Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The best books in travel literature

Here is my short list of books that inspire me to close my eyes and point anywhere on the map.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. I devoured this book in less than 2 days. A few weeks later, I was tramping solo through the South Island of New Zealand.

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. I'm currently in the middle of this 900 page giant, handed down to me by a Brit I met whilst backpacking across Peru.

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. A girly read and wildly inspiring.

Getting Stoned with Savages by J. Maarten Troost. Quit job, move to Fiji, get high. This guy has it all figured out.

In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin. Next up on my reading list. A gifted storyteller's adventure through the southern most tip of South America. It can't not be good.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Happiness is.......

A few things that make me deliriously happy.....

* The smell of rain in the desert.
* Waking up to puppy kisses.
* The first sip of a perfectly foamy latte.
* Driving with the windows rolled down and the music turned up.
* Wind on my face and sun on my shoulders.
* Diving into a crystal clear blue ocean.
* Staring down the white face of a mountain armed with nothing but a board and determination.
* The moment I realize I'm embarking on an incredible adventure.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Camping and mountain biking off the Central California coast

I needed to get away from it all. And by 'all' I mean my current unemployed status and the boredom that has snuck into my daily life. Living in the L.A. area, I am certainly at no shortage for concerts, clubs, eclectic eateries, and snazzy hotels but, I wanted something outside the city limits. I wanted to feel worlds away without putting in the 7 hour flight time. So, I gathered my camping gear, purchased a rad new tent from REI (the Hoodoo 2, on sale!) and ventured North. Two and a half hours up Pacific Coast Highway landed us at the sweet little spot of Montaña de Oro. Coastal camping at its best and the perfect L.A. getaway. We spent the 80° days mountain biking and hiking the coastal trails, including Point Buchon Trail, an easy trail that winds along the bluffs over the ocean for 3 miles.
Along with being easily accessible by car, Montaña de Oro, is less than 20 minutes from the nearest grocery store (a perfect spot to grab twist top bottles of red wine to pass around the campfire) and Starbuck's (Okay, so maybe I didn't want to get away from it ALL). Also not to be missed is Sunshine Health Foods and Shine Cafe in Morro Bay where we ventured for our lunch each day. Sit outside and enjoy the out of this world tempeh tacos. Not exactly 'roughin it' but......close enough!

Point Buchon Trail

Point Buchon Trail

Overlooking Point Buchon Trail

Point Buchon Trail

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hipstamatic LoVe in Montana de Oro

I recently received a brand spanking new ipod Touch as a gift and Hipstamatic was the very first app I downloaded. Having drooled for months over the retro-ness of friends' Hipsta pics, I was stoked to finally give it a proper test run this past weekend in Montaña de Oro. I'm still trying to figure out the perfect film/flash/lens combos but, thankfully it's super easy to use. Below, a few pics:

Lens: John S, Film: Ina's 1969, Flash: off

Lens: John S, Film:Ina's 1969, Flash: Standard

Lens: Jimmy, Film: Kodot XGrizzled, Flash: off

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The most beautiful country you'll ever travel through

We all have that place. That place that makes you feel like your feet barely touch the ground and that anything in the world is possible from here on out. For me, that place is New Zealand. Although, most of my earth shattering experience there had to do with the fact that I was away from home, working on the biggest project of my entire life, and in the middle of ending a three year relationship, I like to think my travels there would have been equally profound, had I been in a completely normal emotional and mental state.
Alas, I found myself (literally and figuratively) tramping solo through the south island of New Zealand. It was a journey that marked the beginning of my obsession to hitting the open road at every opportunity. Because really, the best way to escape is to, well, escape.

I love these photographs from ridiculously talented photographer, Andrew Smith. They capture the heart of what I experienced in New Zealand: a serenity that balances precariously along the icy water's edge and towering mountain tops.

All photos by Andrew Smith via My Modern Met

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Morning light of Machu Picchu

After four days of trekking the Inca Trail, Mel and I arose just before dawn with the hopes of being two of the lucky adventurers to, not only see Machu Picchu, but also climb Huayna Picchu. We were. And we did.
Here is the gorgeous light that took over Machu Picchu as the morning sun made it's way over the mountain. So worth those few extra minutes of sleep we missed.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A French Bohemian wedding

Would you ever guess that the dainty French detailing in these photos came from a wedding in Texas? Neither would I. Adore them as I did!

Photo source: Green Wedding Shoes via: Bldg 25

Monday, January 17, 2011

'Adventure is worthwhile in itself' - Amelia Earhart

A winter's day at the beach

It may be the middle of January but, you could have fooled us. We gobbled up the sunshine and 80 degree weather yesterday in Hermosa Beach. Complete with margaritas, volleyball, and bikinis!

All photos taken with the Hipstomatic app for iphone

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happy SoCal weekend!

The sun is shining in Southern California.... I couldn't be happier. Have a lovely weekend!

Photo by Cheyenne Ellis

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Free People catalog in Paris and my daily french fix

As I am obsessed with all things Parisian right now, I was thrilled to come upon this post from Sarah Shirley's Style Diary, including images and a video shot of the new Free People (LOVE!) catalog.

Free People January from FreePeople on Vimeo.

Sucker Punch

Just when you thought there weren't enough bad ass heroines in Hollywood.

Chicks kicking ass in high heels and fake eyelashes? Yes Please!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

New Year's Eve at The Bellagio

I ended 2010 on stage at the Bellagio in Las Vegas this year, shaking my tush off. Couldn't have asked for a better send off to a year that was so very good to me!

Backstage in the dressing room

All the Gaga's backstage

Gaga's on stage