Lately, I've been doing things a little bit backwards. Rather than going out late on the weekends, I've been in the habit of making plans with friends after work and during weekend days, then going out for low-key dates with my boyfriend in the evening (I'm happiest when I'm in bed by 10 PM). Maybe that's just part of living in L.A.—there's so much to do during the day that by the evening, all you can do is grab some dinner and call it a night. After taking photos and copious notes over the course of one weekend, I've recognized a pattern to my routine: do something active, eat, sleep, eat, repeat. Here's my diary from a recent, fairly typical weekend:
12:15 PM - As Alina and Emily both mentioned in their Weekend in the Life posts, C&C practices Summer Fridays (the best invention ever) so my weekend started a few hours earlier than usual. I rarely spend time by myself, but I took advantage of the solo time to walk to a yoga spot down the street from my house. It'd been over a year since I'd taken a yoga class, mostly because I get way too antsy (I dread "corpse pose"), but this ended up being the perfect thing to help me ease out of work mode and into the weekend.
1:20 PM - After yoga, I walked to my favorite coffee shop in my neighborhood, FIX Coffee, to wait for my boyfriend to finish work. One of my all-time favorite things to do when I have a few hours to myself is turn off my phone and read a book in one of their outdoor seats, which is exactly what I did—with their arugula and Parmesan salad and a juice. Normally I'd order a beer for a weekend lunch, but juice felt like a more appropriate post-yoga option...
P.S. I picked up this book, Fates & Furies, after I read that it was Obama's favorite of 2015 and have hardly been able to put it down since.
3:30 PM - It's hot in L.A. this time of year, so as soon as my boyfriend came to join me (he works East Coast hours, so he's usually done around 3 PM), we made the mutual decision to push back the hike we had planned to stop by Jeni's Ice Cream in Los Feliz. It took me six tasting spoons (photo proof above, crazy hair and all) but I don't even know why I bothered—I finally landed on the two I get every time: Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk and Salted Caramel.
4:30 PM - After ice cream, we finally made it to Griffith Park, where for months we’ve been going on weekly night hikes led by the Sierra Club. For our first solo, daytime hike, we headed up the Firebreak Trail which leads to the Griffith Observatory. Most people get to the observatory from the other side of the park, so we were thrilled to discover that the trail was almost empty (granted it was the middle of a week day). Here's a great article on how to find it yourself.
6:00 PM - After the quick hike (it only took about an hour to get to the observatory and back!), I did a quick, and extremely ungraceful, change in the car into this Cupcakes and Cashmere romper. While I changed, my boyfriend ran into Trader Joe's to grab salads to eat before our show at the Hollywood Bowl, which opens two hours early so you can eat a picnic on their lawn or at one of their tables. We also brought along a bottle of wine I’d been saving for a special occasion.
8:00 PM - I’m sure when I said “show at the Hollywood Bowl” you were expecting something hip and not my favorite childhood musical—think again. We went to see A Chorus Line, which was a huge check off the bucket list for me. Apologies to my boyfriend for my dramatic rendition of each and every song while stuck in traffic on the way home.
11:00 PM - Sleep
6:30 AM - Okay, so I’m a morning person but even 6:30 is a little early for me on a Saturday, but I struggled through it this morning to be able to get to a Nike running class with friends in Santa Monica (I live in Echo Park so I wanted to account for the hour-long drive and an extra twenty minutes to drag a girlfriend out of bed to come join).
8:00 AM - When I arrived at Nike Run Club, I made the last-minute decision to join the 6-mile running group to be able to run alongside my extremely fit, marathon-running friend. This used to be the norm for me when I was in New York and running every day, but I’ve been doing more hiking than running since moving to Los Angeles, and this was definitely a wake-up call. There was a lot of wheezing.
9:00 AM - After the run, we headed to brunch at one of my favorite spots in Santa Monica, Urth Caffé—their breakfast pizza is unreal. We spent two hours there sitting, laughing, and complaining about how much our legs hurt.
