Check out how we spent our Memorial Day with good friends and good food.
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XOXO – L and A
Her only requests were Palm Springs and Bro Tanks and our planning did not disappoint. My friend Angie found an amazing house through Air B&B for us to rent for 3 days and 2 nights. The website Vacation Palm Springs had numerous homes available with tons of pictures and honest reviews. We found our mid century ranch house closer to Palm Desert but opted for it as it was slightly less expensive and did not require the mandatory 4 night stay that many Palm Springs rentals ask for.
The House was just off the main drag of Monterey Avenue in Palm Desert. We were within convenient driving distance of restaurants and the major box stores. We all caravanned down on Friday, dropped our bags and picked up some sustenance at the nearby Ralphs Fresh Fare. We decided to cook the whole weekend and it was the best decision as we got to thoroughly enjoy a rest at the house.
Our ranch had 4 bedrooms and slept 8 (I mean 12) comfortably. We had a fully stocked kitchen and deck complete with an in ground pool and jacuzzi. There was a great deal of privacy as well as multiple nooks to lay out or sit around a nice bon fire (if you could handle one in that heat!)
We spent Friday night in (mostly) eating, sipping cool drinks, and listening to music on the Beats Pill. Saturday morning through the evening was all for sun bathing and BBQ-ing, catching up and cooling off in the pool.
We journeyed into Palm Springs on Saturday night, visiting the local hot dance spots and bars. If you don’t mind bright colors and some serious dancing – I would suggest Toucan’s Tiki Lounge. It was our favourite.
All in all it was a wonderful weekend and I am so happy we got to take some time out of LA to explore the beautiful mountains and the oasis that is considered the Palm of God. Happy [almost] wedding Sarah!
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Here’s to summer!
Joel and I woke up a few weekends ago and decided we wanted to go on an adventure. We had heard that there were bison up in Santa Clarita, and Joel loves bison, so we packed up the car and headed to William S. Hart Ranch and Museum. The Horseshoe Ranch is the retirement home of silent, western film star William S. Hart. It consists of 265 acres of land and includes various structures, animal pens, a small bison herd, park, gift store, and camp grounds. Its a cool little spot to venture around, great for families, and FREE!
After parking, we ventured to the museum/house. You have to take a steep and winding trail that snakes its way up past a dog graveyard. This is where William Hart’s beloved great danes are buried. These dogs had their own room in his house next to his bedroom.
Next on the trail we found the bison. These bison were donated to the park by Walt Disney. They look pretty small here, but in person they are HUGE. Joel and I watched them for a long time before heading to the top of the hill to see the house.
The house is really amazing and still contains all of Hart’s original furniture, decorations, and film memorabilia. There are free tours every half hour. We waited on the front steps, with a surprisingly large amount of people, for the tour guide to greet us, and take us through the house.
The house is completely done in western style including Navajo patterns painted on the beams. There’s Willam Hart himself, this is a large painting of him in the formal dining room, riding his beloved horse Felix. This is the upstairs sitting/screening room. Hart had his own movie projector and projection room adjacent to this one, where he would show all his friends his silent films. There were really cool Native American pieces all over the house. Joel and I loved these bookends and want them for our house. We would also love a couple of the paintings we saw inside, some were the original artwork from adventure books Hart had written for young men.
After visiting the house and gift shop we left the park to find better views of the bison. From the top of the hill we could see a path running behind the enclosure fence where we saw joggers, so we knew we could get closer. We parked near by and found the path and watched the bison for a long time. Joel was in heaven, until one kind of charged the fence!
We had a great visit in Santa Clarita, but I couldn’t leave with out getting a passion tea from It’s a Grind, where one of my favorite vloggers stops every day.
To learn more about the William S. Hart Park and Museum visit here.
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xoxo – Loee
Casablanca is one of those restaurants I drove by a million times on my way to work, and one night decided to stop in. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. This one of a kind restaurant combines Mexican cuisine with the 1943 Academy Award winning movie, Casablanca. I am a HUGE fan of the film, and that combined with a killer margarita makes a good night for me.
Casablanca has a large collection of memorabilia, the owner, Carlos Haro, Jr., showed me his time capsule from the film, cement hand prints of the cast, and don’t forget to see the life size statute of Humphrey Bogart.
Not only does this restaurant have an amazing theme, it has fantastic food. There is a woman in the middle of the of the restaurant making hand-made flour tortillas, which are brought straight from her grill to your table with green salsa made with avocado, cilantro and cheese.
