LA on My Mind: Three Days in Los Angeles

Well, I'm 29 now. The best way I could think of to celebrate one year closer to thirty was hightailing it out of Baltimore, late on a Friday night, for LA. Angelo and I try to get out to the West Coast a few times a year – ever since my mom relocated. Now that she's settled down in Los Angeles, we have the perfect excuse for long weekends.

I love to travel but in all honesty, my anxiety tends to get the best of me when I do so. I get wrapped up in a very frantic field of energy and I worry that I don't have enough time to see what I want to see, that I might miss something important or that I'll seem like a dorky tourist. There have been a lot of previous trips where I've second guessed myself about what I've wanted to do, worrying what other people might think and wound up missing out on some pretty cool experiences. 

There's so much to see in LA. I have a list of things I want to check out, it's constantly growing, and I'm not even halfway through it. From random walls to awesome little lunch spots, there's always a ton to check out. Here are a few of my favorite things from my weekend getaway.

1. Late Night at the Getty

You've probably seen the Getty Museum online before – the architecture is breathtaking and the museum itself is massive. On Saturdays, the Getty stays open until 9 PM and if you're in the area, I beg you to check it out.

We hit up the Getty on our first full day in LA – after a much needed nap. It wasn't actually in my weekend plan, but my mom suggested it. It's one of her favorite museums ever, and luckily she lives just down the street from it! We headed over right before the sun set, parked the car and hopped on the tram up the hill.

 I was blown away by the space as soon as we got there, and wandering through the different buildings of galleries just had me more impressed. The sun set as we reached the top of one of the buildings, allowing us to check out the gardens from above, while a simple cross to another balcony showed us Saturday night traffic whizzing down the 405.

The Getty is free to explore – and believe me, there's so much to see. We checked out the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit (my favorite), as well as some gorgeous paintings and some killer sculptures. We grabbed the last tram down the hill and headed home to crash, but the Getty after dark was one of my top experiences this past weekend.

2. Lunch at Bottega Louie

I had seen Bottega Louie online and knew I wanted to grab some macaroons from their bakery, but when I found out they had a dining room that sat 250 people, I figured it would be a great spot for lunch.

Travel speed bump – I was not the only person who had this idea. When I walked into Bottega Louie I was pretty hangry, it was incredibly loud and the hostess notified us that there was a 45 minute wait for a table. At that point I was willing to give up, head home to munch on some bread and take a nap, but my mom and my Greek husband scoped out three seats at the window of the bar – that didn't have any wait.

We sat down and I quickly ordered a Coke to boost my blood sugar, while my companions ordered brunch drinks. The bartender got our orders in quickly, and before I knew it I was apologizing for my hanger and thanking my mom and Greek husband for encouraging me to stick it out as I chowed down on a truffle and egg pizza.

Lunch at Bottega Louie reminded me that as much as you try to control what happens on your trip, sometimes things won't go as planned. That doesn't mean you should give up! I'm guilty of crashing and burning when things tend to go off track, but I'm so thankful to have people who don't let me miss out on experiences due to my easily frazzled nature. I'm glad we stuck it out, the beautiful space, awesome food and adorable desserts were a major trip highlight.

3. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Remember when I said that I used to worry about seeming like a dorky tourist? Well, I'm over that. My Greek husband and I made our way to Universal Studios at 8 am and managed to be checked into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter by 8:30. We. Went. Hard.

We checked out every store, we chatted with the different wizards and witches, we took part in the different interactive experiences and we moseyed our way through Hogwarts at a snail's pace to take in all the different rooms. We ate lunch at the Three Broomsticks, we drank frozen Butterbeer and (humblebrag) I was chosen for a wand fitting when we stopped at Ollivander's.

One of my favorite parts about travel is seeing things that I previously thought I would never see. This can range from glaciers in Iceland to the fictional world of Harry Potter. Seriously, twelve year old me imagined the whole Harry Potter world in my head for nights and nights, and the feeling of actually walking into that world as an adult - it was mind blowing. I pushed aside all my feelings of being judged, seeming weird or dorky and just enjoyed the day. I mean, I wandered through Hogwarts with my Greek husband. What more could a girl want?

By the time we left lunch at the Three Broomsticks, the place was packed. We lucked out by getting there early. The park technically opens at 9 am during the week, but if you buy your tickets online, you're eligible for early admission. We took advantage of this, which meant no lines for rides and a relatively quiet first impression of Hogsmeade.


So, some of you might be thinking – um, Rosemary, what about that crazy botanical garden you aggressively bombarded Snapchat with? Oh well, dear readers, that's Lotusland – and that deserves it's own post. Keep your eyes open for it in a few weeks. Until then, enjoy my LA favorites and if you have any questions – shoot them my way!