as a celebration for successfully having my wisdom teeth extracted from my mouth and for me finishing seven weeks of a super intense summer job, my mom and i decided to take a little trip up to LA last tuesday.

i'd had regina spektor tickets for months (after waiting since approximately eighth grade for her to go on tour...) and since we weren't super excited about the prospect of driving home from LA at midnight after the concert, we planned a mini vacation out of it.

unfortunately, on tuesday morning i was still fighting off a nasty cold i picked up from the kids at work, so we didn't get the early start we had intended. that plus the notoriously awful LA traffic meant we didn't arrive at our hotel until almost 4. not wanting to get stuck in traffic again, we took the metro down to hollywood to walk around for a while and get dinner before the concert.

not many pictures were taken on this leg of the journey since i was trying as hard as possible not to seem like a tourist, but i couldn't resist this cheeky graffiti in the metro station:

after a wide-eyed preview of the walk of fame and a delicious dinner (fried cod over fresh salad for me) we hopped on the metro back to the hotel, freshened up, and headed off to the concert.

once again, we underestimated the horribleness of the traffic/parking situation, and didn't end up pulling into the venue until about 8:15, just after the opening act (regina's husband (jack dishel)'s band, only son) had started. still, the temperature was absolutely perfect and the venue was beautiful. the concert took place in LA's greek theatre, an outdoor amphitheater nestled in a city park.

the concert itself was absolutely beautiful. like i said, i've been a regina spektor fan since middle school, and her performance was everything i could have hoped for. she played plenty of old favorites and songs from her new album and the crowd was so into it. (my only problem was my awful cold which caused me to choke halfway to death trying to stifle my coughs during "samson.")

i didn't want to be so preoccupied with taking pictures that i missed half the concert, so this is all i got:

...not the best photography. but it was perfect.

the next morning, we woke up bright and early, drove to the nearest metro stop, and rode back down to hollywood for some sightseeing. after a very quick breakfast at the iconic hollywood mcdonald's, we walked over to the egyptian theatre to start our tour. at this point, we abandoned all self-consciousness of seeming like tourists - we had headsets and followed our tour guide around like lost ducklings. still, the tour was super informative, and we got to see all the big sights - the dolby theatre (where the oscars are), the walk of fame, the chinese theatre (where all the big premieres are, with all the stars' handprints in the cement out front), the el capitan theatre, and, of course, the hollywood sign.

after all that, we did a little shopping in hollywood (my mom and i can never resist zara, no matter where) and got back on the metro to downtown LA. we hadn't really planned out this part of the trip, so we ended up walking around aimlessly and getting lunch at a nondescript (but delicious) mediterranean restaurant, and then walking to the cathedral of our lady of the angels, a beautiful, modern cathedral right downtown.

the murals on the wall were super neat -- there were saints and past popes and other important people in catholicism painted alongside modern-day parishioners. (if you look closely at the bottom-right picture up there, you can see two little boys in shorts and sneakers.) the architecture was very abstract and modern, but i really enjoyed it.

after that, we got back on the metro to where our car was parked, and drove home. for almost 5 hours. when people tell you that LA traffic is horrendous, they are not lying.

still, it was so nice to get away for a little while, spend some time with my mom and see one of the most well-known cities in america.

LA trip = success!

xoxo maria

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