Through the Lens: photos from November

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Oh November, we hardly knew you.

December marks the beginning of the end of a lot of things, including this semester. The homestretch!

Before we get into what December holds, let’s take one last look back at November in photos. Despite my sometimes frazzled state of mind, I did manage to get in a few breathers—including a hike through gorgeous Corral Canyon near the coast. We also camped for a night on a coastal bluff that overlooked the Pacific.

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John and I also spent an entire Saturday walking around DTLA, particularly to check out the amazing architecture and awesome food. Just below is the famous Bradbury building, which has made cameos in tons of movies, including Blade Runner and 500 Days of Summer.

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We also visited Grand Central Market (pictured above) for lunch. We had the best pastrami sandwich of all time at Wexler’s deli. So good.

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Los Angeles, I’m yours.

This month, I’m focusing my energy on, oh just about everything. Final projects, employment for the spring, my upcoming trip home for Christmas (!) and… a few other things I’m forgetting.

What are you getting into in December? Are you already planning for the new year?

Through the Lens: photos from October

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November already? Who signed off on this?

Oh hello, I’m back! Grad school is crazy lately (crazier, rather), but I’m back to this space because I’ve missed it so. It’s hard to step away from the blog, but, you know, priorities. On that note, I’m accepting guest posts to help keep things active around here. I’m particularly interested in posts about travel, feminism, careers and writing. Have an idea? Send it my way!

A little update on life here in L.A.: we’re having fall-like weather (that means highs in the 70s), and I’m already signing up for my final semester of grad school courses. Unreal.

Despite the madness, I still managed to shut the computer and get out for some exploration. (Again, priorities.) Check out these photos from October.

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Have you ever heard of Sunken City? Pictured above is the coastal section of land in San Pedro that in 1929 began sliding away from the coast, taking the road and even a couple of houses with it. Now, it’s a hangout spot for teenagers, graffiti artists and tourists (like us) who enjoy a little harmless trespassing. (Sunken City is blocked off with a fence that has a nice person-sized hole dug underneath to climb through.) It’s a fascinating mix of beautiful ocean views, impressive art and eerie ruins.

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Below, behold: Corg-a-palooza at the Huntington dog beach. ‘Nuff said.

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I died a little. And no, I sadly did not walk away with a corgi. But there were plenty of corgi enthusiasts just like me who were there simply to be spectators. Adorable.

Then, a little more South Bay and beyond exploration, and a hike around Griffith Park to Batman’s original bat cave!

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We kept Halloween local and casual, heading over to a couple of our favorite neighborhood bars.

What did you get into for Halloween? And what are you looking forward to most in November? (It’s finally almost time for the most delicious holiday of the year!)

 

@wittycassiehere Instagram

Through the Lens: photos from September

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I learned two very important things this week.

The first: Never feel guilty about taking some necessary time off. (Letting go of the guilt of not blogging feels really good, it turns out.) The second: Never say you haven’t been sick in a while. (Your throat will feel sore the very next day.)

September was an intense month all around. Not only did I get back in full-swing at school, but L.A. had temps in the 90s and 100s much of the time. Here’s a look at some of the highlights from September in photos, starting with a visit to Playa del Rey.

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The yacht below came chugging into the marina with music blasting and people partying. Its name? “Wet Dream.” Stay classy.

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I also went back to the Arts District to check out a funky flea market with tons of talented artists and vendors. I was easily distracted by murals and puppies.

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Last week, John and I flew home to the East Coast for his brother’s wedding, and we had a blast partying and staying up too late, hence my feeling under the weather. I didn’t get any photos of the wedding that weren’t blurry—mostly, I just enjoyed myself. (It’s pretty sweet being the best man’s date—V.I.P. treatment!) But I did manage to snap a couple of shots in Annapolis and Baltimore. Going home twice in two months was a nice change of pace from my last eight-month stretch. If I could keep up this new track record, living far away from family wouldn’t seem so bad.

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This week, I’m trying to take it easy and shake off this bug. I’ve been reading a lot lately, managing not to kill my basil plant and thinking a lot about spring. I’ll only have a handful of credits left to take for school, so my mind is on employment. (Whoa.)

I’ll be doing more of the same in October, which also happens to be my birthday month. I’ll be turning 25 in a couple of weeks, so I’m deciding what I’d like to do to celebrate. Any suggestions?

That’s all for today—I’ll be less scarce in the next couple of weeks. What are you looking forward to in October?

Through the lens: photos from August

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Why does the week after a long holiday weekend always seem to last longer?

