Seen in L.A. (V)

Seen in L.A. (intro)

  • sparkly silver toddler-sized converse shoes. first the left shoe … then the right shoe about ? a block later
  • 4 men’s shirts hanging in dry-cleaning bags from a tree branch
  • young mom (or babysitter) stopping to steal fruit from a tree in the front yard of one of the houses on Bundy
  • 2 splotches of vomit in the middle of the sidewalk – in front of a grocery store
  • 2 houses being completely rebuilt from the ground up – 1 on either side of a house being left alone.
  • Fruit street-food cart. Complete with lots of ice to keep it all cool

Check out other Seen in L.A. editions here

Now that I’ve been doing this walk from my car to the work building for 5 years, I notice far fewer oddities. It all seems normal, now.

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Annenberg Beach House

A few weeks ago, I assisted Maggie on a photo shoot at the Annenberg Beach House.

I read about the Annenberg Beach House YEARS ago in a little blurb in Vanity Fair ….and sine then I’ve been just waiting for a reason to go.

From their website:

The Annenberg Community Beach House at Santa Monica State Beach is a public facility located on 5 acres of oceanfront property. The Beach House story is one of evolution from private to public, starting with the development of the property at 415 Pacific Coast Highway as an opulent private estate in the 1920s.

Go read the full history of it ….. The property started out as Marion Davies’s private home. Can you IMAGINE living right on the beach like that? I want to read all kinds of mid-century Hollywood histories!

Today, the Annenberg Beach House is gorgeous and relaxing … I believe you need to make an appointment to swim in the pool, but otherwise its free to park, free to visit, free to hang out on the long boardwalk in front of it.

Check out some photos from our afternoon ..

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California Missions: Santa Barbara

At the end of September, Andrew and I took a VERY SHORT day trip to Santa Barbara.

But I made sure to fit in a trip to the Santa Barbara Mission.

I hadn’t been there since 4th grade (which I remember because I was doing a school project about it). I want to eventually visit ALL the California missions with Andrew. So far we’ve got this one and San Luis Obispo (almost 3 years ago).

We got to the mission just after a wedding ended – which is why there was a big crowd in front of the chapel.

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From Wikipedia:

Mission Santa Barbara, also known as Santa Barbara Mission, is a Spanish mission founded by the Franciscan order near present-day Santa Barbara, California. It was founded December 4, 1786, the feast day of Saint Barbara, as the tenth mission for the religious conversion of the indigenous local ChumashBarbareño tribe of Native American people.

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We paid our $5 each to walk through the mission.

Touted as a “tour”, it was really just a short walk around the edge of the courtyard, through the cemetery, through the chapel and then through the small museum. All marked by zombie-looking friar sign posts.

But really, helping maintain something historic like the mission is exactly what I like to spend my money on, so who cares.

I loved all these old photos of the Franciscans who have worked out of the mission over the last several centuries.

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the cemetery …

I am tentatively thinking about doing a small scrapbook of all the cemeteries we visit. It’s one of Andrew’s favorite things.

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the chapel …

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Such an interesting part of California history …. wonder which one we’ll visit next …

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Big Bear weekend away (part 3)

Sunday morning of our weekend away in Big Bear …. We both woke up at 730a or 8a or so. I’m sure part of that had to do with going to bed early, but we’re both morning people, for sure. Andrew went and got a little (sad, weak) coffee from the lobby, we both showered and got ready for our day and then decided to venture out for breakfast before deciding what else to do.

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Andrew got on his phone again and Yelp’d breakfast nearby. Even though there were closer places to eat, we decided to head over to the North Shore (on the other side of the lake) and eat at the North Shore Café. We happened to get there right at at the exact right moment and were able to sit down immediately. Only because we were a party of 2, of course. The only table available was a table for 2 on the front porch (in the sun).

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The North Shore Café is basically a house – tables inside (in the ‘living room’ and ‘dining room’ and tables outside (on the ‘front porch’ and ‘front yard’). That particular Sunday morning there was 1 waitress for the inside and one for the outside. And they both seemed a little frazzled. The indoor-waitress took our drink order, because the outdoor-waitress was too busy. She ended up bringing us only half a cup of coffee each because they were brewing more (and then neither of them ever got around to bringing us more). We also got soup spoons instead of regular spoons because they were in the middle of doing dishes.

