Sometimes business travel can take you to fun and exciting locations; sometimes not. Having spent the past few months traveling back and forth between the great states of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, a much needed change of pace and scenery was long overdue. Thanks to an extended weekend and some ridiculously low airfares, I found myself L.A. bound for Labor Day weekend.
Short trips are always somewhat of a gamble, especially when you mix in a holiday weekend, a reduced flight schedule, seasonal weather, and other unforeseen travel mishaps and delays that can wreak havoc on the limited time you have. The main goal that I have when traveling, regardless of the length of the trip, is to get away and explore my destination with as little stress and expense as possible. That being said, I have somewhat become used to certain standards when traveling, and while I will cut my expenses in some areas, i.e. transportation and to a certain extent accommodations. There are just some areas that I will spend more in than the average traveler, especially when it comes to food. Needing to stick to a strict gluten free and casein free (GFCF) diet can be somewhat tricky, and extremely hazardous to my health if I don’t.
Day one was spent traveling and lounging around the hotel. Usually, airport hotels are nothing to write home about, but one of things that I enjoyed about the Renaissance LAX hotel, was sitting back and watching the planes land from my room. Other than that, I was happy to find The Point of El Segundo. This new shopping area offered a nice selection of GFCF dining options, as well as a place to sit back and people watch while enjoying the weather. Uber/Lyft, was the easiest and quickest way to this destination.
Highlights from The Point:
- Pressed Juicery- A kiosk that offered a sweet GFCF treat in the form of a Chocolate Freeze
- ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen – What can only best be described as an Asian version of Chipotle. GFCF for the win as only the spring rolls are a no go.
- True Food Kitchen – A farm to fork type restaurant with a nice selection of GFCF and vegan dinning options.
- Peet’s Coffee– Yeah for coffee, and it’s not Starbucks!
Day two of the trip was spent getting out and exploring. With limited time remaining in the city, I set my sights on the Hollywood area. To help minimize costs while maximizing my time, I took the FlyAway bus ($8 each way) from LAX into Hollywood. Having no real set plans other than visiting a few museums and the Griffth Observatory, I found myself wandering Hollywood Boulevard until they opened.
Highlights from wandering Hollywood Boulevard:
- TCL Chinese’s Theater– This place is a tourist trap, but if your trying to kill time, it’s a great place to people watch. Similar to NYC’s Time Square, you’ll find people dressed as super heroes or other popular movie characters trying to get you to pay for taking a picture with them or artists trying to get you to listen to their music and buy their CDs.
- Museum of Broken Relationships- This is a permanent museum that exhibits objects that have been donated the signify the ending of the donor’s relationship (dating,marriage, friendship,etc.), along with a story or few words that describe the ending of that relationship.For those who are unfamiliar with the origins of the museum, it started as as touring art exhibit created in Croatia by Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić.**Tip-Yelp had a check-in discount at the time of the visit.**
- Museum of Death– The name pretty much describes the theme of the museum. Most of the content was on death row inmates, serial and mass murders, and suicide. There was some funeral and taxidermy displays as well.
- Griffith Observatory– A quick metro ride to Vermont/Sunset will allow you to catch the DASH shuttle for $0.50 a ride. This is a weekend shuttle, so if you don’t have a car, you will need to investigate other transportation options. I would recommend early morning hours to avoid the crowds.
Thanks to the sun and a little bit of fun, I briefly forgot how long I’ve spent in the Midwest this summer.