Kamilla lives in the leafy Los Angelean town of Los Feliz, so getting to the beach is actually quite the mission.
You have to leave early. Really early.
If you fall prey to hitting the snooze button you’ll find yourself sitting in the dreaded gridlock for hours on end.
We woke up at the crack of dawn, sleepwalked into our Uber, and made our way over to Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica. There, we were greeted with a much needed spread of freshly squeezed orange juice, sliced fruit, and of course some very strong cups of coffee.
The inside of Shutters is stunning, but if you can nab a seat on their little balcony in The Living Room, run for it!
There’s nothing quite like a salty breeze and strong rays of early morning light to get you ready for your day.
At the risk of spending the entire day perched here, we forced ourselves to make an exit. We picked up our bicycles and rollerblades, which we’d already rented from Sea Mist Rentals.
They’re a little family business right off the pier with a fantastic selection of bicycles ranging from manly mountain bikes to classic cycles in pastel hues. The $20 daily rental includes locks and pads, and they’ll even let you swap out your rollerblades for bicycles throughout the day if you ask nicely.
We rolled our way down to Venice, where we scouted out our perfect plot of sand for an afternoon siesta.
While Kamilla snoozed, I started reading a book I’d borrowed from her called Things That Happened Before the Earthquake, a wild coming of age novel about a privileged girl who is uprooted from her life when her film-maker parents move from Rome to Los Angeles. It’s set in 1992, and really delves into the culture of Los Angeles at the time, including the race riots and gang warfare. I couldn’t put it down, and can’t recommend it enough if you’re looking for a beach read!
When the sun got too hot, we went off to explore the historic Venice Canals.
It’s an eccentric little pedestrian district full of inspiring architecture and landscaping.
You’ll find mansions, beach shacks, and houses painted with neon koi fish. No two homes are the same, and yet they all seem to fit together just right.
After exploring every street and alleyway, debating the merits of each dream house, we headed back to the beach.
There are lots of places to grab a bite, but this place is the best.
They serve up fresh fish tacos topped with tropical slaw and homemade hot sauce for just $2!
I ate a lot of tacos while I was in Los Angeles, and these were lightyears better than any of the tacos I had at swankier places that charged five times more.
With our smoothies in one hand and tacos in the other, we made our way back up to Santa Monica to return our rentals.
Wandering up the pier, we found an artist doing watercolor portraits. You can find him there almost every evening, where he comes to watch the sunset.
He put way more detail and care into our portraits than we expected, and it’s been a really lovely memory from our trip together. It feels more meaningful that the constant barrage of selfies and Instagrams, and sitting there for thirty minutes really forced us to stop and appreciate our surroundings.
We wandered along the beach while the sky turned from lilac to navy, soaking up every minute of it.
Each sunset here seems to be somehow more heartbreakingly beautiful than the last!