So, yea. Busy.

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Breakfast is my favorite – and breakfast with Andrew is even better. And then add in the fact that Andrew got breakfast tacos which is his favorite and (aside from the lack of coffee) it was a pretty perfect morning.

After breakfast we just drove around. Nothing special, no idea where we were going. But the views and the scenery and even just the sides-of-the-road around Big Bear Lake are gorgeous.

Andrew always drives whenever we go anywhere.  I don’t like to drive and he LOVES it, so it works out well. We’re a good team.

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I handled the music and my camera, while he drove back around to the south side of the lake. Once we got over there, he decided to keep driving farther east, past the edge of the lake … just to see what to see. From my maps app on my phone, it looked like just residential to me, but he wanted to see.

Eventually he turned right (south) on some street or other and we started to climb a hill in a residential area. We passed a city sign indicating we were entering ‘Sugarloaf’ and kept going. Stop sign and then what looked like more residential.

Except, after we passed the Stop sign Andrew got pulled over. Allegedly he didn’t stop at the Stop sign … but we both know he did the classic ‘California roll’ and came to an almost-complete stop before (safely) driving through the intersection. Officer Sugarloaf was nice about it though … didn’t give us a hard time. Didn’t seem to mind all that much that our insurance and registration didn’t have our current address on it (and was also expired). Politely explained what was up ahead when Andrew asked him.

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Clearly this guy had nothing better to do at 10:30a on a Sunday morning than lay in wait for drivers at this completely residential Stop sign.

Oh well. It could have been worse.

We more or less decided to just go back to the room after that, though.

And relax.

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Relax so thoroughly that we both took some pretty substantial naps.

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We also read (in the room and on the beach) …. And somehow put in 4 or 5 hours … But we really didn’t do anything productive or touristy or what I usually think of as vacation-y. We just relaxed.

Because of all this relaxing we skipped lunch… So around 4:45 or so we headed out for an early dinner. Yep, Sunday night dinner at 5p. Like a couple of old people.

We had already planned on dinner at Captains Anchorage, the one place in town that Andrew could find that claimed to be haunted.

I love me some hauntedness.

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We walked in and were seated right away – next to some old people on either side, served by an old person, and we were easily the youngest ones in the restaurant by 10 years or more. Captains Anchorage is priced a little bit fancier than we usually do, but the entrees ALL include soup and a trip to the salad bar. Deal city. I got a steak, Andrew got (delicious) Orange Ruffi with a salsa-like sauce on top.

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And it was still plenty light out when we got done with dinner….

Too late in the day to do anything like hiking, of course, but plenty of daylight still to relax and read. Have I mentioned yet that we spent most of the weekend relaxing and reading?

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Around 8p or so I got a sugar craving, so we drove over to The Village to get some ice cream and people-watch. Being Sunday night, of course, there weren’t a whole lot of people around, but that almost made it nicer.

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By the time we got back to the hotel it was dark- though not too late. We half-heartedly searched out a movie on TV (weird feeling, actually looking for something on a channel), but ended up just reading for a bit and falling asleep early. EARLY. Like 930p or so.  Super early considering on work nights I don’t even get home til midnight.

Monday morning we woke up around 8a or so … checked out, got some coffee, and headed back home.

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I (unfortunately) had to be at work later that day.

Thus ends the whole of our “vacation” for 2012. Bummer.

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Big Bear weekend away (part 2)

So after lunch we drove around the lake some more … It’s not a very big lake at all, so it was easy to take a short leisurely drive around, checking out the town, checking out the lake, checking out the naturey-activities.

We had identified one of the shorter, nearer trails and went on a short hike before we went back to check in at the hotel.

For whatever reason, the hike we chose was labeled an “Interpretive Hike” …. Although, the path was pretty clear and not at all interpretive so I don’t know what that was about.

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It was a mile and a half and set up in a loop. We started on one side of the parking lot, hiking up hill to behind where the parking lot was, and then downhill the other side to end up back on the other side of the parking lot. Unfortunately, the trail guide with all the descriptions that matched the markers was out of stock. Bummer. I seriously love LEARNING about where I am – whether that’s history or science or whatever. One of the reasons I’ve realized I love guided tours. I would have totally taken a guided hike.

Oh well.

