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wanderlust wednesday [travel list challenge].

11 Apr

One of my favorite healthy living bloggers, Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers, crossed genres today when she posted her responses to the Travel List Challenge that is floating around the web these days.

I love to travel, and it’s hard to believe that a year ago I was in-between trips to Mallorca and Ibiza, and planning one with a friend to Munich. It seems like a lifetime ago sometimes, and when I daydream I miss the ability to jaunt to another country for a couple of nights (cheaply, of course) and to stroll Madrid’s broad boulevards at all hours of the day. So, since the only traveling I’m doing anytime soon is between West Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles, I thought I’d follow Julie’s lead and post my answers to the Travel List Challenge.

The pink locations are the places I’ve checked off the old bucket list:

1. Alamo
San Antonio, Texas, USA

2. Alhambra 
Granada, Spain

january 2011.

3. Andros Island
Bahamas

4. Angel Falls
Venezuela

5. Angkor Wat
Angkor, Cambodia

6. Atlantic City Boardwalk
Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA

7. Ayers Rock
Australia

8. Big Ben 
London, England

june 2006. (first trip abroad!)

9. Bora Bora
Polynesia

10. British Museum
London, England

11. Canals of Amsterdam
Amsterdam, Netherlands

12. Cathedral of Seville 
Seville, Spain

january 2009. (cristobal colon's tomb is here...epic).

13. Cave of Crystals
Mexico

14. Christ the Redeemer
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

15. Cinque Terre National Park
Italy

16. Colosseum
Rome, Italy

with my friend hannes, june 2006.

becca and me, april 2009.

17. Crater Lake National Park
Oregon, USA

18. Dead Sea
Israel/Jordan

19. Death Valley National Park
California, USA

20. Devil’s Tower
Wyoming, USA

21. Dome of the Rock
Jerusalem, Israel

22. Easter Island Statues
Polynesia

23. Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh, Scotland

24. Eiffel Tower
Paris, France

July 2009.

the city of light.

25. Empire State Building,
New York City, New York (I’ve been to NYC twice and just realized I have never been to the top of the Empire State Building! My mom and brother have, though, so there’s that). 

26. Forbidden City
Beijing, China

27. French Quarter
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

28. Galapagos Islands

Ecuador

29. Gateway Arch
St. Louis, Missouri, USA

30. Gettysburg Battlefield
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA

31. Glacier Bay Basin
Alaska, USA

32. Glacier National Park
Montana, USA

33. Glowworm Cave
New Zealand

34. Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco, California, USA

walking across with my friend Lily, May 2010.

35. Grand Canal
Venice, Italy

angela and i, july 2006. 🙂

36. Grand Canyon
Arizona, USA

37. Grand Mosque in Mecca
Saudi Arabia

38. Great Barrier Reef
Queensland, Australia

39. Great Mosque of Córdoba
Córdoba, Spain

roadtrip from Madrid, november 2010.

40. Great Wall of China
China

41. Hagia Sophia
Istanbul, Turkey

42. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Hawaii, USA

43. Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, California, USA

44. Iguazu Falls
Argentina and Brazil

45. Kiyomizu-dera
Kyoto, Japan

46. Kremlin
Moscow, Russia

47. Lake Titicaca
Peru

48. Las Ramblas
Barcelona, Spain

first stoll, January 2009.

drinks at a rooftop hotel off las ramblas with my aunt, june 2011.

49. Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas, Nevada

january 2010. one visit of many.

50. Leaning Tower of Pisa
Pisa, Italy

51. Louvre Museum
Paris, France

july 2006.

52. Macchu Picchu
Peru

53. Matterhorn
Switzerland

54. Mayan Pyramids of Chichen Itza
Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

55. Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York City, New York, USA

56. Mount Everest
Nepal

57. Mount Fuji
Japan

58. Mount Kilimanjaro
Tanzania

59. Mount Rushmore
Keystone, South Dakota, USA

60. Napa Valley
California, USA

with my a-chi-os april 2010.

61. Ngorongoro Crater
Tanzania

62. Niagara Falls
New York, USA

63. Notre Dame Cathedral
Paris, France

july 2009.

