These two lovebirds from Arizona recently came to Orange County not only to celebrate the 4th of July weekend, but their 4th year anniversary of being together as well. They’ve known each other from a really young age, and though destiny may sound a bit cheesy, fate really did work to bring them together. Cheska & Nigel had so much humor and energy that I had a really enjoyable day taking them around to some of my favorite places in Orange County, and taking their pre-wedding photos. I’m honored, and look forward to meeting the rest of the families in December for the actual wedding day.
Over the weekend, we got the chance to stay at a very upscale hotel in Beverly Hills, the SLS Luxury Collection Hotel. From a design perspective, the interiors were designed with a focus on fashion and current trends. I was not expecting to see an AK-47 gun or a 5 foot tall black horse as lamps in the lobby, nor the backlit poster of Penelope Cruz adorning the entire wall of the reception area on my floor as I stepped out of the elevator. For designers who love pop art and not just subtle clean design, this is a place to check out.
More than just staying at a nice hotel, we also got the chance to try out our friend’s highly recommended restaurant – Scratch. They make everything from scratch, from their butter, to their breads… not just that, but if you’re adventurous, try out the 16 course meal which the chefs will prepare for you, only letting you know what ingredients they’ll be using, and not telling you the sequence or combinations of how they’ll use the ingredients. They change their menu every month on top of that. It’s a very bold concept created by a group of chefs, there are no servers in the restaurant, and the chefs who create the dish also take the time to explain to you what their creation is.
The wind in my hair speaks of summer in the air.
If I were to sum up in a few words what I thought San Diego was like, I’d say the best that would describe my thoughts of it would be: a good balance of bitter and sweet like a good cup of coffee. Almost everywhere you go you’ll see a laid-back atmosphere, even among working crowds. There are a few tall buildings in downtown, but majority of the area is flat and spread out.
The city’s aura could be largely due to it’s proximity to the ocean, which allows it’s residents to relax on the beach and enjoy some waves anytime they want. I uploaded a few photos of the said beach just a few days ago here.
The areas I liked the most was downtown, Little Italy and North Park, where you could easily find a number of good restaurants. The photos above are from Polite Provisions and Soda & Swine, which are connected to each other at the hip.
Just the other day a friend of ours was explaining how when we grow older, tendencies are we’ll resemble our parents more and more. When I was a kid, I couldn’t be bothered moving from my bed whenever I was engrossed in reading comics or a good book, even if we were on vacation somewhere. Now, the moment I land up somewhere, one of the first things I do is search on Yelp or Tripadvisor for the best things to see in that city. And most likely than not a few in the top ten is usually a museum or two. So now twenty years later, I’ll have to admit that I am resembling my parents more and more in their travel patterns.
LA’s art scene was fun, I should say. I’m a big fan of contemporary art so seeing strange things that make me wonder usually tickles my fancy. Some of the things that stick around in my mind longer from those visits are not usually the highlights of exhibits, but rather the ones that don’t get so much attention. Like entering an elevator that was bigger than a 20 sqm room more than 12 feet high (although it wasn’t an art piece). I thought that was cool. Or an interactive video art piece where a damsel in petticoat follows your movement and shoots you with a rifle when you least expect it. Okay I didn’t take pictures of those that I just mentioned, but below are some snaps to give you a little idea about those museums I visited in L.A.
It’s only been two weeks since I’ve flown in to LA and already it feels like it’s so easy to blend in. Although at the moment there is no permanent address yet ~ (we’re living in a suitcase going from one place to another and yes I can’t wait to have my own pots and dishes)… do remind me when I start regretting once we’re fully settled and I’d wish we were traveling again.
It’s been 13 years since I’ve been back in this part of the world, yet because of media I realized that you can feel like you’ve been in this country even without visiting it. I don’t know about you but from where I come from, our movies and tv series mostly took place in the US. Imagine Modern Family, Brady Bunch, or even Simpsons being the family you meet on the elevator.
Surprisingly, people around here all seem to have their own persona. It felt like a lot of people want to be stars when I paid a visit to Hollywood, and they could be, in an instant if someone discovers them there. I drove by the Pollo Loco where Brad Pitt used to work as a chicken mascot, just to make ends meet before he became the star he is today. And the hotel where all the big stars used to stay, and the neighborhood where Shirley Temple lived and where Marilyn Monroe died. It’s crazy if you think how these people changed lives the moment they got into showbiz, not necessarily for better or worse. When walking the streets in downtown LA, everyone you see is a different person. Their taste in clothing or choice of music defines who they are, or even how they walk and how they talk. And that seems to be important to them, they have to have a personality.
One more thing I noticed is how big this place is. It drives me nuts to see the 405 highway to have so many driving lanes and how bad traffic gets because everyone is driving a car on their own. The other day I heard on the radio that one highway going to San Diego is being expanded to 15 lanes on each side. That’s 30 lanes of a highway! Crazy!