I’ve spent the morning in a group chat with these lovely ladies and it’s making me miss our adventures. So I’m being a good blogger and sharing the next part of our Los Angeles Vacation/Staycation with the world! The whole world. ;] I made the executive decision practically a million years ago that if our Canadians were coming to town we were going to Palm Springs. Called it. In our planning process Alexis didn’t really get, but I didn’t care, I was up to do whatever on all the other days but I wanted a Palm Springs adventure. I love Palm Springs. And road trips. And the desert.
Back in October when we were in New Jersey Jennie mentioned that she’d never seen the desert… and that just gave me one more excuse to stand by the fact that this was the best idea ever.
So, as we did every day, we surprised Jennie & Meredith with their itineraries and then set off for a vacation within a vacation. Every good adventure starts with lunch at Panera.
We’d scheduled in 2 trips to Yogurtland… but they were all nighttime trips… and with all this crazy running it’s really hard to stay awake in the night time. So we found a Yogurtland on our way.I was the driver, so there aren’t really any road trip pictures, but when we got in to town we made sure to pull over for this. It took us practically all day to get there so we walked around the city a little bit collecting souvenirs for the Canadian kids then we went to dinner and back to the hotel. Best way to relax after an exhausting 3 days of vacation? Legs up the wall. For sure.We stayed at the ACE Hotel, which I adore. Originally my idea was to rent a house, but with 3 night minimum stays and only 6 days of vacation that was just not going to work out. The ACE was perfect.One of my goals this year is to slow down and really shoot for me. And in that goal I’ve started shooting more film, the next few “around the hotel” shots are film shot with Portra 160 processed at RPL.We woke up fairly early Monday morning so we could hurry up and relax. We were at the pool before 9am and stayed until the last possible minute before checking out. It was my favorite. The sun, the pool and an excellent book.After check-out we went shopping and then headed to the middle of nowhere for a quick sunset photoshoot. This is what happens when you’re friends with a photographer.Love her.At this point I was frantically trying to find the sun so everyone could have equally sunny pictures. I failed. But, the mountains behind Meredith are incredible.These are my friends. ♥Meredith is INCREDIBLE!♥On our drive home we stopped for dinner at Slater’s 50/50. It seemed like such a great idea.I can honestly say their food is amazing, and I never, ever want to go there again.
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If I’m being honest when I first signed up to run the half marathon with Team World Vision it was way more about me than it was about the children. That probably sounds awful, but it’s the truth.
I just wanted to do something hard that would push me out of my comfort zone and make me need Jesus.
When I signed up I thought that hard thing was running. Because running is really hard. But I’ve come to realize it’s so much more than that and I need Jesus in so many other ways. I can pretend I can run without Jesus, because I’m incredibly stubborn. So as much as it hurts and is exhausting, running isn’t the hard thing.
This past week God’s been teaching me that I may be able to run 6 miles straight, and that’s really cool, but eradicating the water crisis in Africa isn’t going to happen because I finish the marathon. The difference is going to be made when I get out of my comfort zone and ask for help, raising money means creating a community and depending on people who aren’t me. I’m really great at being independent and getting everything done alone, but no one ever changed the world by themselves.
I need a community of people surrounding me in this journey. Because if I didn’t have a running buddy, I would not get out of bed to train every morning and because this is bigger than just me and if I want to make a difference I need help.
Right now I am
44% 48% to my goal and need to raise $730 $680 to reach my goal, you can partner with me financially by checking out this link. $50 provides clean water for 1 child for life, but every dollar will help end the water crisis in Africa.
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I believe I sent Katie a text message about 30 seconds after getting the initial “WE BOOKED OUR PLANE TICKETS!!!!!” message came through from Jennie & Meredith. For me, this was high on the important things we needed to do during their visit. So I’m glad it gets lumped in with the Best-Day-Ever: Day 3 of the trip. This is part 2, you can scroll down or click here to see part 1. ;]
As a photographer I am very rarely in front of the camera, and the few times I hand my camera off to a friend to take a picture of me… 90% of the time said picture is out of focus or at a really bad angle. It’s hard to get other people to see what I see and take the pictures I want taken. [Control freak much??] For the last several years and trips we have tried SO hard to make group pictures happen, lugging tripods around, doing the camera balancing act on tables, chairs, cars… whatever’s handy, and we always end up with about 2 mediocre full group pictures. And they’re always crooked. Always.
I didn’t want that to be the reality of this trip, so I asked my amazing friend Katie to take pictures of us all together, no tripods, no tables, no car hoods. Just an excellent photographer and a lot of laughing. I don’t even have words to express how beyond happy to have these images. When I finally get through editing the whole trip so many of these are going in frames. ♥
Happy Friday, remember to be IN pictures this weekend.
We started at Coffee Cartel in Redondo Beach… it was very crowded so we tried to squeeze ourselves into this little nook.Then we walked down to the beach for sunset.I just love all of these. They make me want to cry in the best ways. ♥How early is too early to start planning a trip to Canada? Serious question.Yes, I am the mean friend who pulled Alexis into the freezing water with us.No, I do not regret it. ;]Katie, thank you so so SO much for these. So much. ♥
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On a 5ish day vacation is it possible to have favorite days? The answer is yes, yes it is. Day 3 is one of my absolute favorite days. I smiled my way through editing these pictures. I just love it so much.
