I’ve partnered up with AirBnB to share some of my favorite places to see, eat, and what to do in Los Angeles. As many of you most likely know, AirBnB is a leader in worldwide accommodations, enabling people to lease or rent short-term lodging in over 30,000 cities. To coincide with their platform, AirBnB recently launched Experiences. Let’s say you’re in Los Angeles, and wondering what wondrous activities there are in the area. From sports and nature to social impact, entertainment, food, or art-related activities, there is something for everyone to choose from. 
For my Experience, I decided to face one of my all time fears of heights. Having denied it for most of my life, I have come to the conclusion that I am indeed, afraid of heights. The thought of being thousands of feet in the air without my feet on the ground, makes my palms as sweaty as Niagara Falls. However, I chose to go on the LA From Above Experience. Aside from the beautiful views, what really intrigued me about this particular Experience was the inclusion of learning aerial photography from a production pilot. Robin Petgrave is not only an accomplished pilot, but the proprietor of Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum (TAM), a Compton-based exhibit incorporating Tuskegee Airmen memorabilia and enrichment for the youth. What is so intriguing about this organization is that children from as young as eight years old can come to the facility to do school work or find a mentor, and receive flying lessons in exchange. It’s really incredible what he’s doing for the kids within the Compton area, and the impact it will have worldwide.

After the first 15 minutes (and clenching the life out of my seat), I became quite comfortable in the helicopter. Robin made it welcoming and took some of the tension off of my fear by playing some music and talking us through the entire trip. Mid-flight, he told us that we could hang our heads, arms or legs, outside of the helicopter to take selfies. My first thought was, “Sir, have you lost your mind?” but I became completely comfortable after my first attempt.

Throughout my Los Angeles trip, I also had the opportunity to try out some really healthy and delicious restaurants. Tocaya Organica is a Mexican cafe with burritos, bowls, salads, cocktails, and more. One of my favorite dishes was The Venice Beach bowl, with roasted cauliflower, sweet potato, lentils, garbanzo beans, pickled onions, cilantro-curry salsa, and sea bass. With a Miami Beach location, I am slightly addicted now. Another gem I was introduced to was Urth Caffe, which had a line around the block on a Thursday afternoon. However, the food was amazing and well worth the wait. They had some of my go-to breakfast options: egg whites, whole-grain oatmeal with strawberries and almond milk, and iced coffee. What I love about LA is that there are endless options for healthy food, and they always have almond milk readily available. 
Finally, I had a chance to catch a high-intensity interval workout at Runyon Canyon. I have been dying to hit Runyon Canyon and I was so excited to experience it. The views are phenomenal, and almost make you forget you’re even running. 
All in all, Los Angeles holds a special place in my heart and I always love discovering new gems in the city when I visit. A special thank you to AirBnB and Robin for the opportunity, as well as Max for accompanying.  
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