the Huntington Library

This beautiful place is called the Huntington Library located in San Marino county (very close to Arcadia). The Huntington Library is comprised of many different gardens, each with a distinct feel. This particular garden, the Japanese garden just so happened to be my favorite so that’s where most of my pictures were taken. The entire area is so beautiful it honestly might be my future wedding location… not even kidding.

General admission is $23 on weekdays and $25 on weekends, with a student ID, weekday admission is $19 and weekends is $21 SO BRING AN ID. If you go on the first Thursday of every month and get tickets in advance, you can go for free!

I highly recommend visiting this place if you just wanna have a cute, quiet, relaxing day. Honestly, words can’t describe it’s beauty and the positive, relaxing vibe you get from this place. You just have to experience it yourself! You can also bring food into the garden so you can save money and enjoy a quaint picnic.

ice cream is my religion.

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Literally. I’m gonna have to break the news to my mom soon, telling her I’m converting from Catholicism… haha, I’m kidding (not really).

Afters ice cream located in Chino Hills was the victim of one of my past ice cream rendezvous. Afters is widely popular on Instagram due to the exposure it’s gotten from many fashion bloggers and professional foodies, but that doesn’t mean it falls short of quality because of all the hype.

Afters ice cream is the original creator of the milky bun–ice cream inside a glazed donut that I hear tastes just like a Krispy Kreme donut! While I did not have the appetite large enough to try one of those bad boys, when they open their new location in Rowland Heights, YOU BET I’LL BE THERE TO TRY IT. When I visited, I got the Jasmine milk tea (pictured) and the Cookie Butter scoop beneath that one. But honestly, all the flavors were so good, I would’ve gotten a scoop of each to-go if it didn’t make me look like such a fattie. Katrina got the Cookie Monster, which was also really good and very ~aesthetic~. Another very popular flavor is the Milk and Cereal. But really… I’m so set on getting that milky bun next time.

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Courtesy of @katrinaolivia’s Instagram.

While yes, I got a double scoop, that only cost me about $6– a single scoop only costing $3.50. For an ice cream connoisseur like myself, that’s a totally reasonable price (I’ve paid $7 for one scoop at Creamistry…). The employees working there were totally patient even though the line was way out the door, and I wanted to sample like literally every flavor.

And another little plus… the Holy Trinity was working… aka… the three guys working the scooping area were so damn cute ok bye with my thirsty ass BYE

*P.S. When the Rowland Heights location opens, that’ll be the closest to all us SFV inhabitants 🙂

Rooftop brunch in a greenhouse? Down.

Last weekend in the midst of prepping for finals week, being sick, and finally having a day off from work, I had the opportunity to finally visit the Commissary at the Line Hotel for brunch. I had looked into rooftop brunches in the past before–someday hoping to attain that perfect Saturday brunch with mimosa in hand picture… but I guess that’ll have to wait until I’m 21. The Line Hotel is located in the heart of LA’s Koreatown on Wilshire Blvd. It’s a popular place for today’s trendy Asian fashion bloggers (EllenVLora, Flamcis, Dumbfoundead, etc.) to socialize at night with other fellow ~trendy asians~.

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more nitrogen ice cream!!!

For someone who claims to be lactose intolerant, I sure do eat a lot of ice cream ( ̄。 ̄)~zzzAnywhooooo, these lovely creations are from another liquid nitrogen ice cream parlor called Ice Cream Lab. Fortunately there are many different locations! They have locations in Pasadena, Beverly Hills, and in Little Tokyo.

On the left, I purchased the Blue Velvet ice cream which is essentially vanilla bean ice cream with chunks of blue velvet cupcake and cream cheese topping mixed into it. On the right, I purchased the salted caramel which had bits of pretzel and salted caramel mixed in, with a pretzel to top it off. Both were suuuuper creamy since it was made with cream (how redundant…) and the liquid nitrogen. I don’t know what it is, but I’m just not the same after trying liquid nitrogen-made ice cream. The texture is just to die for, ugh.

