Thursday, December 5, 2013


So it's the middle of the night and I can't sleep. I should probably be using this time to finish one of my last three assignments, but that seems less than intelligent seeing as how it's already 'tomorrow'. So I figured I would update my little corner of the blogosphere with some pictures from the last few weeks. I've actually spent most of the past few weeks in Arizona but I had a lovely little staycation in the middle of my two trips when Dani Roz came to visit me! Go figure it was one of the few times we actually experienced weather here in sunny SoCal but we made the most of her trip!

A cloudy and cool Santa Monica 

The Grove

channeling my inner french girl

Can't take us anywhere (The Getty)

If you don't know, you should. (The Getty)

Los Angeles views on a cloudy day (The Getty)

Malibu views (The Getty Villa) 
The Getty Villa

Mediterranean feels (The Getty Villa)

Still can't take us anywhere (The Getty Villa)

Secret balcony only to be seen by the people the volunteer likes (The Getty Villa)

Picture 75 from the lovely man, I finally went to take my phone away (The Getty Villa)

Fall in Los Angeles (The Getty Villa)

Dani Roz is Malibu loving (Zuma Beach)

And I'm exploring with critters (Zuma Beach)

Zuma Beach and hundreds of Sea Gulls.

Zuma Beach

Best pastries and the smoothest mocha (DTLA Bottega Louie)

Griffith Park adventures

Griffith Observatory 

DTLA skyline 

Griffith Observatory

The headband shedevils (Rose Bowl)

Gold, gold, gold! ASU wins!

I live my life through pictures. This is not news. But I'm so glad I got to share some of LA's gems with one of my best friends! Now that it's almost 1am, I think I'm going to attempt some sleep.

xoxo my lovelies,

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Stolen from the Internship Blog...

**I wrote this entry a few weeks ago for the school blog. But seeing as how I'm desperately missing my desert, I decided this little love note should be reposted somewhere where people actually read this silly thing.**

I'm an Arizona baby, through and through. I love the desert rain, summer sunsets, and the saguaro  cactus in the background of my surroundings. I grew up hiking the trails of the Superstition mountains and Sabino Canyon. So when I found myself back in Phoenix for class, and stranded due to car troubles for 10 days, I made sure I took a trip out into the desert for a little soul TLC.

As much as I love my desert home, I have always been quite partial to Southern California and the beaches when I needed an escape. It's a 5 hour drive or an hour long flight to find yourself kissing the pacific ocean from my home. Family vacations were often spent in Newport, Balboa, or Huntington beaches and I've escaped to Venice and Santa Monica countless times with friends. So now that I find myself living a mere 12 miles from the coast, and worked less than a mile from the PCH, I'm blessed to make much quicker excursions.

Tuesday was such a clear day that I could see the waves of the Pacific from the fourth floor conference room as we sat in a phone conference. I decided that I needed to be down in the sand after work so I made a detour west, instead of heading home inland in KTown. 

Wednesday was another coastal adventure a little bit further south. Travis and I ventured down to University of California San Diego for their Graduate school fair as representatives of the School of Public Affairs. After a four hour fair and some interesting interactions with some students, we packed up to leave. It was forecasted to be a rainy day, something strange for those living in SoCal. As Travis put the boxes into the car the rain had started. Regardless, we headed to the cove for some salt air. 

Whether I am by the waters edge or next to a 300 year old saguaro, I am so happily at peace that it makes it hard to declare a favorite. I am so excited that I have the ability to be in one place one day and the other the next. True blessings to be thankful for!

Monday, November 4, 2013

A week of chaos

When the talks of this project first started we had a few things we knew, for a fact, that would take place. Recruiting events and Big Ideas. Big Ideas is a conference held for a 100 select city managers and directors by the Alliance for Innovation.

This years Big Ideas was held November 1-3 in both West Hollywood and Santa Monica. AFI also had their annual board meeting and dinner before the conference and Travis and I were invited to attend the entire event. 

Wednesday and Thursday, Travis and I attended two graduate fairs. Wednesday was at UCLA and Thursday (Halloween) was at UC Riverside. UC Riverside had a pretty large group of students interested in the idea of public affairs and it was a successful day. We then headed back to Los Angeles to get ready for the Board dinner and Carnaval afterwards. We got VIP passes from the WeHo city manager before heading off to the Boulevard after dinner, some decked out for the party and others in their business casual attire.

The line leaders for our group for the night. A 6'3" BatGirl and Big Boy with the 3 lb burger led the way through the crowds!
A board member and a guest speaker run into Jesus on the Boulevard.

Rebecca ended up being a hit and everyone wanted a photo with her.

Met up with some of the girls after the Board. 

Amanda Bynes.

After a walk up and down the Boulevard, I called it a night. I had to be back in WeHo bright and early the next day for the Board meeting. After a few hours of observing, we headed across the street to another hotel to set up for the conference. It was a rough day with unexpected difficulties regarding travel, but it went off swimmingly! And let me just say, we had quite the view!

DTLA from the Panorama Room at the Andaz Hotel

Rooftop views, Andaz Hotel, WeHo

California Sunset

Closing remarks at Big Ideas!
In the midst of the conference I flew home to Phoenix for my last class. Dinner with the family was certainly welcome and it's the last class in person for this semester! I'll be back home at the end of the month for Thanksgiving! Until then, oodles of more LA adventures to come, including Disneyland this weekend!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Universal Studios Hollywood

Despite coming to SoCal more times than I can count, I've never gone to Universal Studios. It just wasn't something that we had ever put on our schedule. I had Monday off because I'm working through the weekend and was invited by Kevin to go with him to the park for the day. It was supposed to be cold and rainy but it certainly didn't deter us! We just put on a couple layers and headed to the park.

Thanks Kevin for being such a peach!

Perk of rainy and cold: no lines. We walked right up to the cars for every ride that morning and had a fairly short wait for the Studio tour. I was surprised with how compact the "theme park" side of Universal is. They have certainly mastered the art of getting a lot into a little. The rides were more interactive screens than meandering through a set. We started with Transformers, followed by Jurassic Park, and ended with The Mummy. I don't know what it is at that park, but I got spit on by dinosaurs, mummies, and robots, sneezed on by Donkey, drooled on by Maggie, and rained on in Mexico.

Talk about a view!

For Lunch we hit up an LA classic, Pink's! Seriously, I might argue that they have the best fries I've ever had. EVER. Again, rainy day perk and being at the park was there was no line for Pink's either, which usually has a pretty lengthy wait off park grounds.

The burger was meh, but those mm!
Seeing as how it's the time for all things spook and gore, the park was decked out for their Halloween Horror Nights! The french quarter had all things morbid, the english alley way had lots of chucky dolls and part of the studio tour drops off (at night) to the Walking Dead maze, challenge, something or other.

The studio tour was interesting and of course full of pop culture trivia facts and some really pretty scenery, smack dab in the middle of the hollywood hills. The views from the park are amazing. And the best part? They broke ground on the addition of Harry Potter for the Hollywood park!!! Too bad its still a few years out.

For the characters, we kept bumping into the same ones over and over, small park, slow day, same characters. Minions from Despicable Me, Spongebob (walked off with a stroller), Shrek, Curious George, Scooby and Shaggy with the Mystery Machine, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Boop, Beetlejuice, The Simpson's family, Feivel(!), and Frankenstein.

Bonus points if you find Shrek! 

I snagged Feivel before he headed off to the casino and George is a little more curious than they would like you to believe.  
Scooby minus the Mystery Machine and Shaggy.
It was a fun day and a new adventure with a good friend! Talk about a great Monday!