64. Pacific Rim National Park
British Columbia, Canada

65. Pebble Beaches of Nice
Nice, France

66. Petra
Jordan

67. Petronas Twin Towers
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

68. Portland Head Lighthouse
Cape Elizabeth, Maine, USA

69. Puerta Del Sol
Madrid, Spain

moved to madrid! september 2010.

70. Pyramids of Giza
Egypt

71. Redwood National Park
California, USA

72. Rock of Gibraltar
Gibraltar

73. Rocky Mountain National Park
Colorado, USA

74. Ruins of Athens
Athens, Greece

75. Ruins of Pompeii
Pompei, Italy

76. Sagrada Famila
Barcelona, Spain

my home for four months. jan-april 2009.

revisited. april 2011.

77. Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower)
Chicago, Illinois, USA

78. Sedlec Ossuary
Czech Republic

79. Sistine Chapel
Vatican City, Italy

80. Smithsonian Institution
Washington, D.C., USA

81. Space Needle
Seattle, Washington, USA

family trip, june 2007.

82. St. Peter’s Basilica
Vatican City, Italy

83. Statue of Liberty
New York City, New York, USA

trip with my dad, summer 2008.

84. Stonehenge
Wiltshire County, England

85. Sydney Opera House
Sydney, Australia

86. Taj Mahal
Agra, India

87. Temple of the Golden Pavilion
Kyoto, Japan

88. Teotihuacan
Mexico

89. Tian Tan Buddha
Hong Kong, China

90. Times Square
New York City, New York, USA

summer 2008.

91. Varanasi
Uttar Pradesh, India

92. Victoria Falls
Zimbabwe

93. Wailing Wall
Jerusalem, Israel

94. Walt Disney World Resort
Orlando, Florida

95. Washington Monument
Washington, D.C., USA

summer 2010.

96. White Cliffs of Dover
Dover, England

june 2006.

97. White House
Washington, D.C., USA

98. Winchester Cathedral
Hampshire, England

99. Yosemite National Park
California, USA

100. Zion National Park
Utah, USA

How many of the 100 have YOU been to? Leave your number in the comments!
I’ve made it to 30 places on the list! Not too shabby…but lots more to check out.

And top 3 places you haven’t been to that you’d like to make it to?

Mine are Christ the Redemeer in Rio de Janeiro, the French Quarter in New Orleans, and the Pyramids in Egypt!

spring break eats :)

7 Mar

I survived my Torts midterm on Monday! After 66 rousing multiple choice questions, my friends and I commenced the beginning of our super-short “spring break.” (I put spring break in quotes because we have work to do during it, but what else is new).

A group of my friends and I headed over to El Cholo downtown for necessary margaritas. Later that night the revelry continued at The Churchill and St. Nick’s on West 3rd Street.

negligence? what's that?

post-midterm lunch 🙂

Tuesday night, Whitney and I headed over to The Farmer’s Market at 3rd and Fairfax to take advantage of a Bloomspot deal I bought back in November for a restaurant called Little Spain.

For $25, we got 2 “copas de Sangria” and a hefty assortment of (super authentic) Spanish tapas.

If you’ve been reading the blog for awhile, you know that I studied abroad in Barcelona junior year of college and then moved back to Madrid after graduation to teach English for a year. Spanish food is delicious – but I definitely over-dosed after 9 months of living there. Now that I’m back in California, though, it’s really hard to find authentic tapas like jamón serrano, tortilla espanola, and croquetas!

I was beyond pleased with the selection at Little Spain!

tapas!

Barcelona's Parc Guell. aka my happy place.

Barcelona's Parc Guell. aka my happy place.

My last Spring Break restaurant outing thus far was lunch on Wednesday Downtown at Bottega Louie, a place I have literally been meaning to try for months. I read Lynn‘s review of it before we went, and was happy to see she said that it was pretty casual (it looks super frou-frou from the outside).

My roommate Jenn and I met our friend from our sorority in college, Amanda, for a lunch (Amanda is on spring break this week as well from law school at Georgetown). I was super stoked to try Bottega. We shared the Portobello Fries (INSANELY GOOD – a must), the [deconstructed] Ceasar salad, and a delicious Napoli pizza.

Pizza, Macarons, and Portobello Fries.

