I’m baaaaack! After 12 days of running around beautiful California, I was more than ready to sleep in my own bed last night. I have a lot to share with you guys about my trip, so I decided to break it up into two posts: one about my time in LA and one recapping my fun in San Diego.
Ready? Here we go!
On Halloween morning, I hopped on the plane to LAX (with a dream and my cardigan – welcome to the land of fame excess, am I gonna fit in…sorry I couldn’t help myself). The flight itself was pretty uneventful, and after working on a PowerPoint presentation on my laptop for a while I was able to get some sleep. When the pilot announced we were beginning our decent I started getting excited – check out those mountains!
Yep, definitely not on the east coast anymore!
After we landed and picked up our luggage, a few of my coworkers and I took a cab to downtown LA where we’d be spending the next week. My work meeting was held in the Los Angeles Convention Center right next to the Staples Center and the LA Live hub, which is in the heart of downtown. (Or at least that was my impression…)
During my stay I resided in the Luxe hotel, which was nice enough and had plenty of fluffy bathrobes and slippers. #Priorities
My favorite part of the Luxe hotel though was the outdoor patio on the second floor. It was beautiful!
I didn’t have to be at the convention center until Sunday, so on Saturday afternoon I enjoyed the sunshine while getting some work done on my laptop. The weather was 80 degrees and absolutely perfect. Even though I was busy working, I was in my happy place.
The rest of my week was spent cooped up inside the freezing cold convention center. I can’t tell you how sad it was to walk past windows with blue skies and palm trees only to be stuck in a dark concrete air conditioned building. Bleh. Luckily the meeting itself went really well, and everyone was really happy with my work. Yay!
Even though I had lots of work to do and some days I had to be at the convention center at 7:00 am and didn’t stop working until 9:30 at night, I was still able to squeeze some fun into my time in LA.
First, let me tell you about my workouts! On Sunday morning, I ran a speedy two miles (average pace was 7:53 – not sure how that happened!). I was planning to run farther, but I had one glass of wine too many with my coworkers the night before, and didn’t leave myself as much time in the morning as I would have liked. Plus my head was seriously pounding with every step. Oops. Oh well, two speedy miles is better than none!
On Monday morning, I joined my coworker Kelly for a quick gym session! There weren’t a ton of machines in the hotel gym – just one treadmill, a bike, and an elliptical – but we made it work. After spending 10 minutes on the elliptical with a steep incline and high resistance, I completed the following countdown workout that I had saved from Pinterest.
It was a good one, and it was perfect for the hotel gym since it didn’t require any equipment. After that, I ran about .3 miles on the treadmill before getting distracted in the realization that I could see the Hollywood sign out the window. Obviously I hopped off the treadmill to take a picture (which came out horrible – I’ll spare you) at which point Kelly and I decided we were done working out for the day. Good enough!
On another morning (they all started to blur together toward the middle of the week…) I used my ClassPass flex city option to take a spin class at YAS. YAS stands for Yoga and Spinning and offers a variety of yoga and spinning combo classes. I only had time to take a 30 minute spin class (and even that had to be at 5:30 am for me to have time for it) but I would have loved to continue with the 30 minutes of yoga that followed. What a cool concept!
The class itself was fast-paced and challenging with a good assortment of music. I can’t say I liked it as much as my favorite DC studios (FlyWheel and Biker Barre at the moment) but it was still good! If I ever make it back to YAS I definitely want to try the yoga too.
Other highlights from the week include outings with my coworkers! Running a meeting is hard work, so we made sure to celebrate appropriately.
On Thursday night, our meeting hosted a big party at the Belasco theater. We had the whole venue to ourselves along with an open bar and live band. Here’s my coworker Trimmer showing off his dancing skills with an older lady. What a trooper.
The dance floor was quite the scene and we had a great time observing all the (older, mostly white/not-rhythmic) doctors and researchers tearing up the dance floor and pumping their fists to Katy Perry. Honestly it was some of the best people watching ever, and combined with the free drinks, my coworkers and I had a great time. 😉
After the party, a smaller group of us headed up to the rooftop of the Standard hotel and a bar called Perch. It was a beautiful evening and – although I prefer the DC and NYC skylines to LA’s – I had to admit LA was pretty fantastic. So much fun!
For my last night in LA, a group of us took a cab into Hollywood to check out the Walk of Fame.
We spent about an hour walking up and down the streets looking for famous names. There were so many, I took a bunch of pictures of my favorites.
We also found the Zoltar machine from the movie Big, which I must have watched 100 times as a kid.
Overall it was a great week, even though the work part got pretty stressful at times. Everyone seemed really happy with how the conference turned out, and I got to have some fun while we were out there too!
On Saturday morning, I took an uber to the train station that would take me down to sunny San Diego. Recap to come!
Question of the day: Have you ever been to LA? What did you think? What about Hollywood?
I actually didn’t love LA in general (it was so spread out and I didn’t like that you couldn’t walk everywhere) but that weather?! Man, that’s enough to make me move west in itself.