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?

 

Beer with a Blogger: The Daily Pint in Santa Monica

Beer and blogging—two of my favorite things.

Sometimes, I drink beer while blogging. (It helps with creativity and stuff.) But not too long ago, I thought a more social way of combining the two might be to drink beer with my fellow bloggers. So I’m kicking off a new series, and if you’re a blogger who loves beer and lives near L.A., I want you in on this. You pick the place, I come wielding a camera and—cheers!—it’s time for blogger happy hour.

But right now, let’s meet the first drinking buddy of the series, Diana from Sunshined.

Diana from Sunshined

THE BLOGGER: Diana Lopez, a web designer and blogger living in the West L.A. neighborhood of Sawtelle. She moved to Los Angeles about a year ago and lives with her boyfriend and two parakeets. Diana might seem shy at first, but she’s super smart, sweet and funny, and she’s not afraid to share her opinion—something I instantly liked about her. Last year, she wrote a guest post for me here on WTH. She tweets @pixelswithin.

THE BAR: The Daily Pint in Santa Monica, where it’s been for more than 25 years. It was voted as one of the top bars in the country on Barfinder.com for three years in a row, and it boasts 33 beers on tap, three beers on cask and more than 100 others in the bottle. The Daily Pint also has one hell of a whiskey list, which I had no interest in other than the fact that the sheer number of options was impressive. It’s got a great divey, neighborhoody feel to it, and our bartender, Alicia, was friendly and gave us some good beer recommendations.

THE BEER: Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Porter for Diana and both a Stone IPA and a Goose Island Matilda Pale Ale for yours truly.

The Daily Pint

whisky

Since Diana is also an L.A. transplant, we talked a lot about what it’s like settling in after moving here. “I immediately loved L.A. and just took to it. There’s so much to do, and I haven’t taken advantage of it all yet, but I recently went to the bookstore, a record store and two farmers markets all in one day. I love it.”

One of her favorite rituals?

“I usually go to Santa Monica Beach just to walk around—it’s such a luxury.”

 

Cassie & Diana

I was psyched to meet Diana after following her blog and Twitter for so long, and she picked a great, casual spot for imbibing. I hope to see Diana (and the Daily Pint!) again soon.

Are you a blogger living in (or visiting!) L.A.? Do you like beer? Shoot me an email at wittycassiehere (at) gmail (dot) com, and let’s go to happy hour!

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.