Does anyone read this blog anymore? I can’t believe it’s been two years since my last post. This pandemic has derailed not only travel plans, but everyday life as we’ve known it. I hope everyone is staying safe as we adapt to this new normal.
Toronto had been in strict lockdown for a good portion of the pandemic, so it was nice when the restrictions began to ease over the summer. The government also dropped its travel advisory when vaccine uptake went up, so I cautiously started planning a vacation to LA in September. For someone who tends to plan out every aspect of her vacation schedule in advance, it was a bit daunting with all the extra travel requirements. I was definitely stressed figuring out the details, not to mention contingency plans in case anything went wrong, so I don’t recommend it unless you’ve got everything covered.
The flying requirements into the US (as of Nov 8 when I traveled) was not bad. I was required to take an antigen test, which you can easily get at the pharmacy for $40. There was a travel declaration form I had to fill out online for LA County and I had to upload my vaccine certificate, which was mostly straightforward and can be done in advance.
The airport itself was a bit of a nightmare and we already arrived three hours prior to our flight as recommended. There was a huge line going through customs and we only got to our gate 15 minutes before our boarding time. Our plane was actually delayed because it had to wait for all the people who were still stuck in customs, so it felt like I was on the plane for an extra long time.
Thankfully it was fine once we arrived at LAX. We ended up taking the shuttle over to LAX•it, which is a new pickup area for all taxi and ride app passengers. It was super easy getting picked up in our Uber and we got to my relative’s house just before 1pm. I was so spoiled because lunch was served almost immediately after stepping inside their front door.
I pretty much chilled at home for the rest of the afternoon and took time exploring their garden. LA weather is perfect for growing fruits and vegetables and there were always fresh items from the garden for our meals at home.
For dinner that night we went over to nearby Buena Park for Korean BBQ at Baekjeong. The restaurant was pretty packed even for a Monday night. After being conditioned to avoid indoor dining, I’m always slightly freaked out seeing so many people eating inside. But there was definitely a sense of familiarity and it felt safe as well, so I had a really good time at the restaurant.