9 posts tagged california
I love Los Angeles.
This past weekend, my best friend Elisa came into town. We spent the whole of Saturday in Malibu at Malibu Wines. The weather was in the toasty 90s, but there was plenty of vino, snacks, live music, and good friends.
Elisa and I had a flight from their tasting menu, then we were able to keep the cool glasses. The souvenir and five generous pours cost us each $14, which I thought was well worth it.
Oh, and did I mention we also split a bottle of wine? It was the best of times.
PS: How beautiful do all of my friends look in the sunshine?! I think they may secretly be vampires…
You guys, did you know that bears like to be ridden, much like horsies?
I uncovered this true and little known fact while in Big Bear, California this past weekend. Home of Big Bears.
It was E’s birthday, so we decided to head north for cooler and bearier climates.
Of course, the only place to find those bear necessities—old Mother Nature’s recipes—is in the mountains.
We climbed, hiked, and E grew a tree from the top of his head right before mine eyes. (Is he a wizard?! Some sort of voodoo priest?! An elf in a bigger man’s body summoned by Santa to create Big Bear Christmas tree miracles?!)
I didn’t stick around to find out. I had bears to tame and ride off into the sunset.
But, if I’d learned anything from my time with an old Shaman at an Indian casino in Reno it was this: Every bear has its day and, when that day comes, be ready with fire and gummy bears. (The gelatinous versions of their own gooey bodies confuses bears into a state of mild hysteria, typically leading them to run head first into the nearest tree, knocking them unconscious.)
As you can see, I successfully knocked out a whole family of bears. Well, more than just knocked out. Dead is the word, actually.
But look at this lovely lawn ornament their remains were sculpted into! Now, every time I glance out the kitchen window, I’ll forever remember that weekend in Big Bear, when I discovered bears are easier to tame than horses.
The great thing I’ve learned about bucket lists is this: Once you put it out there, people want to help you accomplish things.
Like this weekend, for example, when I convinced a group of friends to venture two hours outside of Los Angeles to the apple-rich town of Oak Glen.
We spent the afternoon twisting off Red and Golden delicious varieties, along with some Rome and Granny Smiths, then ate barbecue while a live band played, and finished it all off with a jaunt through a corn maze. Or, as my friends liked to call it, the maize maze.
Maize Corn mazes are not all that impressive in the daylight, but I can imagine come nightfall they are downright terrifying.)
What I learned through accomplishing this goal is that apple trees are shorter than I imagined them to be. Also, even though I picked a bag full of apples with the intention of baking them into a pie, they’ve mostly served as an afternoon snack, and I’m OK with that.
I also realized that this year alone I’ve managed to cross 5 items off of my list: #17, #32, #39, #45 and #55.
So, I guess I have to figure out which point to tackle next:
1- Swim with sharks
2- Hike in Alaska
3- Host Saturday Night Live
4- Walk across the Great Wall of China
5- Perform standup 6- Write a book 7- Write a play
8- Visit Cinque Terre
9- Learn Italian
10- Learn how to make sushi
11- Go to a restaurant and buy dinner for a random family (anonymously)
12- Start a foundation
13- Volunteer in India
14- See the Taj Mahal
15- Meet my boyfriend (Josh Groban)
16- Feed a village in Africa
18- Party at the Playboy mansion
19- Write an article for The New Yorker
20- Be on NPR
21- Walk in a protest
22- Win an award for teaching
23- Go to Paris for a weekend. Tell no one.
24- Go to the Oscars
25- Be a guest on the Tonight Show
26- Get a PhD
27- Ring the bell at the NYSE
28- Help build a house
29- Go camping
30- Skinny dip
31- Sky dive
33- Go to the X Games
34- Go to the Olympics
35- Go to the Superbowl
36- Go to the World Series
37- Have a sketch on Funny or Die
38- Teach my mom how to swim (She refuses to learn. I am determined.)
