My Coast to Coast Summer : Part 2 : California

Part 2 : California

If you read Part 1 of my Coast to Coast Summer trip feature, you saw I started on the opposite side of the country just a month before this trip.  This time around, I ventured out to the beautiful state of California to visit friends and explore beaches and new areas with my love.  The beauty of my job is that I can work wherever I travel, and I’m beyond blessed to have friends who live in the Redondo Beach area so that we could have a place to stay. California will always have a special place in my heart, even more so now after Jeff and I drove down the Pacific Coast Highway last year.  The sunshine and ocean breeze air is refreshing and it’s a nature break EVERYONE needs every once in a while.

I started out the first few days catching up with my friends Audrey and Eric and their sweet dog Sherlock.  You might remember their amazing Manhattan Beach engagement session I photographed a few years back.  They were so great about taking some time away to show me some of their favorite hiking spots and restaurants while I was in town.  And I’m so happy for all of the suggestions they gave Jeff and I when we ventured out by ourselves.  <3

We were able to watch the most colorful sunset after dinner one night.Audrey and I enjoyed lunch at the Rancho Palos Verdes Terranea resort.  The restaurant was open to the public and the walking trails made you feel as though you were on vacation in some exotic location…which technically I was. 😉  I want to definitely go stay there some day!I spent a few days on my own exploring both Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach.  Every day was more beautiful than the last.  I know, I know, another sunny day in LA. HA! But check out these blue skies! No clouds with a light breeze.  This girl for SURE got her relaxation on!After a couple of days, Jeffrey joined in on the sunshine fun. <3We lucked out our first night with the sunset.  I’m sure it’s unbelievable every night but this night was perfect watching together. (cue the cheese!) 😉I MEAN….COME ON!!!We made our way out to Venice beach for a different beach life view.  Hermosa and Manhattan are so quiet and calm and while we were there, the least crowded.  Venice is a whole other world in itself.  It’s loud, there are a TON of people, too many choices for food, and LOTS to look at.  It’s a place to at least visit once to see.Loved our afternoon on the beach together.Then we made our way into town and found murals and pretty walls.

Jeffrey (and Cali) I love you so Matcha! 😉We had asked around about different studio tours to go on and lots of people recommended both Paramount and the WB.  WB will have to be done next time because it sold out quick! So off to Paramount we went.  It was a perfect first tour for us, though, as it’s more movies than TV, and we are huge movie buffs!At the start of our tour we got to hold an actual Oscar. It’s heavy! This one was for the original War of the Worlds movie win.The tour is fun.  You get a ride around the studio campus, a headset, and a few stops like this 90 degree angled Forrest Gump bench.  It’s how Tom Hanks got that perfect posture.We also learned this white wall on the left has been used for the SKY instead of the actual LA sky.

It was explained that the real sky didn’t show up on camera so they would paint a sky on this wall to get one with clouds to show up! (LOL! Dang that perfect California weather!) 😉

The blue parking lot on the right is actually used as a giant POOL sometimes.   They would fill it up to do ocean scenes in movies.  So crazy!Love exploring and being tourists with this guy!If you look REALLY closely and to the left of Jeff, you can see the Hollywood Sign in the hills. 🙂The tour ended with a view of the props room where we got to see items used in actual movies…like Tranformers! 🙂On our way back, we found this picture perfect palm tree street.  So we stopped, obviously.Next stop was Hollywood BLVD to see the stars.Jeff had never been and we all know the ONE main star he came to see.

We came.  We saw.  NICOLAS CAGE! 😉Not too far away was the LACMA : The Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

We were too late to go to the museum this time, but got to explore the areas around for a bit.The amount of Instagram ‘influencers‘ at this thing was NUTS! So we joined in on the posing. HA!Another night, another unforgettable sunset.

I’ll never get sick of photographing these gorgeous skies!Love all the places we got to visit.

Our next stop was the La Brea Tar Pits. (I totally look like a tour guide with my elephant shirt and hat!) 😉This pit is actually man made, but the chemical reactions causing the tar to surface are all over the grounds.  You can see yellow cones marking where NOT to walk or touch.More murals to be found ALWAYS! LOVE this LOVE one!RELAXED!

That’s the only word to describe how we felt leaving California.  We didn’t want to leave!  Especially having to say goodby to Sherlock. <3We’ll be back soon, though! We love this place way too much!Until next time Cali…I’ll keep dreaming of you!

HUGS

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