This: Mixing some fun leisure activities in with work-related travel is nothing new. People have been doing it forever. Only now someone (No idea who.) went and coined the term bleisure (business + leisure) and a 21st century trend was born. Today's guest blogger (and business owner) is here to show us how it's done, with some memorable moments from her most recent trip to The Coast (I've always wanted to say that!).
I love to travel. I have been to every state in the US (except Alaska and Hawaii), France, Italy, Singapore, Bali, Thailand, etc. I truly enjoy meeting new people, visiting all the tourist spots and getting to know what the locals like. It is the best way to get a true feel of the city.
I was recently in Los Angeles for a conference and got to visit the Shrine Auditorium, Dodgers Stadium and eat at an amazing local restaurant. Here are my highlights (Yup, got to see the Patriots’ plane at TF Green on my way out.) from my trip.
Where To Stay
If you aren’t going to do the Airbnb route, the Marriott is my choice hotel. Even better now that they have combined with Starwood Hotel and Resorts loyalty program. Since I was with a conference, I took advantage of the special rate offered and stayed at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites on South Figueroa Street. Touting the fact that this hotel is one of the most photographed destinations in the world, I was intrigued by what I might find. I must admit, I wasn’t disappointed and I have stayed in lots of hotels (I am platinum status with Marriott.).
This hotel is a city inside a city. If you aren’t up for exploring, there are plenty of food options, a night club, gift shop, and the lobby area has Starbucks! There is a skyline deck by the pool (great for viewing the skyline). My room was very comfortable, the internet is fast (and free) and the view from my room of the city and mountains was amazing! The hotel can be confusing with its many towers, but you get used to it quickly.
What To Do
Again, I was with a conference so exploring was tied to what was planned. The good news, technology conferences like to deliver great experiences and that is what I got.
The Shrine Auditorium is one of the largest theatres in Southern California. It also boasts the largest proscenium stage in North America. If you watch the SAG Awards, the Grammys, the Emmy Awards, and the Academy Awards (which I do every year) then you might have guessed how excited I was to see this gem of a building. The history and grandeur is even more amazing in person and the fact the Melissa Rivers interviewed us on the red carpet as we entered the event was icing on the cake.
This stadium is the third oldest (Fenway being #1), continually used park in Major League Baseball. The stadium is located on the hillside of Chavez Ravine overlooking downtown LA. A site not to be missed. If in LA, I highly recommend you take the time to visit the stadium or see a game.
If you know me, I am a foodie! This trip I could only enjoy one amazing meal (The rest were either conference food or ball park franks.). Our last night we dined at Chaya. Anyone who has lived in California (Venice or LA) knows Chaya. The cuisine is a mix of the finest traditions of Japan coupled with a Californian elegance. The fish is fresh and you only get what they have on the menu. It is so fresh, once it is gone, it is off the menu. (If you don’t like fish there are plenty of meat or veggie only choices.)
We had a large group (9 of us) and chose two fish and had them prepared according to the chef’s recommendations. Coupled with small plates of mushroom toast, edamame, wild arugula salad and fresh sautéed veggies, it was great way to share the experience the various dishes. Topped off with wine and dessert, it was an experience I won’t forget and hope to enjoy again soon.
Robin Barrett Wilson is the founder and CEO of Robin b. Operating an online store at www.robinb.style and brick-and-mortar store in East Greenwich, RI you can find Robin’s own designs, that are made in the US, as well as a few carefully curated complimentary brands. Robin’s passions are fashion, supporting other women in their endeavors (She frequently has interns and mentors up and coming fashion enthusiasts.), traveling and exceptional wine.
Pics of Melissa Rivers from NRF.com, Westin Pics from google.com, Chaya pics from @chayarestaurant