On my way out, I picked up 5 macarons to bring to my parents since I drove out to the Conejo Valley to spend the night. I selected some intriguing flavors: Rose, Espresso, Chocolate Orange, Vanilla, and Salted Caramel. After cutting into a couple to try, both parentals elicited various words in the “yummmm” category.

The rest of Spring Break will include running some errands (my MacBook Pro’s trackball function has been acting up), working out and doing a little homework, and a quick trip to Palm Springs this coming weekend!

Look out for posts detailing my new favorite workout music and workouts [and where I’m at running wise] in the near future.

Enjoy your week!

two thousand eleven: the playlist.

31 Dec

Last year, I reviewed 2010 in mash-up form. I love starting (and maintaing) traditions so I thought I’d do a similar month-by-month re-cap of my year with a song for each month. 2011 was exciting, and also a sort of transitional year. And, just like last year, if you want a breakdown of the music of the year, listen to this. Here’s the breakdown…

January – What’s My Name Rihanna f/ Drake

This is the song for January because the first time I heard it was when I was in Bilbao with my mom at a coffee shop the beginning of the month. We also went to San Sebastian and Granada and had a great time together in all three (we both loved Granada the most, though). My mom wrote a guest post or two, I re-dedicated myself to long distance running in Madrid, and celebrated my 23rd birthday in Madrid with a night at Kapital (a 7 story club).

with my mom in front of the legendary Guggenheim in Bilbao.

February – Grenade by Bruno Mars 

I am pretty sure that song was popular in the states long before I ever heard in Madrid, but that song reminds me of last February which was a short but memorable month. I bonded with the kids at my school and at my private lessons, immersed myself in Madrid and went to a Real Madrid game (despite being a Barça fan) and got in some long runs. I also went on two fun trips: Marrakesch, Morocco, which remains one of my favorite excursions, and Tenerife, in the Canary Islands which was fun and beautiful.

morocco.

sunset in tenerife.

March – Loca People by Sak Noel

March was a very “Spain” month – I blogged a lot about the kids’ antics, and I also went to Valencia for the Las Fallas festival, showed my sorority friend Amy around Madrid, and dealt with Spanish banking inefficiency my own idiocy. I chose this song for Madrid because it basically pokes fun at how the party scene in Spain is just so “loca.” 

burn, fallas, burn.

April – Jennifer Lopez On The Floor 

April was a fabulous month – I kicked it off by setting a PR in the half marathon in Madrid (my friend Hannes also ran it!) I also developed my intense love affair with 100 Montaditos, went to a typically Spanish capea and tried to fight a bull, and traveled to Mallorca and Barcelona with my roommates and friend Krisse who was visiting. I specifically loved spending one of my favorite holidays, Dia de San Jordi, in my favorite city in the world, Barcelona, with my friends Krisse and Lily. I also became more involved with the blogging world in April and signed up for the SF Nike Women’s Half Marathon!

at the capea.

dia de san jordi with krisse and lily.

May – Hello by Martin Solveig and Dragonette

I picked this song because I heard it at Pacha Ibiza when I was there for a few days at the beginning of the month. Ibiza had been on my list fora  few years and it was awesome – gorgeous views and insane nightlife. I need to go back sometime during busy season (late May – September). I also went to the first communion of a girl I tutor, Gracia, which was fun, experienced the pre-cursor to the Occupy Wall Street movement, 15-M in the center of Madrid, and I did a 10k with my roommate, Kerren. I also hit up the Madrid Open with my 1st and 2nd graders and hung out with my friend Michelle in Madrid.

Gracia's communion.

raging ibiza.

June – Sufre Marmón by Hombres G

June was bittersweet – I went to Munich with my friend Laura, but then said goodbye to my school (tears were shed). This song reminds me of all the kids – one of them, Alejandro, serenaded the whole class on one of the last days. I also hung out with my uncle Casey and my aunt Melinda – and my aunt and I went to Barcelona and took the AVE! I also headed home to LA at the end of the month (but not before finishing my self-imposed 100 Montaditos challenge!) and I finally entered 2011 and got an iPhone.

my uncle and me in madrid.

loving 100 montaditos.

