Friday, August 12, 2011

Venice Beach Bungalow Living

We've made it to our Venice Beach Bungalow, just steps away from the hipster hot spot that is Abbott Kinney Boulevard. I don't mind. I like the hipsters and you know there's always good expensive coffee nearby. We're pretty much staying in the Ossington and Dundas of Los Angeles, where bits of sketch and uber gentrification meet. But look how cute our little vacation rental is...

It's a one bedroom, one bath guest house bungalow that's around 1,000 square feet and bigger than my own little condo in Toronto. The Whole Foods is also a 1000% better with celebs everywhere and no one really cares except for the tourists (hi, me). We're here for the next four weeks, after spending two weeks prior road tripping along Highway One. It's been a trip that me and hubby planned a year ago. The goal was to spend summer somewhere fantastic and near the beach. We both haven't been to California in over ten years, so we booked the time off, cleared our schedules (I turned down a lot of work/money and DJ bookings) and here we are.
I didn't want to put off our visit any longer before anything could get in our way. I wanted a full month to really enjoy being here. It's nice. I don't feel like a crazy tourist running from place to place. I can buy groceries, walk leisurely and go for long lunches.
Since we're near the coast, it's quite cool here. I'm betting it's hotter in Toronto with the humidity. It's actually so easy breezy here that's there's no AC and we sleep just fine. Crazy, I know. I was a little panicked about the AC situation at first, since you can't live without one during the summer heat waves in the T-Dot.
Our cute little patio
I wasn't kidding about the expensive coffee part. We keep going to Intelligentsia for $5 coffee brewed fresh by the cup. It takes a little longer, but it's SO damn good. The beans are roasted fresh daily and none of the beans are stored longer than a week.

Here's how they filter and drip coffee by the cup. Intelligentsia's not really into french presses, we spotted the same technique in San Francisco at Blue Bottle Coffee. Maybe it's a California thing, but it's a hot coffee (har-har) trend over here.
If you don't have a Mac, well you just don't have a mac
Inside our envelope of cutlery at Pizzeria Mozza in LA
So who did we see in LA waiting for valet on our way to pizza? The lovely George Stroumboulopoulos who is also from Toronto and was recently on Nat & Marie. We stopped and chatted while George raved about how good the pizza was inside Mario Batali's Pizzeria Mozza.
The Finnochiona Pizza ($17) with salami, mozzarella, tomato & Fresno chiles. Not too shabby, but I miss Pizzeria Libretto.
Better work that off at Muscle Beach
If you ever have the desire to plunk down in one place for 2-6 weeks, I highly recommend checking out for Vacation Rentals by Owner. Most of the landlords seem really pro and you can find some amazing deals in the off-season. Start there and work your way over to My feeling with that site, is that the landlords are much more casual - but lots of good options too.  Start dreaming about your next getaway!
What else have we been up to in California? Read more from our latest travel series.


  1. I think they have the drip coffee at the new Dark Horse location on Queen West location... saw the cup (driper thing) when I was there

  2. Lisa, you guys have inspired me to start planning a long-term vacay like this. Looks like so much fun!!!


  3. I'm still more a french press kinda girl. I can't deal with $5 coffee every single day. Intelligentsia reminds me so much of Dark Horse - even their logo.

    Nelia - Do IT! No time like the present and I know you would love it. Hubby and I are thinking France in the spring next. Fly into Paris, stay for 2 weeks and then rent a car touring provence etc until we end up in Nice.

  4. What a cute little place! I like the duvet cover on the bed. It looks like it's going to be a nice home for your month's stay. I think it's a great idea that you and your hubby are staying in Venice Beach for a month. Not many people can just pick up and leave.

    Mike says to go to the rooftop lounge at Hotel Erwin.

  5. @Leesh - plan it and it will totally happen! We made the decision a year ago. I know it's hard for vacation time. I know a few people who were lucky enough to travel between jobs or during their mat leave. Some people take an unpaid leave of absence - which is pretty much what I'm doing right now. I know I'm going to have to bust my butt when I get back, which is fine.

  6. Oh no, I was planning to leave my Mac at home, but looking at your pics, maybe I'll feel naked in LA without it?!