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 you’re interested, all three places I stayed in on this trip were booked through Airbnb — I’m a fan of staying in places that have a little more charm and personality, not to mention cool locations that don’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 — let me know if you have questions about any of them in the comments!
Though I’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. I’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 don’t know why I hadn’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 — we immediately walked over the next morning and it was honestly one of the most beautiful spots I’d ever seen. There’s a wide mix of house styles, bridges and skinny little sidewalks lined with colorful boats surrounding the canals and it’s pure magic. I’ll be sharing more photos soon!
I had a lot of fun window shopping in Venice — I don’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 — 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. It’s good to be back home, unpacked and ready to get back to work but in the back of my mind, I’m still California dreamin.’
Have a beautiful, energizing and inspiring weekend, everyone.
Top photo: Made U Look.