Tag Archives: Beach

[LA Life] Life’s a Beach at Leo Carrillo + Point Mugu

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In Los Angeles, the weather of choice from about March through October is sun, sun and more sun; and I’ve heard that the only remedy is to give in – indulge in the afternoon, frolic in the sunshine, stick your toes in the dirt or the sand – wherever the day takes you, and if absolutely necessary – take a mental health day when you’re feeling at your best, but instead let’s just agree to call it a ‘Because I’m Awesome’ day, because – well – we’re awesome, duh. Anyhow!

The other week, after realizing we’ve spent all the time we could with our A/C unit and the kitties, Danny and I did a quick about face, packed our beach bags and in a seemingly unprecedented move we left the East Side for the day, in search of sandier pastures where we could relax with the ebb and flow of whimsical, diamond encrusted waves.  Only about an hours drive sans traffic from the forever away East Los Angeles, there are ample beaches to bounce between with your choice of rough and tumble rocks, rolling sandscapes, and a sprinkling of pastel wildflowers.

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It can’t be just me that’s entranced by the the undulating consistency of the waves, with their half dangerous, half powerful and all inspiring nature, or the strength of the sun’s rays, dancing to and fro about our bodies like stars in a solar system. There’s something so calming about dipping your toes in the water, something so innately ingrained in all of humanity’s motion.  Considering how much of our bodies are actually made out of water – it makes sense that we feel so at peace in it, and then ten fold when you think that our first moments were floating within our mother – the same way we float within mother nature.  Where do you go when you need your moments of zen?

For my full photo album, head over to my Flickr and show some lovin’ 

For more on Leo Carrillo Beach or Point Mugu, head to their socials – or just get off your beach bum and head there yourself.  Trust me, so worth it!

Leo Carrillo Beach:  Website | Yelp 

Point Mugu: Website| Yelp

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[Traveling Tales] Keeping it Coastal in Central Oregon

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“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Until a few years ago, I firmly believed that down to my core I was a city kitty; from a purposeful hustle and bustle like you’ve never seen before to vibrant, neon color schemes boldly emblazoned against the darkness of the night and the palpable buzz of a technologically savvy, creative beehive. I grew up in California’s South Bay Area and quite frankly one of the few reasons I’m proud to be from the Silicon Valley is that people actually know the area I’m from instead of “40 minutes south of San Francisco”, “a little East of San Jose” and “a lovely drive from Santa Cruz”.
Being close to San Francisco and San Jose meant that whenever I could immerse myself in their go-go-go nature, I would – but there’s something to be said for what Santa Cruz had to offer: a slower pace of life, a calmer approach to the present moment with a less populated view and a stunning landscape where the trees meet the sea.

When we live in a fast past environment, we’re forced to adapt to a fast paced way of doing, being and living.  Like the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland, we feel like we’re running just to stay in place. Suffice it to say that in Los Angeles – a quick wit, high levels of intelligence, deep passions and lack of sleep are  four cornerstones of the lives of basically everyone I consider a close friend.  Like a caterpillar in perpetual chrysalis, as age and experience boldly dance together inside, I’ve gladly shed the skin of my past while transitioning into a phase of my life that’s falls on the side of a country mouse than a city kitty. img_1148

This past weekend, Danny and I took a lovely deviation from our typically atypical LA life and jaunted up the West Coast for some wedding planning and much needed family time. For both of our first times, we blasted off out of the lovely Long Beach Airport and headed up to Central Oregon.  Originally, we’d planned on flying in Friday afternoon and leaving Sunday evening – but by extending our stay from Thursday night through Monday afternoon, we saved a few hundred dollars and got some extra family time; now that’s what I call a win-win!  After settling in for a cozy Thursday night, we woke up Friday morning fresh faced and adventure hungry; with a quick breakfast in our bellies and a glance at the stunning weather on tap for the day, we’d packed a bag and we were off off and away, ready to spend a day with the scenic Central Oregon Coast.

