Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Foggy Morning on the Beach

The almost constant sun is one of my favorite things about living in L.A.
Sun is something you learn to savor in San Francisco,
where a warm afternoon is a rarity to be treasured.
But here, I never have to worry about spending a sunny day inside at work
because it'll be sunny tomorrow.  Almost certainly.

But once in a while,
a foggy morning is just perfect.
A stroll on the beach path,
coffee in hand,
as the marine layer slowly lifts...
it makes me feel lucky to live here, in this great state.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Santa Barbara: The Urban Wine Trail

For Christmas last year, I gave Brian a sea cave kayaking adventure in the Channel Islands, 
off the coast of Santa Barbara.  
We decided to make a whole weekend out of it, 
and planned a Saturday in Santa Barbara and set the tour for Sunday.  

Luckily, Sunset had just run a whole feature on Santa Barbara 
and the so-called "Funk Zone."
(Do you read Sunset Magazine?  I'm a big fan.)
The name was so awful that I just had to read the article,
and they had me at "Urban Wine Trail."

So I threw my bike in the car, packed my funky pants, 
and we set off to find this magic "zone"
where streets were supposedly lined in wineries and hipsters.

And I'm happy to say,
Sunset totally delivered.

Some deets.
The Urban Wine Trail starts near East Beach and 
takes you past tasting rooms for lots of California wineries,
especially from the Paso Robles area.
Some of the wineries have live music on weekends,
and there are food trucks.
And it's easily bike-able, or walkable!

We started our tasting at Whitcraft,
which was a tiny little tasting room with the most delicious red wines
and the man who led our tasting was super knowledgeable and helpful --
he even marked all the places we should go on a wine tasting map for us!
This place had the best wines of our trip.

Our second stop was Carr.
This place was hoppin.
They make their wine on site, so there were barrels in the back,
and they had cheese plates (clutch).

From Carr, we rode our bikes into the heart of the Funk Zone
(just sounds wrong)
and parked them on Anacapa Street,
where there's a string of tasting rooms all in a row.

We hit up Kunin first, which had a great zin,
and conveniently,
the Burger Bus was parked right outside.

 Our last stop was Municipal Winemakers,
which was the most hipster stop of the bunch,
and of course, the one I loved the most.
It felt like home to this San Franciscan.
And I wanted to hug everyone who worked there
(maybe from all the wine?).

Also, this table.

We left in a happy daze, wishing the day could last longer.

 I kind of want to do this every weekend.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Stefanie + Leigh's Rehearsal Dinner

After all those vacation posts, it's about time to come back to real life in L.A.  Luckily, it's not so bad here!

Last weekend I not only got to celebrate Murica's birthday, I also got to celebrate the marriage of my friends Stefanie and Leigh!  Stefanie and I met at work, and have been close friends ever since I came down to L.A. as a summer intern.  Leigh and Brian are good friends and surf together every week.  Their wedding was wonderful, warm, and happy :)

I offered to help Stefanie out with planning the rehearsal dinner, since I know how hectic wedding planning can get in the last couple weeks, and I had so much fun putting it together!  Stefanie picked an awesome Italian restaurant, Maximiliano, and we got the whole back patio to ourselves.  I got to take a trip to the L.A. flower market to pick out the flowers, and you guys, that place is amAzing!  Bundles and bundles of the most beautiful flowers everywhere!  And for cheap!  MAN.  I loved it.

I didn't take too many photos because I was busy eating and drinking and laughing, but here are just a few of how everything turned out.

{the newlyweds!}

The paper placemats are from Mark & Graham, and so are the chevron treat bags, which I stuffed with candy (conversation hearts and ring pops!), and the placecards (which came in 6 different colors/patterns) are from a free downloadable I found online.

Nothing beats an outside dinner party 
on a perfectly warm evening in L.A.

Hope you get to enjoy the sun today.
Happy Friday everyone!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Some Random Photos We Took on the Side of the Road in Iceland

We just couldn't miss the 15 minutes of quasi-sun.*

*It was still freezing.
**Note the euro-sneaks.  When in Rome....

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Blue Lagoon

Hope you all had a good Fourth!  I spent the day on the beach with friends and went to a wonderful wedding.  A great way to celebrate.  I've got a few more Iceland posts for you -- sorry it's been a little slow around here!  So here goes:  The Blue Lagoon.  A must see!

The Blue Lagoon is otherworldly.  It's a steaming, powder blue geothermal pool stretching across a desolate moonscape, rising up like something out of a sci-fi film as you drive along the otherwise deserted two-lane freeway.  We spent a morning here, and although it probably would have been a more pleasant experience if it hadn't been freezing and raining as we waded, that's the real Iceland for you.