LA Favorites Part I

Life has been non-stop this year, even during the off-season.  When there isn’t a wedding, there’s a styled shoot or a trip or a special event.  Which is awesome!  I love being busy, but sometimes I get too caught up in trying to put myself out there in too many directions and end up completely exhausted.

I went on a cross country blitz with my trips to LA and NY.  In LA I was able to see some amazing people I knew from Elon University in North Carolina and had the great fortune to do several lovely bridal shoots with gorgeous, talented ladies who are alumni of the acting department there.  I am seriously so blessed to know so many talented people.  I was in LA for a week with my sister for her spring break, and we were able to see a lot of excellent touristy things in addition to some places off the beaten track.  My favorite place was definitely El Matador Beach in Malibu.  I have never been to a beach that felt so…majestic.  It actually makes you catch your breath when you glimpse it for the first time because it truly is that spectacular.  I adamantly encourage everyone, even LA locals, to experience El Matador. (Photo credit to my sister Lindsey…she has a knack for capturing landscapes).

There are some things you just have to do when you visit LA, no matter how touristy they may seem.  We obviously went to Hollywood and walked along the walk of fame trying to find our favorites.  Seeing everyone’s hand and footprints in front of the Chinese Theater was pretty cool too, even though a million people were around.  You just kinda have to wait your turn to see everything that you want to.  Comes with the territory.  We were also there the weekend of the Oscars, and even though our fingers were crossed that we would see Jennifer Lawrence, the dream never came to fruition.  We did go and see the Oscar setup though which was pretty flipping cool.  There was also this massive record store called Amoeba that had an impressive collection of all things records and CDs.  We even found our dad a Monty Python record as a souvenir.  Additionally, I was able to rummage up some records with really cool cover art that I now have hanging in my bedroom.  I have no idea what songs are actually on them, but when you are in love with England and find a record with an image of the Royal Guard marching across, there’s just no question that you have to buy it.

My friend Alyson took us to the Getty Museum.  One of the coolest parts was riding the tram up the side of a cliff  just to get there.  Along the way you get to see across LA, and at night it’s magical.  The architecture of the building was gorgeous – the creamy colored walls and stairs reminded me of a museum in Richmond where I always have shoots.  There were also several garden lounging areas filled with unique plant life and arrangements.  Luckily (for me) there was a photograph exhibit featuring the life of Queen Victoria and the emergence of the camera as a tool used to capture the essence of royal family life.  It was incredible all the hands-on materials they had as well as the huge collection of photographs on different surfaces.

Probably my favorite place to eat (and Lindsey’s too) was a place Austin took us called Mendocino’s.  After walking in, you just feel like you are about to eat healthier.  It’s a wonderful, unique experience where the hostess takes your order right when you walk in and gives you a card to take to the register to place your order.  Maybe they don’t do this when it’s crowded, but the attentive service was really incredible.  Not having been there before, she gave us an insight into the menu and what makes the place so special and just really went out of her way to make us welcome.  I got this incredible pulled pork BBQ sandwich that was absolutely massive, and also sweet and savory in all the best ways.  I’m also not a coleslaw person at all and forgot to tell them to not add it, but I ended up becoming obsessed with theirs.  I was tempted to ask for some more as a side…Then what really made this place cool was the fact they offered soda made from real cane sugar.  The taste difference was incredible, and I’m not sure how I could ever drink another normal soda again after this.

We crammed a lot of things into one week’s time, but it was so worth it.  Next Thursday I will include the remaining activities I really recommend everyone do when they visit LA.

*Photo credit to Lindsey for all these photos.  I am a terrible tourist/photographer/person when it comes to documenting any trip I take, which is so bad.

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