Long live summer

Long Live Summer

The internet would have you believe that summer is over.

Fall fashion this! Pumpkin spice lattes that! they say. In fact, there are still three weeks and some change until the autumn equinox, and I’d prefer not to rush things.

Never mind that I went back to school this week (my last first day of school ever) or that it’s Labor Day weekend. Never mind that I, too, enjoy all the things that make fall fall. (Except pumpkin spice lattes. I just can’t get on that train.) It’s still technically summer. Long live summer.

These three short months of the year have always been my favorite, and it’s no different now that I live in Southern California. The season holds a certain kind of magic that doesn’t exist the rest of the year.

In recognition of the fact that it is still indeed summer, I plan on doing all of the following:

Going for long walks and bike rides at sunset. Nothing like soaking up the last rays of sunlight while walking around the neighborhood. My apartment doesn’t get much natural light past 5 p.m. these days, so late-afternoon walks make the days last longer.

Eating al fresco. Whether picnicking or hitting up the fish taco stand up the street, I love eating outside and people-watching.

Whipping up piña coladas. Actually, John is the blended beverage expert, so that task is delegated to him. I’ll be sure to offer up a salud.

Taking a day trip. Hopping in the car to explore a new (or old favorite) spot is the epitome of summertime adventures. You can find me at the beach on the weekend.

Checking things off my to-do list. The closet I’ve been meaning to clean out? That recipe I’ve been wanting to try? There’s no better time to do all the little things that need to get done. I like my summers productive as much as I like them leisurely.

So for all you fall lovers, be patient.

You’ll have your chunky-knit sweaters and color-changing leaves soon. (When you do, will you send some to L.A.? At some point, I’ll begin to crave them.) But for now, enjoy the summer. Don’t rush it out the door.

How will you enjoy these last few weeks of summer? Have you made the most of the season?

 

Through the Lens: photos from July

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Summer is flying by.

I know, who wants to hear that? But even though I’m a little sad July is coming to a close, I’m really looking forward to August. I’m flying home for the first time since Christmas, my BFF and college roomie is coming to L.A. for a visit, and then I kick off my second year of grad school. It’ll be a busy month for sure, and I plan to soak it up before another crazy semester begins.

But right now, let’s have one last look at July, shall we? There were quite a few highlights.

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I cannot get enough of the beach. Even though it’s often a stressful, longer-than-it-should-be drive to the coast, it’s always worth the effort of getting there. Sunsets on the beach are where it’s at.

And how did I manage to snap the following photo of Obama? Journalism has its perks…

obama

President Obama was in town for about 24 hours, and a handful of the Neon Tommy reporters got to cover his LAX arrival, a speech he gave at a college and his departure. I covered his departure, which meant getting cleared by the White House and sitting on the tarmac in the hot sun for hours. All in all, I spent an entire day mostly waiting around for a couple exciting minutes of helicopters flying the president in, him walking from the helicopter to Air Force One and giving us a little wave before taking off again. See for yourself.

helicopter-hovering helicopter-landing air-force-one AFO-closeup helicopters-planes obama-waving

(He’s looking right at me!)

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Though a lighter picture-taking month overall, July was jam-packed. Even though I’ve been juggling a couple of jobs and a night class, I’ve managed to sneak in plenty of fun, too: watching tons of fireworks with a sweet view from the top of a hill, revisiting a couple of favorite neighborhood spots (it’s hard to be a regular anywhere in this town—too many options!), and celebrating our one-year anniversary of living in L.A.!

And the fun won’t end in August. In fact, I’ve got an open spot for August’s Beer with a Blogger. Who wants to grab a couple of pints with me?!

I loved July—how about you? And what do you have going on next month?

 

 

Visiting the Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica ferris wheel

Do you ever play tourist in your own city or town?

I have. Now, it takes little more effort than walking out the door for me, living in a new city—though there are some weeks when I don’t do anything aside from my apartment-to-school-and-back routine. (A reminder to all: daily monotony will creep in even in your dream locations.)

That said, for the most part, I’ve made adventure a regular part of my routine. John and I are even taking a trip up to San Francisco this weekend, which I’m giddily anticipating. This past weekend, however, it was all about Santa Monica. The Santa Monica Pier, in particular. Usually when we head to the beach, we head straight for the beach. But I wanted to go where the tourists go to people-watch and pretend like I was on vacation.

Santa Monica houses mannequin in window lifeguard

georgian hotel

santa monica memorial python

santa monica pier

under the boardwalkIt was fun splashing under the boardwalk and watching people happily take photos with exotic animals. The crowds are crazy, but the views are worth it.

 

Through the Lens: Photos from November

month in photos: November

Point Mugu beach

It’s always surreal when November transitions into December and the holiday craze kicks into high gear.

It’s especially strange when it’s 72 degrees and sunny. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I was grinning ear to ear when we kicked off November by camping on the beach (see above). Likewise when we wished it farewell on the beach (see last photo).

There were a lot of highlights for me this month. I stepped out of my comfort zone and produced a story for broadcast I was proud of, I had some revelations about money, and I explored more of my new city that I love so dearly. Here are a few of my favorite photos from November:

garden Griffith Park Griffith Park downtown Los Angeles Hollywood sign Griffith Park Griffith Park Observatory Griffith Park

Griffith Park is one of my favorite spots in L.A. I’d been a few times, but never on such a clear day. I didn’t know you could see all the way to Santa Monica (and the ocean!) from the Observatory. John and I hiked around here for a while and soaked up the sun.

We also revisited the old brewery downtown where hundreds of artists-in-residence dwell. We walked by one guy’s studio that was wide open. We stood there peeking in long enough that the artist, Sean Sobczak, welcomed us in and lit everything up:

Sean Sobczak

Brewery Art Walk

We partied afterward in a warehouse. This is the bathroom. I didn’t use it… I just wanted a photo.

DTLA warehouse

double exposure

Last week, we saw Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy from Anchorman at The Grove signing books. We got there just a few minutes before he arrived, and he walked right past us. I could’ve reached out and touched him. (I really wanted the chance to tell him I was the next Veronica Corningstone, but alas, the book signing line was too insanely long.)

Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy

Thanksgiving was truly the highlight of the month. John and I celebrated, just the two of us. Neither one of us had ever cooked a Thanksgiving dinner before, but damn did we make ourselves proud. It made missing our families back home a little easier. (And now we know we’re totally capable of hosting it ourselves!)

candlelight Thanksgiving meal

Since then, I’ve been making the most of my Thanksgiving break. It’s so incredibly nice to have time off from the pressures of school. Yesterday, we headed out to Venice Beach and spent the afternoon strolling the boardwalk, people-watching, and sitting out in the sun. We even changed into our workout clothes and went for a run on the beach and through the canals.

Venice building Venice Venice beach

Of course, next week it immediately kicks back into crazy time at school for me, but there are really only a couple more weeks of that before winter break, if you can believe it. (I can’t.) Next week is the last week of classes before final projects are due, so wish me luck!

There’s so much to look forward to in December, I don’t know where to begin. But seeing family and friends when we go back home for Christmas is at the top of my list.

How about you? What did you love about November? And what are you looking forward to in December?