Our Many Homes: The LA Pad

I want so many things. I want to grow my own tomatoes. I want an entire closet for just my shoes. I want enough shoes to fit in said closet. I want my own land, land so big that I can stand on the back porch and hoot and holler and no one but the pigs will hear me. I want a home filled with love, and magic, and hidden nooks for curling up with books, and secrets waiting to be discovered. I want my purple house.

But here’s the thing: I have too many tastes, and ideas, and personalities just to fit in one home. I want a thousand homes, a million homes, a home in every port, a home for every mood. So this week, every day I’ll do a new post for each of my imaginary, one-day homes.

LA padToday’s post is all about my dream pad in LA. Los Angeles is my home right now, but I think The Boy and I would eventually like to move north where there are more trees and fewer cockroaches. There are lots of things about LA that I could happily live without: the traffic, the trash and grime, and at least some of the people (the ones who gladly live up to every LA stereotype). But there’s plenty of stuff I love about LA, too: the sunshine, the funky neighborhoods, the thrift shopping, the tacos. I could never say goodbye to all that, not completely.

In my fantasies, my LA home is a bungalow up in the hills around Griffith Park. On warm summer nights, The Boy and I walk to concerts at the Greek Theatre. Inside is all mid-century glamour: lots of white with gold accents and pops of bright color. We’ll put on Motown records and dance around in front of our huge windows that look out across the city below while we drink whisky out of these moroccan lowball glasses.

Tune in tomorrow for more housing dreams, or check out my Pinterest for inspiration!

Image sources, clockwise from top left: 1, 2, 3


Three Things: To Go

Alright people, three more things! Today: To Go. I’ve had the travel itch real bad for a while now. Not sure if Pinterest makes that better or worse, all those lush photos of beautiful, strange places I’d like to know. So, with that in mind…


1) Rainforest Canyon, Oneonta Gorge, Oregon. The Boy and I are making plans for our next trip, and we’re hoping to do a Pacific coast road trip next fall. Drive down twisting, winding roads atop terrifying bluffs overlooking that blue, blue vastness. Camp along the way to appreciate all that lovely, verdant wilderness. Oh, and eat at this restaurant. Look at all that fresh ricotta!

2) Val D’Orcia, Tuscany, Italy. Wine, wine, wine all day. Drink wine and play with goats on a small Italian farm… bliss.

3) Alaska. Tundra. Aurora Borealis. I recently wrote a short book on life in the Arctic and you might say I’m fascinated by the alien landscape, and the absolute wildness of that world.

So there you have it folks. The three places I’d go if I could close my eyes and wish myself away right this very instant. Check out the rest of my travel fantasies here, or follow all my boards on Pinterest.

California: I’ll Be Knockin’ On the Golden Door

Well what do you know, I finally got around to posting photos of The Boy’s trip to California! It was his first time in Los Angeles, so of course the firs thing we had to do was go to the beach. Actually, the first thing was tacos. But then the beach! Living in LA, there are many beach options, but I always choose to drive about an hour out of the city to Leo Carrillo. Not only is it a stunning beach (much cleaner than some of the closer ones) with caves (!), but the drive up there is pretty spectacular as well. You have to wind in and out of beautiful Malibu Canyon, and it’s actually pretty terrifying because it’s very narrow, and everyone drives so fast, and it’s a pretty long fall from the road to the bottom of the canyon. But that’s all the fun!

That’s my car! Isn’t she a cutie?

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The Places We’ll Go

When I first moved here I was so happy to be in this place of sunshine, of citrus, of ocean bluffs and electric lizards and silken poppies. And I would go out and I would climb among the rocks, and let the cold saltwater splash around my ankles, and drink coffee by myself at cafes with Spanish tiles. And I would close my eyes to the brilliant sun, still feeling the heat on my bare shoulders, and I would think, “I wish you were here.”

The truth is I’m no great explorer without you. My heart isn’t in it. I snap pictures, I drive miles and miles to see all these wonderful places so new to me. I drink wine by a waterfall in the setting sun and my heart swells with joy and gratitude, but… but only so much. It only gets halfway before I think, “I wish you were here.”

And now you are. You hold my hand, my shoes, my camera, help me balance while I climb from rock to rock. You snap pictures of me when you think I am not looking, you hang back, cautious, while I run into the water, you help pick a restaurant, and I think, “I’m so glad you are here.” I’m so glad to finally get to explore this place with you, and it makes me think of all the other places we will explore together one day.

