Thursday, July 26, 2012

California Adventure: Day 1 (LA)

Connor & I have been planning this trip for a few months, and we were so excited that it was finally time to go! The main reason why we were heading to California was to go to a friend's wedding in Santa Barbara on Saturday. We decided to extend the trip a few extra days around the 4th of July, making it a true vacation. We had such an amazing time!

We got up bright and early on the actual 4th, and flew from CLT --> LAX. We got in around 10AM, picked up our rental car, and headed to Culver City where our friends (Mike & Lilly from Law School) live. Culver City is in the heart of LA, and is such a charming part of town. They live in a little neighborhood with palm trees and amazing houses with really cool architecture.
Lilly was already at her parent's house in Claremont (about an hour away), and we were heading over there after we dropped our stuff at their house, but our first need was TACOS. Luckily, there is a FAB taco place right in their neighborhood called Pinches Tacos.
For those of you who don't speak Spanish Slang, it means "effing tacos". Kind of hilarious. Connor & I were absolutely famished as we only packed a few granola bars and some trailmix, and being about 2:00 PM Eastern time it was LUNCH TIME. We ordered 3 tacos: Cactus, Asada, & Tongue. Yes, tongue. The Tongue taco was by far the BEST. Seriously though, I am now a devoted fan of tongue.

Isn't this place amazing? I loved the decor, and the really simple feel. The tortillas were all hand made right in front of us, and everything was just SO SO fresh! There's a location in Santa Monica as well, so make sure you stop by next time you're in LA!

After tacos, we headed out to Claremont. Lilly's sister, husband, and kids were visiting for the week so we had a really wonderful time getting to know her family. They were such gracious hosts!

They live in a canyon, and here is their view EVERY DAY:
 Seriously? Can I move in? Their house was absolutely beautiful! Oh, did I mention they have an INFINITY POOL??!??!?!?!?
 AND an infinity hot tub? OK.
 Loving life

After lots of pool time, we dried off and headed into the actual town of Claremont for the 4th of July parade. We went to one of Lilly's parent's friends houses, where we had front-row seats! She had watermelon popsicles to snack on while we watched the parade. It was so much fun! Lots of old cars, kids dancing, music, and floats!
 After the parade, we headed back to her parent's house. Oh, you wanted to see our view one more time? OK.
 While we were cooking dinner, Lilly's youngest nephew had lots of fun on his bike. He is the CUTEST. And I had fun taking pictures of him.
 Our dinner set-up
 We had ribs, burgers, & dogs. Can't get more 'Murikan than that.
Our sides: Tater salad, slaw, couscous salad, haricot verts, & fruit salad.

We had such a nice time with her family, and seeing a part of Cali that was just so incredibly beautiful.

On our drive back to Culver City, we were treated to the best fireworks show EVER. We left around 9 and saw every single firework over LA from the highway. Some small fireworks were set off in neighborhoods right over the highway, and others we could see in the distance. We saw hundreds of them! It was INCREDIBLE!

After we got back, we went right to sleep to get ready for Day 2, our first real day in LA!


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