Early on Tuesday morning, we flew from New Orleans to our final USA destination – Los Angeles. We arrived at 10am in the morning which was great because it gave us a decent amount of time to get settled in.
First up, we picked up our car and were incredibly thankful that it wasn’t a hour long line like when we had picked up a car to get to Vegas earlier in our trip. We then headed out to Anaheim which was where we were staying for the 5 nights.
Before checking into our hotel, we stopped for lunch since we hadn’t eaten much all day and were super hungry. We tried the famous In-n-Out Burger which of course we don’t have in New Zealand… I’m not typically a overly big burger fan but I gotta say, they were pretty tasty!
After checking in to our hotel, we then headed back out in the search for a grocery store to get some snacks and breakfast supplies for our stay. We found a Walmart, got lots of yummy fruit and goodies and headed back to the hotel. Not a particularly exciting day to read about but sometimes it’s nice to have a more chilled out (and cheap!) day when travelling. By this point, we were having to be pretty careful with how much money we were spending on food as we were quickly running out of funds and that’s the true killer for one’s budget!
Haircut day and shopping! I’d been looking forward to this day for weeks!
We drove wayyyy across LA from Anaheim to Los Feliz in Hollywood. It took us about 90 minutes but luckily arrived just in time for my 11am hair appointment with Missy Firestone.
Missy is a hugely experienced hairdresser with a love for the vintage style and since I was due for a haircut, I jumped at the chance to get a ‘Missy Middy’ to see her take on the traditional Middy haircut.
From there, we walked about 5 minutes down the street to Papermoon Vintage which Missy had told us about. It was a total dream in there!
There were so many gorgeous dresses and lots of them in my size! I ended up trying on 6 or 7 different dresses, fell in love with 4 but picked my favourite 2 to buy. I also bought some vintage fabric and Matt found a few goodies too.
We continued up Hollywood Boulevard towards the Miss L Fire shop which I wanted to check out. I’d hoped they’d have the Freddies of Pinewood Dungarees that I could try on but unfortunately they didn’t. However, I did buy one of the Freddies Work Blouses which the store had a array of colours as the fit was just perfect! I was super tempted being surrounded by so many beautiful Miss L Fire shoes too but I was determined to save my money for Burbank vintage!
We drove from Los Feliz to Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank which is a vintage mecca. First up- lunch at Porto’s!
Everyone had been recommending it and it was so busy! They had a amazing selection of pastries and desserts, plus yummy sandwiches.
Then… onto the best shopping of the whole trip! We started at Pinup Girl Boutique which is next to Porto’s and sort of at the start of all the vintage shops on Magnolia Boulevard. Doris was in the store and she’s always just such a sweetheart. I tried on a number of different things and ended up purchasing the Paris Jenny Skirt and a Malia Top.
Next we crossed the road to Besame Cosmetics as I really wanted to buy one of their perfumes in the beautiful atomizer bottles. I’d not been into the store before as previous years we had been in the area on days when they were closed but it’s so SO gorgeous inside. Unfortunately none of the scents really stood out to me so I didn’t get a perfume, but I did buy their American Beauty lipstick and the red retractable lipliner.
By this time, it was getting quite late in the afternoon so we by-passed a few stores like What Katie Did that we could come back to another day and headed down to Playclothes which I really wanted to go to before they closed.
Playclothes is like a vintage shopping gals dream! It’s massive, chocka block full of beautiful items and has such a good range of eras and styles. It is a little on the pricey side but as someone who comes from a country where we don’t have that level of vintage shopping, the prices don’t bother me as much. I picked up a beautiful 50s mexican circle skirt, pink lace evening dress, a pink beaded cardigan and some jewellery.
Walking back up the street, we managed to have a look around some of the shops we had passed on the way to Playclothes before they closed. I found the most beautiful embroidered dress from Swift Vintage for only $60 which I couldn’t pass up despite it being a little big on me. Then a little further up at Hubba Bubba Vintage, I bought a cashmere sweater and a pretty purple necklace. Matt had also found some great bargains along the way, mostly jackets and a array of ties/bow ties.
At 6pm, everything was starting to close, so we headed off but made the snap decision that instead of trying to battle the traffic to get all the way back to Anaheim, we would go to Santa Monica Pier and hang out there for a hour or two.
We’ve always loved the Pier, we visit every time we are in LA- the lights are always so pretty and it feels just like you are in a movie.
It’s was very cold and windy and I was glad to have my new vintage cardigan to keep me warm. We spent about a hour there having a look around, eating burgers and enjoying the atmosphere before heading home to get a early night before Disneyland the next day!
Disney Day! YAYYYYY!
I was up bright and early to get ready in my special Disneyland outfit and just after 8am we walked down the street towards Disneyland and stopped at IHOP for breakfast.
Our first time to Disneyland was 3 years ago and we had breakfast at the same IHOP before going through the gates too, so we felt like it was a tradition. After a hearty meal and lots of coffee, we made our way through to Disneyland.
