Tag Archives: San Diego

[Self Discovery] The Serenity of the Sea

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 “My life is like a stroll upon the beach, as near to the ocean’s edge as I can go”
— 
Henry David Thoreau —

Summer in SD

Ever just feel the need to get away? Not to necessarily escape from life, but to take a midweek vacation from all the humdrum stress of your vocation and whatever else might be plaguing or mentally exhausting you.  Lately, there’s been this large itch to jump in the car and not be home – maybe it’s the incredible heat waves we’ve been having in Los Angeles proper, maybe it’s the fact I’ve formally lived in Los Angeles for a decade now; irregardless, lately I’ve had this distant itch that I’ve needed to scratch from sandier locations.

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I work from home and have been working from home for the last five or so years.  It’s a wonderful life, but at the same time – it can make for some stir crazy mornings and cabin fever-esque afternoons.  Thankfully, for the last few weeks, I’ve been blessed enough to tag along while my dad goes on a few work trips down to gorgeous and sunny San Diego, and every now and again I’ve also been jumping in the car with Danny and working from anywhere that cell phone service exists along the Southern California coast.  From Santa Monica, to Long Beach, San Pedro down to Orange County and San Diego – the California Coastline down here has a bevvy of beautiful beaches, ripe and ready for adventures.

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With seventeen miles of coastline and nearly 5000 acres of land, San Diego boasts an incredible amount of beaches per capita, each with their own unique charm, from Ocean Beach to Encinatas and back to Moonlight Beach – you simply can’t go wrong as you bounce from one sandy piece of heaven to the next.  Yes, of course beaches will be crowded – have you met Summer in SoCal?! – so be sure to head there with plenty of time to spare and plenty of sun and sand to be had.

Travel up the coast a bit and you’ll hit the beautiful beaches of Orange County and Newport, including the stunning 1000 Steps Beach.  But I’ll be honest, the only version of the OC I like is the show – and it’s primarily because I can put it on mute. Anyhow, just a hop, skip and a jump up and you’ll reach shores of San Pedro and Angels Gate Park, where notorious scenes from my all time favorite movie were played out in the 90’s.  Can you name the movie? I won’t give it away!  Nestled between two coastlines in a sprawling green park that overlooks the coast, you’ll find the fabled ‘Koren Friendship Bell‘ in all of its vibrant glory and impeccable hand crafted detail.

Los Angeles itself is known as much for the glitz and glamour of Hollywood as it is the menagerie of beaches against its coast.  Venice, Santa Monica, Malibu, Point Dume – you simply can’t go wrong.  Now, it’s definitely a personal decision, but Danny and I typically off for the off the beaten path locations with less people – the more of a tourist trap it is, the less peace, quiet and space you’ll have, you know – if you’re into that sort of thing.

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“Don’t underestimate the healing power of these three things:
music, the ocean, and the stars.” 

Hypnotically beautiful with brooding turbulence underneath, the Ocean water mimics the human condition: meeting new highs and pulsing lows, bringing rocky baggage ashore and washing herself clean of the past, pulling new ideas back undertow and ingraining them in her personality. Summer in SD

It’s as if the waters have found themselves in the midst of mindful meditation that you can’t help but immulate: with this wave – I’m breathing in, with this wave – I’m breathing out.

 

No matter the mood or emotion I bring to the water’s edge with me, it’s always washed away and I’m left feeling rooted, as the soles of my feet and tips of my toes edge their way in and around millions of grains of sand that each have thousands of years of stories to tell.  Twisting my head to and fro to see as far as the eyes can see, I’m inexplicably drawn to the cascading of blues that measure where the sky and sea are drawn together in an almost hand painted gradient.  It’s here, that I shed my snakeskin of the past to the salt and air and become again.

Where do you go when your soul needs to refresh?

 

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[Oh, Snap] San Diego Dreamin’

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It’s always a good time when my LA friends decide to uproot themselves for the weekend to take our antics to a new location; and this weekend – we ventured down to San Diego for some dancing, sunshine and what my friends and I now like to call ‘Mansioning’

(verb: when you go on a nice vacation and simply marinate in the moment + your happiness!).

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I spent the long, Valentine’s Day weekend with my boyfriend and a dozen of my closest friends. We frolicked, we drank, we ate (a partial liquid diet) – but mostly, we geeked out on how much we mean to each other and both our individual and combined potential.  Out of the group, I’m one of the only people that holds a ‘traditional’ (e.g. non-freelance, non-contracted) job with a Monday through Friday, 9-5 schedule.  One friend is a location scout, a few are musicians, then there’s a real estate agent, a makeup artist, a business consultant, a farmer, etc etc – and I can’t discount myself, because I’m still in the process of converting my hobbies and passions into my persuasions like the rest of the group.   Every time we get together, I walk away inspired and reminded of who I am and who my support system is.  And I couldn’t think  of a better way to spend Valentine’s weekend than with a group of people that simply radiate love.

