• Nam D.

My First Road-trip to LA!

Updated: Jul 29, 2020

As you guys know, I'm currently in the Bay Area - San Jose specifically - for my co-op. I've always wanted to be in the Bay Area and live this California life while leaving the cold Boston weather behind. And of course, you can't really feel the California vibe without visiting Los Angeles - The City of Angels.


I've made friends with all the Northeastern co-ops at my current company here and since we were new to California, we had decided to go on an adventure - a 6 hour-drive road trip from San Jose to Los Angeles.

Day 1


food drink starbucks matcha
Start the day with Matcha and Starbucks

As expected from a typical road trip, we were singing in the car with my "LA road trip" Spotify playlist that I put up a night before our trip. During the ride, we watched the scenario changing from the city, to a countryside farm, to a snowing mountain, like we were traveling around the whole United States.


The two cuties Maddie & Nidhi (ServiceNow Co-op) who join me for the LA roadtrip
The two cuties Maddie & Nidhi (ServiceNow Co-op) who join me for the LA roadtrip

The landscape along the road

We first stopped at West Hollywood to have our first lunch in California. When we first rolled out of the car, we fell like we did not fit in because everyone was soooooooooo attractive, and stylish too. In order to fit in the SoCal life, we decided to have this little healthy lunch. In my case, it was an $18 healthy salad - with like 3 slices of bacon, which barely filled half of my stomach.


The $18 healthy salad
The $18 healthy salad

After lunch, we headed to our hotel, Freehand, which is a little vintage hotel in downtown LA, and their bunk bed concept was so awesome and cute. We were in love when we first got into our room. They also have a rooftop bar, where we had our drinks and watched our first sunset in downtown Los Angeles. I was also reallllllly drunk with just half a glass of Rose because I was so hungry from that healthy lunch. Later that night, we decided to go clubbing at this rooftop bar in this hotel called The Standard. And again, everyone at the party was so stylish and cool. They had this "you may not know me but I have 10,000 followers on Instagram" vibe.


The rooftop bar at Freehand Hotel
The rooftop bar at Freehand Hotel

The cool little bunk beds

Keep our standard high as The Standard

Day 2


We woke up on our first morning in LA and I was dancing to Katy Perry - California Gurls while getting ready. That moment we knew that our second day was gonna be so #LIT. We hopped on the car after looking fabulous and headed to see the Hollywood sign, which was around 45 minutes driving from downtown LA with this tragic traffic. Of course, everybody has to take a picture here with the sign when they are in LA so we have to follow this tradition. It was fun and that was it. Not sure if I wanted to come back to the place again lol.


The basic Hollywood sign
The basic Hollywood sign

After taking enough pictures with the Hollywood sign, now it's time to go to Santa Monica. We stopped at this brunch place called The Independence because we saw so many good reviews on Yelp and the food looked absolutely amazing. I did order a lot this time because I knew all these gluten-free healthy food will make me hungry like an hour later. But we were so lucky because it was a happy hour time and the price was a little bit cheaper.


Amazing brunch at The Independence
Amazing brunch at The Independence

I'm just so happy with good food
I'm just so happy with good food

After brunch, we were ready for day-drinking. We quickly hopped in an Uber to go to The Bungalow, where they held a 12-hour party for that whole Sunday. The theme of that quick was Young & Hot. Not sure if we did fit in haha.


Young 'n Hot at The Bungalow in Santa Monica
Young 'n Hot at The Bungalow in Santa Monica

Enough for day-drinking, we started walking to the Santa Monica pier during the sunset time. And it was absolutely beautiful. The sunset in Santa Monica pier had a different vibe from the sunset in downtown LA. The boardwalk was stunning, like something you would see in a Hollywood movie. I wanted to ride the Ferris wheel but they could not operate it because it was so windy that day. We headed back to the hotel and rested for a bit before another adventure.


The sunset landscape at Santa Monica Pier
The sunset landscape at Santa Monica Pier

To truly enjoy the nightlife in downtown LA, you have to go to Grand Central Market, where they have the amazing food court with live music, and cool backgrounds for Instagram ;) Then hopped to this hipster bar with cool pinball games and spent the night there having fun.


Grand Central Market in Downtown LA
Grand Central Market in Downtown LA

Day 3


Our last morning in LA, we were so sad that the trip had come to an end, but it did not stop us from having fun. We decided to go to Urth Caffe, a tourist destination in LA, because again, the food was so amazing. We spent almost an hour waiting outside in line but it was worth it. I mean look at these photos.


Fabulous brunch at the Urth Caffe in West Hollywood
Fabulous brunch at the Urth Caffe in West Hollywood

We then said goodbye to LA and took another 6 hour-driving road trip to San Jose to go back to our intern's life. Well, it was fun while it lasted. I will definitely come back to LA soon because why not?


By Nam D. for Alien Thoughts Boston

International Students Blog


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