12:00 PM - Almost as soon as I had gotten home and showered, I was hungry again, so I joined my boyfriend for Brunch Number Two (or I guess at this point, it's called "lunch") at Winsome in Echo Park. I realized a little too late that Winsome is the place to be at 12:00 PM on a Saturday, so my old t-shirt and jeans didn't quite fit in with the room full of fedoras and very cool people, but their granola hit the spot (if you ask nicely, they'll give you whole milk instead of almond milk). The dish in the background is my boyfriend's order, a twist on eggs Benedict, and it is as delicious as it looks.
1:30 PM - I’m rarely able to sit still for longer than thirty minutes, let alone for the length of an entire movie or T.V. show, but between the hike on Friday and the run, I was beat. I spent the afternoon hanging out with my cat and boyfriend, watching movies, reading, and napping. (Have you seen the HBO show, The Night Of? It's terrifying but totally had me hooked after this afternoon.)
5:30 PM - After spending the entire afternoon indoors, I had cabin fever, so we decided to fast-track our evening plans and go out for an early dinner at Night + Market Song, a Thai restaurant that specializes in street foods. It'd been highly recommended to me (including by Emily and Geoffrey), and it lived up to the hype—their spicy salads alone are worth the trip. Plus the couple sitting at the table about five inches away was having one of the most dramatic conversations I've ever heard (They'd been together for years, but she had recently left him to elope with a colleague of theirs and this was their first time reuniting to talk about what had happened. Not even kidding. It was that juicy.). Basically, we got a two-for-one deal: dinner and a show.
8:30 PM - Our evening plans were supposed to be a surprise—my boyfriend had bought the tickets months before—but a calendar alert on his phone gave it away: "Tig Notaro at the Ace Hotel." We'd seen Tig, a Los Angeles-based comedian, three years before and still regularly quote the show, so this was a long time coming. Needless to say, we loved it and have plenty of material to last us till the next one. (P.S. If you haven't already seen it, I highly recommend this documentary about her which is available on Netflix.)
11:30 PM - Sleep
8:00 AM - I initially had brunch plans for 10 AM, but I woke up to the text: "One too many margs—reschedule brunch?" It happens! Since I was already up, my boyfriend and I decided to take advantage of our newly free day and drive to Malibu to hike at Solstice Canyon (which is about a 45-minute drive from our house). It was my first time doing the hike—I usually go to Escondido Falls—but it was beautiful, with views of the ocean for the entire three-ish-mile loop!
1:00 PM - After our hike, we rinsed off our legs at Zuma Beach, then drove back to our neighborhood to pick up groceries at 365 by Whole Foods. So much for never shopping hungry... We left with $200 fewer and bags full of figs, vegetables, cheeses, and a plan for dinner.
2:30 PM - Since we didn't have breakfast, we had to do something about our hanger—fast—for the sake of our relationship. We dropped off our groceries at home (mostly to save the hibiscus-mint ice pops I've become obsessed with), then walked down the street to another coffee shop in our neighborhood, Chango, and ordered breakfast burritos. While we waited, we shared a trout and ricotta toast from one of my all-time favorite stores, a tiny artisan food shop called Cookbook. Didn't even have time to shoot the burrito—pretty sure I ate it in one bite.
4:00 PM - After showering off the dust, I planted myself with my book and snacks on a couch we just bought for our patio. (It's my favorite thing ever and fairly reasonable too, considering our patio is our most-used "room" of our house. We joined three of these outdoor IKEA chairs to make it.)
7:00 PM - While we cook most weeknights, Sunday is the night we go all-out and take time to experiment with new recipes. This time around, we made two dishes we’ve had at restaurants—and that barely required turning on the stove: sardine toasts from Lilia in Brooklyn (see the top photo here) and the farro salad from the Los Angeles-based restaurant, Alimento. Mimicking dishes from restaurants is what first got me into cooking (you get the same dish for a fraction of the price!) and both things we made completely exceeded our expectations. They were the perfect thing to end a perfect weekend. We ended up sitting outside well into the evening, picking at the salad, chatting, finishing our bottle of wine, and of course, plotting our next weekend.