(My BFF Kasia & me in the Sequoia National Forest)
As I mentioned in my last post, Andy & I recently spent a few days in Los Angeles. It was my very first visit to the great state of California, and it was far too brief! I had such funny imaginings of what L.A. would be... And I was mostly wrong. I found it to be so different than any other place I've ever visited. I was blown away by the hills, all the exotic plant life and architecture... the amazing nearby nature despite all the traffic and sprawl. I saw lots of everyday people and dogs... and not one single celebrity. I surprised myself by really, really enjoying it. (Shhh... Don't tell Andy. He wants me to move there, and I'm not sure I can handle living in a giant city where you have to drive everywhere on those crazy-scary freeways.)
We started our LA adventure by visiting Venice Beach, and I think we caught it on the gloomiest day ever. I actually think the beach is quite beautiful on a cloudy day, though...
On a day like this, there were no people roller boogie-ing in bikinis. But I did see a family of six touring the pier on Segways, Gob Bluth style. Sadly, I didn't get my camera in time to capture them.
I realized that my toes had never before touched the Pacific Ocean, so Andy & I braved the frigid water ...
We experienced unusually cool, rainy weather for most of our trip, and people kept apologizing, unaware of the fact that I do not prefer endless sunshine. I think L.A. was trying to trick me into loving it.
This fat seagull let me get so close, I was sure he would let me squeeze him... Or maybe he was waiting to peck out my eyes. I decided to play it safe.
I have never been all that interested in Hollywood or celebrity glamour, but we did cruise through Hollywood-proper in our stylin' grandma rental car (a Crown Victoria). And we explored Mulholland Drive and Runyon Canyon Park to see the amazing views. I had no idea L.A. would be such a hilly place!
Andy and the elusive "Hollywood" sign...
Steep trails led to lovely views.
Andy & I were both fascinated by the La Brea Tar Pits and the saddest elephant ever...
We stood there watching the bubbling tar for quite a while, trying to imagine what it all looked like before a city sprang up around it.
Andy couldn't resist smelling some tar. I politely passed.
Loved this bear by the tar pits...
I think I drove Andy crazy by constantly shouting, "Look at that amazing tree/flower/plant!" Who knew L.A. would be host to such varied & spectacular flora? I don't know why I didn't take more pictures to help me identify them... Like the trees that looked like giant broccoli stalks? And the one with the enormous red flowers? And the shrubs that looked like something out of a Dr. Seuss book?
These flowers and crazy trees were growing near the tar pits.
One thing I do know is that the people of L.A. sure do love some doughnuts. I have never seen so many donut shoppes in my life! We were planning to visit the world's first ACM (Automatic Cupcake Machine), but we decided we just didn't have time to wait hours in line and settled for a different trendy bakery.
I think this was the best doughnut I've ever eaten...
My BFF & her hubby & one very jaunty hat... Only temporary installations in L.A.
I managed to squeeze in a little side adventure to the Sequoia National Forest with my BFF before leaving, and it was definitely the highlight of my trip. The 2-3 foot snowfall prevented us from seeing most of the park, but we still managed to see some absolutely amazing trees. I was a little disappointed to miss out on the General Sherman tree (largest living tree by volume?), but I think all that beautiful snow made for an extra magical experience.
I was not prepared for 3 feet of snow... It was 80-something degrees when I left Athens, GA. I had to layer half the clothes in my suitcase and borrow hat, scarf & gloves from my friend. Thank goodness for ever-dilligent snow plows... Otherwise we would have been trudging through this the whole way!
Heading into a tree tunnel...
Inside the tree tunnel... A person could live here.
I promised myself I would keep this short & sweet since I have a mountain of work to do, but clearly I've gotten carried away. Hooray for adventures!
I'm working on some new things for the shop (pouches, tiny snails, etc.) and hope to be able to share them soon. Hope everyone has a wonderful week!