TRAVEL DIARIES: Julia does LA


We are pleased to present our first guest-post on the blog today from Fitzroy hottie, beloved team member and dear friend Julia Rowland. What we love about Julia is that no matter what we ask of her, she's up for it. Model for us? Yes! Work in the shop? Sure! Walk down Bloor Street in a crazy wig and prostitute get-up? Anything for Fitzroy!!!

Julia, where would we be without you?! Today on the blog she has us missing those west coast sunsets like crazy with her travel diaries from her recent first-time trip to LA. Have a look below then book your ticket and one for us too please!



 

Day 1:


And so it begins. I haven't solo-traveled in around five years. The last time I did I took on New York City, for a two-week Shakespeare intensive of all things, and fell in love for the first time.

This time I was traveling for me and me alone. I was lucky enough to have a week off from work and sunshine and solo-time seemed like my best bet. Though I'm only gone for a few days, I'm looking forward to Julia time as well as seeing two friends I haven’t seen in a while. So, welcome to my LA diaries. Enjoy!

9:00: Board bus. It's a double decker. I FEEL SO BRITISH.

9:00 -11:30: Ontario is boring.

11:30: Cross boarder. Oh hiiiiii Americuh.

12:00: Traffic, traffic, traffic.

1215: Talk to the nicest American boarder guards I have ever encountered. One guy asks me if I live in LA. When I text my mom this later she tells me it's because I am pretty. Sigh.

13:00*: BUFFFFFFALO STANCE! I am all checked in and ready to drink at the Anchor Bar in the Buffalo Airport.



13:30: One gin and tonic in and I'm hoping to meet the future Mr. Julia here.

14:30: I LOVE AMURICAH and the Anchor Bar and gin. I really love gin. I think it's time for a coffee.

15:45: Time to board! Here we go!

17:20: Arrive in Chicago and run across O'Hare in five minutes to catch my connecting flight to LA. I am out of breath, but I can run in heels. Good to know.

17:20: Am on board and ready to LAX it.

20:23: (LA time) I am here I am here LALALALALALA. After two time changes, I am here. It is almost 11:30PM Toronto time and I'm still going. I always knew my long days in the TV biz would pay off: I run on adrenaline.






By 21:00 hours I am in my friend Allison’s car and we are driving to check in to my darling AirBnB, which has an amazing backyard and a grapefruit tree. I might never come home. Allison takes me to one of her favourite places in LA: The Flying Crow. I guess one would consider this a dive bar, but with an extensive bourbon list, this place has a lot going for it. I would also like to take this time to apologize to the bartender for making her climb up on a ladder to fetch the bourbon I ordered. I am sorry, if I had known you were going to have to put in that effort, I would have gone with Wild Turkey (shameless plug, please sponsor my life).

By the time I get back it is midnight LA time. I have been up for what feels like 93579520 hours, but am so happy to be here.


*I am using military time because it makes me feel legit.

Day 2: 




In LA I am zen. I wake up at 7AM to watch the sunrise up over the backyard; I meditate outside, drink green tea and go for walks by myself. I don't worry about all the stuff happening back home, I’m going with the flow and I am adhering to my strict no pants in LA policy.**


 Echo Park smells like flowers, grapefruit and exhaust. I am okay with this. I am totally okay with this. LA days, despite the traffic and the tourists seem calm, while LA nights are frenetic and restless. In New York, anything is possible, but in LA you get the feeling that anything could happen, both good and bad.  

** I wore pants once, but only once. Promise!


(Julia rocks our Laundry Room Party Shirt muscle tee)


Day two begins with brunch at Le Petit Quitidien with one of my favourites, Brittany, who is an actress currently living in LA. We met in New York City during said Shakespeare training and have been friends ever since. 



After brunch, Brittany and I roam up to Hollywood and Vine and pull the tourist act. I catch my first glimpse of the Hollywood Sign and it’s really quite epic. 




I don’t like acting like a tourist when I travel; I like to take things in, explore areas of the city that aren’t as congested, but f***, that sign is just cool. After roaming Hollywood for hours, we’re exhausted. After some wine in the backyard at the AirBnb we grab dinner at Antonio’s on Melrose and plan our day three adventures. 


Day 3:
 
Again, up before dawn to watch the sun rise. Really, I don’t even recognize myself here and I kind of like it. I take a long walk to Echo Park and explore the neighbourhood. 



Brittany meets me at Fix, on Echo Park Avenue, and after we roam back down to my neck of the woods. 



We drink the $3 wine I purchased earlier that day (in the morning to be exact. LA has no problem selling me booze before 11AM) in the backyard.
Everything here is supersized, from the Hollywood Sign to the gluten-free pizza, which we ordered at Brittany’s house. We devoured it. LA just does it bigger



We then get some drinks at The Virgil and lucky me, it’s Whiskey Wednesdays! Four shots of bourbon for $15 – all top shelf. My favourite was Belle Meade, followed by this baby, a 124-proof bourbon called Booker’s. So. Efffing. Good.





Day 4:
 
My final day in LA and yes, you guessed it, I am up again before dawn to do my zen thing in my backyard, which I am now calling my backyard. Brittany and I meet for brunch at the Silverlake staple, Millie’s. 



In LA, not only do I drink all the wine, but I eat all the food too. We then make a quick pit stop so I can get a permanent reminder of this trip before heading up to Fairfax and Beachwood Drive to catch a closer glimpse of the Hollywood Sign. There’s something very surreal about seeing it real life; the Hollywood machine disappears and you remember the golden era, the history – the glitz, the glamour. Unfortunately we didn’t get to hike Griffith Park and see it up close and personal, but there’s always next time. We then head over to the Santa Monica Pier, which features spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Monica itself. 



SM feels like LA, except scrubbed completely clean. We drink champagne at Shutter’s, which looks out over the beach and the ocean. We wander the pier before making our way down to the beach to drink wine and watch the sunset. I keep forgetting that tomorrow, at 6AM, I begin my long journey home. 




Brittany and I head back to LA for one final dinner together and to go out for a final drink (I make it sound like I’m heading to death row or something, nope just home to the NEVERENDING WINTER). We hug, we kiss, we cry (I think I was a little drunk by then) and I head back to my AirBnB, which really feels like my LA home.







Day Five:
 
I wake up after less than four hours of sleep and have a full day of travel ahead of me. From LA to Newark (No) to Buffalo (No) to Toronto (Okay). I can do this! I sleep on the plane and by sleep I mean I try not to lean my head on the shoulder of the two people sitting beside me. Yes, I got stuck with a middle seat. I finally make it to Newark, finally make it to Buffalo and finally, finally make it home only to be greeted by snow, slush and two parents who act like I’ve been away for years. I get home and immediately crash into bed. I sleep for twelve hours. 




Post-LA: 



I got exactly what I needed out of my trip to LA: A bit of rest and relaxing and some serious Julia time. Though it has its moments, I think I’m much more of a New York City girl than an LA girl. That being said, spending time somewhere where it is sunny and nice out all the time really, really does have an amazing effect on you. I just felt better in LA. Then again, maybe it was all the wine I was drinking. 





























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