Our first stop of the journey was in Newport, Oregon to chow down on some delicious eats at Local Ocean Seafood, with a lovely view to the harbor. For as much as I consider myself a Bouncy Kitty of sorts – I’ll be the first to admit that I tend to eat a lot more raw fish, the likes of sushi, sashimi, tuna tartare and seared salmon make me salivate; but when it comes to the cooked variety, I tend to shy away.  Enter Danny.  He has a no holds, or foods, barred approach to chowing down and it’s expanded my culinary cravings tenfold.  LOS had the most delicious oyster shooters and seared albacore kabobs – and I know precisely what I’m ordering next time we go back!

 After a quick jaunt down the pier for a friendly conversation with some local seals, we were off off and away down the Central Oregon coast to Yachats, a small, sleepy town where I spent several memorable summer vacations with my dad’s side of the family.  But first, we plotted a few stunning beach stops on the way, first – to Ona Beach!

 

I had a million and a half flashbacks to fond childhood memories, tidepool hopping with my father, scavenging for sea glass, seashells and seashell things with my step-mom and breathing in the salty air while dancing in the sunshowers bouncing off the Pacific.  These memories and feelings fill my soul like a warm bowl of soup on a frigid day, or a hearty hug after a long night.

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Apparently, we couldn’t get enough of the beach because after leaving Ona Beach, we stopped again at Seal Beach to take in the awe inspiring view – and then, it was finally off for Yachats, a town so small that you have to remind people in Oregon where it is.  Translated from the Siletz language, ‘Yachats‘ literally means the ‘dark water at the foot of the mountain’ – one look off the cliffs down into the Pacific, and you’ll be sure to agree. A quaint community about halfway between California and Washington, Yachats sits right on the water and feels like it walked right out of 1950’s America. Back in the day after my grandparents settled in Corvallis Oregon, they snagged an adorable Summer home from a fantastic Rhododendron expert who scattered the flowers across our property.  The end result is a beautiful landscape boarded by the bubbling Bob Creek that sprouts to life and blooms only four weeks of the year, and we were lucky enough to be around to witness it.

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The last leg of the trip was definitely my favorite, if not for proof that my apple doesn’t fall far from the family tree. Back in August in 1987, hundreds of thousands of eager souls around the globe flocked to sacred, spiritual locations to participate in the  ‘Harmonic Convergence‘ – the first internationally synchronous  meditation event in recorded history.  Of course – my dad and his group of friends went; they chose an area called Cape Perpetua, and Danny and I were lucky enough to stop by for a sunny, afternoon visit – a rare, sunny afternoon at that, especially for anyone that knows the Oregon Coast!  Cape Perpetua is a slice of Oregon heaven with hundreds of tall trees sitting over bluffs that give a panoramic view of the entire Oregon Coastline. Pay it just one visit and you’ll see in a heartbeat why it’s so special.

 

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What I learned on my trip is that if you’re a fan of the California Coast, you’ll be head over heals for Oregon’s. Start planning your journey now and check out these helpful sites on the state’s natural wonders.

Travel Oregon | Yachats | You Might Like Oregon | Oregon National Parks

 

[Oh, Snap] Chasing Sunset at Malibu’s Point Dume

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Last Sunday, we bid adieu to the succulent last seconds of Autumn in one of the most blissful fashions. As I’m sure you’re well aware, Los Angeles either has the absence of seasons or a mass inundation of each throughout a single 24 hour stretch.  With strong Winter storms coming in from the North West on Saturday night, we almost changed our Sunday plans – discussing the merits of cloud coverage in romantic photography and the like, but we decided to throw caution to the literal wind and get our booties out to Malibu to enjoy the last weekend of the season with some of our favorite people, creating magic and celebrating true love.

Love.  It’s a simple four letter word with a complex, vast and almost unfathomable meaning.  Love takes you by the arm securely and leads you to safety, while encouraging you to blast out of your own comfort zone and reach for the stars.  Love isn’t only giving, it’s forgiving; the last piece of the puzzle of a beautiful picture, a picture that was once so inconceivably incomplete.  Love fills your life in time with your heart, warming each and every nook and corner; clearing out the cobwebs of the ego, unchaining your pride and letting your soul shine free.  Love is natural, like the sun, wind, water and Earth; yet love is extraordinary, like the existence of the universe, like the rose that grew from concrete, like the existence of you, or I – or the simple fact that between you and I, there’s a we that is coveted more than the deepest secrets and oldest friendships.  Love is a bridge from nowhere to everywhere, a door that opens infinitely and a dream that’s never deferred.  But the most beautiful thing of all is that love is.

