West Coast Adventures in the City of Angels

I feel like I was thrown into a time warp this past week. Between a sunrise engagement shoot, returning from Los Angeles the night before at midnight and dealing with the adjustment of daylight savings time I’m pretty sure my body hates me and doesn’t know whether it should sleep, wake up, eat or curl up in a ball under my covers.

Despite the shock of returning to a colder climate and dealing with mild jet lag and daylight savings our trip out to California was so worth it. Growing up overseas, my exploration of Europe and Asia has been far more extensive than seeing the 50 states (whereas my husband has been to 49 of them!) so tagging along on Ben’s Air Force training trip was a treat.

We stayed in Manhattan Beach for most our trip. Let’s talk about Manhattan Beach if you’ve never been there. It’s cute. It has fun shops. Fancy beach front houses to gawk at. Great food. And a beautiful beach.  It was the perfect setting for photo sessions (which I got to do quite a few of there…check back in for more on that front later!) I mean look at those palm trees and that sunset!

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I feel like our experience in LA can be summed up in just a few words

1) Lemonade: Why has this concept of chain restaurants serving up unique, fresh and healthy food made from local ingredients so much harder to find out East? I could have eaten their pineapple chicken, jalepeno and coconut chicken all day every day. I have a new business goal of opening up one of these chains out here and conveniently attaching it to my apartment.

2) Luxury cars: I’ve never seen so many in my life in such a short time span. We saw a Bugatti on Rodeo Drive with a pretty price tag of $1.7 million. Each tire costs $7,000 to replace! If he was still alive I would really want to ask the buyer (Bijan the men’s fashion designer in case you were wondering) why any car is worth that amount of money. Does anyone have an answer to that??

3) Gorgeous sunsets: Enough said

4) Hollywood Tour: I made Ben do a Hollywood bus tour with me and we got a little peek into celebrity houses in Beverly Hills. The highlight of the tour for me was seeing Annie’s house from Father of the Brides (a favorite movie of mine). Ben’s highlight was seeing the Iron Man house. We’re a strange match I know 🙂

5) Meeting new LA based photographer friends: The Shoot & Share Facebook group I’m a part of is an amazing resource. One of the reasons I love it so much is that you can find Shoot & Share groups in almost any area and use them to reach out to and connect with other photographers states away! I got to meet two pretty awesome photographers for headshot sessions while I was out there, including one who used to live and work in D.C. and who knows some of my photographer friends out here as well. I love those small world moments!

5) Surfing lessons: Considering my dozens of surfing attempts prior to this trip were epic and discouraging failures I was pleased to find out I could actually make it up to my knees and/or a crouching position this time around. Must be something in that CA water….

6) Seeing old friends: My favorite part of the trip. I got to see some old college roommates of mine who live in the area and Ben got to connect with old Air Force Academy classmates (one of which was our surf ‘instructor’).

All in all a pretty darn good trip.

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