After spending three and a half weeks in various parts of California, I am now back home. Home in Portland, settling back into my office chair, juggling many, many projects and freezing my ass off. Ha! For my first week away, I was working in Palm Springs and then moved onto West Hollywood. Following that, all last week was spent in Venice (and I loved every second of it).
If youâ€™re interested, all three places I stayed in on this trip were booked through Airbnb â€” Iâ€™m a fan of staying in places that have a little more charm and personality, not to mention cool locations that donâ€™t feel too corporate. Plus, depending on the amount of people you have with you, going the Airbnb route can be substantially more affordable than a hotel. In Palm Springs, there was a larger group of us so we stayed here (the photo above was shot in front of this house!). Then, in West Hollywood, I stayed here. And finally, in Venice, I stayed here. I highly recommend all three â€” let me know if you have questions about any of them in the comments!
Though Iâ€™d been to Venice a number of times, it was always for a quick afternoon of exploring the shops lining Abbot Kinney or an entertaining stroll along the boardwalk but I never really got to stay long enough and let my surroundings sink in. This time, I had seven days to do that and really fell in love with the place. Iâ€™m not big on driving and I LOVE the beach so the small-ish neighborhood feel coupled with the beach being just a five minute walk away was my dream scenario.
I donâ€™t know why I hadnâ€™t been told sooner about the Venice Canals! What a hidden treasure! On my second to last day in Venice, Joey mentioned them offhandedly in a conversation â€” we immediately walked over the next morning and it was honestly one of the most beautiful spots Iâ€™d ever seen. Thereâ€™s a wide mix of house styles, bridges and skinny little sidewalks lined with colorful boats surrounding the canals and itâ€™s pure magic. I’ll be sharing more photos soon!
I had a lot of fun window shopping in Venice â€” I donâ€™t recall the name of this store on Abbot Kinney but the displays were really unique.
The oversized floral rug in our all-white Venice loft was ridiculously awesome.
I loved all the greenery cascading up the buildings in Venice.
There are some majorly lush, overgrown sidewalks in the city. We walked down this one every single morning â€” I wish I had something similar in my neighborhood. So beautiful.
As soon as I got home, I laid out all my California treasures. Whenever I travel, I like to pick up business cards, postcards, treats and photo booth strips to remind me of that time. A few things included above: an empty macaron box from Bottega Louie, a business card from Chateau Marmont (no name needed), a hangtag from Kelly Wearstler, a postcard from the Ace and a photo strip from Le Labo (they have a free photo booth in the back of their store).
Traveling and changing up my surroundings always reminds me to notice the little details and to find contentment in the everyday. A coffee from a new place, a small bunch of flowers, a photo strip with a friend, a cool business card, a piece of street art, or even just talking a detour from the way you normally walk can make all the difference. Itâ€™s good to be back home, unpacked and ready to get back to work but in the back of my mind, Iâ€™m still California dreamin.â€™
Have a beautiful, energizing and inspiring weekend, everyone.
Top photo: Made U Look.