Jolene goes on Staycation
Most of us are not blessed with a disposable income and unlimited time off from our 9 to 5 daily grind, but that doesn’t mean we can’t squeeze in an adventure here and there. This one goes out to my fellow Weekend Warriors.
Instead of planning an expensive trip to go somewhere far and exotic, Cathrine and I decided to have a staycation, choosing to venture out into our local Los Angeles labyrinth instead of boarding a plane to go elsewhere.
Our staycation began on Friday night – we drove up to LA, to a hotel I stumbled upon via booking.com. We’d had our staycation date planned for a while, but I found this room last minute, after Airbnb let me down. The good news is, it worked out for the absolute best.
We drove up the windy, traffic-riddled Fairfax, made our way through the chaos of LA on a Friday night, and finally arrived at the Beverly Laurel Motor Inn.
The Beverly Laurel Motor Inn is every nostalgia-addict’s dream: pulling up to the busy street corner, guests are met with a retro COFFEE SHOP sign, a bustling diner, and a portal into Hollywood’s vintage peak. Chic mid-century décor, friendly staff and a touch of Hollywood glamour made us forget that we were in the year 2019.
We dropped off our things in our wonderful room, but not before fawning over every detail of our home for the next night – checkered floors, floral projections, and a pool straight out of the movies.
For dinner, we decided to try out the charming diner next door. As we walked into Swingers Diner, we knew we were in for a treat. The juke box was playing, and at a few tables, groups were huddled around their indulgent diner food, enjoying the end of summer. Swingers has all of the best parts of a traditional diner – hearty food, warm atmosphere, and friendly staff, all without the questionable calories and grittiness. Something about it, whether it was the clientele or its location, made Swingers feel upscale but still intimate, cozy and classic.
After some comfort food, we took an Uber to the Fonda Theater to see Half Alive, a band that caught my attention earlier this year with their single, Still Feel. The show was sold out, and the venue was full of enthusiastic fans ready to be entranced by frontman Joshua Taylor's swoon-worthy vocals and impressive dance moves.
I adore Half Alive's music, but what really impressed me from the show were the visuals! Half Alive tours with live string players, brass players, and contemporary dancers. Not only was the music great live, but the show was a feast for the eyes as well.
Someone behind me cheekily said, "This is like geek performance art." They couldn't have been more right.
A long night turned into an exhausting morning, but I was still ready to spend the day exploring locally, starting with breakfast... back at Swingers. We dragged ourselves out of bed after a great sleep, packed up and headed down for breakfast, only to find the lead singer of one of our favorite bands eating at the same place!
We excitedly fangirled to ourselves and thankfully were seated on the opposite side of the restaurant. The food was comforting, hearty, and the perfect remedy to such a late, exhausting night.
We fueled up and headed back to our room to collect our things and head off on our next adventure.
But of course, as we headed out the door toward the valet podium out front we encountered a few people had decided to have their conversation out on the sidewalk. They were kind of in our way and we realized that one of them was our fav from earlier. What are the chances? I couldn't let this opportunity slip by, so I peeped in and said hi! It was so awesome to chat with one of my favorite artists - the perks of living in LA!
Soon after that, we were off to our next destination: The MODS Museum, a whimsical space composed of five immersive rooms, each an instagrammer's paradise. We indulged in a VIP ticket, which included a photographer to take photos of us in each room. After we were done with the photographer, we were allowed to roam through the rooms again at our own pace.
I loved the creativity of each room, and how simple details transformed the space into something otherworldly. The gold room was spectacular, reflective and space-age. The next room was filled with light projections and transformed guests from blank canvases to paintings of light.
Next, we were sent into a soft, pink dream, mesmerized by a cascade of delicate, glowing lights.
The next room was one of the most fun to be in - the space was a glittering sea with a pink and purple heartbeat. The constant pulse of flashing light and color-changing gems was hypnotizing.
After spending far too much time engulfed by sparkles, we entered into a darker room with light projections and calming mandala-patterns. While this room was not my favorite, it was definitely the most calming to me.
Last but not least was the lantern room, which heavily reminded me of one of Kusama's Infinity Rooms. The play of the glassy metallic lanterns, pulsing lights and infinite mirrors completely distorted any sense of depth, making it a very fun experience to walk through this space.
We peeled ourselves away from the shiny photo ops and continued onto Cha Cha Matcha for a quick pick-me-up, in a very LA fashion.
Cha Cha Matcha is just so LA, from its chic decor to its unique matcha offerings. Cathrine chose a more traditional matcha latte, but I absolutely could not say no to the nitro matcha on tap. It was absolutely to die for, with no sweetener necessary.
One of the perks of being on staycation is moving at a very leisurely pace. We took our instagrammable drinks outside and sat amongst the lush vegetation, cute patio furnishings and trendy Angelenos. The pup-friendly patio was flooded with sunshine and California summer vibes.
After our recharge, we headed off to our last destination - Little Tokyo. If you recall, I posted about Little Tokyo before, and I'm both happy and sad to say that I basically visited the same places as last time. What can I say? I'm a creature of habit!
Stationary shopping, cute Japanese photos, and BTS-merch shopping ended up being the end of a perfect staycation. Cathrine and I indulged in wonderfully rich ramen and udon, and grabbed some mochi for dessert.
For one final treat, I took Cathrine to Bae for some unique soft serve. Cathrine ordered the Mixed Feelings (Black charcoal soft serve swirled with vanilla soft serve) and I ordered a mind-blowing concoction called Coo Coo for Earl - Earl Grey soft serve swirled with Cocoa Puff soft serve. At first it didn't sound appetizing, but once I tasted it, I literally wanted to SCREAM. Definitely recommend!
So the moral of the story is you don't have to go far to have fun adventures, to eat exotic things, or to do something exciting. Sometimes all it takes is one night away from routine, a short 30-minute drive, and great company!
Have you ever explored your own city?
Until next time,