Travel Diary: Downtown LA

Do you know Jan of Jan Loves? I wouldn’t say that we had a “blogger meet-up” because, in case you didn’t know, her husband Ron and I have known each other since college. Apparently, Roan is good friends with him, too, since they were in the same circle of friends back then. Roan’s and my world are so small that we have a lot of common friends from way back when. Anyway, Jan and Ron (WARNING: You may find our names confusing!) live just east of LA, so we sort of required them to free their calendar up on the day of the CHVRCHES concert. Luckily, they just got back from their trip to Seattle, so they saved the date for a mini reunion.

Roan and I left San Diego early that Saturday in order to avoid typical LA traffic, and arrived just in time for lunch. Jan, being the enthusiastic planner that she is, recommended that we meet at the Grand Central Market along South Broadway St in Downtown LA. We overestimated our travel time from San Diego to LA that we arrived earlier than expected. Roan had ordered a pizza from Olio GCM Wood Fried Pizza by the time they showed up. Luckily, they were celebrating their birthday, so we got 50% off of our wood-fired pizza!

Just as Roan was asking about Jan and Ron’s whereabouts, I looked over my shoulder and found them trying to figure out where we were. Roan and I took out sandwiches and drinks from Starbucks before we left, so I wasn’t too hungry to have a proper lunch. The two, however, were starving by the time they arrived, so they went for some Mexican treats from Tacos Tumbras a Tomas, to which Jan swears by.

We had plenty of time to kill, so we just left it to Jan and Ron (well, mostly Jan) to tour us around DTLA. Our first stop, The Last Bookstore. I’ve been a long-time reader of Jan’s blog, so when we walked into the store, I remember that anonymous letter her cousin found in the dollar book section. We walked around the multilevel bookstore, which not only focuses on buying, selling, and trading books; they also showcase vintage vinyl records and art gallery shops. Unlike Barnes & Noble, however, they only limit visitors to an hour of reading in nooks found in every aisle.

Some photo ops and small talks later, we were buying some bicycle-churned ice cream at Peddler’s Creamery. The shop’s intertwined bicycles, which also served as an art installation, were so cool and interesting that I had to take a photo and even posted a video of a kid peddling on Snapchat. They’re legit; they even have a Peddler’s Club for those who want to become a peddler, and make a batch of bicycle-churned ice cream!

We still had plenty of time to spare in spite of spending some at the bookstore and the ice cream place, so we walked (less than a mile) to The Bunker Hill Bar & Grill to catch up more over a glass of beer and potato fries. The hours went by quickly that the next thing we know, it’s time for us to leave for the concert.

Roan and I were supposed to drive back to San Diego after the concert, but Jan and Ron were generous enough to offer their home for us to stay in overnight. The concert didn’t end until a little past midnight, but they stayed up late for a nightcap. By around 4AM, we were all exhausted, so we called it a night.

Chippy and Fox

We had no plans of staying beyond lunch time at our friends’ place, but they talked us out of it since it was Seattle Seahawks were playing that Sunday. Jan, Ron, and Roan are big fans of the ‘Hawks that they all wore their favorite shirts to show patronage to their football team. Unfortunately, they lost to the Carolina Panthers, so my company walked out of the bar with long faces. Roan and I stayed a little longer to play with their dogs, Fox and Chippy, who were so adorable, by the way. Ron even prepared grilled steak and asparagus for dinner before we packed our bags, and took off.

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