You know I love adventure. I love big cities. I love little towns. I love the countryside. I love the sea side. I even sometimes love the ugly downtrodden side! I just love getting out and exploring the world.
Of course getting out of Orange County is a huge big deal because I am kind of bored of my safe little neighborhood. I love it here but I also love to get out of it and when I do, my eyes are so big taking everything in.
Naturally, I love having a travel agent friend (aka Teresa). I mean, how could I not? I want to download her brain and snag some insider tips on travel! Who wouldn’t?! But she’s also super nice and one of my very best friends.
We have a lot of common interests but exploring LA (and specifically points of interest from the tv show Bosch) is definitely one of them. So when she was going to meet a mutual friend and client in LA to discuss travel, I hopped on the chance to tag along. Woo hoo!
We went super early of course so we could sneak in some sight-seeing before her lunch meeting. We explored the Bradbury Building—a favorite of mine ever since I spotted it on 500 Days of Summer.
Have you ever seen such a beautiful building? It’s like a giant iced cake of design in a Victorian bird-cage like atrium. Does that even make sense? You get it. We didn’t have time to brush up on all the history but I do plan to find out the story behind this building and it’s famous namesake architect.
After that we hopped on Angel’s flight because if you watch Bosch it’s a major key landmark and why not. It’s better than walking up a steep hill in the hot, hot sun.
Then a block or two later we met up with our friend (and Teresa’s client), Christine, (You might recognize her as Bug’s old elementary school principal!) for lunch at Bottega Louis.
Wow. This place. It’s so pristine and perfect. It felt like a fancy hotel lobby with perfect lighting in Paris. Except we weren’t. It’s an Italian restaurant in LA.
Macarons and pretty treats for days. Huge white walls reaching expansive bright white ceilings with decorative crown molding…
Cooks and servers, waiters and bakers…everyone on their toes being polite with Disney-trained smiles and good attitudes. You definitely get what you pay for here. Primo primo!
I was smitten with the crazy flower-bomb bouquets and the white walls. A perfect backdrop for a movie if I ever decided to make one. See that guy on the right? He totally caught me taking his picture. I never made eye-contact though so I’m hoping he’s thinking I was taking a close-up of the bottle and blurring him behind. We both just pretended it never happened. He ate a whole pizza and drank a beer by himself and then left, walking by with a gold-handled cane. I would love to know his back-story.
Our lunch lasted for hours and nobody pushed us to leave. It really was like being in Paris. But guess what the best part of our three hour lunch was?
Christine talked me and Teresa into visiting Italy (for a week) with her next month. YESSSS!!!! Of course we had to go home and talk it over with our families but she planted the seed and we fell for it hook, line and sinker. Can you believe it? It will be a bit of a stretch but I’ve landed a few jobs and I think I can swing it. The tickets are bought and I cannot wait to be blogging from ITALY! I will be sharing everything with you of course!
Please drop me a line with all your recommendations. We plan to hit Milan, Florence and Venice.
After that fun-packed lunch, we weren’t ready to stop talking yet so we walked through the Biltmore hotel next-door and continued our Italy discussion.
The Biltmore is also a Bosch landmark so Teresa was happy to get her travel agent research in. She’s putting together a tour for other Bosch fans. What a fun job she has.
We both have fun jobs and I have to admit I know how lucky we are to be freelancers who can take our jobs on the road with us. and take three hour plus lunches (!). I don’t know that I’ll be doing any crafts in Italy but I do think I could get a book idea out of it. Little Hoo in Italy perhaps? Wouldn’t that be a fun travel series?
After the Biltmore we walked through the downtown market, got some ice latte’s and a small treat. We talked and talked and talked some more until we had to come back to the reality that we had to go home and we had to sit in some serious traffic. Ugh. The only bad part about visiting LA: traffic. Next time we’re going to take the train!
Your LA pics make me want to visit there, and I have NEVER had that desire before. :) I lived in Italy for three years and I am excited for you to go! You will love it. Florence and Venice are definitely both walking towns. Skip the buses in Florence, you can pretty much walk anywhere you want to go from the train station. Try gelato EVERYWHERE. Multiple times per day, if you can. :) My benchmark for a good gelato place was always pistachio if it’s too fake green, don’t trust the place! I mean, the gelato will still be good but it won’t be great. I recommend getting a cute little coin purse because the euro coins add up – monetarily and weight – pretty fast. Most places are really happy when you have exact change, and the smaller mom & pop places especially sometimes get annoyed if they have to break bills. Also, there aren’t really public restrooms in restaurants and hotels the way there are here (squatty potties are totally a thing, too) but they are plentiful, for 70 cents or a euro per visit. Another good reason to keep a coin purse on hand. Florence has a great street market for leather, and you can get nice purses for relatively inexpensive. Venice – don’t have an agenda, just go wander around – Sep and October are the BEST months to visit! The Doges Palace is really worth it. Skip the gondola ride and just cruise around on a water taxi – they don’t go fast and aren’t glamorous, but way more bang for your buck. Murano is overrated but you could easily do that + Burano on a half-day trip, and the colorful houses in Burano are a photographer’s dream. I could make a whole photo album of just Italian laundry hanging out to dry on that island. :) I didn’t spend a whole lot of time in Milan but I really do recommend going to the Duomo and climbing up to (and on) the roof. Probably best to get there early so you don’t have to stand in line forever. I could go on and on, but I’m sure you are in great hands with your friends! Eat lots and lots of pasta and pizza for me.
A great day!!! So looking forward to our Italian adventure ???
Can I please be friends with you and Teresa?! I’m a Californian and never knew about these places -thanks for the lovely photos! Also, if you have Netflix, watch the Venice (Season 1) episode of Somebody Feed Phil, ooh!
Hi, only now am I catching up with your blog!
Amazing news that you visiting Italy, you’re going to love it, such beautiful countryside and wonderful food and wine. You must try prosecco, if you haven’t already as is pretty much available world wide now. When I first drunk it though it was in Italy and by the side of the lake and out of an earthenware jug as it was the cheapest drink on the menu.
I’ve only been to Florence for a few hours whilst I was catching a connecting train to Naples. traveling by train in Italy is such fun and really cheap. Anyway all I recall is that Florence is a beautiful city to wander around and gaze at the architecture. If I recall correctly the original statue of David is there . Also recently I watched a fascinating documentary about the influential Medici family who had a secret corridor built within the city so they could move about freely. I long to return to Italy soon to visit several points notable Renaissance art works. one day I want to study the history of classical painting, more. Italy has such an interesting history, I could witter on in this direction for ages but in a nutshell your going to love it ! As a previous commentator said try gelato, often! xxx
P.s I love your LA adventures the Bradbury Building, looks such an interesting building I’m going to look it up.
Oh my goodness, SAJ in ITALY!!! I can’t wait to see it through your eyes! What a great day in LA!
A lunch that results in a trip to Italy is a pretty good lunch!
Little Hoo’s First Plane Ride!