A month or so ago I finally went on a trip I bought (semi drunk?) at 2 am. It’s very like me to buy a flight 9 months in advance and sort of sit on it. In my mind it somehow feels free this way? (It definitely isn’t and wasn’t but I can dream.) Anyways, Drew and I hopped on an 11 hour insanely reasonably priced Norwegian Airlines flight from LAX to Copenhagen for the first time. The crisp early Spring weather paired with the incredibly liberal sensibility definitely made me a fan of the capital of Denmark. I also loved that being (as what I think is fair to call) a less traveled European city, I felt less pressured to go to a million sites and had actually less recommendations coming my way, which prompted me to do a little bit more research and explore on my own.
Where we stayed:
Another Air BnB success story, we stayed in this cute studio apartment in the neighborhood of Vesterbro, which I totally recommend. Super walkable area filled with boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants, wine bars, and more.
Where we ATE!! (YASS! Copenhagen is a food capital!):
*DISCLAIMER* The infamous NOMA was closed. I knew this about 6 months before we arrived, and basically got over it immediately until as soon as I was in Copenhagen people were suggesting that I go, as if you could just pop in…..
One note about my eating experience in Copenhagen. Copenhagen is expensive. I’d say 35% give or take more than equivalent places in LA/SF/NY. That being said, tipping, especially 20% is not customary, so it sort of evens out or is 15-20% more. Because of this, fine dining was a LOT less expensive than I expected. This may also be some sort of competition with NOMA which is world famous, or because NOMA is closed, I’m not sure. But if you consider a kabob and a soda is USD $15 or a coffee, juice, and pastry is $20, why wouldn’t you have a three course meal for $50 when you have a chance.
My first impression of Topanga Canyon was that all the kids from there that went to my highschool were always barefoot. When Drew and I decided to do a stay-cation type adventure for his 26th birthday, I discovered that 7 years later, this is still an accurate impression. That being said, Topanga is awesome. I would 100% live there and never leave if that was a realistic option for me.
One thing I really do love about living in LA, is the insane range of terrain. You can drive a little bit and be in a city, beach, desert, forest, canyon, and like ten different types of each of those. Topanga is less than an hour from my house, but feels worlds away. In New York, this is also possible, like the Catskills, but thats 4 or so hours away, in a car you don’t have. Basically- if you’re into nature, as smoggy and traffic filled as LA is, it is a pretty decent place to access it.
We found a little house on a commune that produces essential oils on Air B&B. We read on the hammock, walked our dog Nora around the premises, and explored. We shopped in the Topanga town center. Had lunch at Abulitas, a little Mexican restaurant on the creek in an old house, and went to a nice birthday dinner at Inn of the Seventh Ray, one of the more beautiful places I’ve ever eaten. At night, we realized we weren’t sleepy and went to Calabasas and saw a horrible scary movie.
I got into the details about my Japan trip, especially Tokyo, here. But I wanted to show some more photos of Kyoto, where I took a day trip on the Bullet train to visit temples, rock gardens, walk along the Philosophers Path during the Sakura, or cherry blossom blooming.
We took a cab from the Kyoto train station towards the part of the city that is more historic and less urban. There’s also a bus but since we were on a day trip, we wanted to save time. We started at the Ginkaku-ji temple, where we wore slippers and drank green tea. We got to pour water over bamboo shoots to create this super calming noise. Then I was starving but food was actually not abundant, which was nice, because no one wants gross restaurants or shops in the middle of this beautiful serene atmosphere, but this tiny little cafe had Japanese curry! My favorite comfort food I had been on the prowl for. This adorable Grandma made us plates for basically $4 USD that looked exactly like the curry emoji.
The philosophers path was filled with about half cherry blossoms, and plenty of stray cats. Of course, since everything in Japan is cute. I was so happy to have made it (basically) in time to catch the annual cherry blossoming. Definitely prioritize this, it’s beautiful!