Monday, June 29, 2015

We Like L.A.

I found this really cool page on Facebook: "We Like L.A." It gives you lots of ideas for things to do both at cost and for free in LA every week and weekend. It's awesome! 

I'm really trying to get out more and be a tourist in my own city. It's crazy how when people travel...they learn all about a town and its history and see all the best landmarks, but at home...we often forget about all that and just go about our lives. 

I'm trying to be a tourist in LA. It's a massive city with much to offer. It's one of my favorite cities...and even after 7 years, I feel like I've barely begun to scratch the surface of things to do here.

Anyway, last weekend Meredith and I attended a couple free events.

We ubered over to the LACMA for a free evening of jazz. 

Sidenote: Uber pool is awesome and affordable. Our entire ride there was like riding with long-time friends. Too funny.

I've not been to LACMA and while we didn't get inside to see the exhibits, we did walk around the outside to see the 'levitated mass'. A giant rock that is not at all levitating :P and some spaghetti noodle like things. :D 

Forgot to take my own pic :P Not levitating.

Adjacent to the LACMA are the La Brea Tar Pits, which I've also never seen. I've always wanted to since seeing them in "My Girl 2". 

Hard to see here, but they were bubbling a bit

It was a lovely, WARM (so weird!) evening and we packed a picnic to enjoy on the lawn with wine.

Jupiter and Venus coming together
We also got to play in the famous lights. :D 

On Sunday, we went to another free event hosted by Athleta. The Athleta store is in the Promenade, which is a big outdoor mall near where I live. The store hosted a 90 minute yoga class in a park near my house followed by a reception with free juice from L.A. juice and yoga mats for all participants. There was also a raffle for prizes. We didn't win. Wompa wa. Or maybe we did, but they started the raffle earlier than they said and we weren't back in time.

The event wasn't very well organized, but hey it was can't complain too much. We enjoyed the yoga class, which incorporated yoga, tai chi, and kung fu. It was really fun and different. 

We got gold tats. #powertotheshe
One of the two juices we tried was DELICIOUS (the green one was gross) and we got salads nearby for lunch. 

We also got flower crowns made for us, which was really cool. 

All of this was in celebration of the Summer Solstice. We spent the rest of the day at the beach, so I'd say we are bringing in summer in all the right ways. ;)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Part of my thinking in the madness of my 18 hour round trip drive to Charleston from Frederick was that I'd also get some time at home. Namely, to see my most favorite baby.  Okkkk and everyone else too;)

Actually for the first time EVER...I posted up at my mom's house and refused to leave. Nearly every trip to Frederick involves me running ALL around to see all the people that I love. For various reasons...whether it be babies, or kids, or often just works out that I go to them rather than them to me, but I gotta tell's exhausting. It's tiring to just fly across the country and then to run around like a crazy person...never taking a breather...never just enjoying being HOME...leaves me wrecked for days when I return to California.

So, on Monday I just stayed at my Mom's. ALL DAY. It was glorious. Assorted members of my family stopped in to see me and my friend Lauren. It was truly wonderful and so relaxing. I didn't feel the anxiousness to see everyone and do everything and feel like I barely had any time. I wish I'd told more people I'd be in town, but I wanted to just focus on seeing my family...especially my Mom's side, since I won't be with them in Bermuda in a few weeks :) 

I knew a guy once that was from Ireland...and he said when he returns home he just tells everyone that he'll be at such and such pub from 5-8 or something. I think he's on to something there. I liked it. Very much.

Right. So, I had a relaxing morning at my Mom's. My favorite baby came down for coffee. ;) Jk, of course, but she did try to spill it multiple times. 

Madeline, Manda, and I took a walk to the park. It was threatening to storm all day, but never really did. Boo. The park was muggy and muddy, but still fun!

Excuse my finger. Too lazy to crop.

Monkey goes everywhere <3

Playin in puddles

I may like her slightly more than she likes me ;) 

We hurried home to meet Lauren, my childhood BFF. Lauren is selling a new product line called Ava Anderson. It's non-toxic, chemical free skin care (and other things!) for you, your home, your children, and your pets. It's pretty cool. I've been doing my best to eat better...and more organic...and less processed foods, but it can be easy to forget that most of the harmful things that enter our body go in through our skin. The struggle is that this stuff can be SUPER expensive. I don't always feel like I can afford the products...but like the chocolate bar in Seattle that costs $4 to not have HUMAN TRAFFICKING involved in the making of has to wonder...what does $5 facial cleanser entail?? Ick. We all happily pay $5 for ONE latte, but won't spend $15-20 on our health and well being. Something is broken in our society. 

Mostly I've been using better products on just my face, but I'm going to explore some options in the Ava Anderson line both for myself and for my friend. I endeavor to find some worthwhile deodorant. I recently found out that Toms of Maine is owned by COLGATE and contains a bunch of terrible for you crap. Trickery! Anyway, I want Lauren to do well and will do anything to help her. So, if you're interested...check out her product page:

It was fun to see Madeline play with Lauren's girls. :) They were all real cute and we got to recreate a picture from last year! The funniest part was that Madeline took the lead in making sure everyone was well behaved. "no no no". hehe!! 

My Aunt Toni joined us and we all pulled out the sprinkler for Madeline to run through. I joined her and it was such a good time :D 

My brother stopped by in the afternoon and enjoyed a Roy Rogers feast! YUM. 

Amanda and Madeline had to go, but my Aunt Mary arrived just after. I had a lovely afternoon with my Aunts sitting on the porch hoping for a storm, though one never really came. My Uncle David joined us in the evening and treated me to dinner at one of our favorite Mexican Restaurants. 