Though photography is a passion of mine, it certainly isn’t a profession – I’ve left that to the fiance.  He’s been building a bustling portfolio in the three years we’ve been together and I’m so thrilled that I’ve had a first hand view at how he’s grown as a creative, as an artist, as a working professional.  Though he’s done his fair share of concerts, shows, festivals, plays and musicals – he’s itching to get his feet wet in other arenas, including headshots, portfolios, high fashion and engagement shoots – and I’m thrilled, because this means I get to learn, too!  So after a quick breakfast and conversation, we were off to the beaches to capture the effortlessness of true love in a fantastic couple.  Now, I don’t have any spoilers – because, well, they’re not my pictures.  But I did get to spend a good amount of time chasing one last Fall Sunset at Malibu’s Point Dume, and let me tell you – so worth it. And a perfect full circle from last year, where we spent the first day of Winter in Big Bear.

Locals might think of it as a total tourist trap with not a lot of parking, but I think the scenery is stunning, the views up and down the Pacific Coast are  breathtaking and there’s a whole host of marine life for you to take in. – from cranes to seals, and even a dolphin (or shark!) if you’re there on a good one.   There’s plenty of rocks for rock climbing, and tons of ocean to relax the mind and body.





For more on Point Dume, check out their State Park website and social media channels.

Website | Facebook | Yelp

[Oh, Snap] Weekend Wanderlust Along California’s Coastline

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“We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.” Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe.”
Alan W. Watts

When life seems overwhelming and bubbling over, it’s important to take some personal time and marinate in the purity of the moment. Whether its work or social life, the cure for emotional chaos and calamity is the warmth of the wilderness and the nurture of nature. This past weekend, I took a wonderful little trip up and down the California coast on the historic Pacific Coast Highway with Danny and a few of our friends, leisurely exploring nooks and crannies and enjoying each other’s company.  Danny and I had done the drive before a few years ago, but we always found ourselves wishing we had more time to explore tide pools, coves, caves and the great outdoors – so this time, we made a point being leisurely and letting it all soak in.

Constructed over the course of several decades, California’s Highway 1 began segmented construction in 1911 to connect coastal communities.  Commonly just referred to as The 1 or the PCH, depending on which leg of the journey you’re on, the route was completed through the Big Sur region in 1939 after securing funding from Roosevelt’s New Deal during the Great Depression. After cruising along the 101 into Santa Barbara, we jumped on the 1 in San Luis Obisbo and took a necessary lunch break in Morro Bay where its almost obligatory to get the clam chowder.

Our pit stop took us to the Otter Rock Cafe and man, oh man – was it ever delicious!  I had to get some clam chowder in a bread bowl and a Bloody Mary after the table over dished some elated dirt on them, and then some oysters on the half shell to top it all off.   Leaving Morro Bay, we set our sights on San Simeon’s Elephant Seal Vista Point. I’ve never seen so many of them – they’re loud, a little bit ridiculous looking, in my opinion they’re one of the few living remnants of God’s sense of humor.  There were literally hundreds of them lazing around various coastal beaches, from young pups to more mature seals.

After leaving San Simeon, we were off and away to Big Sur, Carmel and Monterey, winding the roads with wanderlust in our eyes and adventure in our veins.  We finally reached Monterey around dinner time and took a nice Uber into the Warf area and searched for a worth dinner spot.  After some searching, we found ourselves at Lallapalooza, and let me tell you – their specialty drinks are phenomenal; I had a Skytini with cucumber, mint and Hypnotiq and it was refreshingly fantastic.  With some bar hopping under our belt, we resigned ourselves to our hotel in Seaside for the night so we could get a roaring start to our Sunday funday.

