santa monica sunset

My birthday is coming up towards the end of this month, and my companion has decided to take me on a road trip down to Southern California (Los Angeles to be exact).  We are going to drive my new station wagon (which I found out is also categorized as a “shooting-brake station wagon” in car/auto language) down to Los Angeles for an extended 3-day weekend & just relax.  I’ve got my fingers crossed hoping that the weather will be warm enough for a no-sweater-necessary weekend getaway.

Ok, so from where we live (near San Francisco), Los Angeles doesn’t seem like such an exotic or very exciting place to “get away”, but it’s a place very familiar to us that we want to explore more of.  Plus, it’s the most affordable option, since April seems to be one of the most expensive months out of the year to travel, & we just want to go there dang-nab-it.  Oh yeah… Also, my husband wanted to do something special for my birthday while saving some money by driving instead of flying, since we’re traveling overseas at the end of the year…again.  Yes, we’re going to Asia again.  Our friends are getting married in Taiwan, so we will be there for 1 week.  Then, we planned a 10-day layover in Japan to lower the cost of the plane tickets. (It was less expensive for us to book a flight with a layover rather than fly direct.)

I chose to head to Los Angeles for my birthday & try the local food scene over there.  I live near San Francisco & practically go there every weekend, so I’ve pretty much plunged right into the whole foodie culture/movement.  I’m not quite at the organic-everything, gluten-free, açai, kale veggie, foodie level… BUT… I have sort-of gotten into the whole locally-sourced, small-batch, seasonal ingredients menu, phase.  I thought it would be cool to try out some local (& possibly hip, but not hipster) places to eat.  I’m also on a quest to find some tasty pastries & non-Starbucks coffee while we’re there.  For my birthday, my companion & I made reservations at a semi-swanky restaurant close to the hotel. (I’m staying at The Standard hotel in Downtown LA by the way.)

It’s only a 3-day trip, but I’m very much looking forward to it.  I’ve decided to treat myself to a special manicure with nail art at my favorite Japanese nail salon (Marie Nails), & my companion is going to get his hair cut at a traditional-style old school barber shop (Baxter Finley Barber & Shop) which he read also serves whiskey & other alcoholic beverages to its customers.  The birthday getaway trip is only a few short weeks away, but I’m already anticipating it with a child-like excitement.  Cheers!