After the horrible winter and ‘spring‘ in Minnesota, the weather is finally turning and warming up. Nonetheless, it was nice to escape for three days to the sunny paradise of Los Angeles. Don’t get me wrong, I know LA can get hot as blazes and I don’t think I’d classify it as an Eden during the peak of summer, but for this last few days it has been absolutely perfect weather.
I was in LA for the completion of the Certificate in Jewish Education for Adolescents and Emerging Adults program I’ve been part of throughout the last year through Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. The program is comprised of a cohort of 16, and we come from all over the country (and one from Canada!). We all stayed at the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills.
The hotel was colorful, boutique-y, clean, and comfortable – plus there was a very swanky pool area!
The room itself was very nice, with an extremely comfortable bed, a mini-fridge, and a shower with AMAZING water pressure:
When I got to the hotel, I had a few hours until the first session of the program, so I set off to explore the area with another member of my cohort. The hotel is in the heart of the Beverly Hills area, surrounded by shops, restaurants, and plastic surgeons (not kidding).
We meandered from the hotel to Beverly Drive, where we stopped at Urth Caffe – a popular, natural/organic, and local cafe chain (suggested to me by a friend – thanks, Jinai!).
Urth has an impressive selection of coffees, teas, smoothies, and specialty beverages (including tea espresso drinks!). The dessert display is certainly a sight to behold:
I ordered a blended green tea smoothie, and my friend got a cappuccino (complete with some amazing foam art!) and a kale salad:
The salad looked so good, I went back to Urth for dinner the next day to order it myself!
After being rejuvenated by food, we explored the area around Beverly Drive for the rest of the afternoon.
I saw pretty much every store I’ve ever heard of plus a lot more that I never even knew existed. Mostly we window shopped, but if somewhere looked particularly appealing we would go inside to poke around. Attracted by its massiveness, we went into the mega-sized Anthropologie:
I know that lots of people love this store, but I’ve never really shopped here. I saw a lot of dresses that I thought were cute:
But then I looked at the price tag…
…and now I know why I don’t shop here! I’m perfectly content with my dress from Gap Outlet, thank you very much.
There is one thing, however, that might be a bargain at Anthropologie.
Who knew they sold wedding dresses?! Maybe it is only at this or other very large locations, but they had a pretty broad selection:
After Anthropologie, we wandered for a while and then noticed a place called Go Greek. The shop caught our attention because a sign in the window advertised the fact that they had yogurt flown in fresh daily from Greece. Wha?!?!
This place was very neat. In addition to the (now) ubiquitous self-serve frozen yogurt bar…
…You could also get fresh greek yogurt with the toppings of your choice:
We didn’t order anything since we had just eaten. I was hoping to be able to go back later in the trip but ended up not having the opportunity. Oh well – maybe next time!
The last store that captured our interest was Merimekko. Merimekko is a Finnish design company with brightly colored and bold patterns. They make clothes, home products, and a variety of trinkets. I had heard of Merimekko previously because Noah’s parents have a set of placemats from them, but I was impressed to see the wide variety of products they sell: pillows, dresses, baby clothes…you name it!
Eventually, it was time to head back to the hotel and get ready for the start of the program so the day of exploration had to come to an end. This was a great day though of soaking up the sunshine and posing as someone who knows a lot about shopping and fashion. 😉