My #1 objective for the weekend: find us some tidepools.  I don’t know about you guys. but growing up I loved searching through the tide pools for brightly colored creatures and slippery souls.  Sea urchins, starfish, hermit crabs, sea anemones  – you name it, if it’s in a tide pool I will undoubtedly think it’s awesome.  Our first stop on Sunday was at Del Monte Beach just outside of Seaside, then we were on the road again – more concerned about the journey than our final destination. After scouting a few beaches we found ourselves at Garrapata State Park, just a few notches south of Monterey. The park is host to wonderful hiking trails up and down the coast and on clear days it’s wonderful for dolphin watching – we even saw a pod!  For the more daring it’s just a hop, skip and a jump down to beach level, and more importantly – you guessed it –  tide pools!

On closer inspection, the tide pools evolved into technicolor colonies – so gorgeous!

Visually, there’s something so simple yet stunning about peach flowers against a bright blue sky and I can’t help but try and capture it. I actually took a really similar picture last time Danny and I came through the area, but it was just so delightful that I had to snap another.

One of my personal favorite things about hiking along the cliffs was seeing bits and pieces of old abalone, muscle and clam shells glistening and sparkling in the dirt.

After a leisurely, lovely stroll through the park we were off, off and away – but not without first losing my phone in the car, then finding it, the trunk almost coming open on the drive, rushing out to close it and flinging my phone into the sand….so that five minutes later I’d actually lost it and we had to do a major search along the roadside for the next fifteen minutes. Good news is that we found it, glistening in all it’s rose pink glory in the bright Autumn sky; never a dull moment when you’re with me, I promise. 😉  On our way up the coast we strolled through the area around Pfeiffer Beach near sunset and made a mental note to come back the next day and I’m so thrilled we did, there was so much wilderness to explore – including rocks that had been pulverized so much that a cave had been created in the middle of it, and there was a completely hidden cove with so many stacks of rocks – it was beautiful!

Last, but certainly not least, we caught a stunning sunset near Lafler Canyon – the cotton candy, sorbet skies are permanently etched in my mind and not in my phone because I found myself enjoying the moonrise too much to care – retrospectively, maybe I should’ve asked to stop but the memories will live on.

From start to finish, this past weekend was one for the books and a completely necessary deviation from the normal, routine of everyday life – an escape from the fast paced, high anxiety world that’s part of some weird reinforcement cycle that I’m most certainly an integral part of.  As a self proclaimed city kitty, this time away from the sheeple and masses reaffirmed to me that I’ve been overwhelmed with life, over-inundated with work, tasks and relationships and haven’t taken the proper time to reset myself, to meet myself at my core and be unshakable, to find solace in a moment without flustering over the past or fumbling into the future.  A weekend without cell phone reception, wrapped up in conversations that ranged from trivial and hilarious to insightful, inspiring and compelling. Before our journey, I felt a dark cloud over my head and an unshakable awkward, anxious feeling but after a weekend swept up in nature and seduced by the open sea air, I found myself calm and collected upon my return to Los Angeles – a change that was hopefully deeply imprinted upon me. Though to be fair, I could always use a good excuse to escape again.

 I can’t wait for our next weekend getaway and am already looking up fun routes to and from Oregon for Thanksgiving! When’s the last time you got away for the weekend and where did your wanderlust inspire you to wander to?

[Oh, Snap] Sunday Funday at Thousand Steps Beach

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The tides are in our veins.

Photo by Daniel Leist

Calming and cathartic, the ocean beckons with a quiet roar masked as a whisper – cascading from shore to shore in enigmatic harmony. Growing up in the Bay Area, only a hop, skip and a jump from local beaches like San Gregorio, Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz and Capitola, and spending a good amount of my childhood on the Oregon coast – I have a plethora of fond memories building sand castles and feeding s

ea gulls while unearthing sea glass and haphazardly discovering beautiful raw stones.  And even though I spent my collegiate years right on the beach in Santa Barbara, I could’ve spent a lot more time actually at the beach. So whenever I get the chance to finally hit one up, the five year old trapped in this 6’0 body gets butterflies in her stomach and stars of excitement in her eyes.

