Sunday, November 22, 2015

Paris and Thanksgiving

In the aftermath of the attack on France and around the World on November 13th

I couldn't really peg why the attack on Paris had me so heartbroken, it felt personal despite me being not even a lick of French and living miles away in L.A. The Charlie Hebro attack was just as malicious and daily attacks in Israel are just as heartbreaking to me. Then I figured it out, perhaps the attack on Paris felt too real for me, because I had walked the very streets mentioned on the news and had been to one too many concerts this past year that everything combined just felt slighted in a way that said "it could have been you". 
Paris had been on my mind all week prior to the attack on the 13th, because only 4 years ago I had been finalizing my plans to be in Paris after having a faux thanksgiving with my British friends and classmates in London. I had always wanted to go to Paris and knew that while studying abroad in London it was one of the places I HAD to see before returning home. Luckily I found friends at the university I was studying at who felt the same way and we began planning our trip.

The atmosphere of Paris was just like a regular city upon our arrival via the Chunnel, full of people and noise. But at night the stores and other places would close at dark, and only the restaurants and cafes would be open with the light of the Eiffel Tower shinning brightest in the sky. 

So upon hearing the tragedy on the news and seeing what was done to shatter the normally tranquil atmosphere of Paris, my heart broke. Innocent lives were lost for a hateful purpose, peace was destroyed to spread violence and fear. The fact that I remember my time there so vividly sitting in cafes drinking in the people and city only burned in the idea it could have been you or your friends that where hurt. 

Reality is no place on earth is completely safe from violence, hate or death, true fact is I've been in car accidents, one just outside my own house. But Life is Life and it's still worth living to it's fullest everywhere and anywhere. I still have places to go and people to see, but I'll never forget and will always be thankful for the places I've traveled to and the impact they've had on me as a person. 
Arc de Triumph
Joan of Arc
Notre Dame Cathedral
Pont des Arts Bridge

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Oh, To Have A Fall!

This past weekend me and the class I help out in took a field trip to a pumpkin patch. In SoCal Fall is hard to notice since we don't have a weather change. The official day of Fall on the calendar is my birthday September 23rd, but in SoCal it's really marked by the release of the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks. 
Anyways, the pumpkin patch is one of my favorite places to visit this time of year, because I can pretend it's Fall with out the threat of winter on the horizon. Except for the fact it was blazing hot this past weekend while we were tramping around looking for the perfect pumpkins the field trip was great. The girls had so much fun and I had a blast taking shots of pumpkin after pumpkin. 
If you've never been to a pumpkin patch I'd highly suggest you do. They usually have more attractions than just grabbing a pumpkin and that makes the place worth the money and time. So try to look for a place with not just pumpkins available, see if they have tractor rides or a corn maze too. The corn maze is fun, I just wouldn't venture inside one alone in the dark. 

So have a ball y'all while it's still Fall!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sky Pics Galore

Living in L.A. you can never really tell what the weather will be like. Generally we count on it being all Sunshine and clear sky, but occasionally we do get bouts of *Dun, Dun, Dun . . . RAIN! We shiver at the thought! Dramatics aside when the atmosphere becomes heavy with a forecast other than just sun the SoCal sky always looks quite beautiful. Sometimes it looks threatening but most of the time we can all just gawk at its brilliant colors and clouds. Oh and perhaps keep our umbrellas on hand just in case the sky does decide to sprinkle on us, we do need the water after all.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Concerts and Summer Ending

 My summer is basically at an end, since both my jobs run on the calendars of schools. However, before my "time off" or at least my siblings time off drew to a close, we went to a few concerts. Two concerts were planned since the beginning of this year, so waiting for them felt like ages. Neither venue allowed professional cameras and since we barely got tickets my pics weren't the best. 

Now my pictures may not have been the best, but it's the memories of the concerts that still put a smile to my face. The first concert was Imagine Dragons "Smoke + Mirrors" Tour performed at the forum. The place was smaller but we where still far off. The band was great live even with the main singer saying he was sick he skated my favorite songs. There is just something amazing about hearing your favorite songs live directly from the band themselves that just makes the music so real. The whole concert was like that and the opening acts set the stage perfectly, so the whole night was rocking awesome.  

Then there was the second concert which can be summarized in one word . . . Epic! My sister and I decided to grab some high up there seats in the Staples Center to see Taylor Swift on her 1989 World Tour. I figured we should see her while she is IT and at the height of her career, for now. Anyways, I'm so glad we grabbed those tickets when we did, because they were about twice the amount by the time the concert came around. It didn't help she started to have guests pop-in almost every concert and when she got to L.A. expectations were super high, it is Los Angeles where the stars live. 