My favorite part of Casablanca is the Tequila Express. Run by my man Chip, he has a variety of tequilas and can tell you everything about them. They also make their own sweet and sour mix and these margaritas are just, dare I say it, the best I’ve ever had. (I think I want to go get one right now…)
For dinner I always have the fish tacos, and this time Joel got seafood brochette. We enjoyed our food while a woman in the corner quietly played traditional Mexican songs, she sings beautifully and it really adds to the ambiance of the restaurant.
Live Music, hand-made tortillas, themed decor, and a margarita to DIE for, this restaurant has everything. One of my favorite spots for overall experience, Casablanca is a place you must stop at if you’re in the Venice area. I highly recommend the the film and the restaurant.
Romper – Forever 21
Sandals – Forever 21
Bag – Target
They also have the parking spots reserved for each actor, that night we parked in Paul Henreid’s spot, who plays the handsome Victor Laszlo in the film.
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XOXO – Loee
Every few months L.A. comes alive for CicLAvia events. Originating from Bogota Columbia as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets, CicLAvia now happens throughout Latin American and the United States.
In LA we need this event more than ever. With our big population of commuters in a sprawling city, this event creates a temporary park by removing cars from the city streets, and filling them with bikes, roller blades, scooters, pedestrians and special events to explore the city in a new way.
It’s fun to see people ride, walk or roll through the car free streets of L.A. This particular event in April was extra special as they shut down 6 miles of Wilshire Blvd, with hubs to stop at along the way. We pedestrians visited the downtown hub to explore all of their activities, shops, performers and food trucks. Learn more about CicLAvia at their website and get ready for the next event Sunday October 5, 2014.
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A few weekends ago we all felt we needed to get out of the city and be in nature. We found a great spot at Topanga State Park. Located at 20825 Entrada Rd, Topanga SP its a quick drive north just inside of the Santa Monica mountains. What we loved about this park the most were the scenic vantage points, and its more lush than many other parks we’ve been to, due to its location nearer to the Pacific Ocean.
The park hosts nearly 40 miles of trails and includes some incredible views of the mountains, the Pacific as well as LA”s famous Eagle Rock. The cool thing about Topanga SP is that it is located entirely within the Los Angeles city limits. We learned it is actually considered the world’s largest wild land park within the boundaries of a major city. Amazing.
We took our time on a relatively easy trail, stopping to take photos and film with the GoPro. There was a perfect breeze and the panorama went around us on both sides of the trail – as if we were on a giant land bridge passing through this vast wild land.
After about an hour and a half of meandering we made it to the top of Eagle Rock trail. The sun and sky were so bright and the greens of the mountains are something you have to see in person. Eagle Rock boasts such an incredible view of the Santa Monica mountains and forests. We took advantage of the time and cool temperatures and played around for quite a while.
We found a hidden cave under the rocks and all 4 of us climbed in for a little siesta. With nothing out in front of us we felt like were dangling on the edge of the world with all of the Santa Monica Mountains to gaze at. There is something very special and bonding about seeing such a beautiful place with the people you love.
Topanga State Park is definitely on our short list of hikes to check out in the city. They are also bike friendly and even allow for Equestrians! (select trails only). The public areas were nice and very clean and there was plenty of easy parking.
CHECK OUT OUR GOPRO VLOG OF THE ADVENTURE AND SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL FOR MORE VIDEOS!
Want to learn more about this hike and many others? Check it out here – http://www.hikespeak.com/trails/eagle-rock-topanga-state-park-trippet-ranch/
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About a month ago Joel and I got to spend an awesome week with my family in Hawaii. We had an amazing trip! Check out the video and pictures below, be sure to subscribe to this blog and our YouTube channel for more L and A in L.A.
Lava rocks on the beach. The island of Hawaii is home to 5 active volcanoes
View from our lanai. Waikoloa Village Resort, Hawaii
Representing my sorority, Delta Zeta(!), hanging out with a sea turtle on Black Sands Beach. Punalu’u, Hawaii
Lehua Flower. Volcano National Park, Hawaii
Akaka Falls, Honomu, Hawaii
Beautiful hibiscus flower at our resort. I was obsessed with these flowers when I was younger.
Joel enjoying the grass while I did some art photography. Check back for more pics!