Photo by Daniel Leist

Life, as they say, is what happens while you’re making other plans and the other weekend was no different.  After a haphazard morning leaving Los Angeles, timing had proven tumultuous and schedules had shifted. Thankfully, it was a beautiful day and there’s nothing quite like hitting the road with some good jams and great friends. Soaking in the wonderful weather over Valentine’s Day weekend, a great few days filled with lots of love and great company, my wanderlust waved me over to Laguna Beach’s Thousand Steps Beach. Located just off of the Pacific Coast Highway, tucked away between two bluffs – Thousand Steps Beach is a gem among beaches with loads of soft sand, caves to explore and loads of blissfully breaking waves for hydrophilic humans.  Though it’s not technically a thousand steps to get down to the beach, there are definitely enough to warrant a lazy afternoon soaking up some rays.

Photo by Daniel Leist

We couldn’t leave before Sunset on the beach and as we thought, it was absolutely stunning. Sprinting out to the water to snap a picture, my body tangled in itself and the necklace I was wearing broke and my pendant, a beautiful little piece of Amethyst that I got at the Gem Fair in Tucson,  tumbled through my sweatshirt and plunged into the current.  I watched three or four waves swoop, swish and rearrange the stone and instinctively thrust my hand into the water. Miraculously, I saved it – and it hasn’t left my neck since.  This was almost two weeks ago and I’m still finding grains of sand on it!Last, but certainly not least – as the sun went down, the creativity heated up and we tried our hands on some light painting.  Danny took hold of the wand, our friend All Day Jimmy was behind the camera – and the result: magic!

What’s your favorite beach to soak up the sunshine? Let me know in the comments below!

[Thursday Trend] Springtime Purse Picks

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20140501-105756.jpgWhether it’s an extra dose of lotion for brittle, dry Winter skin, a pleasant Autumn aroma or some sexy Summer shades – if you’re a self professed ‘Bag Bunny’ like myself, the contents of your purse change more frequently than the weather in Los Angeles. Now that Springtime in the city of Angels has sprung to life with extra bounce in her step, I thought it was time for a little satchel-switch.

For the last year or so, I’ve been attached at the shoulder to my beloved, yet bulgy, cheetah print purse.  At any moment, it could contain up to 10 elusive tubes of chapstick and or lip gloss, my eyeglasses case, a pair of sunglasses, three lighters – two of which probably don’t even work, scratch paper, maybe there’s a pen but it’s probably almost out of ink, a cell phone charger and on a good day – a small bottle of whiskey.

I wouldn’t call it a ‘problem‘ per-say – but whenever I migrate to a new purse, regardless of size – I always manage to fill it to the brim with a random assortment of semi-important items.  Now that the weather is getting nicer, I want to downsize what I carry on me; I want the freedom of movement so I can play as I please, and I don’t want to be sweating buckets while lugging around a bag of things I might not need. So, I’m putting my old purse in hibernation until Fall rolls around and I’m trading up for a simple Springtime satchel that’s perfect for my prized possessions.

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The real draw of this great beach bag, is that there’s only one pouch – so you don’t have to dump everything out like a madwoman as you look for your (fill in the blank): mascara, camera, keys, etc.  As with all things in life though, there’s a catch to switching up your purse – chances are, you’re like me and your purse life expands and contracts at an equivalent rate to the size of the bag. This means it’s time to do some spring cleaning, clutch style!  First things first, there’s the essentials: ID, Credit Card, Cell Phone, Keys. After taking a long, hard look at what else I’d been stashing in my bag for the last few months I managed to pair down my possessions into a nice little 10 item pile that’s equally perfect for a beach day with your friends, an afternoon in the park with your BFF or a lazy Sunday with your significant other.

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10 Springtime Purse Picks
(Clockwise from the Top)

