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  • Writer's pictureLillian E.

Girls' Trip! Charlotte and Mom Visit LA

Feb. 18-21, 2022

Welcome to LA!!! Mom and Charlotte came to visit me for the first time this spring during a long weekend, so I planned it out and was ready for their arrival.

Here is our itinerary: Some of the listed restaurants and activities were simply guidelines, and we discarded them at random in favor of other things when the situation arose.

Per Marco's and my tradition, as soon as they landed we whisked them away to the land of In 'N Out!

Charlotte's first In N Out burger. I caught her mid bite!

Marco and I hopped in on the action!

And then I drove them to their hotel (and ultimately decided I would stay with them too, because life's too short not to). Can you tell Charlotte and I have different color preferences when it comes to clothes?

So Saturday morning, bright and early (they were jetlagged, I was not), I brought them to one of my favorite local breakfast spots, Met Her at a Bar! (Their brother restaurant is across the street, Met Him at a Bar, and they serve pasta the latter half of the day).

This place specializes in waffles, so of course we loaded up. We also got some mimosas, because this weekend's a party and we're celebrating! Charlotte and Mom recommend the pineapple one, I got a classic orange. If you're not in the mood for some bubbles, they have fabulous fresh squeezed orange juice too.

Post breakfast walk around the neighborhood. I showed them to my apartment briefly so they could finally see where I live! We snapped some pics on the way while they gushed over how sunny and warm it was compared to Connecticut, and how pretty all the blooming trees were! (I agree!)

Heading in the direction of the Academy Museum for our tour, we walked over to the park at the La Brea Tar Pits to pass some time. I wanted to show them my local greenery, and how to identify and poke active tar with a stick.

Simply locate a traffic cone and a stick, but be careful not to get it on your hands or clothes!

Showed them where to find the active excavation site.

We walked under the big rock at LACMA.

And then went to see the light installation!

Finally we made our way to the end of the block where the Academy Museum lives to meet up with Marco and finally see the new building they spent so many months building just down the street from me!

We didn't take a whole lot of photos, because most of the rooms were dark, and I was probably more focused on viewing than documenting, but the Hayao Miazaki exhibit on the third floor was absolutely my favorite (and no photos allowed anyway). So here's a photo of me with a soot sprite outside the doors to the exhibit.

Some editing equipment too, because I'm an editor.

For lunch we stopped by the Farmers Market at the Grove, because it was outdoors with plenty of options to choose from! We went for BBQ and shared all our sides.

And then we drove all the way up to the Griffith Observatory just in time for sunset (unplanned) to go explore outer space and see some famous architecture. The views aren't too bad either ;)

Dinner was my favorite part (but it's hard to choose, really) because we went to Sugarfish! If you've never been, it's not your average run-of-the-mill sushi place. This is the kind of place where you pick the prix fix menu you like (they have a la carte options too) and they start bringing you plates of sushi that simply melt in your mouth. It's delectable. I think they'd give it two thumbs up, and I'm always happy to go back!

Sunday morning found us eating breakfast at République, my absolute and all time favorite.

If their pastry counter isn't enough to wow you, then sit down and take a peek at their menu.

Mom and I got the Belgian waffles with berries.

Charlotte got the potato pancake with lox! (A personal favorite of mine)

We spent most of the day shopping, stopping for lunch:

Then we went to church, and afterwards headed to dinner at Don Cuco's for Mexican food and cocktails, because this weekend is a party and we're celebrating.

Mom and Charlotte said they didn't have time to be hungry all weekend!

Monday felt busiest. We grabbed breakfast at Bea Bea's in Burbank, something of a tradition for Mom and me since that was the first place we ever ate in LA when she dropped me off for school spring 2017, visiting again when I was invited to the Eddie Awards the following year.

Next stop: the Warner Brother's lot! Time for a tour!

We saw all sorts of props and costumes from movies, as well as the backlot where they drove us around and pointed out all the locations that have transformed into many sets over the years. There was even some interactive portions where we could get sorted into a Hogwarts house and try out forced perspective like they use in the Hobbit! I even snapped a couple photos as we went through the set of Ellen's talkshow, and of course at the Friends fountain.

At the end of the day we went to Santa Monica so I could show them the Pacific Ocean and beach. We stopped for drinks at Blue Plate Taco and shared some nachos. Marco met up with us again, having driven separately, and we spent time relaxing and people watching.

We went to the end of the pier to see the sunset.

And on our way back we stopped at the pier arcade for a couple games of SkeeBall, a favorite in the Engel household.

Dinner was Din Tai Fung takeout because the waitlist to get into the restaurant was 2-3 hours, but pickup was 45 minutes. So we wandered around the mall and found the worlds ugliest shoe: here's a photo for reference and for our memories. It's a wooly pump.

And at the end of the night, I went back to the hotel with them for one last sleepover!

The next morning we had a lovely little breakfast at the hotel before I headed off to work. They sent me updates throughout the day, wandering around Rodeo Drive before finally boarding a plane for home.

Come again soon!!

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