39- Go apple picking
40- Have a sandwich named after me
41- Learn the thriller dance
42- Be on a float in a parade (I rode in a cop car during a parade as a prize for winning a slogan contest. Doesn’t count.)
43- Mardi Gras in New Orleans
44- Carnival in Brazil
45- Zip line in Costa Rica (I’m crossing this one out, as I recently zip lined in California!)
46- Go to Sundance
47- Build a successful website (this one!)
48- Go on a yoga retreat
49- Have/be on a billboard in Times Square
51- Ride in a car with a storm chaser
52- Visit and bet on the Kentucky Derby
53- Get a tattoo
54- Complete the Sunday New York Time’s crossword puzzle
55- Learn how to play chess
56- Take a photography class
57- Visit Forks with Gabby and Kristen, go on Twilight tour
58- Bike across America
59- See a moose in the wild
60- Go to a speakeasy in NYC
61- Make dinner for friends once a month (STARTED) 62- Make Thanksgiving dinner 63- Be backstage at the Hollywood Bowl
Anyone want to help me accomplish one of these things and cross off something of their own in the process?
This weekend I set sail for Catalina Island with E.
(SIDENOTE: “E” is my boyfriend and will be referred to as such for his privacy.)
We took the ferry from Long Beach, along with some Dramamine pills, and were excited for the following things:
- Bison (!!!)
Unfortunately, we quickly discovered that in order to see these wild Bison—which were left on the island after a film shoot—you have to trek at least 10 miles into the island’s corridor.
That wasn’t going to happen for the following reasons:
- I’m not that athletic.
- E would have to carry me.
- Again, not athletic.
With that in mind we decided to travel around some different hiking trails.
The first day we walked to the botanic gardens which, as one Yelp reviewer so aptly put it, is filled with cactus, cactus and more cactus. Though, to be fair, there are other things there, like this monument oddity dedicated to the Wrigley family.
The second day we managed a longer hike in which we spotted deer, a tiny lizard, and how the world will end. (That last bit occurred when I became deliriously dehydrated.)
Luckily, though, we ended each day with a good long spell of drinking. One such drink was a Corona margarita that I will be missing very much this week.
I think this question has an obvious answer, but nonetheless: Jealous?
My friend Brook was in town this weekend, so we all hitched up the tents and went wine tasting in Malibu.
Really beautiful place, great wine, we got to bring our own food of which we ate quite a lot of.
I want to go again.
After a 10-hour drive, Ally and I made it to Santa Cruz, CA.
We drove in from Los Angeles, and we made a pit stop to get some lunch at a Best Western restaurant called the “Cavalier,” which overlooked the water and also happened to be the saddest place on earth.
The color scheme was faded lavender and moss green booths, coupled with framed 8x10 photos of snails and waterfalls.
After our sad lunch we decided to venture onto the 1 North, because it is “scenic” and “something that doesn’t look like straight up highway.”
But we really fucked up. Because after driving for 40 minutes on the 1, it was pointed out to us that a rock slide had occurred up ahead, and there was no further travel to be had.
Now, this Highway 1 is winding, and steep, and cliff side, and driving back gave me nausea that was only fixed with pieces of salt water taffy Ally fed me.
Luckily, we ran into an Elephant Seal habitat on the side of the road (no joke), where seals beached like fat mermaids on the side of the road. It was blubber and fat bodies for miles, and we enjoyed every minute of it.
At 6:30 p.m. we arrived at our beach side cottage which, as you may be able to tell from the above photo, is adorable.
We just ate a massive amount of seafood (think clam chowder, crab cakes, salmon), and now we are enjoying our evening by writing next to each other on the couch.
Writers retreat <3
Yesterday I went to Venice Beach to meet up with my good friend Ali who informed me of her talent for candid photos.
At first I was all “nope, all candids do is highlight how gross people are.” But then she showed me the results, and I look quite fetching here, no?
Obviously I just don’t know the art of the candid shot… yet.
PS- Follow her on the Twitterz, girl is funny to death.