I spent my 4th of July in LA for the second time and it was as big of a fail as the last. But at least the rest of the week wasn’t.

I happened to have an even longer ‘weekend’ this week so naturally I flew to a place that I would actually need that much more time: my second home. My friend Cynthia picked me up on the morning of the 4th and we spent most of the day at my friend Alex’s house. Initially, we planned to go down the street to the Queen Mary to watch fireworks, but those plans changed last minute when most of the group decided on Redondo Beach.IMG_5248IMG_5200After a 30-minute drive and an endless search for parking, we walked another 10 minutes only to find out that the firework show was about 20 minutes and the finale was all of 10 seconds…meaning we missed it while we were walking… When I saw fireworks there in 2015, I don’t remember the duration because we were so far away we could barely tell the show was even going on (a.k.a. The First Fail). But when I asked people if that was really it, everyone seemed confused why I would think it was longer. I was pretty over it and ultimately decided that I wouldn’t try 4th of July in The City of Traffic again. The true highlight was the cute pictures we got at Alex’s house earlier that day!IMG_5205 IMG_5231IMG_5206

Wednesday was a day for catching up with a couple of friends. That night, however, Cynthia and I went up to Griffith Observatory right before it closed (we literally had 15 minutes) to see the downtown skyline. It was something I surprisingly had never done before, but always wanted to do. The sky was so clear that night which made it perfect despite how crowded it was.
ANE_0095ANE_0097ANE_0103The best way to get to Griffith is to take the $0.50 DASH bus that picks you up across from The Greek Theatre. Otherwise, your options are to drive uphill in traffic to find out on-site if the parking lot is full, or walking up with no definitive path.

My last full day was Thursday which was pretty jam-packed. Cynthia and I headed to Olvera Street in downtown to visit a historic Mexican market. It was the cutest thing! I am always so surprised by what is so close to USC that we wouldn’t even know about except by word of mouth.
ANE_0108ANE_0114We saw the city’s first outdoor mural and walked through the oldest house currently in LA which was built in 1818.
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If you ever check this out and can’t find street parking, the Metro Plaza Hotel parking is only $5. Make sure you get some churros too!
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Afterwards, we headed to Santa Monica Pier to kill time before dinner. Though we never plan ahead to spend time at the beach, it seems that I have yet to make a visit to LA where I don’t end up at this beach specifically.
ANE_0136ANE_0137ANE_0138Cynthia and I upheld our tradition of going to Boiling Crab for dinner and then I met with my other friend, Alex, for drinks afterwards. Considering my flight was at 5:00 a.m. the following day, it kind of just felt like my Thursday and Friday flowed into one. Still, I am happy I made it out there at all and had three full days to spend. I know I will be back sooner than later, and even though the holiday itself wasn’t completed with fireworks, I still had a blast.

xx, AE

P.S.: If you would like to see my travels in real time, you can find me on Snapchat! @alexasdrawde

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