Dear LA

The full rundown on my first trip to LA with Nickelodeon

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So most of you must know by now that I was nominated by Nickelodeon as “Favourite African Blogger” and privileged enough to be flown to LA to attend the award ceremony. Although I did not win the experience was sensational. I have compiled a short diary of my time in LA, I can’t wait to go back really soon.

SANTA MONICA

LA is really huge, having only seen a fraction of it, I love it so  much. We stayed at the Fairmont Hotel Miramar in Santa Monica which is a beach town in Los Angeles. Santa Monica reminds me of my hometown Cape Town and one of my favorite seaside South African towns, Port Elizabeth. The setting is very similar to Summerstrand (for my PE readers) or Camps Bay (for the rest of my South African readers). Santa Monica streets are lined with palm trees and coastal views and huge grey sidewalks which are perfect for walking in heels (I’m serious its a thing). The famous Santa Monica pier is situated at foot of the town. Our schedule was too jam packed to head down to the pier literally want to cry ’cause I missed it, but thats probably just my jet lag talking. Its a must see if you’re in the area!

While at breakfast we discovered that The Fig restaurant was a celebrity breakfast hotspot, meeting Damon Wayans and Arnold Schwarzenegger while having our favorite lemon and berry butter ricotta pancakes was definitely a highlight. Arnold told me about an exciting fitness convention he will be hosting in Johannesburg in May and took my email to invite me along – he was so sweet! We also met renowned artist Margaret Susan Lowell while sitting on the veranda. We had a full conversation with her before she told us about her well established career as a famous artist! LA is filled with interesting professional entertainers from all walks of life, its highly likely that you will end up socializing with celebrities while staying here. Other than celebrity sitings Santa Monica is beautiful with incredible food and energy. When I go back I will certainly stay here again.

 

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NICKELODEON

Nickelodeon hosted us at a character breakfast and amazing adventure day at Universal Studios. Unfortunately we got rained out! We managed to go to Hogwarts, yes Harry Potter fans I know this is your dream, it was magical! We got stuck upside down inside the Harry Potter & The Forbidden Journey ride. We thought it was part of the ride until the operator made an announcement to let us know the ride would begin again shortly. We also went on a few awesome rides like The Mummy ride which was super scary and extremely exhilarating and The Jurassic Park ride which was wet and wild before making our way back to our hotel.

Following the studio visit we went to see Nickelodeon’s HQ for the Slime Soiree, a private tour and networking session. We got to see where all the magic happens, as ideas for shows get conceptualized and created at there HQ. While we were walking about we peaked into a conceptual meeting taking place at 8pm! We met a super sweet bunch of dutch boys who later told us they were a pop boy band from Amsterdam called “B Brave “, who were also nominees in the international category.

Awards night was exciting. We all had our makeup and hair done and got all glamourous before attending the ceremony. We spotted celebrities like Heidi Klum, Megan Trainor, Keke Palmer and Buddy Valastro. We also got to watch full performances by Wiz Khalifa and Joe Jona’s band (lets be honest we only care because its Joe lol).

Uche, pictured next me on the right below, won the award for Favorite African Blogger for her amazing website Bella Naija.

Outfit: 

Dress – Gavin Rajah | Necklace – H&M 

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BEVERLY HILLS & HOLLYWOOD

Following the awards ceremony I was feeling a bit down after some harsh comments on my outfit choice, so the girls decided to take me to Beverly Hills (duh). Silvia from Style By Silvia kept me in stitches all day with her hilarious personality. We walked through Rodeo drive where I almost purchased a seriously expensive pair of Charlotte Olympia shoes before snapping back into my reality.  Beverly Hills is seriously beautiful, clean and impressive. Lot’s of expensive cars and glamorous people roaming the streets and dining outside.

We ordered a cool cab driver who gave us a little tour of LA as we drove from Beverly Hills to Hollywood. We landed up at the Hollywood walk of fame, which was eclectic and kinda gross. It was certainly an experience watching street performers entertain us, and sucker me into giving them my money! Admittedly, It was kind of surreal being on the Hollywood Walk of fame. I have always seen it in music videos and to be there was an interesting experience, seeing Batman and Marilyn Monroe impersonators outside the Chinese theatre was one for the books.

Outfit: 

Coat – David Tlale for Spree | Jeans – Cotton On | Sneakers – Converse 

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SHOPPING

Being from South Africa used to mean shopping was a challenge for us. We loved traveling to shop because that meant we would get the brands we didn’t have in our country. Since our country is growing and pretty bomb, despite the exchange rate, we have most global brands so I shop less than I used to when I travel. I spend my money on makeup and food these days. Some notable shops though, obviously Sephora for cosmetics, Nasty Gal for some seriously incredibly vintage and vintage inspired pieces, Champs and Footlocker for sneakers, Lids for baseball hats and snapbacks, Nordstrom for designer threads and Rodeo Drive if you feel like really spanking your bank balance.

I didn’t really shop as much as I would have liked because I am saving for some future plans but I did manage to pick up a few things. I will probably do a Youtube haul on my shopping in LA soon!

That should cover the full experience. I hope you guys enjoyed reading my post. I feel super inspired after this experience! Meeting my fellow nominees has really inspired me in many ways. Theo inspired me with her consistency and organization, Silvia inspired me as a brave and free spirited fashionista and Uche seriously got me inspired as a female entrepreneur! I can’t wait to get home and work on all my new ideas.

Thank you to my OG readers and Newbies for all your support and constantly rooting for me! I remember most of your names especially when I am doing giveaways so hopefully you guys can win some cool presents from us really soon.

Xo Aisha