Travel Diaries: Los Angeles February 2018

Hi There,

If you follow me on Instagram then you already know, I recently hopped over to the West Coast to spend some time in the sun 🙂 Frank and I utilized our timeshare and ended up staying in Anaheim right outside of Disney World. Here is a travel diary of all the highlights that happened on my week in LA. Warning it’s a long post, but I tried to keep it fun for you 🙂

Tuesday February 13, 2018

We started our travel extremely early. This never works for me simply because I am never as ready as I feel like I should be. There is always one more thing I need. Of course I only got about an hour of sleep the night before. We called an Uber to to take us to the airport. The upside about going to the airport in the morning is, it’s not as crowded. I got some coffee and endured this long flight to the west coat. When I travel, I like to make sure I have all the entertainment needed. I had a book with me, downloaded a book, and had a few moves stored on my iPad. I ended up sleeping about half of the flight — yes, I was pretty content.

Once we touched down, we taxied to our rental car, checked into our hotel, and went exploring. Our intention for this trip was to spend a lot of time in Los Angeles. Since we were exhausted from our travels we decided to spend our first evening in Laguna Beach. In college I loved watching Laguna Beach and the Hills, so I had to see what was all the hype. It was everything I thought it would be. My favorite part was all the art exhibits open to the public. We popped into an exhibit showcasing Dr. Seuss. I was in awe. It had some of his sketches and artwork from his books. I swear I walked through with my mouth agape! We also went into a National Geographic exhibit. I saw the most beautiful photo. I wanted to buy it, but of course it was worth a small fortune.

After all the art viewing, we decided to watch the sunset. I love a good sunset. I actually came to terms with myself. I learned that I have become pretty much an outdoorsy type of girl. Some of my favorites moments from this trip have come from outdoor activity.

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Wednesday Feb 14

Bright and early, we made our way to Paramount Studios, to be audience members for the Dr. Phil show. Fun fact – I watch Dr. Phil every day since I was in middle school. I don’t know why I find it so fascinating but we like what we like. I have to say, I plan on attending other live tapings in the future. It was a great experience to see what really goes into making a TV show. I think I will be on camera, if so I will keep you posted when I have my big TV appearance.

Next, we met up with another couple, who was visiting LA with us at Venice Beach. We got an early dinner/ late lunch. We walked the boardwalk then decided to rent bikes and cruise from Venice Beach to the Santa Monica Pier, about a 3.5 mile ride one way. The sun was starting to go down, and there was an amazing chill in the air. It was amazing to see different types of people living life on the beach. I love bike riding, not so much as a workout but just for a fun activity. And the scene was gorgeous.

Thursday Feb 15

This day, we got to sleep in. I had the biggest case of jet lag but was just starting to get it together. We started the day of with a breakfast for champions at the Blue Jazz Cafe. Then had a little adventure hiking on Runyon Canyon. THIS WAS INTENSE. I have never been on a hike before and I think it showed. In the beginning we had to pretty much climb these crazy looking man-made dirt stairs. I thought I wasn’t going to make it to the top, but once you do, the view is breathtaking. I’m not sure how long we hiked, maybe it was 3 hours. It was worth every second. Another outdoorsy activity for you, lol. Naturally, we were starving and sought out to find food. Somehow we took a detour and drove through some of the most beautiful homes I have ever seen in Beverly Hills. How can you go to Beverly Hills and not stop at Rodeo Drive? We actually found amazing parking on the mall strip and decided to walk around and admire the great shops. One thing I didn’t mention was we went back to the hotel and took a shower to freshen up like civilized humans. Yeah we walked and had dinner on Rodeo Drive in workout clothes, after a workout. YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE! Thus why it is important to have presentable workout clothes (I digress).

Friday Feb 16

This morning we rose early again, to meet another friend at the Crenshaw-Baldwin Hills Movie theatre to watch Black Panther. I have to say, I’m not a fan of superhero movies but, this was a good movie. If you haven’t had a chance to see it, you definitely should check it out. We then headed over the the Staples Center to see what was going on in the NBA world. It was a good idea because they were having a “fair” type event for fans with lots of activities and free prizes. We hung out here for the rest of the day. On our way home we made a few detours to see some landmarks starting with the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where the 1984 Olympics were held. On our way back to the hotel, we stopped by Long Beach and saw the legendary RMS Queen Elizabeth Cruise Ship.

