Every time I visit LA, I declare that trip even better than the last. And I’m declaring this one the best of all. I’ve always had a great time in LA and that’s partly because it’s impossible to be in a bad mood when the sun is out and fresh food and juice seemingly lurk around every corner. The big difference with this trip is that I got to travel in a group — Kat, Gala, Joey and Rocky all came along and traveling with some of my favorite people made the experiences that much better.
While we were in LA mostly for business, we also snuck in some pleasure. One of my favorite moments was hanging out with this Michael Jackson impersonator on Hollywood Blvd. (the day after I’d watched Captain EO at Disneyland). Seriously! He was so good! He was also very particular and demanding with our poses and I couldn’t quite get them right. Practice makes perfect, right?!
He was workin’ it big time, blocking his face with a magazine until I walked up. When I asked for a photo, he demurely whispered “five dollars.” Then, it was ON. Haha.
Kat’s birthday fell over our week in LA so we plotted her first trip to Disneyland. I’ve been to Disneyland and Disney World a collective total of six times but still, I get super excited. I think it’s because you can spend a day with no worries, surrounded by a bunch of really friendly people and make downright terrible food choices. Escape is good sometimes!
I’m always blown away by all the individual type treatments that dot the Disney parks. And Kat finally got her own official set of Mickey ears — they may still be attached to her head.
Disney’s flowers are always perfectly manicured, of course. And I loved this dress I spotted in a shop window in Silverlake.
Our apartment was a block away from Hollywood Blvd. and when we showed up, Gala compiled a few ride share services which made getting around SUPER easy. You know what a nightmare LA can be without a car and using these apps meant that we traveled across town for much less than a price of a cab. Also, Lyft cars identify themselves with huge neon pink mustaches on the grill!
Never content to stay in one area, I visited neighborhoods from Century City to Los Feliz to Glendale. I also spotted that striped chair in a Juicy Couture boutique. SO GOOD.
Our apartment resided on Cosmo Street, which had this plume of palms at the end. Most of the time they reeked like rotting garbage but hey, you can’t smell that! We walked this route every morning and it became quite routine until our last day when Kat and I turned the corner and ended up in the middle of a scene that was filming for NCIS Los Angeles. I’ve never walked through a production set before and was trying to soak up what was real and what was staged since it was taking place at a very busy intersection.
I loved our neighborhood — every day, I peeked down this restaurant’s side alley at the faux Hollywood sign.
One of my goals in Hollywood was to get Rocky to pose on his namesake’s star. Rocky is obviously a small dog (and the runt of his litter!) so when Joey got him, he knew right away that he needed a tough guy name. So, he named him after Sly Stallone’s most famous character. Not shown: after this photo was taken, Rocky got sick and puked all over Sly’s star! Eek!
The main reason we were in LA was for our workshop, The Blogcademy. We held it at McCadden Space Studio and with its diverse collection of neon signs, midcentury modern furniture (including a set of turquoise chairs!), we were in love with it from the second we walked in. Our host, Ron was incredibly gracious — we couldn’t stop talking about what a great space and group of students we had in LA. The group was our most diverse to date with regards to careers and it was so interesting chatting with them one on one and learning more about their blogs and lives.
This is another cliché coming from Oregon but I always forget just how intense the sun in LA is! Gala loaned me her big, floppy hat. Glam and practical. And this sign was just one of many sprinkled throughout McCadden Space.
I loved how Kandee Johnson paired the sparkly Crown & Glory ears from her goodie bag with her bandana! After chatting with Kandee for maybe 10 seconds, I already adored her — this woman has major style and can rock any makeup look on the planet but even better, is incredibly down to earth. Our time together was much too short but at least it included cupcakes and lots of turns in the photo booth! Kat, Gala and I have been lamenting that none of us, including Kandee, live close enough to one another.
Just look at all those backdrop colors! I was in heaven. If you’re doing a shoot, book McCadden Space! Gala and I were pumped up to teach on day one but perhaps my excitement was partly due to the sugar rush of scarfing down a donut from 7 Eleven right before class (it wasn’t pretty and I’ve been on a health kick since).
I could go on and on for ages about how amazing LA was and share a million more snapshots but that would get really annoying really fast. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; traveling with friends is one of the best experiences ever. Its not always smooth sailing because real life isn’t perfect but at the end of the day, it’s nice to know that no matter what, there’s a group of people that get you and are there for you no matter what.
Have a great weekend, everyone! I’ll be hiding away in my office trying to get my life back in order after two weeks of workshops and traveling. And the full Blogcademy recaps for Portland and LA will be coming along over the next few weeks. The girls we met in both classes are so bold and talented — I know great things are in the works for so many of them! It’s so rewarding to see. xo