Ohh Los Angeles….
Ohh Los Angeles….I love you, I miss you, I think about you, you will always have a special place in my heart…but we are never getting back together..Yep, that’s right and I’m writing this to tell you my experience of living in the City of Angels. The good, the bad, the ugly..and the happy ending.
What brought me down to Los Angeles? Well, I grew up in a very small town in Northern California just outside of Sacramento and I was with my High school boyfriend at the time, He got accepted to a school down in So Cal and I decided to go with him and experience something new and exciting. I was only 20 years old and worked at a tanning salon at the time so what did I have to loose? Nothing, except being 400 miles away from my family and friends but I knew they would all have a fun place to visit anyways. So my exciting and spontaneous journey began… and I say spontaneous because thats exactly what it was for me…the entire 8 years I lived down there.
(Runyon canyon hike)
Looking back, My first year there was a bit of a culture shock. I came from a small country town to moving to San Gabriel. Those of you who are familiar with Los Angeles know what I mean by this. Those of you who aren’t, I’ll fill you in. San Gabriel is just about 10 minutes from downtown LA and the population is mainly Chinese. So I felt like I was the only blonde-haired, green-eyed white girl in the area. This wasn’t a bad thing, it was just different and I was trying to adapt. Why San Gabriel? Well my boyfriend at the time (who I moved there with) had family there and they had a guest house on their property, So they let us live there rent free and make it our own, which was really awesome. I mean, 20 years old, moved out and didn’t have to pay rent….hell yeah! Although, I was homesick for about 3 months. I really missed my friends and my family. My Boyfriend at the time was in Law school so I was mainly alone. So with having no friends and no family there (except his grandparents that lived in the front house) I had to figure out what I was going to do with my life. I had to find a job, make friends, network, and just find my way around my new home. I did find a really amazing Italian Market by the name of Claro’s and I would walk there all the time and enjoy their Italian cookies. There was also the best pizza place just down the street as well called Petrillo’s Pizza. Even when I later moved away from that area I would still occasionally drive all the way there and order a pizza when my family was in town visiting since they loved it too.
(My brothers visiting me at my first place in LA. I was 20 years old here.)
So fast forward to finding my way around.. Once I learned the LA freeway system (take the 210 to the 2 to the 5 South to the 110 to the 10 West…yeahhh that’s just one route) I fell in love with all the amazing places to go. I didn’t have a job at the time or really anything to do so I became a beach bum and explored all the beaches from Malibu to Laguna beach. My top 3 favorite SoCal beaches in case you were wondering are: Pointe Dume in Malibu, Manhattan Beach, and Treasure Island Park in Laguna Beach. If you are exploring the So Cal coast, I recommend all three of those beaches. Point Dume is beautiful and easily accessible, plus its nice driving around Malibu and enjoying the beautiful scenery and amazing mansions. Manhattan beach has great shops and places to eat and is just fun to walk around the town because its so nice and well kept up. Treasure Island is just right by the Montage on PCH and is absolutely gorgeous. That beach is one of my favs because the water is so beautiful there and all the tropical plants make you feel like you are in Hawaii or somewhere tropical. I can seriously write an entire separate blog describing all the beaches I have been to in So Cal. I’m forever a Beach girl and that is the thing I miss the most about living in So Cal. The beaches in Nor Cal are not quite the same, they are mostly too cold and always overcast.
Going into more of the good things about LA..well, its a melting pot of all different cultures so you can literally find amazing authentic paces to eat just about anywhere. To name a few personal favorites, Chin Chin off Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood serves the best Chinese Chicken Salad. Mastro’s Steakhouse in Beverly Hills makes steak that will melt in your mouth. Bottega Louie in downtown LA has amazing Italian food and their specialty is small plates and macaroons. I personally love Mexican food so one of my favorite spots is El Compadre right off Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood. I love their food, chips and salsa, and of course their Flaming Margaritas (which they are known for) that come out with a small fire flame on the top. I also love El Sol which is in La Crescenta… its one of those “hole in the wall spots” that serve really good authentic Mexican food and the best Skinny Margaritas. My girlfriend and I were literally regulars there and would go there once a week at least. Again, I can write a whole other blog on all the amazing places I have been to go eat and drink in LA.
(El Compadre’s famous “Flaming Margaritas”)
(Out for my Dad’s Bday at El Compadre, Q and Redfoo from LMFAO joined us for drinks)
Besides the amazing beaches and places to go eat and drink, another thing that stood out to me the most about living in LA is how everyone is able to express who they are and not be judged by it. You can be that chick wearing short shorts and cowboy boots next to the chick wearing sweatpants and a hoodie, next to the guy wearing skinny jeans and a pink shirt, next to the other guy wearing leather pants and a vest shirtless, next to the other guy wearing just a speedo and a vest with boots (no joke that last description was someone I saw walking down the street in West Hollywood once) My point is, you can literally have any style you want and not feel weird or out of place. Everyone seems to be accepted for their own individuality and uniqueness and not be judged by it. I mean its fun to just people watch in some areas to see this. Its rather fascinating to me and I really liked that about LA.