The sizes I got are considered a medium and they really do pack it in, so if you’re coming on a full stomach and you want to try it, I recommend sharing with someone. It’s so rich that you might get full faster, but it’s definitely one of my favorite places to get ice cream… next to Creamistry, of course.

the only way is up… literally.

This quaint little view is known as the Los Liones Trailhead in Pacific Palisades. This trail, all I can say, is alllllllll upwards incline. It’s not hard, you’re literally just climbing inclines for about 3.5 miles to reach the Parker Mesa overlook. Okay… I’m lying, it was hard and I forced us to take so many breaks. But it was so worth it. The paths do get a little narrow so watch your step, but for the most part, if you wanna take it a little slow, do so!

The view was amazing. You had a clear view of both the beach and of the city. We probably spent an hour or so just relaxing at the top, since it didn’t actually take us very long to reach the outlook. Save this hike for a sunny day because you wouldn’t want to miss how great the view looks!

There is also a parking lot that leads right up to the entrance of the trail, but I would recommend packing light–aka your phone and a water bottle.

the last bookstore

There are so many things to say about this place. For one, it’s every easily-aesthetically-pleased persons dream. From the moment you walk in, there’s just a different air about this place that kind of takes you aback. It was bustling full of people but it never got so obnoxiously loud you were shooting glares at others. There was just a lot of appreciation amongst the masses for this particular bookstore.

The last bookstore has cases and cases and aisles and aisles of every kind of book you’re looking for… or not looking for, you’d be surprised. It’s not only a bookstore; upstairs there are art galleries, and while they are only open certain times during the week/day, you can take a quick look at what each artist is working on or has created.

Honestly, I can’t even put it into words. It’s just something you have to experience yourself! Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

The only downside is that parking is a beeeeeeeeeeeetch. It is downtown LA, so what can you expect? The Last Bookstore is located on the corner of Spring St., where they normally get a lot of traffic anyway, so opt to park in a lot nearby or you can attempt meter parking! Emilie and I parked in a lot a few blocks away for about $6 for the whole night which wasn’t too bad. The only sketchy thing was the walk back because it was dark and we were just two dainty girls speed walking through the streets of downtown LA. It was sketch, but we’re alive and we made it. Ahhhhh, that’s the beauty of living in LA, isn’t it? Hehe.

So there were three twins– wait what?

Another ice cream post, because frankly, you can never have enough ice cream. I had never really heard about Three Twins Ice Cream before, but Diane and I had made plans to hang out… but with no secure destination in mind. With my handy-dandy friend, Yelp, we found this place. Located on Main Street in Santa Monica, Three Twins is smack dab in the middle of the block, but no worries there was lots of street parking when we went (but we went in the middle of the day, mind you).

Three Twins is famous for their Lemon Cookie ice cream and I was super excited to try it but they were unfortunately out. We both settled on a raspberry sorbet… which says a lot because you’ll never find me getting a sorbet. I got my scoop in a funfetti cone (literally like those funfetti cupcakes we all used to make in middle school) and it was actually so good. I do plan on returning sometime soon to try the Lemon Cookie though!

For those aesthetic/mural Instagrammers, this super cool Buddha mural is located directly across the street on the side of an acupuncture/massage parlor. The mural is literally in the midst of a parking lot, so you may get a few weird looks– but if it’s for the ‘gram, who cares?! After you’ve snapped your pics, take a stroll down Main St., it’s super chill and you’ll rub elbows with a few scurrying businessman, but for the most part, it’s another quick ice cream run~

Escondido trickle

Okay, it’s actually called Escondido Falls, but by the time I had visited this trail in March, it was merely just a trickle impossible to even get on camera. Escondido Falls is located in Malibu, but when navigating, don’t trust Siri to get you there. She got us all confused and we drove onto a dirt path that wasn’t even meant for cars (eye roll emoji). Listen to what the people instruct on Yelp, and you’ll be good to go!

There is a lot you can park in but you have to go through a neighborhood to get to the trail itself. You can also follow this how-to on how to navigate the trail in case you get lost or confused. Not gonna lie, I already found myself pretty winded from just walking the hill to the trail, but it’s a good pre-workout I suppose. The hike itself wasn’t too bad, it was covered for a large portion of it (pictured top row, middle), and it was cloudy so it wasn’t too bad.

