you may or may not already know this, but when jake and i first started dating, he lived in LA. that was nine years ago (we just celebrated* our together-versary! nine years! holy moly!). we were long distance for the first year and a half of our relationship. in that time, i went out to los angeles every couple of months (bonus: if you happen to be in a long distance relationship, may i recommend that you both live in or close to major hub cities**? it makes finding specials/cheap prices for flights much easier!).

we left chicago, all grey and brown and bare branches and blustery cold,and when we got to los angeles, everything was GREEN! everything was BLOOMING! sun was SHINING! i’d forgotten how much flora even the airport had! blooming vines growing up the sides of the parking structures, palm trees everywhere! it is it’s own kind of magic, that.


palm trees union station

we tried this new thing to rent a car for a fraction of the price of the traditional car rental. this does mean that the car wasn’t waiting in a lot within a convenient distance of the airport, though. but i actually really like seeing the public transportation of a city. it can tell you a lot more about the feel of a place to see the public transportation.

union station LA

union station LA

union station was really lovely. we didn’t linger even a bit, except for this silly picture of me:


i can’t remember what jake said that made me look so hammy & super-hero-ish.

we walked from the subway station to pick up the car, which was mostly fine, except that we interpreted the distance as much shorter than it actually was, and in my excitement about the warm, sunny day, i put on my least appropriate shoes for walking, and ended up cultivating a few blisters which i spent the rest of the trip accommodating. tut.

ventura boulevard

we drove down ventura boulevard, one of jake’s favorites. it also happens to be home to one of my favorite LA restaurants, and one of my absolute favorite burgers of all time:

mels drive in

sunset burger

ahhhhh, mel’s drive ins sunset burger. i dream of you, here in the midwest, you darling specimen of the west coast. cheddar, bacon, and avocado atop a burger with sourdough toast. i recreate them at home very occasionally, but sourdough doesn’t move especially quickly in this household, so it’s fairly rare.

(other favorite burgers being benelux in milwaukee, and the third being the cheeseburger from olivia’s cafe in disney’s old key west. ahh, both were eaten after days with much walking, and prolonged hunger, which has never hurt the meal at the end of it.).

*and by celebrated, i mean we ate lunch at the only sit down restaurant in our terminal at the airport where we had an excess of time, and alerted each other of glorious views out of our airplane windows (we couldn’t get seats next to each other, so we opted for window seats in two consecutive rows), and clinked glasses of wine when we safely made it home that evening. it was pretty nice!

**because, you know, love is notorious for being convenient, timely, and taking requests.