July – Don’t Wanna Go Home by Jason Derulo

This song was all over the radio when I first got home, and it was sort of fitting (even though I was happy to be home). July started with a 4th of July 10k (and PR) with Hannes, got my first “real” apartment in WEst Hollywood, went art museum hopping in Santa Barbara and in Pasadena, checked out the street art in Venice and at the Banksy exhibit in LA, went to Santa Cruz with the family, and visited the famous Watts Towers,  and most importantly, went to Vegas! What a fun summer month 🙂

Venice, CA

August – Drake Headlines 

The big “headline” for my August was starting law school! August 22 began a 4-month long-grind but I can honestly say I have loved it so far. Beyond that, I also explored my new neighborhood a little bit with visits to Cuvee, Jack n Jills too and Real Food Daily, Father’s Office, Taste, Toast, and more. I also began marathon training with the LA Leggers in Santa Monica! This is when the blog officially went from a travel and running blog to a food/beer/running blog.

pretty cafes at urth.

September – Paris by Jay-Z and Kanye West

In reality, this song could be August-December because it is that huge an obsession (really I love the whole Watch the Throne album). September involved a lot of school, running, various libraries, lunch at Lemonade and dinner at Gaby’s, and celebrated my Dad’s birthday at home. Other highlights include lots of dorky 1L jokes and a ton of case reading. #win!

oh hey, september.

October – Avicii Levels

I had to pick this song because it made it onto my half-marathon playlist and is a great running jam (school and running would dominate 10/11). I took my first midterm (Property), celebrated my mom’s birthday with a BOMB dinner at Red O, hiked Runyon Canyon, checked out the WeHo library, and ran the SF Nike Women’s Half (poor race strategy and over-eagerness early on would prevent me from PR-ing #sad).

at the race expo. not the most flattering pic but what can you do.

November – Chris Brown Beautiful People

And yet again, I picked a song to symbolize the month based on that month’s race playlist. I was the 2nd female overall in the WeSPARK 10k at Universal Studios which was pretty awesome, and I also got a PR by about two seconds. November was largely consumed by school and finals prep, but I managed to see Bill Maher perform, enjoy dinner at Tart, and have Thanksgiving at home and run a fun 5k locally with some old high school friends and teammates (no PR this time, I will never again see my 5k PR – hah).

universal studios.

December – Take Care Drake f/ Rihanna

It wasn’t even intentional that my boy Drizzy Drake bookended my year…this song is epic and I blared it on repeat while I was studying (as much as you can blare a song while wearing headphones in the library, but whatever). In December I studied for 3 weeks straight and had multiple law school dreams, and injured my knee early in the month forcing me to pull back from my marathon training and cozy up to my local PT. The knee is stronger and finals are over, allowing me some time to fit in Christmas with my family, a trip to Vegas, and of course plenty of time to explore new LA eateries. It feels great to be back off blogging hiatus!

umami burger. another obsession.

Hope everyone has a fun night tonight! Here’s to a fabulous 2012 🙂

Thank you to all of my readers and commenters – this year I really got into blogging and am excited to leap ahead into 2012 with you all!

property. all day, erryday.

7 Oct

So this coming Tuesday is my first midterm in law school. Weirdly, I am not as nervous as I was for my first paper in college. I still remember calling my Dad, explaining to him what my assignment was as I walked back to Unit 3 in Berkeley, and being nervous because this was my first “college paper.” Now, that Poli Sci 1, four page paper seems like a total joke.

My Property midterm on Tuesday is 15-20 “objective” questions – that’s law school mumbo-jumbo for multiple choice. Sweet – less memorization and writing, and a shorter exam. Although we’re only half-way though the semester, Property is one of my favorite classes (I go back and forth between nerding out harder for Crim and Property – I don’t hate Civil Procedure or Contracts, I’m just not quite as into them).

I’ve been doing practice problems, going over my outline, and brushing up on the relevant cases. This evening, I spent a little bit of time at Urth Cafe on Melrose, and much of the rest of the weekend will become devoted to becoming a property beast.

spanish latte and my outline.

While overhearing typical LA conversations about guys who work on Modern Family and own casinos in Ghana (??) I got some work done – AND satiated my inner Spain cravings with this Spanish latte. I’m normally a bold, black coffee kinda girl, but when I saw on the menu that it was a “Spanish latte inspired by coffee in Barcelona,” I fell hard for the gimmick. It was  little sweet and maybe cinnamony for me, but it was great to study outdoors or a change!

barcelona, baby.

