The staycation: you’ve heard the word, but have you put the practice into play? If not, now’s the time. The power of the staycation is mighty.

Sometimes, when you need a vacation but just don’t have the time to travel, your best bet is to leave your side of town and head to the other. Exploring a new part of your city gives you the opportunity to travel without actually traveling, which can be refreshing and relaxing, and help you hit the restart button without breaking the bank.

Last weekend, Daniel and I decided to leave the Westside of Los Angeles and head East. We often head out to Downtown LA or the Eastside to visit friends or explore, but we always end up driving home late, groggy and tired and unable to end the night right. So we decided to make a weekend out of it – a mini vacation, if you will. A staycation.

Saturday morning, we hopped in the car and headed straight to HomeState, a Texas Kitchen specializing in breakfast tacos in East Hollywood. Now, if there was ever a reason to leave Venice, it’s HomeState. The Guadalupe Taco (eggs, chorizo & cheddar) put all other breakfast tacos to shame, and the Loaded Queso got Daniel’s Texas native approval. Good TexMex is hard to come by in Southern California, and HomeState is doing it right.

homestatePhoto: Homestate Facebook

After breakfast, Daniel and I drove over to the newly remodeled Echo Park Lake. This charming park in the middle of the city proved to be the perfect oasis for an 80-degree day like the one we were having. We spread a blanket out, poured champagne into red solo cups and watched countless dogs and children run barefoot in the grass. The lake has peddle boats for rent, if that’s your thing, and the recent remodel really turned this park into a retreat for city-dwellers, a pleasant place to be on a sunny afternoon.

Photo Mar 15, 6 41 15 PMPhoto: Ryan Ovadia

After a couple of friends joined us with a 12-pack of PBR, and we’d spent a considerable amount of time lazing about, we decided it was time to eat again. Because what do you do on vacation? You eat. We headed to El Chavo, a Mexican restaurant in Silverlake specializing in getting you drunk. We ate some enchiladas, drank some margaritas and finished the meal with an (un)necessary tequila shot.

Once we were full and tispy, Daniel and I decided it was time to check into our room. Because the beauty of the staycation is the chance to sleep away, and I love me a good hotel room. This evening’s choice was the new ACE Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

Photo Mar 16, 9 51 40 AM

I’d heard a lot about the Ace, and been wanting to visit since it opened in January. Once we arrived, our gracious concierge gave us discount for checking in so late, and gave us a room on the top floor. The hotel itself, ever so hip with a funky urban vibe, played up the downtown loft-style living. Our room felt more like a personal bedroom than a hotel room, in the best sense. It was modestly “boutique” sized, but comfortable and cozy, with two big windows overlooking the city. The Ace is definitely contributing to downtown LA’s revival, classy and chic in their own unique way. Highly recommended for the visitor, or the staycation-er.

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After a good nights sleep, Daniel and I headed back to Silverlake for breakfast at The Kitchen. We sat outside under the sun, sipping iced tea and home-brewed coffee, enjoying our last meal before heading home and agreeing that this staycation was exactly what we needed.

No plans this weekend? Get “away,” you won’t regret it.


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