Summer in LA
Summer has finally ended, and I thought I'd recap some highlights of mine before documenting the Roman life. (I got to Italy safe and sound this past weekend, can't wait to tell you all about it soon!)
Going to school away from home has its perks, but I think one of the best things I've experienced is getting to come back to LA with a fresh perspective on my surroundings. Ah, Los Angeles summers. Palm trees, sunny beaches, sun-kissed weather so hot it'll melt all your popsicles. I love being able to drive out to and take little stay-cations with family and friends. Here were some of my favorite places I highly recommend for you to visit.
Griffith Park and Observatory
You won't experience LA until you hike the iconic park and see the city from the observatory. Get close to the Hollywood sign and watch the city lights twinkle at night. It's magical.
Take a trip to Beverly Hills and visit this fancy garden. It's like a dreamy fairytale castle, also a popular wedding venue.
The Los Angeles River
It's a concrete ditch. But it's so iconic. Go down into the river bed and reenact the car race scene from Grease. Also catch the view of Downtown LA from Sixth Street Bridge, before it gets taken down.
The Grammy Museum
Not gonna lie, my sister and I came to the museum to catch the Taylor Swift exhibit. But the entire museum has some of the coolest artifacts in the history of music. Michael Jackson's jackets, Tupac's handwritten poems and lyrics, and interactive demonstrations showing how music is made. Pop culture-obsessed freaks like us loved the place, and getting to see Taylor Swift's actual dresses from her music videos...I was in heaven.
Because what better place to spend a summer day than at the beach? Sometimes the bigger ones like Venice and Santa Monica get a little too crowded. My favorites are Redondo, Manhattan, and Hermosa Beach.
Norton Simon Museum
Spend a hot summer afternoon at the museum. (Admission is free for students, yay!) This one in Pasadena had a special exhibit from Musée D'Orsay and I had to go see "Whistler's Mother." I ended up falling in love with Degas' "The Little Dancer" sculpture.
Special Olympics Opening Ceremony
Los Angeles held the 2015 Special Olympics and I took my family to see the opening ceremony at the LA Coliseum. We cheered on the Parade of Nations, saw Michelle Kwan and Michael Phelps complete the torch relay, and watched Stevie Wonder and Avril Lavigne perform. To top it all off? A fireworks show.
The Jubilee Conference
An annual conference put on by the Jubilee Project (they're amazing) featuring speakers like Wong Fu Productions and Jeremy Lin would have any YouTube fan swooning. Encouraging us to follow our dreams, these influential names in the Asian American community spoke about their journeys and hardships following untraditional career paths. "Ordinary people can do extraordinary things." Truly eye-opening.
The Taylor Swift 1989 Tour
I ended my summer watching my favorite musician own the stage at her sold out Staples Center concert run. As much of a fangirl as I am (I was in the company of passionate Swifties), I truly appreciate Taylor Swift as an artist, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and role model. Her concerts are jaw-droppingly theatrical and downright spectacular, and seeing her evolve as a musician throughout the years and positively influence young girls everywhere makes me happy. I'll always be a fan.
Looking back at this summer I definitely had a lot of fun. It's these little experiences we look back on and remember and define our lives by. I'm glad I get the chance to explore the world and witness so many amazingly beautiful things happening in my own hometown.
Next stop? Europe. See you on the other side of the world :)