Seal of Approval

Postin’

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My boo + I

Sunset on the SD Harbor

Punch Bowls @ Craft + Commerce
It’s What’s for Dinner

[Doing it Right] SHARKNADO in San Diego

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What happens when you combine 16 close friends, one condo in San Diego, copious amounts of shenanigans, amazing weather and good music? Well, some might call it a dream, others might refer to it as ridiculous – but for all intensive purposes, we’re choosing to refer to it as Sharknado 2013.   On Saturday, we set our sights on the ocean and never looked back – traveling the high seas like a group of rowdy pirates with our drinks and our two step.  Our hostess with the mostess recruited a bartender to serve us tasty beverages as we raged our way through the day and we brought assorted snacks to keep us healthy and happy.  Plus – throughout the weekend we all lent a hand in the kitchen which saved us an epic amount of money.  We assembled the meals by predetermined teams for the party and the end result was we all had the chance to contribute something equally delicious and awesome to the group. Sunday things culminated with an epic build your own Bloody Mary session, relaxed beats and some quality time poolside in the stunning San Diego sunshine.  Per usual, I’ll be reveling in these memories for a while as I sit here, waiting patiently for my next adventure.

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San Diego Sheraton Marina

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Getting weird.

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We’re on a boat!

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Build your own Bloody Bar

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The Gang

 

Of course, I couldn’t leave y’all without giving you something to groove to on this manic Monday so here’s a little dose of the music we were bumping over the past weekend – from dubstep to deep house, we found a place for it all and I hope you guys can find a way to do that, too!

Music Monday: Mixin’ It Up

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One of the unfortunately side effects of a stellar weekend – or in my case, past week – is something I like to call “Hot Mess Mondays”: your  brain might be functioning, you might’ve had enough sleep; but chances are that it’s not, you didn’t and you’re currently paying for it handsomely. Though the weather wasn’t as stellar as we would like, we realize that living in LA beggars certainly can’t be choosers; and spoiled weather brats can’t expect it to be sunny all the time!  There’s a great quote that says that you can’t get a rainbow without a little rain and I more than ascribe to that train of thought.  This past weekend turned into a typical, friend fueled, debauchery filled weekend for me and just for y’all, I’ll let the kitten out of the bag – I’m definitely having one of those days!

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On Tuesday night I cruised down to Orange County to hang with my good friends and Beatnet co-founders and hit up some Dusky action at Focus.

For a Tuesday night in the OC that little place can get pretty rockin’!

Apparently Dusky is two guys? The more you know! Lol.

Dusky’s Essential Mix:

The best thing about the Dusky show was that I took Wednesday off so I could enjoy the show in it’s entirety – and a week later found out that one of my closest and dearest friends and her home crew from Portland were flying into San Diego that same week and had a few days free; serendipity, indeed! Every time I kick it with these kids I have the absolute time of my life, and Wednesday was no different.  We drank, frolicked, caught up and got weird: success!

My bitch =)

Breakfast of champions 😉

A-Team.

And that was just the mid-week festivities: over the weekend, there was definitely some bottomless brunching and boozing going down during the day, Blond:ish that night and Culrpit’s Season Opener at the Standard yesterday with Miguel Campbell.  So yeah, I’m wiped out!

#SweatbandSaturday
We don’t fuck around.

The lovely Blond:ish

Blond:ish from Playa Del Carmen:

And yesterday, we braved some rain at the Standard to kick off the Culprit Pool Parties – the weather was beyond lame but we tried to make the best of it!  Popped some bottles, caught up with some friendly and familiar faces and made some new cabana friends!

A little mix from the main man of the day, Miguel Campbell:

Making it rain > rain.

Even though my taste in music is pretty diverse, over the past month I’ve had more than my share of Deep, Tech and Minimal house shows – which are great for enjoying the atmosphere and breathing in the music, but going out to Exchange to see Ferry Corsten and Dim Mak studios for some Drum & Bass Hospital Records style I realized how much I miss the thumping bass, sick drops and the electric energy coming from the dance floor.

