Golden State of Mind

You might wonder…. “Does Liz ever work?”

Well, I do! But, this Summer has been the Summer where I’ve been to the beach the most. So why is my title Golden State of Mind?  This past weekend, I had the chance to travel to LA & San Francisco all paid for by PacSun

How did I win a trip with PacSun? Well, my friend Brooke Weber did! So she’s the lucky one, not me…. I was just her PLUS ONE.  PacSun was doing a sweepstakes type of giveaway where if you hashtagged a picture with #myGSOM and tag @PacSun and three friends you want to take on the trip with you, then you’re entered into their trip giveaway.  So Brooke posted this picture:

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First off, we want to thank Steve Wennerholm for taking this picture in the first place. She tagged Steve, Kim and Me in this picture because she wasn’t following Taylor and Dan at the time.  So when PacSun DM’ed her and said that she was a winner, we thought all 4 of us won and we could choose one of the 20 cities to travel to!! One of the cities was Puerto Rico, but later on we found out that since Brooke is a sales associate at PacSun, she won the associate grand prize which means: She won a trip to LA/San Francisco and she could only take one person. Well, BUMMER. Since Kim, was taking off work to go to China and Africa she didn’t think her work would let her go… & poor Steve, we just had to tell him that it was only going to be one person. But, he wasn’t too upset.  hahaha

So here we are! Brooke & I are going to LA & SF! Luckily, PacSun bought my plane ticket from Boston to fly over to LA, I thought I would have to go to SLC and meet up with Brooke first but it all worked out! They provided Airfare, hotel, and a stipend through out the trip to spend on food, transportation and anything else.  My supervisor let me get Monday off work and the Thursday before July 4th was only a half day. It all worked out perfectly. I was stoked that my work week would be only 3 days! 

On Thursday, July 3rd I was all packed and ready to go to the airport at 4:30AM. Thanks to Uber, I got to the airport in time with no troubles.  I packed light because I knew we would be doing a lot of shopping 😉 I forgot how long plane rides were since I’ve been back and forth to NY & Boston which isn’t very long.  The plane ride to LA was 6 hours long. It felt like forever! & NO SNACKS! WHAT?? I landed safely in LA and met up with Brooke! I was stoked to see her!

My friend Huy Tran, who I met randomly at Doughnut Plant in NYC back in September picked us up from the airport and he’s in the advertising industry as well, so we talked a lot about new jobs and agencies that I should work for. He took us to The Grove and we ate at their Farmer’s Market.  Oh how I’ve missed the West Coast! It was so good to get out of that East Coast humidity! THEN, my best friend in the entire world, JAIME NIELSEN, met up with us at The Grove! I was sooooo happy to see her! It’s been too long and I’ve missed her so much! 

The first day in LA we were downtown most of the time.  Shopping, picking up her sister Jann and her hubby Steve at the airport, going with Jann to this warehouse for her new Hoodie Love collection, checked into our hotel, ate Thai Food on the PCH, and then spend the night at Jaime’s house in Thousand Oaks, CA. 

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY! 

The night before, we were trying to figure out our 4th of July plans.  A lot of my NYC & Provo friends were at Huntington Beach.  I REALLY wanted to go and see everyone! & I heard the fireworks were amazing on the pier. We decided to sleep in, eat breakfast, go to Zuma Beach with Jaime’s family and then head over to Huntington/Newport for fireworks.  It sucks in LA because you have to time everything out with traffic.  LA traffic gives me headaches. 

Luckily, we go to sleep in and eat yummy french toast with Jaime’s family.  It was so lovely being in their home.  I love the Nielsen’s.  Then, we got ready for the beach and picked up KENZIE CARLSTON!!!!!!!!! I’ve missed her so much!! She lives a couple of minutes from Jaime so we didn’t have to worry about traffic.  She spent the entire day with us at the beach and it was so good to catch up with her about NYC gossip and just about life in general! Being at Zuma beach was a ton of fun.  Laying out, taking pictures with our american flags, and enjoying the nice weather and good company. 

