When I was 16 or so I started babysitting a wonderful kindergartner named Jennie Rose. Fast forward 13 years and she is one of my best friends and an honorary sister (along with her older sister Carly). To celebrate Jennie Rose graduating high school, she got to pick a location for a weekend sister adventure. The final selection ended up being LA mainly because we were planning on going to the Museum of Ice Cream. The museum didn’t end up working out but we did plan the most fabulous adventure weekend full of activities, cute outfits, laughs and desserts.
WARNER BROTHERS STUDIO TOUR . Jennie Rose and Carly love Friends so when we read that the Central Perks set was part of the Warner Brothers Studio tour it was decided. I highly recommend this tour to anyone looking for touristy things to do in LA. It was over 3 hours long and well worth the price. I think my favorite part was driving around the studio by all of the sound stages and seeing everything in action. Other highlights included the Central Perks Friends set, seeing a few of the Big Bang Theory’s dressed sets and hearing about live studio audiences, Pretty Little Liars costumes, the prop warehouse and Harry Potter props (including Voldemorts/Tom Riddle costumes).
ESCAPE ROOM 60OUT . We did the escape room called Grandma’s Master Plan at 60OUT and it was by far one of my most favorite escape rooms to date, if not my favorite. It had a really unique theme and really creative puzzles. There was a really good balance of physical and mental challenges and lots of rooms. They gave us 75 minutes to escape and we escaped with 24 seconds to spare!
OLIVE AND JUNE NAIL SALON . This nail salon is straight out of my dreams. The aesthetic of the salon combined with the most amazing pedicure made me feel so refreshed and ready to take on the world. Unfortunately, I was stubborn and wore Nikes to the appointment which resulted in me wearing disposable pink foam flip flops around Rodeo Drive and Melrose after the pedicure which was quite the fashion statement. Although pretty funny in retrospect.
SANTA MONICA AND VENICE BEACH . We rented the most bizarre bike at the Santa Monica Bike Center to ensure maximum laughter. It was quite a success. With Jennie on the back of the bike and Carly on her roller skates, we were off to Venice Beach. We tried to go to Rose Café/Restaurant but they weren’t serving food which was a bummer because it looked awesome. At least I got to get photos of Jennie Rose with the rose mural and sign. We spent some time wandering up Abbott Kinney Boulevard which was full of super trendy shops and food, I am sure we could have spent a whole day shopping there if we had the time.
FOOD AND DESSERTS We covered a lot of ground in this department.
Milk – Dessert heaven. Known for macaron ice cream sandwiches. Sooooo good.
El Coyote Café – Established in 1931, seems like a very happening late night place. We got takeout to bring to the hotel room and it was SUPER delicious.
Brunch at Hotel Bel-Air – One of our goals for the trip was to have room service brunch and eat it in our white poofy robes. It was a very luxurious way to start the day, but the breakfast food felt pretty standard despite the price tag.
Alfred’s Coffee – Home of “But First Coffee” and also home of the most delicious pastry I have had in a really long time. Chocolate hazelnut danish, I will never forget you.
Osteria Mozza – Our last night we consulted the concierge for dinner reservations, something we should have thought of sooner because she was full of ideas. She made us a reservation at Osteria Mozza and I had the best pasta dish I think I have ever had. We had a fun people while consuming free Prosecco (thanks to the concierge!) and lots of carbs. The restaurant has a hip family atmosphere and the dark green walls and green plaid accents on the staff’s uniforms reminded me of the Wizard of Oz. Definitely would recommend to any foodie who loves pasta.
Amorino Gelato – This was a Yelp find and is known for gelato served in flower form! We were there right before closing (after Osteria Mozza) and there were hardly any flavors left which was a bummer but also indicative of how delicious the gelato was. Then again, I have never met a gelato I didn’t like. Yes, the flower shape did make it taste even better.
Carrera Café – Conveniently located right next to the Instagram famous pink wall, Carrera Café can make all of your coffee art dreams come true. If you have ever wondered where you could get your face printed on your coffee, look no further. Carrera uses an app where you can upload any photo or choose from a library of designs and have it put on your latté foam. The future has arrived.
Taste – Our timing was a little off when we went to Taste and we ended up having to take the food to go. We walked from Carrera to Taste which was an easy walk UNLESS you do it in disposable pink foam flip flops. I wish we could have had more time at this restaurant because we were seated in a really nice indoor/outdoor area and the food was delicious.
HOTEL BEL-AIR . Picture this: you are driving on a narrow shaded road that winds through neighborhoods full of perfectly landscaped mansions with gates. You are busy drooling over all of the amazing picturesque houses when you finally see it. Hotel Bel-Air. We rolled up in our dirty Honda hybrid and were carefully attended to the moment we got out of the car. Our car was taken by the valet, we walked across a bridge that goes over a pond with swans, and in the reception we were greeted by name and our paperwork was all ready to be signed. HOW DID THEY DO THAT. Magic.
We were escorted through the primarily green and pink colored grounds, scanned the restaurant for famous people, and were dropped off at our super dreamy and huge room. It took a moment for us to soak it all in. We loved the heated floors in the bathroom and the heated toilet seat. I wonder if I will ever have the chance to use such a fancy toilet ever again. I wish we would have had more time to explore the hotel and sit by the pool, but probably better that we stayed busy with all of our awesome activities.
The two nights that we stayed there, the hotel was setting up for a very fancy wedding that we were told would be happening on Monday. They told us we would certainly read about it in the news. Sure enough, we did – it was Stevie Wonder! I hope his third marriage is the charm.
The hotel was as fancy as it gets (or at least as fancy as I can imagine a hotel ever being). It felt so special to feel like a princess with my sisters for the weekend and I will never forget our debates about what the minimum tip should be for the valet.
We had such an action-packed magical weekend in LA that was full of sister memories. Everything that we had planned lived up to our expectations which I feel like is something that never happens. Soon Jennie Rose will be off to Maine and Carly off to Pittsburgh and I can’t wait for the next time me and my honorary sisters are all together in the same place.