Also, I am now officially one of those people who thinks law school jokes are funny. A rap about RAP (Rule Against Perpetuities)? Why not! Of course it’s funny!

So, I’ll leave you wondering about the ins and outs of property, but the midterm is covering the broad spectrum of “finders” (literally – who owns something they “found”…and the answer changes depending on if what they found was lost, mislaid, or abandoned), adverse possession, Intellectual Property (copyrights/patents/my favorite section), right to your own body (cells extracted from your body are NOT your possession – Moore v. Regents of University of California, and possessory and future estates, the Rule Against Perpetuities, and of course – who has the right to own a captured fox?

Hope everyone has a terrific weekend!

my travel ABCs

17 Sep

Kaley tagged me in this travel survey, and after reading her responses I was excited to finish up my school work for the week and have the chance to unwind and get this post out! As some of my friends from Spain are heading back this week for a second year teaching as a North American Language Assistant, I’m experiencing some major symptoms of wanderlust, so this will temporarily fill the void. Here are my travel ABCs…

A: Age you went on your first international trip: I was young the first time I went to Mexico, but that doesn’t really count. I was 18, right after high school graduation when I first officially went abroad with about 40 kids from my class. We did the traditional first-time-to-Europe jaunt: London, Paris, Rouen, Normandy, Lucerne, Venice, Florence, Rome. This trip was great because it exposed me to travel and gave me the confidence to want to go back.

world cup 2006 in Rome.

B: Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where: Ever since trying Portugal’s Super Bock when I went to Lisbon in March 2009, I’ve been obsessed with it. Not going to lie, it was probably a major part of my decision to go to Porto last December.

the obsession beginning in Cascais, near Lisbon.

...and continuing in Porto.

C: Cuisine (favorite): I love Spanish food, but my hand’s down favorite is Greek/Israeli/Turkish. Give me a kebab and some hummus and I’m a happy camper.

Destinations (favorite, least favorite, and why): It’s not surprise that my favorite destination is Barcelona. After studying abroad there my junior year, I’d argue that it’s more of a love affair than a mere obsession. My least favorite destination is probably Venice – it was SO touristy and crowded when I went that I probably wouldn’t go back.

my roommate in Barcelona and I. magic.

eh.

E: Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow”: This is a tough one because I have a few, namely because “wow” can be interpreted in many different ways. My trip to Morocco was wow-worthy because it was so different from everywhere else I’ve been. Conversely, the house music experience in Ibiza was also pretty awesome. On my first trip to Europe, though, we stumbled across the Rouen Cathedral which Monet painted upwards of 30 times, with his paintings projected onto them. It was so cool and such a lucky find.

F: Favorite mode of transportation: Is this a joke? The metro.

compañeras del piso en madrid.

G: Greatest feeling while traveling: Independence and feeling like the world is at my fingertips.

H: Hottest place you’ve traveled to: Hmm, it gets pretty hot in Southern California, but it was ridiculously hot last June in Madrid. Whoa nelly.

melting in madrid with my uncle casey.

I: Incredible service you’ve experienced and where: Hmm, nowhere in Spain, that’s for sure – but that’s part of Spain’s charm I guess. The best service I’ve experienced has been in the United States – in random places like the bank, too.

J: Journey that took the longest: Hmm, how about the first time I moved to Spain? LAX to Dallas/Ft.Worth to London – Heathrow to Madrid, and then a 7 hour bus-ride after our orientation.  At least it was worth the hype.

K: Keepsake from your travels: I write fiendishly in my Moleskine notebooks I had in Barcelona and Madrid, and I also wear a ring everyday I bought in Barcelona.

L: Let-down sight (why and where): I just wasn’t that into the city of Valencia when I went last spring, although the Las Fallas festival was pretty fabulous. I’d also say Milan was pretty skip-able.

M: Moment where you fell in love with travel: Probably the second I stepped foot in the city of Barcelona and realized what an epic place it is. Or, more realistically, when I went to Portugal in March of 2009 and made friends at my hostel, felt blissed out in Cascais, and got lost and talked to locals and couldn’t wait to plan more trips.

becca and i biking in Cascais.

muito bom.

