I had called Los Angeles home for four years. But when I returned to visit this autumn, I explored the city with fresh eyes. From the new to familiar, every adventure was unique. The sky was a little bluer than I remembered. The palm trees were welcoming, waving in the easy breeze. Everything was more vivid.
Brunch with Kari at Blue Daisy in Santa Monica. We ordered the Napa Scramble.
Soaking in the sun and a stellar view atop the Los Liones Trail.
One of the many highlights of my trip was our visit to Malibu for a wine safari, where the vineyard invites guests to "get their wine on in the wild." We boarded an Indiana Jones-esque vehicle and whirled around the ranch, feeding carrots to animals ranging from alpacas to zebras and tasting the local flavors, from pinot noir to sauvignon blanc. Mountainous Malibu stood against a cloudless sky. It was a perfect day.
Farhan was my next door neighbor in our freshman dorm and we have been best friends since. A born Texan, but Californian at heart, he flew to the city for the week as well. We had both been to The Getty while we were students, but our experiences had always been rushed. We carefully curated a picnic lunch, and with the help of a friendly docent, found a rooftop patio displaying a panoramic view of the city and coast. We basked in the sun and winded through the exhibits. We took our time sitting on a bench in the gardens. Though a place we had known before, this visit felt like an escape to somewhere new.
Chatting over iced chai and a carrot & cream cake.
Taking a stroll down Ocean Ave.
I am so thankful for the days I got to spend in this city of endless sun. I am grateful for the caring friends who took time out of their busy schedules to host and meet with me. Each moment, each memory was one I want to bottle up and keep forever. I'll always be connected to this city and the people whom I have been lucky enough to cross paths with here. Until next time, LA.