  1. [Digital Camera with Durable Case: Canon PowerShot 310] When you’re with good company, there’s little to no use for your cell phone – because, let’s get real: why give into social media when you’re in an actual social situation? Cameras on cell phones have become just as good, if not better, than most digi cams and I’ll be the first to argue the “merits” of a Yelp check-in, or why I like being able to use the geolocation feature on Instagram (*cough* nerd *cough*).  But, when trying to capture a moment becomes more important than being present in it – you need to check yourself; I can say this, because I did.  I love taking pictures, so instead of busting out my phone and deciding on a filter, I take them on my Canon and edit them on my computer using iPhoto or GIMP and they turn out somuch better!
  2. [Lip Balm: EOS in Summer Fruit, $3.29 + S/H online] I’m literally obsessed with everything about EOS lip balm! From the easy to find shape, hot pink color and the yummy flavor, this is a must.
  3. [Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, $18 at Sephora]When it comes to makeup, a lot of girls forget that the point isn’t to mask what makes them unique, it’s to let their real beauty shine through. Warmer weather means sunkissed skin, and in my opinion: the more natural color you have – the less makeup you actually need (unless you want to look like a clown). Just a simple swipe of liquid liner with that glow and you’re good to go.
  4. [Mini Perfume] Hot days can turn into sweaty days in a heartbeat, and there’s nothing quite as awkward as smelling yourself for the rest of the night so make sure you have a small perfume in your purse that you can dab on at your leisure.  Trust me when I say, your friends will appreciate it as much as you do.
  5. [Fun Read] Everyone’s taste in literature is different, but the important thing is you have an appetite for books – even if you don’t get to indulge as often as you’d like.  Right now, I’m in the middle of ‘The Agile Gene’ by Matt Ridley but next up is something I’ve been craving for a while – The Joyous Cosmology by Alan Watts.
  6. [Sunglasses] There’s two types of weather in the Summer – “squinty cloud weather”, where it’s overcast but you still actually need to wear sunglasses, and blindingly bright sunlight. Either way you spin it, you’ll want some shades – so head to your local Thrift Shop and find a pair for under $30.  I had to face facts long ago that sunglasses get broken all the time, so you may as well invest in a cheaper variety; there out there, you just have to look!
  7. [Travel Size Sunblock, SPF 30+] What I said about your eyes, goes doubly true for your skin – make sure you get some SPF on your face and shoulders, or you could be peeling instead of pool partying this Summer.
  8. [Lighter] Candles, incense, cigarettes (gasp!), herb (it’s legal in California…), hookah coals, getting the fuzzies off your socks, etc – there’s always a good use for a lighter. Even for those non-smokers out there, if you’re party privvy – you’ll know that a lighter is also a great conversation starter.
  9. and 10. [Notebook + Pen] As a writer and expert list maker, I’ve been known to frantically search for scratch paper and then subsequently lose it.  Now that I have a notepad and a pen in the mix, I can get my doodle on, craft a shopping list or even get my next blog post ready. Plus, you never know when you’ll want to jot down some important info!

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Last, but certainly not least – when the weather gets above 80, you have to be ready for the inevitable, and the only thing that I think is better than festival season: pool party season! At any given moment, you could get a call to a hotel pool party filled with friends you haven’t met yet or a small apartment pool kickback with your closest friends – and based on my personal experience, not only will you want a swimsuit you feel great in, but you’ll want options, for style and color.  The two piece on the right from Sofia has the right amount of color pop and the right amount of coverage for me to bounce around with confidence where ever I roam. EDC, Las Vegas, Lightning in a Bottle, The Standard Hotel; you name it, it’s been there. And I’ve gotta admit, I’ve never been big on one piece swimsuits, but I’m basically obsessed with the cut and color of the suit on the left from Victoria’s Secret and I can’t wait to wear it!

To send you off, a new mix from my favorite Tropical house producer – Thomas Jack:

 

 

[Doing It Right] Birthdays, Beaches and Bonobo

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For birthdays I’m a huge fan of presence over presents, so yesterday – instead of buying a present for Danny, I took the whole day off work so we could simply be together in whatever capacity we felt. So, as we let the day drift away – our plans slowly but surely fell into perfect place. We started off by cruising the California coast line through Malibu into the Zuma and Leo Carrillo State Beach areas. It was a little overcast but since when were we going to let a little weather get the best of us? We spent a good hour or two climbing eroded rock formations in search of tide pools and signs of life.

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After the beach, we cruised up the coast to Neptue’s Net – an amazing spot right on the PCH with clam chowder bread bowls that’ll blow your mind, not to mention a healthy selection of adult beverages. Then it was off to Ventura’s Majestic Theater to see Bonobo’s Northern Borders Tour – fully equipped with a live band featuring killer saxophone, string and drums sections. The show ended so much earlier than I was prepared for but it was a beautiful moment to be trapped in, however long it might’ve been.

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