L&A blog: https://landainla.wordpress.com
Last weekend we had hoped to take a hike up in Malibu and check out some more Hollywood dining. However, we were a little too tired and fatigued from the previous week and opted for grabbing some burgers and fries at Yard House.We drove down to Marina Del Rey and had to wait about 10 minutes before being seated at this massive “upscale-casual” gastro pub in the heart of the Marina’s up and coming mall district. Loee recommended Yard House as we took a long while deciding on food and they have a long menu containing everything from deviled eggs to burgers and gourmet mac and cheeses. The style of food is definitely more Americana but they did have some Southwest and asian style dishes if you wanted something more ethnic.We were seated at a high table by the bar (comfortable but barely large enough to hold 4 dishes and 4 open menus). They have a ton of craft beers and cocktails but we decided not to order drinks this time around. Loee and Joel did order a couple appetizers: Deviled eggs and a seriously gooey Lobster and Artichoke dip with fresh pita for the table. The pita to dip ratios was a little skewed but the mix of artichokes and seasoning and lobster was pretty good.For dinner we all got pretty varied dishes. Joel got the MEDITERRANEAN SEARED SCALLOPS (pan seared scallops with roasted pasilla & spicy hummus with a brown rice sun-dried tomato tabouleh) and LETTUCE WRAPS (stir fried, smoked tofu, pine nuts and green onions with three dipping sauces and choice chicken, tiger shrimp, or shiitake & portabella mushrooms). Loee the BBQ BACON CHEDDAR BURGER (applewood smoked bacon, rum bbq sauce and garlic aïoli with fries) Jeff the GRILLED PASTRAMI (new york style pastrami with pickled jalapeños & mayo on garlic french bread with fries).I opted for the ROASTED TURKEY MELT (swiss, pickled jalapenos and mayo on garlic french bread with fries) and I have to say, this was the lightest least messy yet still full and savory sandwich I have ever had from a restaurant. Although it was stuffed it was light as air. Loee mentioned that although her burger was good, it was not her favorite dish from Yard House. As she frequents this place with coworkers she said that the Mac and cheese is definitely her favorite dish. The shoe string fries were delicious but they unfortunately left them out of mine and Jeff’s To-Go boxes. If you dont’ finish you meal make sure you ask for these little guys to go. The atmosphere was energetic but quite dark. The bar was huge however and there was plenty of seating that the wait seemed short even on a Saturday evening at dinner. They have a wall of windows where you can check out all the beers they have brewing for the restaurant. They boast over 130 different beers and have plenty of huge 8 person booths for grabbing a drink and food with friends. The wrap around bar had a ton of seats and flat screen TVs. For a relatively low LA dining price you can definitely find something to eat and watch at Yard House Check out their menu here. Thanks so much for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog and YouTube Channel for more L&A. xoxo
Ever since Jeff and I saw Cool Haus had a shoppe a block from his house, we knew we needed to add it to the “Check this place out ASAP” list. When we saw the infamous pink house sign illuminated on E. Colorado Blvd. in Old Town we knew we found our cool spot.
Pasadena’s Cool Haus is conveniently located in a communal dining hall with a juicery and a Pie Hole. Although their stand is small, their selection of flavors is great. They consistently rotate through seasonal and custom flavors. Since moving to LA I have pretty much become lactose intolerant, adopting the Soy/Almond/Coconut alternatives. I am usually quick to find a potential sorbet to quench my cool thirst first. But, this girl also needs a chocolate fix almost hourly so I was torn on which flavor to get at Cool Haus…when I saw it.
They have a Dark. Chocolate. Sorbet. What? Stop it.
It was sooo good you guys, you cannot imagine how happy I was to see two desires meet in such a sweet and stomach friendly synthesis of ice-creamy goodness. As they let you get two flavors in their one [generous] scoop option I also picked the Lemon Thyme sorbet. You wouldn’t think lemon and dark chocolate would work – but it did. It so did.
Jeff opted for the incredible complex and very LA chicken and waffles with Nutella mixed in. He wasn’t sure he could really taste the chicken and waffles flavor but the consistency of the ice cream was amazing.
Cool Haus may be be amongst my top LA dessert spots after that day. If you can, please check out their Culver City location or any one you can find near you. They also offer pints and Dry Soda Floats. Lavender and dark chocolate? Yes, that is pry happening next….
You can check out Cool Haus’ website here. We plan on frequenting the Culver City Cool Haus…asap.
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