Not 100 yards into the hike, I realized I didn’t have any hair ties on me. I usually keep at least 1 on my wrist, but had forgotten to put it on that morning. And, bizarrely, I didn’t have any in my purse OR in our travel-toiletry bag either! Grrrr …. So I spent most of the hike with one hand holding my camera and the other hand holding my hair up. I sweat a lot (probably because I get so overheated with my fair skin) and I’m sure I looked lovely. In fact, between the sweat and holding my hair in a (damp) twisted bun for so long, once I took it down it looked like a wild mane. Bigger than my hair ever is!

We saw a million lizards on our hike. Andrew loves lizards. It’s the little boy in him, I guess. He kept a running count and instagram’d photos of at least half of them! We also saw at least 1 chipmunk, and 3 dogs (but those were attached to their owners).

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 It was a nice hike – not too long but still physically exerting.

And by the end we were ready to go check into our hotel and wash our faces.

The hotel looked pretty adorable from the street. Lots of trees and shading and not too crowded on the property. But when we checked in and they gave us the map of the property and showed us where we’d be staying we got really excited!

Big Bear Frontier Hotel is ON Big Bear Blvd (the main street lining the south of the lake). The whole of the property, however, actually heads back toward the lake with MORE small cabins and a hotel building on the actual lake shore.

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Our tiny little cabin was I think one of the smallest they had. Just a little studio cabin (tiny kitchen, tiny bathroom, not much more room than what the bed took up), with no deck. But the hotel is pet-friendly, and many of the other private cabins near us had a little fenced in deck to sit on, complete with a small gate to close off the deck if you want to let your dog off his leash while in your cabin.

Our front door was about a block away from the hotel’s private beach, and just across a driveway from a large grassy area with picnic tables, grills and a horseshoe game. Of course, when we got there there was a large LOUD picnic going on, not 40 feet from our windows.

But we were actually both tired enough to fall asleep in spite of the yelling.

Once we checked into the hotel, we kind of jointly decided to just spend the rest of the afternoon napping and reading and hanging out on the beach. We had water bottles, and we’d leave again for dinner, but just spent the time together that afternoon.

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Andrew had started reading Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin – the first book in his fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. I brought along a history book I had borrowed from my dad – A Life Wild and Perilous: Mountain Men and the Paths to the Pacific by Robert M. Utley. Something about reading about beaver trapping and exploring the Rockies just seemed right for this trip to Big Bear. Plus, part of the chapters I read on Sunday included Jedediah Smith stumbling upon the San Bernardino Mountains …. Exactly where we were almost 200 years later.

I love history.

For dinner we decided to just walk the few blocks into ‘The Village’ … or rather, near The Village. Kam recommended we eat at Nottingham – the restaurant right next to The Robinhood Resort where she stayed last time she was there. We got there well before sunset and were seated out on the patio.

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Andrew, miracle of miracles, did NOT get tacos. He did get fish, though – his other theme for the weekend. Mango Ahi salad and I got stuffed salmon, with veggies and mashed potatoes. YUM. Andrew also ordered a big beer – and when he drinks he gets chatty. That dinner date was so much fun just because Andrew was so chatty!

We talked about my quitting my job, and his plans for his freelance and what is going on with his family and what I remembered about the last time I had come to Big Bear. I love being married to my best friend, for sure.

Coffee and mud pie for dessert…. And then a lovely walk home in the dusk.

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Once we got back to the hotel it was basically dark and quiet …. But not yet too late. So we walked down to the beach, sat in one of the lounge chairs the hotel had supplied there and talked some more. Bats swooping overhead, nearby houses all lit up and reflected in the lake. It really is a gorgeous place.

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According to my iPhone app, thunderstorms were in the forecast for Sunday, so we didn’t plan on doing anything special. In fact, I was almost hoping it WOULD thunder and rain because A) I love storms and B ) That way we wouldn’t have to make any decisions about where to hike or whether or not to spend money horseback riding.

Saturday night we went to bed early-ish with no plans to get up at any specific time on Sunday. The best kind of vacation.

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Big Bear weekend away (part 1)

Andrew had a month off work this summer – that corresponds exactly with the month that I’m not allowed to take time off from my job. So there goes any vacation plans we might have had.

Instead, I resolved that we would do a little weekend getaway – we live in Southern California, after all. There are endless options for weekend vacations.