We had been out all day and decided to make a quick stop to Downtown Disney. Fun Fact #2, I am a Disney freak. I love everything about Disney. Something about it just makes me so happy. Let me tell you, I was OVER THE MOON to find out we could go to Downtown Disney and it’s free. We ended up just getting some dessert and walking around. Enjoying the sites, and smelling that fresh Disney air! It was a great experience, next time I am getting into the park!

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Saturday Feb 17

Let the All Star Festivities Begin. We scored tickets to attend the Rookie Practice. It wasn’t as crowded and I thought it would have been. We got really good seats and could see everything happen right in front of us. We then walked to a Day Party type of event where they had all kinds of art, fashion, and video games inspired by the NBA All Star games. It was more for adults looking to show their kids around, but nonetheless we made the most of it and had a good time. By this point, I think we were all starting to get exhausted so we decided to head back to the hotel and start preparing for the long flight we had ahead of us in the morning.

Sunday Feb 18

The flight- I have to say I am not a fan of flying. Really, I don’t like to travel. I wish there was a way I can just blink myself to new locations. This may have been the worst flight I have ever been on. First, I had to sit in the very last row next to the bathrooms. Then the guys I had to sit next to were very inconsiderate. No shade, but they didn’t smell very well, and the guy leaned on me the entire time. Oh and not to forget, I think the plane almost fell out of the sky. We hit such a big patch of turbulence. It was so bad, people were screaming on the plane. I literally thought that was it for me. Of course I survived because I am here now, but it was one of the most scariest moments of my life.

Sorry for such a long post, but I had to fit a week of travel in here 🙂 I would love to hear some of the fun things you do when you travel!

Top Five Resolutions

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Happy New Year Friends, now is the time we share our resolutions. Typically, this time of year I like to think back at the year past and think about how I want to make this year better. So here we go…

  1. Be Healthy- Just like every other person I want to get fit and toned. On the flip side I do go to they gym on a regular basis but I want to be more consistent with my gym time and actually have a set schedule of when I go and what I am going to do while there.
  2. Love Everyone- God wants us to love our neighbors and I need to get better with that. Sometimes when people rub me the wrong way I can just write them off even, when I know it is the wrong thing to do… My plan it to just love everyone and be kind to everyone.
  3. Vacation Often- If any of you have followed me long, you know there are times I get that itch to go on a vacation. I am scratching it this year a lot (lol) I want to visit  quite a few places this year. I will let you know where in a separate post.
  4. Smell the Roses- Typically I find myself to be quite high strung, I have a never ending list of things to do. I want have a lot more moments of peace in EVERY day.
  5. Decorate My Space- I have to admit I have lived in my house for five years, and I haven’t even begun to decorate the bedrooms. I need to get that done this year. Frank and I have already starting thinking about what we are gong to do. Coming soon.

Places I want to Visit

It has been some time since I have traveled someplace new. I feel myself getting the itch again. When I get this “itch” I like to jot down the places I would like to go, as well as one thing I want to see when I go to each place. Here is my list this week… I hope it inspires you all to plan a new place to visit as well.

Charleston, SC

Charleston, SC is a beautiful city, from what I have seen in pictures. The homes alone take my breath away. One day I would like to take one of the home and garden tours with allows you to visit beautiful homes, or even take a tour of the many historic homes.

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco has a lot of attraction I would LOVE to see. I would love to see the Painted Ladies. Look how cute they are, I wonder if any are on sale LOL.

Also in San Francisco, I would love to take a ride on the trolley, I have never been on a trolley in general, for my first trolley ride to be in San Fan would make it be even more amazing.

Lastly, visiting the Golden Gate Bridge, look how beautiful it is… I just want to see it in real life!

Nashville, TN

There are not a lot of things I would like to see in Nashville, I’ve always been intrigued by the city. There is so much history there about the music industry. I would love to frolic around this amazing city seeing the sites and what the city has to offer.

Boston, MA

I don’t even know where to start with Boston. There are so many things I would like to see there! Boston is filled with so much history! I will try to keep the sites of where I want to visit to a minimum.