I’m not sure what the deal with that phenomenon is, though I’m gearing up for a long, busy September. But before I do, here’s one last look back at August in photos. I spent most of August soaking up summer, playing tourist around L.A. and going bicoastal to spend some time with family at home.

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These two gorgeous girls are my little sisters, except they’re not so little anymore. When I went home, we took a trip to Oxford, Maryland, the cutest little coastal town. My sisters have spent a lot of time there, and clearly they were in their element longboarding and biking everywhere we went. They gave me a tour of all the (adorable) waterfront homes.

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And when my college roomie/BFF came to visit me here in L.A., we went to all the must-see places in the city, including Malibu, the Griffith Observatory, Hollywood and more.

Processed with VSCOcam with se3 preset observatory capitol-records Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetThis month, I’m starting a new paid internship, going home again briefly for a wedding and hopefully having a little fun between classes and work. One goal I’m really striving for is to find a comfortable work-life balance to manage my time better. Ideally, that will mean good sleep every night (no super late nights!), efficient time logged online and an up-to-date calendar that’ll prevent me from letting anything slip by. Do you have any tips for time management while balancing school, work and life?

Check-in time: What are you looking forward to in September?

 

Summer Road Trip Series: a trip around Iceland

Do ponies, waterfalls and a glacial lagoon sound good to you? Then you’ll love Inness’ trip to Iceland.

Last year, Inness and her partner Tyler traveled clockwise around Iceland starting in Reykjavik, visiting thermal pools, wearing Icelandic sweaters and eating local fare along the way. She sums it up well here: “One of the best adventures of my life.” Read on!

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THE INSPIRATION

“We took our trip last July (2013) and it lasted 8 days. We traveled clockwise around the entire country in that time, although we didn’t reach all of the periphery (or the islands off the mainland). The main places we hit were Reykjavik, Snaefellsness, Akureyri, Myvatn, Northeast and East Iceland, Vik, and the Blue Lagoon. Every stop was a fun stop!

I had just turned 25 and I wanted to commemorate that milestone birthday with an epic trip to an I-named country (“I” for “Inness”). I told Tyler, my partner, to choose from Ireland, Israel, Iceland, or Italy, and he chose Iceland.”

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THE HIGHLIGHTS

“The most amazing thing, no, ONE of the most amazing things about Iceland is that the terrain is ever-changing. There is so much to see packed into one tiny little country, and that’s even excluding the entire middle! One minute you’ll be trundling through a lava field; then you’re barreling down a gravel path toward a humongous waterfall; then you’re rounding the bend and your breath is taken away by a sudden glacial lagoon that appears through the parting mist. You can see a lot in eight days, since it’s a small country, but you could also spend a month or more and never exhaust all of Iceland’s wonders. I highly recommend renting a car and getting out of Reykjavik, as cool and charming a city as it is – road trip is definitely the way to enjoy Iceland! (At least in the summer.)

Memories that really stick out to me: drinking Brennivin at midnight (with the sun still up!) in a thermal river; eating a giant bowl of perfectly buttery, garlicky Icelandic lobsters in Hofn (which is pronounced like a hiccup, kind of); trying to pronounce Icelandic words in general and failing completely; filling my water bottle from a waterfall; Akureyri’s perfect ice cream and weird parking rules; sticking my feet in Dettifoss, the world’s most powerful waterfall; picking out the perfect handmade Icelandic sweater; all the amazing pools. Also, the Icelandic people – they won’t always return your smile (they just smile less than Americans do, which is true of most other countries apparently), but they are outrageously kind and generous and will go out of their way for a stranger. They are also very well-dressed, and men and women alike appear to be very fond of tailored red trousers.”

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THE NEXT ADVENTURE

“I either want to drive around all of Ireland or Scotland, or drive through all of the lower 48 states in the U.S.”

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Inness’ Blog // Twitter // Instagram

Thanks for sharing your trip, Inness! Iceland is officially on my list of places I need to visit.

And just like that, the Summer Road Trip Series has come to an end.

We’ve met eight fascinating explorers with eight incredible adventures to share, and I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I have. (If you haven’t seen them all, you can check out the rest of the series posts here.) But just because the series is over doesn’t mean summer is yet. Do you have any trips planned before the end of the season? And what’s your favorite road trip you’ve ever taken? 

It’s been a busy summer around these parts (especially this month), but I’m looking forward to getting back in the blogging groove with a few minor changes to make balancing grad school, work and life a little easier. Thanks for following along!