Secret Swings and Hollywood Hikes

On Wednesday morning, Rachel, Emily and I woke up bright and early in an attempt to avoid the infamous California commuter traffic as we made our way from San Diego to LA. According to numerous blogs the best way to avoid said traffic was to A: not make the trip at all, B: go after 7 p.m or C: go before 1 p.m. None of these options were exactly ideal, so with our sight-seeing clock ticking, we decided to stop in La Jolla for pancakes and to search for the Instagram-famous Secret Swings on our way up the coast.

What started out as a 15-minute pit stop turned into a two-hour goose hunt through the hills behind the Birch Aquarium. We never managed to find the swings (according to other people we met on the trail, most had been cut down for liability reasons), but we still got some gorgeous views of the coast.

After finally calling it quits, we hopped back in the car and began to mentally prepare ourselves for the second leg of the trip to L.A. It seems the bloggers were right though, because we somehow hit barely any traffic and made it to our house in record time (*spoiler alert that traffic luck came to an end very soon after).

Of course our first stop upon arrival was to In-N-Out Burger, a chain that I assume is the Chick-fil-A of the West Coast because I swear people from California will not shut up about it! Much to the chagrin of probably every meat lover, I didn’t actually get a burger. I did, however, get to try the vegetarian-beloved In-N-Out grilled cheese with a milkshake, and after a long car ride it seemed like the best meal of my life.

The next morning was another early start (partially because I keep waking up at 6 a.m. because I’m still on East coast time), as we got ready to hike to the Hollywood sign. After finding a video that showed us how to bipass the tourist traps and actually get to the top of the sign, we began our journey through the homes of Hollywood Hills and up to the top. A few hours and one massive sunburn later we made it to the top of the trail and were able to see across all of L.A. from behind the letters.

We ended the afternoon in Korea Town at the Bun Shop (I’m not ashamed to say that we heard about it while watching Diners, Drive Ins and Dives on the flight over). Unfortunately, I forgot to take any pictures of my lunch because I was so starving, but it was absolutely delicious. All of the buns come from a local vendor and are light and fluffy and filled with anything from spicy pork to tempura vegetables. I’m pretty sure that all of my food was gone in about five minutes.

With bellies full of Korean food and sore muscles from our slightly longer than expected trek, we headed back home for a nap and to plan out day three in Beverly Hills.

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