The Dr. Suess National Memorial Sculpture Garden, growing up my older brother and I had such a big obsession with Dr. Suess. When I found out there was a sculpture garden dedicated to this genius, I have to visit!

The JFK Museum, I am a huge fan of JFK and his legacy… Plus Jackie O! I would love to see what this museum would have to offer!

The Boston Harbor, this is the legendary site of the Boston Tea Party, one of the most outrageous protests in American History. I am sure, visiting this location would be breath taking.

Atlanta, GA

Apart from this being a super cool city, the one thing I would love to visit is the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site.

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Summer Reading List

It has been one week, since it has officially been summer! Can I just tell you how excited I am about summer finally being here. In about a week I am going on the vacation of a lifetime… my honeymoon which is going to be at the beach. While doing my research on what I need to bring (I research everything!) I came across some many suggestions for books to bring to the beach.

One thing about me, I love to read. Oddly enough, I like to put books in a list of which ones I want to read first. Kinda sounds like a summer reading list right. Well it is, so here is my official summer reading list. 🙂

1. Dorthy Must Die

I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero. But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know? Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a road of yellow brick—but even that’s crumbling. What happened? Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe. My name is Amy Gumm—and I’m the other girl from Kansas. I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. I’ve been trained to fight. And I have a mission: Remove the Tin Woodman’s heart. Steal the Scarecrow’s brain. Take the Lion’s courage. And—Dorothy must die.

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2. Ladies’ Night

Grace Stanton’s life as a rising media star and beloved lifestyle blogger takes a surprising turn when she catches her husband cheating and torpedoes his pricey sports car straight into the family swimming pool.  Grace suddenly finds herself locked out of her palatial home, checking account, and even the blog she has worked so hard to develop in her signature style.  Moving in with her widowed mother, who owns and lives above a rundown beach bar called The Sandbox, is less than ideal.  So is attending court-mandated weekly “divorce recovery” therapy sessions with three other women and one man for whom betrayal seems to be the only commonality.  When their “divorce coach” starts to act suspiciously, they decide to start having their own Wednesday “Ladies’ Night” sessions at The Sandbox, and the unanticipated bonds that develop lead the members of the group to try and find closure in ways they never imagined.  Can Grace figure out a new way home and discover how strong she needs to be to get there? 

via goodreads

3. Nineteen Minutes

Sterling is an ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens–until the day its complacency is shattered by an act of violence. Josie Cormier, the daughter of the judge sitting on the case, should be the state’s best witness, but she can’t remember what happened before her very own eyes–or can she? As the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show–destroying the closest of friendships and families.

via goodreads

4. That Summer

For fifteen-year-old Haven, life is changing too quickly. She’s nearly six feet tall, her father is getting remarried, and her sister—the always perfect Ashley—is planning a wedding of her own. Haven wishes things could just go back to the way they were. Then an old boyfriend of Ashley’s reenters the picture, and through him, Haven sees the past for what it really was, and comes to grips with the future.

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5. Fangirl

Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan… But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to. Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone. For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

via goodreads

6. Save the Date

A wedding florist finds love and trouble in this delightful new novel by the New York Times bestselling author of Ladies’ Night.
A Savannah florist is about to score the wedding of a lifetime—one that will solidify her career as the go-to-girl for society nuptials. Ironically, Cara Kryzik doesn’t believe in love, even though she creates beautiful flower arrangements to celebrate them. But when the bride goes missing and the wedding is in jeopardy, Cara must find the bride and figure out what she believes in. Maybe love really does exist outside of fairy tales after all.

via goodreads

7. Orange is the New Black

With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187–424 — one of the millions of people who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system. From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman’s story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison—why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they’re there.

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8. The Summer I Turned Pretty

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer–they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

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9. Insurgent (Divergent #2)

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves – and herself – while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable – and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so. 

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10. Nineties: A Story with No Moral

NINETIES is a brief but unforgettable novel about credit-card fraud, the end of the 20th century, and the precarious lives of young girls. A deceptively simple and clear-eyed look at adolescence at the dawn of American hypercapitalism, NINETIES is a cautionary tale, rendered in riveting, lucid prose; a narrative of innocence and experience and the intoxicating nature of first friendships.

via goodreads

I can’t wait to get started!!

xx

Jazmin