I may have traveled a lot over the past four years but my “vacations” have been few and far between. You know, vacations? Those trips where you have no responsibilities and the primary goal is relaxation? Ringing any bells? Probably not.
Prior to last September, my folks and I hadn’t taken a proper family vacation since 2011. We traveled a lot over those two years, but those trips were always riddled with work meetings and looming schoolwork deadlines, and they were always far too short. When I decided to go out to LA for the summer, my parents decided it was time for another Dow family road trip. I had three weeks between the end of my program and the start of my senior year, so we took one of those weeks to drive up the Pacific Coast Highway from LA to San Francisco.
One of my favorite stretches of the journey was our drive between Ojai to Monterey. We stopped in Santa Barbara for lunch and to check out the city. We were only there for two hours, but it was just enough time for me to fall in love with the town. I also may have made some seagull friends.
After that, it was on to Big Sur. Aquatic mammals are kind of my thing, so I just about died when we pulled over to see a bunch of elephant seals just chilling on the beach. I broke out the macro lens and caught a few of these guys in action. We hit Big Sur just as the sun was setting so unfortunately we didn’t get to spend a lot of time in the forrest. It did make for some excellent photos, though.
I have yet to meet an Angeleno who isn’t totally obsessed with the Rose Bowl Flea Market. One Sunday a month, people from all over Southern California descend on the parking lot of the historic stadium to shop for antiques, furniture, vintage clothes, handmade soaps, and more for a few hours in the sweltering Pasadena sun. The sheer volume of items available is totally overwhelming and I barely scratched the surface during this trip in August. Next time I have to bring a flea market pro with me. I’ve met some people who’ve furnished most of their homes with stuff from this particular flea market. I want to hang out with them.
Since I couldn’t exactly ship an entire couch back to Philly, I settled for some smaller items this first time around. I walked away with a maxi skirt that was missing a button and a pink flask engraved with a tennis racket. You can take the girl out of the Main Line, but you can’t take the Main Line out of the girl.
If (or when) I move to LA, I will probably go back for that couch. And a headboard. And a samurai sword. Basically I will buy all the things. The Rose Bowl Flea Market is just that awesome.
I have a feeling I’ll be doing a few of these LA photo dumps in the near future seeing as I have a ton of photos and adventures to share with you all. A few weeks ago I went to the Getty Museum, one of the largest collections of art in the city. They have pieces from every area of the world and period in history, so you’ll probably see something you like. I was particularly excited to see Van Gogh’s Irises, pictured above. The campus itself is stunning and admission is free, so even if you don’t like art it’s a fun trip. We hung out for a bit in the gardens before we realized that the sun was ridiculous. The Getty sits up in the hills so it has some amazing views of the entire city. If it wasn’t so smoggy we could probably have seen the ocean. Or at least downtown. I would totally go back to the Getty whenever I’m back in LA. I think we missed a few rooms on our first go-around and I obviously need to see EVERYTHING.
Oh hey, I live in LA now (for the time being, at least). On the Fourth of July I attended the Grand Park Block Party…for about 10 minutes. We got there later in the day and by then the police had blocked off access to the food trucks to prepare the fireworks. My friends and I decided that the party wasn’t worth it if there wasn’t any food involved, so we went back to our apartment, ordered pizza, and watched the fireworks fromt he roof. On the walk home we did get an awesome view of some of Downtown’s best architecture at sunset and I had to snap a few shots. I hope you all had a more exciting Fourth than I did.
My grandparents live on Long Island, just a fifteen minute drive from the beach. It takes us about four hours to get there from Philadelphia, but my parents and I try to make the trip as often as we can. We had the great luck of planning our latest trip the weekend before Hurricane Sandy hit, devastating most of the greater New York area. Though we were worried about the storm hitting before we could make it back to Philly in one piece, we decided to take a pretty ballsy walk on the beach as the storm was coming in. The photos I took that morning don’t really do justice to the force we could feel just walking near the waves, but I felt like sharing them anyway. Mother Nature is a scary, scary lady. It’s incredible to think that these waters would go on to nearly drown entire neighborhoods just a few hours later. The people of New York, New Jersey and all the areas affected are strong, though, and they will be back on their feet and better than ever soon enough.
For the record, my grandparents (and other Long Island-dwelling family members) made it out of the storm relatively unscathed and I am incredibly thankful for that.
If you’d like to contribute to the relief efforts, check out some of these links for more information:
The Robin Hood Foundation:
New York Cares:
Oh, hi blog. It seems I’ve forgotten about you again. You know how mad life gets when you’re traveling and working and studying and trying to have a social life all at the same time. You get me, right? No? Okay. Well, this is embarrassing.
In case you couldn’t tell from all of the other content I’ve posted on the internet since last April, I made it back from England in one piece and with a boat-load of miles on my personal odometer. I only logged more miles when I returned by shuffling between two internships in the fall at The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia and BUST Magazine in New York City. I’ve learned so much about myself and about the worlds of indie publishing and professional theatre and I’m incredibly grateful for the experience. To be honest, though, this is one of the first truly free weekends I’ve had to update you all. Oh, the life of an occasional overachiever.
Along the journey of the past few months since my last update, I got a DSLR camera (a Canon EOS Rebel t3i to be exact). I’ve been breaking it out whenever I can to hone my photography skills and capture the world around me. I figured this would be a good place to share some of my photos as well as the stories that go along with them. Eh? What do y’all think?
I’ll start with a few shots from my weekend in New York earlier last month. For one of my Christmas gifts, my parents took me to see The Book of Mormon and Once, two musicals I’d been dying to see but couldn’t afford to get to on my own. We had a lovely hotel room on one of the higher floors of the Marriott Marquis where I tested out my new macro lens on the East Manhattan skyline. On Sunday, before the matinee of Once, we headed over to Bryant Park for some brunch. It was absolutely gorgeous out and the light was pretty perfect, so I got some nice shots of the fancy buildings that surround the park. Someday I’ll win the artistic lottery and be able to afford one of those apartments. A girl can dream.
P.S. If you want to read my review of Once, you can check out Standing Room Only, my theatre blog. I hate to break it to you, blog, but I’m a blog polygamist. We can make this work.