Snapshot: Southern California


Over Labor Day weekend I jet set to California to see my bestest gal pal, Tin. I boarded the plane from ORD-LAX and spent the next five days oceanside. Far too much happened for a full recap so I’ll let the photos do most the talking:


Photo Aug 29, 3 37 41 PM

As one can imagine, the plane ride was less than thrilling but the trip to LAX was worth it when I ran into Josh Meyers (actor and brother of Seth Meyers) at the airport. Celebrity sighting, success.

Newport Beach

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Photo Aug 29, 3 38 15 PM

Photo Sep 01, 2 24 01 PM

Since Tin lives in Newport, this is where we spent a majority of the time. I rented a bike from Corner of Paradise ($10/day, highly recommend!) for a couple of days and spent most of my time walking and cruising up and down the boardwalk, enjoying the sun, reading a book and checking out the local shops and grub. One of the best meals I had was from Great Mex on dollar taco day. Hallelujah.

Balboa Pier

Photo Aug 29, 7 13 24 PM

Photo Aug 29, 9 44 21 PM

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Photo Aug 31, 10 14 30 AM

While I never made it across on the Balboa Ferry, I spent a good chunk of time at the Balboa Pier and Balboa Fun Zone. The most relaxing evening was spent enjoying seafood and clam chowder at Newport Landing while lover looking the harbor followed by a whale watching tour with Davey’s Locker. Although we didn’t see any whales, I wasn’t too bummed as we saw a pod of about 150 dolphins, several sea lions and seals and watched the sun go down while cruising in the middle of the ocean. Oh and I only paid half-price. Coups!

San Diego Zoo

Photo Aug 31, 8 01 08 PM

Working at a zoo has it’s perks so Tin and I spent a day at the San Diego Zoo. This place is GIGANTIC so it took a full day to see all of the animals – my all-time favorite being the 10-month-old orangutan baby swinging around his exhibit. We headed to the Gaslight District afterwards for a quick bite but struggled to find parking. Sunburn and hangriness (hungry + angry) got the best of us and we headed back north.

Los Angeles & Venice

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Photo Sep 04, 10 15 47 PM

Photo Sep 02, 9 44 20 PM

Luckily I have good friends who humor me and took me to L.A. despite the fact they would have to be stuck in traffic and have given the same tour dozens of times. For a movie buff and comedy nerd like myself, there was no doubt we had to hit up the usual spots – Hollywood Boulevard, Dolby Theater, the Hollywood sign, etc.

Afterwards we stopped by LACMA, enjoyed the public art and had some drinks. Once we were relaxed again after the hubbub that is downtown L.A., we headed off to Venice for some exploration. Venice was unexpectedly great, there were seemingly millions of street vendors, miles of beach and street art on every corner. The last and final stop before the airport was – you guessed it – In N Out. Having never been to California before, I knew this was a must. My burger was perfection with a side of onions and the animal fries were a heart attack on a plate. Lesson learned though: get your onions cooked whole and the fries regular for optimal enjoyment. Next time.

Source: jillianbraun on Instagram

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  • Reply
    September 10, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    gimme those animal fries. now. please and thank you.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2014 at 8:36 am

    these pics <3

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