I love the buzzing of excitement as you are entering, everyone is just so happy!
As we entered, we stopped to get a selfie in front of the Diamond Anniversary sign and a lovely lady rushed over saying she would take our photo for us! It was super sweet and the only photo we got together the whole day (apart from the odd selfie haha). Turns out, she follows me on Instagram and recognised us! So sweet!
We tried to do as many rides as we could in the first few hours before it got really busy. Late morning, the adorable Zoe came to meet us and get a photo since she was the creator of my epic Ariel skirt!
It was so lovely to meet her in person after chatting for months and we had to get a picture by Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Zoe takes orders for these skirts (although I think she is fully booked the next few months), so follow her on Instagram for updates.
Next… meeting the Princesses! I got to meet Snow White, Ariel and Aurora and it was so much fun! I love how in character they all are of course the costumes were incredible.
From there, we walked through to Fantasyland and Mickey’s Toontown and went on a couple of rides. To be honest, the magic of Disneyland for me isn’t in the rides, it’s simply being there, walking around and people watching. We didn’t try and do everything (that would be impossible anyway!) but just enjoy the atmosphere.
By mid afternoon, we headed over to California Adventure Park since we had the Park-to-Park tickets. We hadn’t been to California Adventure the last time we’d been to Disney so it was fun to get to explore a new park. Matt was really keen to try the big rollercoaster, I was happy just sitting and watching the world go by while he went on it 3 times in a row. My favourite rides were the Little Mermaid and the Cars one, the whole Cars area was very 50s inspired and a lot of fun!
After a couple of hours at California Adventure, we went back to Disneyland to get some dinner and then wait for the parade and fireworks.
My mind was utterly and completely blown by the evenings show. The parade is called Paint the Night and all the lights are turned off so you have this incredible light show with the lit up floats and music playing.
It was SO MUCH FUN! After that had finished, we moved to about halfway down Main Street a little from where we had been standing as our waitress at dinner had told us that was the best position to see the fireworks.
I had no idea what I was in for. I thought it was just going to be a fireworks display but it was so much more than that. The lights all turned off again, the music started and the buildings all along Main Street were lit up with projections. The 15 minute show had songs from so many different movies, the fireworks timed magically and the projections completely enveloped you in the magic.
I had started filming a little bit at the start but when I realised how incredible the show was going to be, I put my phone away so I could enjoy it fully. I was crying by the end and when it was over, I found it very hard to contain my emotions…. the whole day had been so wonderful and I didn’t want to have to leave.
I had a Disney hangover… but at least that’s the best kind of hangover you can have! We didn’t feel like doing anything too full on, so we drove to Long Beach to do a little bit of shopping around lunchtime. First up, B.A.I.T Footwear Boutique! The ladies were so sweet and I tried on a few different styles, settling on getting the Blue Lacey and the Purple Robbie.
About 5 minutes drive from there is a block of shops that been dubbed ‘Retro Row’ which consists of a number of vintage stores. We had a look in all of them, finding a few small bits and pieces like gloves but not the same success that we’d had in Burbank.
We had been recommended to check out Old Town Orange which is quite close to Anaheim so we headed over there. Elsewhere Vintage is a great vintage clothing shop and next door there’s a dedicated Men’s vintage store which made Matt a very happy man.
I bought a beautiful floral dress, wicker bag and some gloves. They also had RetroClean which was the first time I’d seen it for sale so I bought a bag to try out. Old Town Orange is home to the most Antique Malls I’ve ever seen in one place. We had a look through a couple but you’d need a whole day to see them all.
Matt wanted to go back to Burbank to get a jacket he had seen at Playclothes but not bought the few days prior. I visited my friend Ashleeta at What Katie Did and tried on the new Glamour styles.
I find What Katie Did sizing in bras to be really different depending on the style so it’s great to get to try things on and have Ashleeta there to help. I left with the Glamour Bra and Waist Cincher in black which since then have become definite favourites of mine!
That night, we went to Clifton’s Cafeteria which I’ve seen on my Instagram a thousand times and it looked so glamourous.
Clifton’s has been there since the 30s and is a multiple level bar with a Cafeteria on the bottom floor. The decor is so cool, with a huge tree in the middle and lots of beautiful furniture and dim lighting.
We were definitely the most overdressed people there but the atmosphere was buzzing and it was fun exploring the different levels.
Time to fly out of the USA! We packed our bags, went for breakfast and then headed to the airport to drop off our car and go to the airport.
We flew out of LA to Tahiti which takes about 7 or 8 hours- I had meant to stay awake for the whole flight since we were arriving in Tahiti late at night, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open and ended up sleeping the entire flight!
We arrived in the middle of the night, got a cab to the hotel and went straight to sleep! The next morning I was awake quite early so sat outside and read my book while Matt slept.
We were very aware that we didn’t have much money left but we only had two days in Tahiti before flying home so we went in search of a grocery store. Food ends up being the thing you spend the most on when travelling and we had seen a group of shops just around the corner from our hotel when we were in the cab the night before.