The anticipation of a break had helped Rowan and me through a grey few months. We didn't really sleep the night before our flight. And then we arrived at the airport ready to escape. We were extremely lucky enough to purchase cheap flights due to Rowan's cousin working for an airline but I have to confess, I didn't actually realise that those flights were stand-by so when we arrived at the airport we were told to wait by the counter until half an hour before boarding to find out whether we would make it on the plane.
This was a slightly stressful couple of hours but then our tickets were printed and we were given the go ahead and we ran through security to our premium economy seats and a glass of sparkling wine and it was all worth it. (Candace, you are amazing!).
We flew into a grey overcast day in LA and made our way to our car rental. Rowan took the wheel and we drove to Manhattan Beach and sat on the pier looking out at the ocean. We then drove to Los Feliz to wait for our Airbnb check-in time and by the time we arrived the clouds had burnt off and that blue blue sky and sun were bright and hazy and magical.
We went to a cafe that we had discovered online and it was the best decision we made that day. I can highly recommend Eat at Jewel to anyone travelling to or living in LA. We sat outside, jet-lagged and dazed, in the direct sun (which obviously seemed crazy to the locals), and soaked up the heat. The staff were lovely, the food was delicious and the vibe was perfectly chilled out (needless to say we went back two more times in our short ten days). At 3pm we headed to our Airbnb; a converted pool house with a resort worthy backyard. First things first, we needed a swim.
The prospect of an early start for Rosebowl meant we were restless and couldn't sleep and when the alarm went off at 4am we were already wide awake. Out into the dark we went and I promptly dropped my head torch on the ground and had to clamber around to find all the parts. It still worked enough to see but it was pretty broken and it wasn't the best start to the day. Then it was off in the darkness on the wrong side of the road on unfamiliar streets to Pasadena.
We arrived in good time for the early bird entry and headed straight for the white section for the vintage. In retrospect, I wish I had taken more cash as there were so many gems (it is only in looking back that I have the regret!). But the pieces we did purchase are amazing and so worth getting up in darkness and stumbling about pre-coffee (we managed to get to 9am before caffeinating, though I was a zombie by then).
The rest of the day we swam and relaxed by the pool, reading and talking and drinking. We launched into a daily routine; coffee and pastry at Dinosaur Coffee, shopping and swimming and the odd movie down the road. Selective in our pickings we have curated some beautiful vintage collections that really represent the Sarah & Ludo girl; classic with a cool girl edge; 1950s with 1970s and the odd 1980s piece that turns heads.
We always use a holiday as a chance for reinvention. We want to feel reinvigorated, changed and new. And California, you do that for us every time.
'Til next time.