By the time Andrew knew for sure which weekend would work for him, it was already a couple weeks before. I had originally hoped we could have rented a beach-town condo or similar on the central coast and had Christian and Avalon come meet us. But of course, by the time I started looking everything was either WAY out of our price range or booked up.

Sad. So what are some other non-beach options? We eventually narrowed it down to Palm Springs and Big Bear. Since we had already been to Palm Springs (a couple years ago) and since it was bound to be 140 degrees or something equally ridiculous, we decided on Big Bear.

Andrew hadn’t ever been, and I hadn’t been since 1998 or so – with the high school group with my church. I should dig out those photos!

I had solicited ideas on Twitter and Facebook and several people recommended Big Bear, and one even provided a specific hotel recommendation. My friend Kam has been to Big Bear several times and gave me some more ideas….. But after a little bit of research, I was able to book a little studio private cabin basically right on the lake for less than a hotel room elsewhere.

Deal city!

So I made sure Andrew KNEW without a doubt which days I had booked us rooms for (he’s not great with dates), and then started daydreaming about how we would spend our weekend. I didn’t do a whole lot of research. It’s not as if Big Bear was high on my list of places to visit because of such and such. I just figured we’d hike or maybe do something a little more involved like kayaking or so. But no definite plans.

Which honestly was kind of nice. All of our past vacations I have WAY planned to the hour. And loved all of them (Italy, Scotland, etc). But this weekend-away was not necessarily going to be like that. It was just a weekend to be together away from home.

The night before we left, I was at work and Andrew did a little bit of research into any places around town that might be haunted. Because that is ALWAYS a fun touristy thing to do. He also looked at some other options – kayaking, horseback riding, fishing.

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We left home Saturday morning around 8a or so. As per our tradition, we treated ourselves to Starbucks on the way out of town. Big Bear is about 2.5 hours away, and we spent the morning listening to Marc Maron’s WTF podcast.

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I had no idea that Big Bear was ON the mountain range. We got into the San Bernardino National Forest and started climbing the windy switch-back road up the mountain. Slowly, of course, and stopped once to take in the view from the shoulder. But just kept climbing and climbing. I guess I assumed Big Bear was in a valley on the other side of the mountain, but no. It was created actually as a reservoir with a dam at one end. So we climbed the mountain, rounded the corner and there it was.

From Wikipedia:

Big Bear Lake is a reservoir in the San Bernardino Mountains, in San Bernardino County, California, United States. At a surface elevation of 6,750 ft (2,060 m), it has an east-west length of approximately 7 miles (11.2 km) and is approximately 2.5 miles (4 km) at its widest measurement, though the lake’s width mostly averages a little more than 1 mile (1.6 km). These approximations are based on the lake having an optimum retainable water level. At dam’s end Big Bear measures its deepest water at 72 feet (22 m). It is a completely snow-fed lake, having no other means of tributary or mechanical replenishment.

We got to Big Bear around 11:30a or so, which was too early to check into the hotel, so we ‘Yelp’d’ some restaurants nearby.

When we got into town, we drove around the lake a little bit, just to see what there was to see and get our bearings in the area. We stopped by Vons to get some water bottles – since we both pretty much only drink water and especially if we were going to go on a hike.

I noticed several places to pull off and park, but they all required an “Adventure Pass”. We came across the Big Bear Discovery Center where we were able to pick up a couple maps of the area and an Adventure Pass for parking. We bought the Annual Pass, so now we need to go visit other National Parks so our $35 doesn’t go to waste!

I don’t know what it is about being in the outdoors or the mountains like that, but I was totally craving a burger. A nice, cheesy, home-style burger. We found a parking spot near Teddy Bear Restaurant and went there for lunch.

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Fun little sidenote: We were seated out on the patio for lunch, and the family at the table next to ours was debating politics and the validity of the Electoral College. And by “family” I mean parents and a 14-ish year old and an 11-ish year old. I LOVE that!

I got my burger – exactly what I wanted – and Andrew ordered tacos. He always orders tacos. If there are tacos on the menu he has to have them. I don’t really get it, but if he wants to have tacos I’m not going to stop him.

Turns out he should not have gotten the tacos. No cilantro, I think the meat was mixed with scrambled egg. Not really his thing at all.

But now I feel like I have to make a mini scrapbook about all the places Andrew has eaten tacos.

Next up: hiking and our hotel!