N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in: This is a tough one, but honestly probably the Grand Californian at Disney’s California Adventure. Happy 18th Birthday, Kelsey, haha! OR the W in San Fransicso...Happy 22nd Birthday, Amanda…I have awesome friends.

O: Obsession – what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?: All of the blog classics – views, food, and funny sights/advertisements.

salmorejo in madrid.

fav holiday in my fav city.

view of san sebastian.

P: Passport stamps – how many and from where: Sad story, I lost my first passport. Well, as I learned this week in Property, it wasn’t so much lost as it was mislaid (Ryanair flight, Porto to MAD – FML). Since you don’t get stamps for EU countries, mine have all been pretty standard – USA, Spain, Canada – but I do have stamps from Frankfurt, Germany, Lichtenstein and Marrakech, Morocco!

Q: Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where: Hmm. I’m sure I’ve sought out a lot of quirky things – but nothing too off the wall is jumping out at me. So instead, I’ll leave with you the most typical attraction my family has visited – the world’s very first Starbucks location at Pike Place Market in Seattle.

my dad's mecca.

R: Recommended sight, experience, or location: Eating at a restaurant that doesn’t have a menu in English and ordering the local speciality. and the local beer.

S: Splurge – something you have no trouble forking money over for while traveling: A nice meal out. While I normally travel pretty thriftily, on short trips I like to have at least one nice, sit-down, authentic meal.

Lyon, France.

Bilbao, Spain.

T: Touristy thing you’ve done: I’m all about seeing the major sites – that’s a huge point of traveling! I took free walking tours in Berlin, Prague, and Munich. The most touristy thing I’ve ever done, though, was last summer when I traveled to Toronto (on business!) and took a double-decker bus tour by myself.

U: Unforgettable travel memory: My last night in Barcelona was amazing – my senora, Marta, took me out to her favorite pizza place in El Raval for pizzas and a few Estrella Damm beers, and then she walked me through the city to meet up with my friends for one last trip to La Ovella Negra. Then, a year and half later, I went back to Barcelona and met up with Marta at the bar her son owns to watch the Real Madrid/FC Barcelona game. Viva Barça!

V: Visas – how many where? I’ve just had two, and both were for Spain. The first one was a cinch to get for study abroad – thanks, ISA – but the second one, for my auxiliares program, was a huge pain.

W: Wine – best glass of wine while traveling and where? Hmm. I’m not a huge wine drinker (still feeling the effects from the worst resaca of my life that happened a year ago from too much red wine. Yes, I am indeed sorry for partying). I’d have to say the best wine I’ve had was probably from a winery in wine country itself: Sonoma County, California. Close second would be Catalunya’s cava.

sonoma.

cava in catalunya.

X: eXcellent view and from where: This is impossible to narrow down, so my favorites are Barcelona from Park Guell, Madrid’s Palacio Real from the Templo de Debod, and San Francisco from my room senior year:

BCN.

MAD.

SF from B-town.

Y: Years spent traveling? Well, really only 4 months Spain Pt. I, 9 months Spain Pt. II, and maybe a couple other months total of shorter trips? We’ll go with 1.5 years.

Z: Zealous sports fans and where? Essentially anywhere in Spain – streets, cafés, bars – but the atmosphere was always pretty intense at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu when I went to a few games last year!

Alright – now the fun part! I get to tag 5 people to complete the survey. Solid combo of real life friends, blog friends, and blogs I’ve recently started reading. I’m tagging these 5:

Anywhere There’s an Airport

Photographs by Tina

No Olives Please

Funky France

Pancakes and Postcards

So, do we differ wildly on any of these? Or do you agree with any of them? Pick a couple of your favorite letters and answer them in the comments section!

gaudí in los angeles?

25 Jul

Last week, my Dad and I did something we’ve wanted to do for a long time – we drove deep into Los Angeles to see the Watts Towers. They’re pretty awesome.

The towers consist of 17 inter-connected structures made by one man: Italian immigrant Simon Rodia, over 33 years (1921-1954). The towers are made with steel pipes and rods, and decorated with bits of tiles, porcelain, and found glass. Some of the glass is from recognizable soda bottles from the era – I spotted many green Canada Dry bottles.