So luck was greatly on our side, because we were there on the last night in L.A. She not only brought up Selena Gomez to sing her latest hit, then out of nowhere Taylor introduced Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) from FRIENDS to sing "Smelly Cat." If our minds couldn't be blow anymore she later had one more surprise named . . . Justin Timberlake! That right there made the night more than I could handle and I totally became screaming fan girl. 

To say Taylor Swift made our summer is putting it lightly and other concerts will be hard to top that nights experience. Nevertheless, I will still venture out to concerts and will always remember this summer as being the summer of awesome concerts.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Viva Las Vegas

My baby brother turned 18 this past weekend, I know that means he is no longer a baby BUT he will always be MY baby brother. Anyways for his special bday my family threw him a Vegas themed party because he and his friends love playing poker.
Poker, and gambling in general, is something I try to avoid mainly because I hate just throwing money away. I'd rather save it for a trip or shoes, but mostly for a trip to somewhere. I always have a new place to go on my mind or heart.
So in planning this party I got to thinking about all my Vegas trips and realized I'd been about 13 times. And each time I've been its definitely been shall I say interesting. The one thing I can say for Vegas is its never boring and you will always leave the city with a new memory and story, trust me.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Spur of the Moment Beach Trips

Living in SoCal has many benefits, one huge plus is our numerous beaches and weather year round that allows us to visit said beaches when the time is right. So when your day is open and then your family decides to go for a spur of the moment trip to the beach you don't really think you just go. Napping, reading and swimming at the beach is all the fun in the sun we do as a family.  
Truthfully California beaches aren't the best in the world BUT they definitely are not the worst. My family usually stay up in Sunset and Seal beach area away from the more popular beaches like Huntington or Bolsa Chica. Each are good but for different reasons. Huntington has the pier and the promenade with great restaurants. Then there's Bolsa Chica where you can build awesome campfires on the beach to cook s'mores! And if you happen to have an R.V. , you can even camp there. There are more beautiful and fun beaches up the coast but those I'll save for another post.
Basically in the end no matter which beach you choose to spend your leisure time at you'll find the same things: sand, sun, and sea.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Passing By

After finally watching the Imitation Game and binge watching Doctor Who, I couldn't help but recall my time in London. I loved being able to spend my nights outs with my new friends on the streets of London exploring and living like regular Londoners. It was those nights out when we just wandered with nothing particularly planned that became truly memorable. London is just that kind of city, open to all and just asking for you to get lost in it.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Dew You See?

Lately I've been captivated by dew. It's such a simple everyday wonder but so fascinating. I love going to work and looking for the water droplets amongst the grass, plants and flowers. I've even begun to find the dew trapped in spiders webs. Taking the time to stop and look for something like dew on a bright summer morning has become my new morning ritual. So I will definitely be amassing many photos and will share them as they come along. Now I encourage you to find something that makes you stop and marvel, even if it is something as simple as dew.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

San Francisco Memories

 Recently a couple friends of mine have traveled to San Francisco, which made me in turn reflect back on my trip through the bay area. I had never been in San Fran before, but last spring break my family did a coastal trip up to San Fran. The weather was gloomy going in but the forecast turned around the very next day and the rest of the time we were there was filled with wonderful weather. I even got wind burned. Going from Pier 40 where we stayed down to Pier 1 was an adventure, as we literally got lost. In getting lost we made many memories that include inside jokes and a favorite dish from a hole in the wall Chinese restaurant, that till this day is still the best Chinese food we've ever tasted. So if you get a chance try getting lost in San Fran you may find something fun.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Backyard S'Mores

It's that awesome time of the year in SoCal where the sun sets really late into the evening and the weather stays warm into the night making the moment perfect for a backyard BBQ and Fire-pits. A couple of my friends have fire pits in their backyards and it's always a great time when we light them up and gather round to make some good 'ol s'mores. Roasting marshmallows is a task best done without a camera in hand, so I took a few shots before I could accidentally drop my phone in the fire like a proper phone newb and thought I'd share them. Next s'more fun will definitely be at the beach, but in a quick pinch a backyard fire-pit is always a fun alternative. Plus the big upside is lifeguards won't come by and kick you out at a certain time. When you're at home you can stay out till late at night, as long as your neighbors don't mind your ruckus.