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Andrew and Liz’s Malibu hike

The week that Liz was in town, Andrew actually had several days off!

That Monday the 2 of them decided to go hiking – they went to Malibu so Liz could visit the beach as well.

And Andrew, bless his heart, thought to bring me back the trail map so I could include it in my Project Life spread for that week. That guy must love me.

They hiked part of the Ocean View Trail (near the bottom of this image below)…. and at one point ran down a hill.

Then for the rest of the week, both Liz and Andrew ACHED! Especially their shins, I think, from running full speed down a hill!

Andrew loves hiking (and I do not), so I think it was nice for him to have a new hiking partner for a day!

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Seeing our favorite people in San Francisco

Andrew made plans to see some of his friends play a concert the first weekend of December.

Of course, this concert was in San Francisco.

Only Andrew would look at the calendar, see he has about 48 hours off of work and turn that into a quick trip to visit friends!

We left L.A. early early Saturday morning for the drive up the middle of California … We listened to the second half of Tina Fey’s Bossypants audio book, some podcasts and a couple CDs… and reached C&A’s apartment in Oakland just about lunch time!

Which, really, is just a perfect excuse for Andrew to get to try yet another Mexican restaurant.

He’s pretty easy to please :)

With a free Saturday afternoon, we actually went into San Francisco-proper to visit the Bazaar Bizarre - a holiday craft fair with booths full of handmade jewelry, homegoods and more.

Andrew and I had already finished the bulk of our Christmas shopping so we didn’t end up picking anything up, but Avalon found earrings for herself :)

After the Bazaar, it was off to Trader Joe’s to pick up dinner ….

I love visiting Christian and Avalon because they are just so easy. They cook for us in their home (yum!) and we play video games or cards and just talk.

So easy and relaxing and just like being at home ….

except someone else is cooking and cleaning…

After dinner (and Shang-hai), Andrew left to go to the concert …. I stayed home w/ C&A and got badly beaten at Tetris ….

Also, realized my eyes are getting BAD and I need glasses, but I can only *partly* blame my poor playing on my eyesight …

Sunday morning and it was time to go home!

Christian was finishing up his semester and had a group-project-meeting around noon, so we had time to go out to breakfast early before we headed out of town ….

I love the way C&A decorate…. I need to find big mirrors like this for our home….

Another long drive home filled with podcasts and music ….. But we got home early enough to have dinner together at home and just relax the rest of the night….

Traveling with Andrew is one of my favorite things ever – no matter where we’re going ….

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Autumn tradition: Corn maze

One of my favorite newer Autumn traditions has been visiting a corn maze!!

This is something neither Andrew nor I did growing up, but when we lived in Arizona, Michelle introduced us to the wonder and glory of navigating a corn maze after dark …

This year, we returned to Pierce College with Fernando and Jessica …. except this time on a Saturday night.

First to Fab Dogs for dinner, and then we ended up getting to the actual Halloween Harvest Festival a little before 9p (after stopping for cash AND having to park miles away).

Once we FINALLY got there …. this was the line..

Correction: This was TWO lines of equally ridiculous length …

So, we had to wait about … 30 minutes? 45? maybe longer, I’ve blocked it from my memory….. Just to buy tickets to get in.

Finally in … Just before 10p sometime.

In addition to the corn MAZE … there is also a haunted corn … path (we did this last year), 2 haunted-house type places, a petting zoo, crafts and (of course) a pumpkin patch.

For whatever reason, the line to do the haunted corn path was looooong. Even though it’s not so good.

Luckily for us, we seem to be the only ones who know that. There was no line whatsoever for the actual MAZE…

If you’ve never done a corn maze … I should tell you: they GIVE you a map. There maze is set up as some sort of picture/creature/etc with check points throughout. They give everyone a little map (maybe about 4×6) and the idea is to punch your map with the hole-punch provided at each check-point.

For whatever reason, when we used to go with Michelle we would always forget to bring a flashlight. …. And, yes, it’s less scary with a flashlight, but there’s no way to actually read your map w/o one.

Unless, you WANT to get lost in the dark in a corn maze…. I mean, I’ve seen Children of the Corn, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre and all those other movies that involve middle-of-nowhere fields … I’m glad Andrew remembered the flashlight this time.

Besides, having just that spot of light makes for some fun photos (without using the flash on the camera)….

Also helpful?

