Top 10 Reasons Why LA is Awesome

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOS ANGELES!

The City of Angels turned 232
on September 4, 2013

LA Sunset

* My Photograph was Featured on DiscoverLosAngeles.com *

My mom and I moved to South Pasadena – only a 15 min drive from the heart of downtown Los Angeles – when I was in 4th grade. I spent the majority of my youthful years in LA, that is until my mom moved back to Texas when I was a sophomore in college. While going to college in Monterey Bay CA, I cherished the clean air and beautiful coast line each and every day. But after 4 years of foggy days, cold blistering winds, and rainy days, I was ready to move back to LA so I could be reminded of what the sun looks like.

I’ve spent 14 years of my life in the City of Angeles, and it truly holds a special place in my heart. There really is NO PLACE like Los Angeles 🙂 In saying that, I’d like to share a couple of key factors that make LA so amazing:

Top 10 Reasons Why LA is AWESOME:

 

  1. ALWAYS SOMETHING TO DO: There is never a week that goes by in Los Angeles that there’s not a festival, event, concert, or some kind of exciting gathering. If people say they are bored in LA, tell them they are crazy and lazy.
  2. SUNSHINE YEAR ROUND: After living in Monterey where there was only about a week of sunshine for the entire year, I learned that LA was in fact where I belonged. I’m a child of the sun and sea – and thanks to the 292 days year round of sunshine in Los Angeles – I’m a happy camper!
  3. LOTS OF HIKING: Yes this is a large city, but we’ve got hills and mountains galore! There’s even a waterfall 5 minutes of the street from my house. If you consider LA a concrete jungle, let me treat you to a hiking tour around the area to change your mind.
  4. MIXING BOWL OF PEOPLE: It’s true that there’s a lot of struggling grads trying to get into the film/production/screenwriting/acting/music industry, but there’s also a lot of other people that make up Los Angeles. There’s more to LA than “Hollywood.” So many people move here from around the world to start a new adventure in their lives!! Never judge a book by its cover in LA – you never know who you are talking to and who they know and what they could do for you.
  5. BEST STAYCATIONS: Everything in LA is a basically a 30 minute drive away. You can be at the beach in the morning splashing around in the ocean, and have a bonfire in the evening at the top of a mountain all in the same day. Palm Springs is just 2 hours away, or Santa Barbara for that matter. It’s easy to escape for a staycation when you live in LA. (Heck, Vegas day trips have been made before..)
  6. ENDLESS AMOUNT OF PALM TREES: Yes this might be strange reason, but you can’t help but love flying into LA and seeing the streets lined with palm trees. It is just a reminder that the beach is just a short drive away from the hustle and bustle. Plus their silhouettes make for some fantastic photos when the sun is setting on that big blue Pacific Ocean.
  7. YOUR TASTE BUDS WILL LOVE YOU: LA has one of the best food scenes in the country. We’ve got such a vast variety of cuisines, we have multiple festivals a year just to showcase it. People travel from all around the world to visit restaurants in LA.
  8. FITNESS CULTURE: People in LA like to look good. A lot of the time it’s for superficial reasons, but hey, who is complaining? Thus, there’s a huge amount of fun fitness activities to participate in. From Crossfit, to Barre classes, to Yoga, to BootCamps – everyone can pick and choose which method to keep them fit and healthy!
  9. DRINK UP: The beer, wine, and mixology scene in LA is fantastic. Which ever beverage you are in the mood for, you can definitely find the hidden bar that specializes in your specific thirst quencher. From dive bars, to breweries, to wineries, to mixology bars, to historic renovated locations, to new and up and coming innovative establishments..you can’t go wrong.
  10. ROLE MODEL: Los Angeles is often times a role model for other cities. Whether it be in the terms of passing a significant bill, changing a law, dealing with environmental issues.. LA is a frontrunner.

If you have any other reasons to add why LA is fantastic – feel free to comment!

My Visit to the Australian Consulate

AustConsulate

Today, I started off my morning sitting in LA traffic – but that didn’t phase me one bit! I had an appointment at the Los Angeles Australian Consulate in Beverly Hills. There are only 7 Australian Consulates and Trade Commissions in the United States, and luckily I have one right here in Los Angeles! When I walked into their offices, I was surrounded by beautiful Aboriginal Art pieces on the wall which made me feel instantly at home. I studying Aboriginal Art at UQ in Brisbane, so understanding the background and history of these great paintings make them so much more unique.

I had the pleasure of meeting Karen Ann Lanyon, the Australian Consul-General. Karen was eager to hop on Twitter and start following me on my campaign for Best Jobs 🙂 . She was thrilled to hear about my Wildlife Caretaker campaign and wished me the best of luck! She made it clear that I should keep the Consulate in the loop this week if I should make it to the Top 3. 

I also had the honor of interviewing with Deborah Bowman, the Deputy Consul-General. She just moved to Los Angeles 6 weeks ago, so she is ‘fresh off the plane’ from Australia as they say.

deborahbowman

Deborah feels like SHE has the Best Job in the World! Not everyone can say that about their profession, so it pleases me that Deborah really enjoys working for the Australian Consulate and is passionate about her job (‘love your job, and you never work a day in your life‘). The Deputy Consul General was very eager to hear more about my journey to win my dream job of being South Australia’s Wildlife Caretaker!