We’ll rent a small cottage in the English countryside. It’s a bit drafty, but we drink lots of tea and wear thick woolen sweaters. I teach you how to ride a horse properly, and much hilarity ensues. It’s springtime, and it almost never stops raining, but we don’t mind. We slip on our big wellies and jump in the puddles. One day, early in the morning, the sun finally comes out just for a moment and I wake you up for a walk in the fragrant lavender.

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Greetings From The Best Coast!

Hey guys! I made it, I’m alive, and I’m back online! California is wonderful amazing, I’m so happy to be here and I can tell things are just going to get better and better. The sun is shining, my shoulders are burnt, and my apartment is so beautiful. I’ll be doing a full post on the apartment soon (I hope), but I can’t post any pictures until it looks exactly the way I want it to (this involves a mustard yellow suede headboard and 1940s writing desk, it’ll be worth the wait I promise.) Until then…

Loving these mid-century vintage shots of motels and roadside eateries. They remind me of the road trip passages in Lolita, which were always some of my favorite, most dog-earred parts of the book. Especially for a non-native, Nabokov’s descriptions of highway  American landscape, of highway diners and motocourts are so lush, so meticulously detailed and spot on. And that’s because he culled them from his own time spent criss-crossing the country with his wife, collecting field research in entomology (collecting bugs! He was a great butterfly enthusiast among many other wonderful things). These photos can be found here, along with many other marvelous retro gems.


All photos found here, via.

Furthur, Fog, and the Forest by Night: A San Francisco New Year

Some time in October, The Boy and I did something really impulsive. We bought tickets to a New Year’s Eve concert in San Francisco with no idea where we would stay or how we would afford airfare. We just knew that the annual Furthur NYE Show was on both of our bucket lists, and if we died without getting a chance to see it then we’d be eternally unsatisfied. And then one day in early December, just as we were getting ready to sell our concert tickets, I experienced one of those rare moments of perfect synchronicity where everything just falls into place.

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Of Ostriches and Water Lilies

I can’t believe how long it’s taken me to write about this. The Monet Gardens were probably my favorite part of my trip to France last June. Between The Boy and I are there are just so many pictures that I’ve honestly been too overwhelmed to deal with posting about it. But it’s time.

In planning our day trip to Giverny, The Boy and I made what I’m pretty sure is classic tourist mistake. Well, actually it’s two mistakes. We waited until our last day in France because the weather was supposed to be nice. So the two mistakes were: 1) Letting the rain dictate our activities and 2) Trusting the weather report. France is a rainy place. Get on with your lives, and always leave the house prepared.

So, on with our story. The Boy and I left our hotel early in the morning, the sky was overcast but I was confident it would clear up. By the time our train left the station it was raining steadily. But I was still sure it would pass by the time we arrived in Giverny. That didn’t happen. I really wanted to walk to the gardens (and avoid the giant shuttle bus crammed full of tourists) so I suggested we get some coffee and wait for the rain to stop. The drizzle finally petered out, and we went off on our merry way, certain that the poor weather was behind us.

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Weekend Adventures: Metaphorical Tricycles, Futhur, and Duck Fat in Portland, Maine

I know. I know. I said last week that I’d be back to regular posting, and then that turned out to be a blatant lie. You see, The Boy and I took a trip up to Maine where we had no internet and so much fun that I couldn’t worry about the blog. But I took photos! Well, a few.

The purpose of the trip was twofold. First and foremost, we were visiting my best friend, Lorenza, the perpetual third wheel in my relationship with The Boy. Lorenza has such an effortless eye for knick knacks, curiosities, and small wonderments. Here are a few shots that The Boy took of her new apartment.

That was our guest bed! Please pardon the giant mess of my clothing. Lorenza made us a little headboard out of a spare piece of wood she had lying around, she’s such a crafty lady. She told me she likes that chair because it’s “so Morticia Addams.” And really, who couldn’t use more gothic glamour in their life? And these are some of the photos that I took. I wish I could explain what’s going on in this first photo, but I’ve been forbidden from doing so for various reasons. Nevertheless, it looks so eery and beautiful that I couldn’t resist sharing.

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