I am EXCELLENT at ‘Corn Maze’ … . Or, rather, I am excellent at reading a nonsensical map in the dark.

We didn’t really get lost at all…. .Ok, maybe my excellence took all the fun out of it (for Andrew at least), but I led the charge and got us to all the check points …

Do you think corn-maze-skills translate into any real-world skills?

Jessica pulled up her Pandora app on her phone and started playing some John Carpenter soundtrack while we wandered around in the dark …. It was that perfect little extra touch :)

(blurry, but still spooky…. after all, what do you expect in the dark?)

after soaring through the corn maze with flying colors (no prize for being awesome, though) … we wandered around a bit more.

Most of the ‘exhibits’ or activities, or whatever you would call them were closed since it was so late ….

…. but we still got to feed a 4-horned sheep (goat? Just realized I have no idea)…

And got the best cotton candy deal ever.

2 for $5 …. and they handed me this one and I just about laughed out loud.

$2.50 for cotton candy twice the size of my head?? Yes please!

Yep, corn maze has GOT to be an autumn tradition from now on … tooo much fun!

You can view more photos and purchase prints here: 2011 Pierce College corn maze

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Saturday afternoon in La Jolla

My mom is always finding some kind of travel deal, so about a week ago she and my dad came out to La Jolla where they had a free room at a hotel.

Deal city.

Andrew and I drove down on the Saturday to spend the afternoon and evening with them…

Time for the beach and dinner and home again (2.5 hour drive each way).

La Jolla is just so pretty. Everywhere you look.

 

 

 

There’s a small beach down there (right by downtown), where harbor seals hang out.

The photo above? all those people are all of 15 feet away from the seals in the photo below.

That little guy (below) facing toward the camera got pretty stressed and agitated by having humans so close by …. Poor thing.

 

(handsome)

See? He hobbled his little legless, armless body around driving people away.

Seriously felt bad.

The lifeguard (or someone) got on a bullhorn to say “Stay away from the seals” but A) you couldn’t really hear her unless you were already away from the seals and B) um, yea, maybe she shouldn’t have let people on the beach in the first place?

 

 

The weather at the beach was pretty gorgeous – as long as there was a breeze going. I got awfully hot in the sun.

Andrew and I bought a beach umbrella a few weeks for my delicate skin :)

 

 

 

Below: This is an ‘underwater park’ where people come to snorkel and all the sea life below the surface is protected…. Can’t wait to come back w/ snorkeling gear!

Just a bit beyond the underwater park was this rock of sea lions.

You can see the big guy (2 photos down) corralling his harem … and barking his sea lion bark incessantly.

Bossy guy, for sure!

 

Once the sun started its way down, we set off to find some food …. Something not too expensive, not to crowded (on a Saturday night) and with seafood (preferably).

The Spot was a pretty good choice, and we got to sit by this BIG open window (which was *almost* like sitting outside) …

cute cute.

Then ice cream, watching emergency vehicles treat a woman (barely) hit by a car), and the long drive home.

Andrew and I love getting out of town when we can, even if just for half a day …..

View the full gallery and purchase prints here: La Jolla with the Hanns

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Schooner or Later

Andrew and his co-workers watch Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives during their lunch …. One of the great things about living in Los Angeles is so many of these well-known foodie places are within driving distance.

One of the ones from that show – Schooner or Later – is down south of us, not far from where Kaitlin and Joe live …

One Sunday morning recently we drove down for brunch with Kaitlin, Joe, Chris, Chris’s girlfriend Kahla, Kahla’s mom and some more of their friends …

Schooner or Later is pretty cute …. it’s right on the marina and there’s a dock specifically for Schooner or Later guests …

The *thing* to get there is a SCHOONER of beer (or Bloody Mary) … and The Mess.

So (obviously) that’s what we got!

Good diner food (I kind of love diner food in general) … .but not really worth the nearly 2 hour wait we had.

Oh well.

Breakfast is always fun!

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Hann fam at the Stand

When my family is in town all I want to do is take them to all the good food places we visit…..

So after visiting LA Renegade, Andrew and I finagled a trip to The Stand on Ventura.

mmm …. the pickles are the best … hard to tell if my dad is having a good time or not, though …

Thus ends Christmas with my family …..  we watched some DVDs and played some games Sunday night and then they left Monday morning …..