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We were going to go to Huntington after Zuma, but with traffic and knowing that we would be in a car for 2 hours traveling to Huntington, we decided to stay back in Thousand Oaks and do more with the time we had.  We went back to Jaime’s house and swam in her pool (I literally haven’t been in a swimming pool for a year) and BBQ’ed with her family! It was those summer days you just don’t ever forget because the weather and everything else was just perfect. 

We went to a neighborhood close by to watch the fireworks that were being lit off by a hill somewhere in T.O. Fireworks always amaze me to this day, even if I’m not a little kid anymore. After fireworks, we played with sparklers! LOOK BELOW:

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After fireworks, we drove all the way back to LA and had a sleepover at our hotel, The Ace Hotel.  It was a pretty sweet hotel with a great view of Downtown LA.  We had a hot tub on the rooftop and it was rad. We hot tubbed for a little bit and then crashed because we were so tired from being in the sun all day. 

Saturday, July 5th!

Woke up at the crack of dawn to hike the Hollywood Sign. We got about 3 hours of sleep and when we got to the trailhead, it was CLOSED. We had to go to the Griffith’s Observatory to take a shuttle and I guess you had to buy shuttle tickets online? We were so confused and since we didn’t have time because of our flight to SF, we went on a tiny hike and had the Hollywood sign in the background of some pics. Not the most exciting, but I haven’t hiked in forever, so it felt good. 

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It was sad to say goodbye to Jaime, but life goes on and I’ll see her soon! She was a great hostess for Brooke and I while we were in LA.  Now we were off to SAN FRANCISCO! One of my favorite cities.  Brooke has never been so I was excited to show her the places that I visited when I was there back in February with Ammon and everyone. 

We arrived in San Francisco in the afternoon and we immediately checked in at our hotel, The Phoenix Hotel. It was a cute Rock n’ Roll themed hotel that felt like I was in the 1960’s. We immediately explored SF.  We bought a 3-day bus pass and then went to Chinatown! My favorite place with the BEST DIM SUM. My favorite place had a line literally out the door. Then I showed Brooke, the grocery stores that Chinese people shop in AKA live fish, smelly fish, and a lot of produce. It reminded me of my family and being home in Vegas.  Then we went to the Fortune Cookie Factory and ate yummy, fresh fortune cookies. 

After Chinatown, we went on our little shopping spree.  PacSun gave us a stipend for the trip, so we obviously bought some new clothes with that.  We went to Union Square by our hotel and splurged.  I still shopped in the clearance sections of the stores, but I did splurge at Banana Republic… It was totally worth it. Thanks PacSun for the new clothes!

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We were exhausted after all of that shopping, so we ordered a pizza and ate in our hotel room hahaha. It was a long day! 

Sunday, July 6th!

We wanted to explore SF as much as we could before we left! We woke up early and went straight to the Golden Gate Bridge! I took Brooke to the same overlook when I went back in February, but it was so foggy! You could see a little bit of the bridge but, not that well compared to the last time.  & it was so windy and cold! We still took some good pics and enjoyed the view.  

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After Golden Gate Bridge, we visited Lombard Street, the curviest road ever! There were a lot of tourists but it was a wonderful, sunny day – who could complain? After Lombard, we rode on a cable car to Fisherman’s Warf and ate at the Crab House.  SO YUMMY. After Fisherman’s Warf, we went to the best ice cream place ever, Bi-Rite Creamery. BROWN SUGAR GINGER CARAMEL SWIRL ICE CREAM. Heaven.  My friend Brittany Molina met up with us at Bi-Rite and we all drove to Mission District to view all of the murals painted around that entire town.  Brooke is into art, so I knew she would love all of the cool graffiti and street art.  We ended the day at the Full House house AKA Painted Ladies. It was a very good day in San Francisco. 

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I love love LOVE SF. One of my favorite cities in the USA. I definitely want to live there full-time.  I met the coolest people on the bus, everyone was so nice when we got lost, and I just felt happy there.  I felt like this when I visited back in February, so I need to move back to the West Coast! But, who knows where I’ll end up.  San Francisco is just on top of my list 🙂 

Thank you PacSun for giving us this amazing trip! I had so much fun seeing old friends and exploring new places. It was a good time with great company. Thanks Brooke for making me your PLUS ONE! 

UPDATE: I’m currently on the job hunt. So I’ll keep everyone posted on what happens. 

XOXO,

Liz

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