We connected INSTANTANEOUSLY when I mentioned I had previously lived in Brisbane for a year studying at the University of Queensland, Saint Lucia. She used to live and work in Brisbane as well! We chatted about our favorite places to visit in the city: the amazing farmers market they had on Sundays in front of the casino, taking the City Cat up and down the river, and enjoying the botanical gardens.

Her husband is an environmentalist, so she is already quite knowledgable about the Australian ecosystems and native wildlife. Deborah shared with me some great home stories about Australian wild animals which they sort of ‘adopted’ at their home in Canberra. We truly had some great conversations!

I came prepared with a couple hard-hitting questions for Mrs. Bowman to answer – check out our great interview below:

1- How many Australians live in California?

There are about 10,000 Aussies that live in California at the moment. 

2- What is your favorite Australian activity?

Bush-Walking! My husband is an environmentalist so we love going in the outback and exploring nature. 

3- Do you have a desired Australian cuisine?

Well, let me just say that I love cooking. It’s one of my favorite things to entertain and have people over to cook for them. I have tried all of the Australian ‘specialties’ : crocodile, shark, kangaroo, etc… I’d rather host some friends over and my own dishes though 🙂

4- What’s your #1 activity to do in South Australia?

My grandfather used to live in South Australia, and now my cousins live there. I’ve always loved going to the beaches in South Australia, they are beautiful. We also love to bush-walk down there as well. 

5- Favorite Australian native creature?

The Wombat – my grandfather’s house in South Australia was surrounded by stunted gum trees, which made for beautiful silhouettes in the evening time. And once the sun went down, a wombat would come waddling up to the house from on the gum trees to investigate my grandpa’s trash haha. 

6- Best advice to give a soon-to-be Wildlife Caretaker in South Australia?

Be yourself and keep up the great campaign!

Help Me Reach My Goal To Raise Money for Children With Cancer & Their Families!

So as I mentioned in a previous post– I signed up to run my first 5K (another Bucket List item) along with a group of friends under the team name: LOVE FIT LIFE :

PADRES 5K Run/Walk in Honor of the Courage & Spirit of Children with Cancer and their Families

I found out after signing up officially today- that I can make my own page and raise money for the children with Cancer and their families. SO of course I set a goal to raise $200.00! Currently I’ve raised a total of $50.00- and I would be super happy to reach $200.00 before June 24th- or hopefully raise OVER $200.00!

PLEASE VISIT MY DONATION PAGE AND SUPPORT THIS GREAT CAUSE

I feel it is very important to inform you on the details of the PADRES Parents Against Cancer (Contra El Cáncer) foundation with you a little more. Here is their Mission Statement:

PADRES Contra El Cáncer is an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children with cancer and their families.  While primarily oriented to the Latino community, PADRES’ programs, activities and services benefit childhood cancer patients and their families from all ethnic and economic backgrounds so that NO FAMILY IS TURNED AWAY and all services are FREE.

This is their PURPOSE:

Founded in 1985, PADRES brings together children, families, healthcare professionals and community leaders to promote a comprehensive understanding of childhood cancer and other blood disorders, as well as effective methods for their treatment. Located at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, PADRES currently remains the only Latino organization of its kind operating within the United States. PADRES’ unique and inclusive program model is premised upon the delivery of a health and education curriculum designed to be culturally-relevant, family-centered and community-based. To learn more about PADRES’ life-saving mission, please visit www.IAmHOPE.org.

Actress Eva Longoria was the first national spokesperson for this organization. She was recently quoted stating, “I’m blessed to be a part of PADRES. Being with these children was the highlight of my month. They have so much energy and enthusiasm. They appreciate the very breath that they take, reminding me of the importance of taking life day by day.”

So please DONATE if you can- whether it be $1 or $25 – anything is worthwhile for children with Cancer and their families. THANK YOU!

Jennifer Morrison, Amaury Nolasco, Eva Longoria, and Christain De La Fuente at the 2009 PADRES 5K.

Hurricane Winds in Southern California

So a week and a half ago- much of the San Gabriel Valley was hit HARD by hurricane winds. We have not witnessed anything like this in over 100 years- gusts of winds hit 95 mph!

The damage done in Pasadena- where I live- was outrageous. So  many trees fell down- onto power lines, houses, streets, and sidewalks. Unfortunately people were out of power in numerous cities for up to 8 days. Luckily my power came back on the day afterward around noon. I didn’t sleep the entire night…my house would shake every 2 minutes and my windows would rattle violently. It was just extremely SCARY! It felt like my house was going to crack open- or a tree was going to crash through it.

I finally got to sleep from 6am-11am then went into work. But on my way to work- the amount of damage on and around the streets were jaw-dropping. Then when I arrived to work I saw these huge over a century year old Ficus trees laying in the middle of the road- 3 HUGE ONES on the block where I work. It was very unfortunate indeed. I wasn’t in the mood to work that day.. it was a “devastation day” in my books.