(Only in LA)
(Only in LA)
Everyone is working on something and chasing their dreams in LA…whether it’s being in the Entertainment industry, becoming an Entrepreneur, working the way to the top at a large company, Everyone wants to be successful and live the American Dream. I had no idea what I wanted to do at age 20….Unfortunately I went though a huge tragedy when I was 21 and I lost my brother. This is something I will talk about later in another blog but I will say, it was the hardest time of my life. I had random jobs in between trying to figure out what I wanted to do and when my brother passed away I went back home for a month to be with family. That month was an entire blur to me…When I got back to LA that’s when I decided I needed to do something to keep my mind occupied and keep me busy so I decided to go to Aesthetics school and become an Aesthetician. I was already obsessed with skin care and I figured I was in the right place to do it since people are all about taking care of their selves and their image. I found it rather rewarding to help people with their skincare concerns and to help them feel more confident in their skin. I wanted to learn as much as I could about the industry and later build a small business, and that is exactly what I did.
When my relationship with my high school boyfriend ended, I went out and got my first apartment in Pasadena. I’ll never forget that little studio. It was old and charming and there was only 4 units in the building. I was #4 on the top floor and I had a beautiful view of the mountains behind me. There was a Murphy’s bed that freaked me out so I put my entertainment center in front of the wall so it was always hidden. I had a huge walk in closet all to my self. It was the perfect studio for my first place alone. I was just turning 22 and I felt independent and proud to be on my own. It was just the beginning of my skin care career after all. During this time I was dating someone who grew up in LA and was 11 years older than me. To make a long story very short, I ended up marrying this person and divorcing this person. Lets just say I was young and learned a HUGE lesson. In life, everything we go though we learn from it, whether its good or bad, its all still an experience we learn from and makes us who we are today.
(My first place in Pasadena, I got a shit ton of parking tickets with that car too 😌)
Fast forward to the point where I was on my own again, this time I was running my own skin care business and I was 26. I very independent and I was proud to be able to do it all by myself. I had always had that in me but to progress to this point and with all the shit I had gone through in the making, I felt pretty damn good about where I was at. This was also my “Party stage” in life so of course I had a lot of fun too. This is when I got to experience the nightlife side of LA. My girlfriend and I had become very close during this time so we were always going out and having fun. I have a lot of funny stories I’ll have to share in another blog about my times out with her. She is actually the one who gave me my nickname Lenny but I spell it Lynnie since it looks more pretty spelled that way. Anyway, now you know the story with my nickname.
(First time riding the bull in a dress…drunk AF of course 😂)
26 was really an age of growth for me. I would say I really learned a lot about myself during that whole year. I dated around, was vulnerable, did things I’m not proud of, went through a lot of heartache and pain but I learned from my experiences and became stronger and wiser. I knew what I wanted and what I didn’t want. I learned how to be aware or my surroundings and how to observe people which are two important skills you must develope while living in LA, or anywhere for that matter..especially as a single young woman who is nice to everyone. Its easy to get taken advantage of for being nice and too trusting. People who are from LA seem to have this toughness about them or they are “hardened” and I totally get why…you have to have a gaurd up and not take shit from anyone or let anyone take advantage because a lot of people will since its a place where people can be very about them selves. Thats something that is very toxic about LA. It can be very fake and overtime it gets really old. I was getting to a point where I saw right through all that and was just sick of it.
Luckily I wasn’t around all the toxic in the air long enough to become hardened. I met the love of my life unexpectedly and he happened to be from the area I was from up in Nor Cal. I will write another blog later about our love story but for now ill share the short story. We were long distance for about 6 months and then he moved down to LA to be with me. It was an exciting journey for him to experience living somewhere completely different just like it was for me when I had first moved to LA. It was fun showing him around all the places I had been going to and going to the beach together. We are both Pisces and love being near the water so you know a lot of our free time was spent near the ocean. We always say if we were to move again and move back down there it would be near the beach. Theres just something so laid back and peaceful about the beach. People seem to have a better quality of life and seem to be more happy and less stressed.
(On top of the world 😍)
(Yeah we’re cute ☺️)
(Perch in downtown LA)
So I bet you are all wondering what happened next… well after about a year and a half of Ramsey living down in LA with me, we both decided we wanted to move. After me living in LA for over 8 years I was ready for a change. I was getting burnt out with my business and I had gotten myself in debt from trying to “keep up” with the LA lifestyle. I wanted to make some big changes. We both decided we wanted to be closer to family and enjoy all the things we were missing in Northern California such as seasons, the lake, a more peaceful and not so “fast paced” life. Life is short and when everything is so fast paced you forget to slow down and appreciate the simple things that make you most happy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for my years spent living in Los Angeles and I feel like I grew up a lot since living there and practically spending my entire 20’s there. Im also very grateful for meeting my closest friends there. LA taught me how to be a lady in the streets….lol just felt like saying that. The amazing thing is, I moved away from LA a years ago and my social media following has continued to grow. I basically lived off my modeling and Instagram income for almost a year until I started working again and I’m extremely grateful. It just shows that you can live anywhere and be a social media influencer. Yes, there are opportunities I miss out on since It’s not all in my backyard anymore but I’m much happier where I’m at now and I look forward to see what the future brings. 🙂