I can’t get enough of the California sunshine.
I also had my first In-N-Out Burger experience right after I landed at LAX. James and Brad picked me up from the airport and drove directly to the nearest In-N-Out Burger for our snack. Scrumptious burgers, crispy fries…they’re worth the hype (to us East Coasters at least)!
The next morning, we stopped by The Donuttery on our way to Huntington Beach. We saw that the line was nearly out the door, so of course, we had to see what the fuss was all about. Brad had been talking about the maple bacon bars at Voodoo Donuts in Portland, and it turned out The Donuttery had them too. We also ordered the PB&J, red velvet, and blueberry doughnuts, since Yelp reviewers seemed to have given them high ratings. The verdict? Well, there was no mistake that the maple bacon doughnut was my favorite (the PB&J was a close second). Bacon is my kryptonite!
The rest of our morning was spent in Huntington Beach, strolling leisurely around the downtown area and along the pier. It was a great place to watch the waves and the surfers.
Let me interrupt this post with a quick public service announcement: do not attempt to pet the pelicans. They will try to bite you. James learned it the hard way :)
In the afternoon, we picked up some snacks and headed back to James’ grandmother’s house for a family gathering. Our contribution was James’ signature guacamole (will post the recipe soon!) which we made with the key limes we found at the supermarket!
The next day, we woke up nice and early in time for more doughnuts at Spudnuts (they’re made from potato flour), and took off exploring for the day. For me, a first-timer, it meant visiting all of the touristy spots in Hollywood: Hollywood Boulevard, Walk of Fame, TCL Chinese Theater.
And the obligatory picture of the Hollywood sign, of course ;)
After making a quick stop to pick up James’ friends, we were ready for our day trip to Santa Barbara! It was around noon when we arrived, so we decided to give Hollister Brewing Company a try for lunch. While the boys enjoyed their burger and pork tacos, I ordered the Santa Barbara fish tacos with fish chunks marinated in their Beachside Blonde Ale, one of the many beers they had on tap. It was a good call, especially when served with a crisp, icy-cold beer on the side.
James then showed us around his old campus at the University of California – Santa Barbara (where he spent his undergraduate and graduate years), including one of the beachfront buildings he lived in. With a view like that, I’m pretty sure I would not be able to get anything done!
We then visited the Santa Barbara Mission and enjoyed walking around the building and the interior garden. There were many interesting plants and flowers (lots of rose bushes), including my favorite succulents. James played his part well as the stern friar, while I took it easy as the happy-go-lucky friar.
A quick visit to the Botanic Garden and a delicious sushi dinner at Arigato Sushiu later (sorry, we forgot to take pictures), we called it a day and returned to Los Angeles. Tomorrow, we’re off to Hawaii early in the morning! I’ll share more next time!