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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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.



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


Leo Carrillo with Lori

Sunday morning when Lori was in town, Andrew also had off, so we brainstormed an activity that we could do together…

Enter: Sunday morning beach visit.

Andrew and I really enjoy going to the beach early on a weekend morning … before the bulk of the people get there.

This particular morning was *extremely* overcast and foggy ….

We definitely needed sweaters.

Which is pretty much my favorite beach weather.

We brought some fruit and books and just relaxed for an hour or so ….

Since we’ve gotten our iPhones, Andrew has been playing with various audio-related apps.

He climbed down the cliff a ways and recorded “field recordings” of the waves/etc on his phone.

That boy is the coolest. I think Andrew is just so interesting ….

Nearby was a man fishing off the rocks. ….. stalked by a seagull.

The tide came in while we were there ….

And as we were leaving ….

Going North on PCH was what appeared to be a race. Lambourghini race.

It was so strange.

These hot-shot muscle cars speeding up a narrow coastal highway, in between Toyotas and Hondas and all ….

Then on to lunch at Jim’s Fallbrook Market. I need to blog about that place.

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SoCal Vignettes : Elephant Seals

{slightly more Central than Southern California on our trip New Year’s Eve}

Learn more from Friends of the Elephant Seal

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Anniversary Day at the beach

As you may have noticed, our 4th anniversary was Nov 6 (a Friday) – and we both worked that day … we did, however, both have Sunday off together …which we spent doing our favorite things….

lie around the house drinking coffee and watching a movie … then bed-shopping …. then Malibu at sunset … then dinner with the Schuberts for Joe’s bday (which also happens to be Nov 6)…

The weekend before, Andrew had gone to this same beach around the same time of day with Michael and Christina … and he was soo excited to go with me ….

to see the sea anenomes …

to catch crabs with his shoe …

to enjoy the beach sunset together ….

He’s such a sweet boy.

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A quick by Starbucks for a warm-up (it was much colder at the beach than we expected), then on to dinner with the family :

Pretty much the best Sunday.


Snorkeling with Sharks at La Jolla Shores

The Sunday of Labor Day weekend we were down in San Diego specifically to go snorkeling with leopard sharks with Jamie and Zack and the rest of the Haugens

Snorkeling. With. Leopard. Sharks.

Check out this blog post by photographer Chris Keeney for photos and video.

Some of my friends at work were a bit concerned for our safety. They thought that I would get cornered by the sharks and they’d gang up on me in their attack.

Never you fear. We survived unscathed.

Early(ish) Sunday morning we caravaned to La Jolla Shores, rented snorkeling equipment and found some (not terrible) parking.

There is a small cement walkway down to the beach between a hotel and a home …. and as soon as we got there we noticed that the tide was high – all the way up to the building.


No sandy beach to relax, no sandy beach to leave your towel/camera/water bottle/etc.

The hotel has a restaurant RIGHT on the beach and luckily had a wide window ledge with room for the towels/camera/etc.


I was feeling a bit sick that weekend, so I opted not to go snorkeling …. instead I stood in the shade with Jay, talked, laughed, people-watched, took photos and babysat everyone’s stuff … .

It was a good morning …



Andrew in his rented gear, heading out:









(look at this gorgeous house, with the room jutting out OVER the water!)




It is just as well that I didn’t rent equipment and go snorkeling, because they weren’t really able to see anything. The movement of the waves gave several people motion sickness …. and the water was pretty choppy and cloudy so no one saw any sharks.

Andrew did see a ray, though … a couple feet across he said . …. He told me that he wanted to pet it but then thought that maybe that wasn’t such a good idea.

And of course, everyone had to tell him that is how Steve Irwin died (kind of).

Andrew did tell me later that it was the ray that stole his snorkeling gear.

Yup, Andrew lost his rented gear. On his way back in, a wave hit him in just the right way to pull his mask and such off and away.

He looked fruitlessly for awhile but finally gave up….


For those who don’t know, Michael Haugen is a maniac. Sunday morning he got up before everyone and went on a 34 mile bike ride (*only* 34 miles. He originally planned on 40). … then, once we got there and realized sharks would be hard to find, Michael went for a swim. He says all the way over to those cliffs (that look like they are inaccessible any other way). He told me he snorkeled there a bit and tried to catch fish with his hands.


Then he swam back.




Even though we didn’t see any sharks, it was still a great morning in San Diego.

And the good news is the sharks are supposed to do this every year! We might try to buy ourselves some snorkel gear and go back next year or the year after …

View the gallery and purchase prints: 2009.09.06 Snorkeling with sharks – La Jolla Shores


Haugen Family in Del Mar, CA

Labor Day weekend we invited ourselves to hang out with the Haugens in San Diego.

As soon as Andrew got off work Saturday afternoon we hopped in the car and drove down to Del Mar.

Sharon’s brother currently owns a beach house there. He is always so nice and the family was staying at the beach house while they were in town.

And we crashed it.

With the Haugens’ permission.

This beach house is my idea of fantastic, because it is not RIGHT on the sand (i.e. within sound distance of the drunk beach-goers), but only across a small little street and a total of maybe 20-30 yards from the front door of the beach house to the sand.


Pictures to come.

The whole way down there, Andrew kept asking me if I thought that Kim and Jed were bringing their cocker spaniel, Myla … He asked several times. Then, as soon as we arrived, we knocked on the door and heard a dog bark.

We got there we sat and talked with Sharon a bit, and then she and I went to watch the sunset on the beach (met Michael there) … .





We went back Jed and Jay and Jamie had cut up some salmon for sushi-style eating … .while Kim was making potatoes and bread for dinner …

And Jay started up the grill.

Almost singed his eyebrows off and we could smell the gas from about 8 feet away.

But successfully started the grill with no *extra* fires …





Jamie got it in her head that she wanted frozen yogurt, so at about 10p we all caravaned to Golden Spoon. … (on the way back home, we passed a smaller, less busy, more charactered yogurt place – but oh well).




Later that night we went for a long walk on the beach – very dark and uncrowded and perfect, gorgeous weather … And we actually saw fireworks! Someone was lighting them on the beach, right in front of us … . so cool but I didn’t have my camera.

Such a fun Saturday night. We didn’t get to bed until after midnight but went right to bed to get up early Sunday morning …. photos to come!

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