Adventurers in Downtown LA

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You know I love adventure. I love big cities. I love little towns. I love the countryside.  I love the sea side. I even sometimes love the ugly downtrodden side! I just love getting out and exploring the world.

Of course getting out of Orange County is a huge big deal because I am kind of bored of my safe little neighborhood. I love it here but I also love to get out of it and when I do, my eyes are so big taking everything in.

Naturally, I love having a travel agent friend (aka Teresa). I mean, how could I not? I want to download her brain and snag some insider tips on travel! Who wouldn’t?! But she’s also super nice and one of my very best friends.

We have a lot of common interests but exploring LA (and specifically points of interest from the tv show Bosch) is definitely one of them. So when she was going to meet a mutual friend and client in LA to discuss travel, I hopped on the chance to tag along. Woo hoo!

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We went super early of course so we could sneak in some sight-seeing before her lunch meeting. We explored the Bradbury Building—a favorite of mine ever since I spotted it on 500 Days of Summer.

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Have you ever seen such a beautiful building? It’s like a giant iced cake of design in a Victorian bird-cage like atrium. Does that even make sense? You get it. We didn’t have time to brush up on all the history but I do plan to find out the story behind this building and it’s famous namesake architect.

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After that we hopped on Angel’s flight because if you watch Bosch it’s a major key landmark and why not. It’s better than walking up a steep hill in the hot, hot sun.

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Then a block or two later we met up with our friend (and Teresa’s client), Christine, (You might recognize her as Bug’s old elementary school principal!) for lunch at Bottega Louis.

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Wow. This place. It’s so pristine and perfect. It felt like a fancy hotel lobby with perfect lighting in Paris. Except we weren’t. It’s an Italian restaurant in LA.

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Macarons and pretty treats for days. Huge white walls reaching expansive bright white ceilings with decorative crown molding…

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Cooks and servers, waiters and bakers…everyone on their toes being polite with Disney-trained smiles and good attitudes. You definitely get what you pay for here. Primo primo!

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I was smitten with the crazy flower-bomb bouquets and the white walls. A perfect backdrop for a movie if I ever decided to make one. See that guy on the right? He totally caught me taking his picture. I never made eye-contact though so I’m hoping he’s thinking I was taking a close-up of the bottle and blurring him behind. We both just pretended it never happened. He ate a whole pizza and drank a beer by himself and then left, walking by with a gold-handled cane. I would love to know his back-story.

Our lunch lasted for hours and nobody pushed us to leave. It really was like being in Paris.  But guess what the best part of our three hour lunch was?

Christine talked me and Teresa into visiting Italy (for a week) with her next month. YESSSS!!!!  Of course we had to go home and talk it over with our families but she planted the seed and we fell for it hook, line and sinker. Can you believe it? It will be a bit of a stretch but I’ve landed a few jobs and I think I can swing it. The tickets are bought and I cannot wait to be blogging from ITALY! I will be sharing everything with you of course!

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Please drop me a line with all your recommendations. We plan to hit Milan, Florence and Venice.

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After that fun-packed lunch, we weren’t ready to stop talking yet so we walked through the Biltmore hotel next-door and continued our Italy discussion.

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The Biltmore is also a Bosch landmark so Teresa was happy to get her travel agent research in. She’s putting together a tour for other Bosch fans. What a fun job she has.

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We both have fun jobs and I have to admit I know how lucky we are to be freelancers who can take our jobs on the road with us. and take three hour plus lunches (!). I don’t know that I’ll be doing any crafts in Italy but I do think I could get a book idea out of it. Little Hoo in Italy perhaps? Wouldn’t that be a fun travel series?

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After the Biltmore we walked through the downtown market, got some ice latte’s and a small treat. We talked and talked and talked some more until we had to come back to the reality that we had to go home and we had to sit in some serious traffic. Ugh. The only bad part about visiting LA: traffic. Next time we’re going to take the train!

Beach Mornings

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It’s been a while since the girls and I busted down to the beach for bagels and coffee on the sand on an early weekend morning. We used to do it more and it’s sad that summer is already gone and we made it down there only twice. Every year I vow to have more beach days and every year we get caught up in our regular inland lives (we only live 15 minutes from the beach!!) and forget we live right next-door to the most gorgeous natural tourist attraction that most people have to pay dearly to go see.

Funny how that is. The sun shines everywhere I guess.

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But we made it. I’ll thank the girls and my guilty conscience. I did feel terrible about not taking the dogs. But taking the dogs adds easily two extra hours, driving a different vehicle that is more work, lots of pulling and tugging and a buttload more sand everywhere. Mostly the pulling and tugging is what is hard. Have you seen my dogs at the ocean? They go bananas. I wish I could let them go free at the beach but they have a strict leash on policy.

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The girls are a million times easier than the dogs to manage. They sit and eat their breakfast and then go off and splash in the waves and I sit there watching them for as long as I can until my to-do list at home calls my name too loudly.

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Every time we say we are just going to the beach for breakfast and every time they beg to stay the whole day. More guilt. Why didn’t we plan a beach day this summer?!! We’ll have to do a fall beach day. But not this weekend because Pedram’s 80th birthday is going down and I have a million details to make sure happen. So many things!!!

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The waves were huge that day. Probably wash back from the hurricanes on the other side of the world.

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I couldn’t really get my camera to capture how gigantic they were. The mist from the pounding waves rose all the way to the parking lot.

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And then my to-do list called me and we hustled back home, sad we couldn’t stay.