I wanted to share with you some photos from around Pasadena. I also went on a 6.5 mile hike up and down Mount Wilson the weekend after the winds- there were some down trees on the path there as well.

Bye bye plastic bags in Los Angeles!!!

Thank you LA for finally stepping up to the plate.

On July 1st, plastic grocery bags will be banned in unicorporated areas of Los Angeles County. This will effect about 1.1 million people who live in unincorporated cities of LA. The ban will take place in such cities as Rowland Heights, Hacienda Heights, Altadena, La Crescenta, Topanga Canyon, Marina del Rey, Baldwin Hills, Athens, Willowbrook, Florence, Rancho Dominguez, Valencia, East Pasadena and East Los Angeles.

Credit: Los Angeles Times

If you’ve ever driven around LA, you’ll notice that plastic bags are stuck in trees next to the sides of roads and freeways. Also known as “urban tumbleweeds.” No wonder Katy Perry sang, “Do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind?” in her Firework song.

67 large supermarkets, as well as pharmacies, will no longer be providing customers with disposable plastic bags. WAHOOO FINALLY!

Everyone grab your reusable bags and save the planet- one plastic bag at a time.

 

Hiking is Good for the Soul.

Living in Los Angeles one might not think that there are too many hikes in nature in this vast concrete jungle. But that is where you are wrong! There are lots of fun little nature escapes all around..you just have to find them.

This past weekend I went on an excursion to Franklin Canyon Park in Beverly Hills with my boyfriend Jack. It’s a huge park with around 605 acres equipped with waterfalls, streams, lots of greenery, and fun trails. Not to mention staring at the jaw-dropping mansions along the outside perimeter of the park- holy cow! One can only hope to have a house like that one day…shoot that reminds me I need to buy some Lotto Tickets!

Anyway-It was a wonderful way to start off my Sunday. I love nature! Also- the people watching was excellent as well..one of my favorite activities.

Here are some of the pictures from the hike- hope you enjoy them.

It’s a New Year. Where has the time gone?

Can you believe 2011 has already hit us hard in the face of reality?

Did that make any sense? Sorry, I just drove from Modesto to Los Angeles and it took 10 hours (- 1 hour break for In&Out for dinner). Still..it should have only taken about 5 hours to get home..but the Grapevine section of the 5 freeway was closed due to snow (thanks Mother Nature) so we had to cut across California and take the 101 home. WHOOOOO talk about getting car fever, I sure can sit that still for very long.

Well, last year went by like a flash. Especially in the last month (read previous entry) since my weeks melted into one big ball of stress and airplane rides. I graduate college (FINALLY!) and now I’m one of those 70% of college students who are unemployed- but hopefully that will not be for long! I moved back down to my hometown in Southern California- South Pasadena baby.

I am excited to see where life will lead me..if any of you readers know of any cool jobs in SoCal then let me know!

I had a great new years and Christmas. I will upload some awesome photos once I take my computer into Best Buy and they help me fix the issues going on inside of it :/ tomorrow.

Anywho- hope you guys rang in the new year with lots of bubbly and people you love!

Life=Crazy

Ohhhh hello everyone!

Sorry I’ve been so MIA lately on the posts..it seems as though graduating college and moving your whole life to the different end of the state takes up some time.

Basically here is a run-through of my life for the past couple weeks, and weeks to come:

*writing papers

*taking final exams

*making and giving my final senior capstone speech and presentation to a group of professors and students and parental units (see picture below)

My Senior Capstone Presentation

*packing up my life

*picking my mom up from the airport

*driving to napa

*drinking lots of yummy wine in Napa (for free..working for a wine tasting room in carmel valley has its perks!)

*visiting my grandpa who is loosing his memory at the veteran’s home near Napa..clearing some things up there

*eating some delish freshly hand-made raviolis (thanks Jen!)

*driving back to monterey, more packing

*pick up the Uhaul to pack my stuff into and leave the next morning..too bad the one we reserved wasn’t there and a 16 footer was there instead..haha no way my mom could drive that sucker down to LA

*come home..finish packing up stuff…next morning find a 10 foot Uhaul (HOORAY!)-pick it up-get to of my guy friends to load the truck (thanks Alex and Bryan)

*sold my bed (thanks Caleb!)

*hit the road to LA! all in the rain..for 6/7 hours..ooohh boy..props to my mom for driving that Uhaul through and over the Grapevine.

*meet up with the boyfriend- get dinner- stay with him for the evening

*next morning go back to where my mom was staying and unload the Uhaul (in the rain…) in a storage unit

*drive to Anaheim…California Adventure in the evening time…Disneyland the next day…got a season pass WOOO

My mom and I met Santa at Disneyland!

*drive to South Pasadena (get lost on the way) and meet up with some friends..drive to the airport…get on a plane…and now I’m in Texas with my family for the holidays!

Props to whoever reads all of the bullet points all the way through!!

I’ve read some really great stories- and hopefully I will be able to put them up on the blog here soon to share with you. And I am SUREEE I will get some great holiday photos over the next couple of weeks.

So I wish you all a happy holiday season! With whatever holiday tradition you celebrate- I hope it’s filled with love, family, joy, and friends.