The structures have drawn comparison to Antoní Gaudí’s work in Barcelona – and yes, this is one of (if not the main) reason for me wanting to see the Watts Towers. While the styles are different, there are definite similarities.

Gaudí's La Sagrada Familia

mosaics at Gaudí's Park Guell

Park Guell.

Do you notice the similarities? Or I am so Barcelona-obsessed that I’m making this up?

The Watts Towers were pretty cool – although not as tall as I thought they would be initially.

new obsession: instagram on the iPhone.

My Dad and I were happy to check this off our LA bucket list – it’s cool something like this exists and has been preserved. It was a trek out to Watts, but worth it 🙂

What’s your favorite example of street or outdoor art? 

statements on state street.

18 Jul

santa barbara museum of art.

Last Saturday, my mom and I spent the afternoon on Santa Barbara’s uber-charming State Street – our first stop was Santa Barbara’s Museum of Art. We’d never been before and were overwhelmed by how much we loved the collections – even though it was a relatively small one! The visting collection is “Van Gogh to Munch” through August 28th – and it featured some pretty stunning works by many big-name impressionists. That wasn’t the only cool collection though – in the other rooms I spotted many of my favorite artists.

Honey is Sweeter than Blood, Salvador Dalí, 1941

I’ve had a fascination with Dalí since I went to Madrid’s Reina Sofia museum for the first time in 2009, and again when I checked out the Dalí museum in Figueres, Catalunya, Spain. So glad this little museum in SB had something of his! I love how quirky and wacky Dalí is – and how is technique is so uniquely his.

Pont St. Michel, 1901 (Matisse)

I loved the colors in this work by Matisse.

Blow Up, 2007, Ori Gersht

The Ori Gersht exhibit (through September 4th) was cool and unique. It’s cool to see where modern art is at currently – and this flower explosion was so innovative technique-wise. It’s hard to believe this was basically a photograph!

Joan Miró work, part of the "Drawn to Modernism" collection.

Like Dalí, I developed a Miró fascination when I first saw his works in Madrid’s Reina Sofia museum, and then again when I saw more of his stuff scattered throughout the city of Barcelona (like his mosaics at the BCN airportthe statue at the Tarragona metro stop, and the walk-over piece on Las Ramblas). Miró is all over Catalunya – you can spot more of his stuff in Mallorca (featured in this week’s NYT article) and there’s a whole museum devoted to him in Barcelona. Again, I was so happy to spot this piece so close to home!

a cool Picasso. love.

The Frugal Repast, 1904, Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso is my favorite artist – and there were more than just these two pieces here! I loved the whimsy of the first piece, and I had learned about the second one during a course I took on Contemporary Art in Barcelona – and it focuses on Picasso’s fascination with the under-belly of society at this time. My obsession with Picasso came to fruition recently during my visit to Barcelona’s Picasso museum.

After checking out the museum, my mom and I headed across the street to our favorite restaurant in Santa Barbara – Arts & Letters Cafe – an adorable café with seating on the patio of an art gallery. The last time I went I was beyond impressed by their Portabello mushroom sandwich – so this time I was stoked to see what else A&L had up their sleeve!

bread + olive oil with cucumber water at Arts & Letters.

tyler salad. grilled chicken breast, romaine lettuce, bacon, blue cheese, avocado, and tomato with café vinaigrette.

This place is incredible. If you’re EVER in Santa Barbara, you need to go here! (My mom’s crab cake sandwich and pumpkin soup was equally incredible). We shopped a bit on State St. and popped into Starbucks before heading home! I lived dangerously and took my friend Amanda’s suggestion to try the new “Very Berry Hibiscus” refresher. I’m a Starbucks supporter – but normally choose coffee (and caffeine). I mean, why not? Last summer I got into their iced tea lemonades, if for no other reason than ordering a “Green Tea Lemonade” forces the barista to write “GTL” on the cup. Fist pump!  This refresher was good, but I’ll probably stick to drinks with more caffeine in the future – but it was definitely refreshing and the real fruit was a good touch.

my very berry hibiscus refresher, my mom's iced coffee, and our cute cupcake box.

We zipped home along the 101 quickly…thank you, Carmageddon!

view from the ride home.

What’s everyone’s favorite thing to do in Santa Barbara? Orrrrr what’s your favorite art museum??