When we arrived at the “falls” it was a mere trickle at that point, but it could also be the season we had decided to visit. The grotto-ish area was really beautiful though, it was so lush and lively. You can attempt to climb up to the cliff area but it’s a little more dangerous and there can be a lot of debri/rockslide action. The swing obviously isn’t naturally a part of the trail, but it made for some super cute pics!

I’d actually recommend bringing a few snacks so you can eat and chill by the creek before you embark on the walk back. Can this California drought get it together so I can actually reward myself with a waterfall view?! Hehe.

konnichiwa ≧◡≦

Little Tokyo, located in downtown LA, has become one of my favorite places to bring friends when we’re in the mood for some bomb green tea ice cream and freshly made mochi. While I mostly go for the green tea ice cream and mochi, there’s a bunch of other attractions here. There’s great ramen, the Japanese American National Museum, and a cool thrift shop located on the back side of Little Tokyo.

Little Tokyo is literally one block of all things Japanese. It’s not as big as Chinatown or Koreatown but I think the quaint plaza is just enough. The Japanese American National Museum is super interesting and you can even get in free on every third Thursday of each month. Outside, there’s this super cool, mirrored Rubix cube– great for some not-so-basic mirror selfies. My friend loves going to Mr. Ramen but I have yet to try it myself!

Not to mention, they have those amazingly delicious green tea Kit Kats, so why not?!

There is now a parking structure to park in, rather than parking in those $8 flat rate lots even though you’ll be in Little Tokyo for a max of 2 hours. You can always try to find parking on the street, but it’s often pretty busy and you don’t want to worry about your meter running out. The ice cream shop and other restaurants in the Little Tokyo plaza will validate your parking structure ticket for you too, so no worries!

It’s definitely a fun little adventure away from the typical Urth Caffe or Americana/the Grove outing~

So. Many. Stairs.

This hike was done a while ago but it’s a place I’d definitely recommend paying a visit if 1) you want some cool Instagram pics, 2) you want a kickass workout. It’s called the Murphy’s Ranch Trail, which is supposedly a Nazi sympathizer camp hidden in the mountains of a Brentwood neighborhood. You can go to this awesome page that tells you every single step to get to the trail/compound, because it’s not something I think you’d figure out on your own.

I went on Easter day and it was actually so hot and not particularly crowded on the trail. My brother and I took the stairs down (meaning we’d have to take the stairs on the way up too…) and let me tell you, even just going down the stairs made my legs wobbly. We probably descended about some 6-7 sets of stairs with maybe 100-200 steps each. I have a fear of going down stairs so you can only imagine how slow I was going down those worn, steep steps.

The first thing you’ll encounter is a water tank, pictured in the top left photo. Every time I look through the geotag for this trail, the water tank is covered in different graffiti so it’s always changing and that’s super cool. You pass a couple more graffiti’d water tanks, accidentally take a few wrong turns, and crawl under a mesh fence and you’ve arrived at the graffiti’d house! It was actually super sketch but one of those “yolo, doin’ it for the gram” moments. Getting on the roof was no easy feat (just ask Kendrick, who hoisted me up) but it was definitely super cool.

We spent a lot of time exploring the building which is graffiti’d inside as well (pictured bottom right). They were having a photoshoot inside though so we didn’t get to take a bunch of photos in there. There is also a basement but it reeked of spray paint cans so we opted out… and it looked pretty scary even during the daytime, so no.

THE WALK BACK. OMG. THE STAIRS. THE FRICKIN STAIRS. As far as we knew, there was no other quick way to get back up to the car besides going up the stairs. You could follow the trail that wraps around the mountain but we didn’t wanna get lost since the sun was going down. But oh my, I have never huffed and puffed, sweated, and cussed as much as I did on the climb back up that day. It was a sad sight according to Kendrick, but I made it out alive (barely). I heard they were trying to get rid of the compound but I’m not so sure if that’s been done yet, but if not, I definitely recommend checking it out IF YOU’RE UP FOR THE PHYSICAL CHALLENGE.