Let me back track a tiny bit before I start this story and say: I have incredible clients. And it is because of my incredible clients that todays adventure came to pass. Laura & Patrick [who's wedding hasn't been blogged yet because it's going to be featured on a wedding blog soon!!!] had an AMAZING idea for their wedding and in between their ceremony and reception they took their guests on a food tour of their favorite spots in Los Angeles. It was incredible, I can’t wait to show you!! John, at Secret City Tours lead their tour and it was one of the coolest things I have ever been a part of. So before the reception started I got his information and asked hypothetically, if he’d be willing to jump in a minivan and take a car full of people on a tour of DTLA… because I knew some Canadians who were coming to town. He said yes. My mind was blown.
Fast forward to Jennie and Meredith booking their plane tickets to visit and one of the first people Alexis and I reached out to was John at Secret City Tours, more than anything on our list of things to do we wanted to make this tour happen! John agreed to give us a private tour of Downtown LA, and we walked the whole time so he never had to hop in the minivan. ;] It was by far one of the most fun things I have ever done. If you are ever looking for something fun to do in LA hit up one of his tours! He has one coming up later this month called Eat Your Way Through LA: Taco Tour… you should be there!! Like their page on Facebook and you can stay up to date on all the tours he’s running this year!
Not only are the tours food tours, they’re history tours so as we wandered around we were given a history lesson of the city. We started at Union Station.
I love the tiles and the colors of Union Station.Palm trees, for Jennie. ♥Do you know who Antonio Aguilar is?Across the street from Union Station is Olvera Street.And our first stop for food. Taquitos with avocado sauce from Cielito Lindo.Oh my gosh. So good.I haven’t been to Olvera Street a million times, but I’ve been at least 8 or 9 times in my life. I *never* knew there were museums along the street. Never.One of our next stops was the Federal Building Plaza.On the left, that’s John, explaining to us the controversial art instillation in the courtyard of the Federal Building. On the right, Molecule Man. We then made our way through Little Toyko and stopped for lunch at Spitz. I am not an adventurous eater.. and not a foodie by any stretch of the imagination. Secret City Tours may change me.We ordered: fried garbanzos, pita chips & hummus, and a mixed meat donor
kebob.And around the corner we stopped at Mikayawa for Mochi.The Los Angeles Police Building.The LA Times Lobby.Bridge was important news back in the day. ;]The Bradbury Building.Biddy Mason Park.Grand Central Market.Where we made our final food stop… for a pupusa from Sarita’sOh my gosh. So good.Angel’s Flight, which was closed for repair. Boo.The Walt Disney Concert Hall.The Music Center.And one of my favorite spots, Grand Park. If I didn’t know I was going to have to sit in traffic for an hour each way I would take my laptop to Grand Park and work every day.We ended our tour back at Union Station, even though we all wanted the tour to last about 5 more hours we had afternoon plans we needed to get back home for. That adventure will be up on the blog later this week. John, thank you so much for spending the morning with us and taking us on a tour of LA we will not soon forget. I can’t wait until I can make it to another Secret City Tour!
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When planning this trip Alexis and I tried to be sensitive on the first day and not cram too many things into Jennie & Meredith’s first day on our coast… we still ended up forcing them to stay awake for nearly 24 hours, but we tried to take it slow the first day.
Our second day, we showed no mercy. We packed it as full as it could possibly get. The interesting part is some of the things on our list Alexis and I had never done so it really was an adventure for all of us! The morning started with the Friday itinerary out with the coffee. HUGE thank you again to my wonderful and talented friend Jenny who designed and printed the daily itineraries for us, if you’re looking for a graphics designer you NEED to check out her work!
Our first stop was Da Vinci Science. The school plays an important roll in our lives… and it’s magical… and we needed to drop Noah off for school, so a tour seemed like the perfect place to start our day. ;]♥Our next stop was the Santa Monica Pier. Fun fact: there are more people living in the state of California than living in ALL of Canada.Someone got a little worn out running around the school and running around at the beach. Stop #2? Sprinkles Cupcakes in Beverly Hills. I don’t think I have ever walked through Beverly Hills, but when we heard about the Cupcake ATM on Bunheads we immediately added it to our list of must-do’s.The Canadians got cupcakes… the Americans got ice cream. It was hot.Stop #3: The Hollywood Sign. This is another thing I’ve never done having lived in Los Angeles my whole life! I mean, from my house on a clear day I can see the sign but it’s a tiny little speck. I’ve never been *this* close. It was very fun for all of us as we were driving closer, it would be hidden behind buildings for awhile and then we’d turn and be like oh my gosh we’re SO close!! Very exciting.Also, the Hollywood Sign has been on our list for years. YEARS. And just a week or so before Jennie & Meredith came to visit Jennie made a comment that seeing the sign is on her bucket list. Mission accomplished.Next up was the Griffith Observatory. The view of Downtown LA is so beautiful so we decided sunset was the best time for that stop.A few of these images were lovingly stolen from Jennie. It’s nice having another photographer around.♥Then it was nighttime and we gave them a true Los Angeles experience on the way to dinner: rush hour traffic. That wasn’t on the list… but it was bound to happen at some point.Our last stop for the day was La Capilla for dinner.
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