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Los Angeles Renegade Craft Fair

For whatever reason, the weekend my parents were in town, Los Angeles FORGOT that it was December….

That Sunday (mid-way through December) it was something absurd like 85 degrees out. Yuck. I am not a fan of heat.

But, since it was “so nice outside” (my mother’s words) we thought we should all go DO something as a family. Outdoors. In the heat.

After a couple suggestions, we settled on the Los Angeles Holiday Renegade craft fair – which I had wanted to go to but didn’t plan on due to the presence of family in town.

View more photos from the event here (not mine)

We arrived a little after lunch time and immediately got in line for some Kogi (Korean BBQ) tacos (yum!)

Renegade was at a Los Angeles park (with the skyline in the background) that would have been awesome if the weather had been cooler. With so much sun, it really would have been nice if they had chosen a park with trees.

Andrew and I were pretty much done with our Christmas shopping by this time, and I didn’t really have any money set aside to spend (even though I could have easily found a TON to buy) …. so we kind of just browsed, window-shopped and got ideas for our own projects to make….

Like these owl pillows – Andrew thought they would go GREAT with our couch. Cute, no?

We found this amazingly adorable octopus bookend.

Andrew thinks he could make one. We’ll see.

Oooh … one of my favorite booths – and one I would have gladly spent money at had I had it – was ErinZam’s collection of handmade/handbound books. Love.

She even sold tutorials so you could try your hand at making one (droplet.etsy.com)

Sad her etsy shop is closed at the moment….

Since Andrew and I weren’t really there to spend money, we found a shady spot to hangout, play Angry Birds, and wait for the others.

Kevin came walking up with bags of stuff for his girlfriend.

And none for me. Sad.

And then off to dinner …. Andrew and I took them to one of our favorite SF Valley places….

(to be continued)

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My idea of Heaven

Last week Andrew and I made a trip down to Burbank for a little Christmas shopping …. We stopped by IKEA and the $1 bookstore to browse.

The $1 bookstore selection was a bit disappointing – the price point makes up for it, though.

Since we were looking for some Hemingway for Kevin, Andrew suggested we go across the street to the other used bookstore in the area. Still used books but about 1/2 the cover prices (vs. only $1).

It’s called ‘Movie World’ (why? I have no idea) …. and it pretty much looks like my idea of heaven ….

Bookshelves piled feet (and feet) above your head, more books piled on the floor (up to your knees), and SUCH an amazing selection … I found *exactly* what I was looking for. And then some.

For my birthday, Andrew’s going to take me back there and let me SWIM in all those books!

*please excuse the photo quality – we were just running errands so the only camera I had on me was the iPhone*

(This is the “cashier” … see that shoulder? Yea, exactly. This is his “counter”)

I can’t WAIT to go back!

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Pierce College pumpkin patch

Ah…. pumpkin patches…

Last year we went to Lombardi Ranch … this year – there’s a pumpkin patch just almost down the street from us.

Pierce College (a local community college) has an agricultural program, with a corn field, strawberries and all … Turns out they also do a pumpkin patch in the fall.

Andrew and I went down in the afternoon to meet Fernando and Jessica for some pumpkining and corn mazing …

But we decided to go to dinner and take some time so it would be dark when we did the corn maze.

Because a corn maze in the daylight is just not the same thing.

Man oh man the food smelled good. Between the kettle corn and the other goods …. yum!

In addition to the corn maze, they had all kinds of other to dos, rides, etc. A petting zoo, a haunted house, lots of kids rides, and even this little set up where you could practice milking a cow.

Unfortunately, by the time we got there, the cow was bone dry.

Oh well.

Next time. :)

Here’s the thing about the Pierce College corn mazes …. $12 per person. Not cheap.

So we decided to do the ‘Creatures in the Corn’ scary trail – not the corn MAZE (that would have cost another $12) …

It’s not a maze. It’s just a trail with “actors” around every corner trying to scare us….

Doing an OK job.

And then about 2/3rds of the way through the “monsters” etc tried to tell us to hurry up, that we were going too slow.

How obnoxious!

I paid $12 for a 10 min walk? And you want me to hurry on this dark, uneven ground?

Annoying.

(thanks Fernando for taking this of us!)

Andrew decided to get a pumpkin. ….. I’m not really sure what he’s planning on doing with it…..

You should ask him.

Happy October!

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