What do you get when you put three of the top Trance DJs and Producers in the world in one room?  You get Markus Schulz and Ferry Corsten, New World Punx at Armin van Buuren’s ASOT 600 in Madison Square Garden.   Their name, which is a play on Schulz’s “New World” and Corsten’s “Punk’d” is like a 3 on the scale of 1 to awesome DJ names but that’s besides the point; I watched a bit of the live stream and was hooked immediately.

SubFocus rocking the stage at Ultra:

This new track from Boys Noise is hauntingly gorgeous:

Swedish House Mafia might be done for* but that doesn’t mean they’re done individually; Steve Angello graced the BBC Radio 1 decks this past week with an epic essential mix:

Duke Dumont is one of my favorite new Deep House producers (yeah, I tried being over the genre but some stuff it just stays with you…) and his last two hits “The Giver” and “Need U 100%” are phenomenally produced and expertly mastered.  This remix is no different:

Above & Beyond’s Group Therapy Radio is a surefire way to get me through my Fridays, and this past week they had the House legend Sasha as their guest:

Doing it Right: San Diego’s Museum of Natural History

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Most people develop their New Years Resolutions by the time January rolls around; then they’re on top of them, up and at’em and crossing things off their lists.  I have a less manicured, equally pragmatic approach to resolutions – whereas mine typically come to me as the year rolls on.  So far this year, we have not buying packs of cigarettes, walking to the gym instead of driving and now I have another to add to the list: I want to go to one new museum a month!  Last month, I adventured out to the Getty Villa in Malibu to soak up some gorgeous rays and it set a wonderful tone for the day.  I was surrounded by wonderful company and timeless works of art; and I wanted more!  So, while I was down in San Diego last weekend my friends and I stopped by Balboa Park to take in the cacophony of museums. We finally settled on the Museum of Natural History – and it was a good call…between their Chocolate Exhibit and an Ansel Adams-esque Photography expose, we definitely got our fill of culture for the day.

Gorgeous, Southern California weather…

Gorgeous flowers from the Botanical Garden

…more of the garden…

Sunshine peaking through the leaves

Chocolate!! How could we resist?!

That’s a whole lotta chocolate!

If only these were real! Omnom…

Sharks and dolphins!

Pelican! And other birds

I love that the lion skull makes a heart =)

The end of our adventure; until the next one!

Play: San Diego, Round 2

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There comes a time in everyone’s work routine when they just need a break from the monotony; for example, my coworkers – whose kids happen to be closer to my age than I am to theirs – go on week long vacations, stomping down that PTO cap several times a year.  But then there’s me…little Miss “My-PTO’s-Been-At-Capacity-For-Six-Months”…who couldn’t seem to find any appropriate reason to take time off of work.  Sure, I’ve taken time off for Coachella, Hard Summer and EDC – but it’s been a while since I’ve felt I deserved a mini-vacation, especially considering I work from home half the time – that’s almost vacation enough from the monotony of the work week.  Well, thank goodness that all changed last Friday!  One of my close girl friends and I took the day off of work and moseyed our way on down to beautiful San Diego.  We had some delicious meals, which included one of the best Bloody Mary’s I’ve ever nommed on, and took ourselves on a little sightseeing at Balboa Park – here are some of my favorite snaps of the weekend; enjoy!

Let the vacation begin!

A little bit of rain ain’t no thang; storm clouds won’t stop us!

The sun tried coming out for us!

One of my favorite Skylines

Dinner at Urban Solace: Delish Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Homemade pie from a friend, OMNOM

San Diego sunrise =)

House Bloody Mary at PrepKitchen – it’s a must!

Japanese Friendship Garden

We stumbled across a wolf convention, NBD

Oh, Snap: Stunning Sunsets Vol1

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Over the last decade, I’ve developed a knack for capturing events ‘in-the-moment’: confetti at concerts, priceless interactions between friends and the nuanced emotions of animals.  You name it, I’ve probably at least attempted to capture it.  The only difference between me then and me now is experience, age, wisdom and dedication; so, kind of a lot.  You’d think that with so many moving pieces, shooting people and animals would be on the more difficult end of the spectrum – but that would be completely false.  With animate objects, you can engage them into acting, or even reacting – either way, they engage the camera in a symbiotic relationship.   When you’re trying to take a picture of a dandelion or mural – you can’t exactly ask it to shift into the light, or angle themselves in another direction.  It’s all up to you to be creative, which is where I shine.  I love taking something that exists and manipulating the image into something bigger: bolder, colorful, lively; and I feel like sunsets are the perfect subject to demonstrate this.

LA Skyline

Newport, CA

Dallas, TX

Hollywood, CA

San Diego, CA

Echo Park, CA

Downtown LA

Newport, CA

Sunset Spot

Malibu, CA

Coachella 2011