I'm always sad to leave home and feel forever conflicted about where I want to live. I go back and forth allllll the time. This trip home was quick, but wonderful. 

Charleston Part II: Site Seeing and a Flash Mob Wedding

I was actually awoken by Chris (at 9:45am) who was wondering what the heck I was doing. Um...I was out till nearly 3am. I'm old. I'm jetlagged. I'M SLEEPING!! :P

Trisha and I roused ourselves out of bed, quickly showered (futile in this humidity) and headed out to explore Charleston.

We first stopped at a cute little coffee shop just off of King's Street near where we were staying. Just in time to beat the crowd that followed us in the door (we are trend setters), we enjoyed yummy egg sandwiches on a bagel and lattes. Mmm mmm.

From there, we wandered. We wandered through the College of Charleston, which has the historic town as its campus. I was in love. Why didn't I go to school here?! FAIL.

I'm probably making fun of something horrible. :P

Again, Charleston was everything I imagined. It was just SO Southern and relaxed. We meandered through the streets and took in the gorgeous homes. Some were four stories tall! It was unbelievably hot. Sweat poured off of us, but we walked on. I'd like to give a shout out to our Charleston foremothers (let's just be honest and admit that no man thought this far ahead ;)) for all the lovely and shading trees that line the streets and give some relief to the heat.

We came upon this old castle looking building and were just wondering what it could be when a carriage ride tour came by and explained it was a jail! ha! We spent the rest of the afternoon listening in to passing tours. Very useful :) 

Heading down towards the waterfront, the houses got even bigger. We strolled around White Point Garden enjoying the slight breeze. A group of older women asked us the location of "Rainbow Row". Since we had no idea what they were talking about...I whipped out my phone to locate it for them. Rainbow Row is a stretch of colorful town homes facing the water...which I guess is the ocean? I don't know my South Carolina geography. Anyway, we decided to head there too! 

Part of Rainbow Row

I liked her parasol. It seriously JUST occurred to me that this must be a Spanish word. haha!
By this time, we were pretty much dying of thirst having sweated out all the water in our bodies, so we found some water AND were hard sold on some Italian ice. We split a strawberry lemonade and it was divine.

Italian ice in tow...we headed towards the Waterfront Park. It was gloriously shady and peaceful. We sat on a bench to finish our ice and then headed towards the large fountains. Apparently, these fountains are just open for play! How fun! We waded in one and then decided for an adventurous run into another. Some very kind child must have noticed how hot I was and chose to aim the spray of the water directly into my face. Bless him. ;)

Taking back to the streets, we passed by our dinner spot from the night before and continued on to the Charleston Market. The market is a long stretch of open ended buildings filled with stalls of people selling their wares. Much of what we saw was homemade and the booths were occupied by the makers. I bought my dad a ceramic dish for Father's Day and Trisha got her parents some pickled foods.

It was nearly wedding time so we returned to the hotel for another shower (thank goodness there's no drought here).

We met up with everyone in the lobby for some quick photos and then we boarded the rented vans to head out for the ceremony.


Adorable little family

This was the funniest ceremony I've ever attended. It was seriously just like a flash mob wedding. We all piled out again in Waterfront Park and walked out on to a pier thing and they were like, "is this good?" and everyone kind of gathered around and 7 minutes later...married. Yay! Let's eat!

We piled back into the vans, for which we were very grateful, b/c IT'S HOT...and headed to the restaurant for the reception.

I am constantly taking her picture with no warning. Lol.
There was a nice cocktail time with yummy appetizers followed by a buffet style dinner. Rylee brought along Mancala, which was probably the best part. :) I was obsessed with that game years and years ago, so it was fun to play again!

Old Friends <3

After dinner, everyone headed back to the hotel for a bit. While Chris and Katie went to consummate their marriage (Jk. I think they went to change, but who knows), a bunch of us hung out in our hotel room for a bit. Trisha and I are the cool kids. ;) 

After a bunch of just hanging out around the outside of the hotel, we headed out again to a bar. Mostly we just sat around talking, but Trisha and Berg finally found their pickle juice shots. No thanks for me! Ha. It ended up being another crazy night with lots of great memories...most of which should probably not be documented here. No one really wants their fall into a bush documented in a wasn't me or Trish. :P It was fun hanging out with old friends and meeting new.

We hit the road early on Sunday morning to head home. On the way out of Charleston, I stopped to see an old childhood friend in his new and AMAZING house. I'm so glad he found out I was in Charleston from Instagram, because I had no idea he was so close! 

It was great to see Keith (we go way back to elementary school. Waverley Warriors!) and finally meet his wife Nia. I'm just sad their adorable babies weren't home. 

We stopped at Bojangles for biscuits and sweet tea on the drive...because The South. You have to. 

I said something like, "I'm taking this b/c you look rough and terrible and we're at Bojangles" :) Lol. Pickle shots 1 Trisha 0

In Richmond, we stopped to see Robin and her baby! I'm so excited I get to meet Fletcher so soon...and it's funny since I met her first son Griffin around the same age in his life. 

The First ;)


Fletcher was adorable and while we didn't stay long, it was great to see Robin. I'm so happy for her and her growing little family. :)

Lol. Take 1

Take 2
Unfortunately, we hit traffic north of Richmond, but the "Wild" audiobook kept us entertained into Frederick.

I had SUCH a wonderful and fun weekend in Charleston. I'm so grateful to Trisha for coming with me and for use of her car! I only wish we'd had more time to explore. I can't wait to go back.