Sometimes a getaway is exactly what you need when life seems to have been whizzing past you at warp speed. It’s easy to lose the beauty in moments when they all start to melt together.
A pool day is definitely in order; one with rays of sunshine and beads of sweat that are not only symbols of a physical detox, but a mental one as well. I’m all about this monochromatic swimsuit paired with a tropical, patterned kaftan on top. A vintage inspired pair of shades to protect my eyes, sunscreen to protect my face and water to keep me hydrated through the day are my other essentials.
Being a freelance graphic designer is great. I get to set my own hours, choose the companies I design for, and wear exclusively soft clothes to work EVERY. DAY. I can also take a burrito break whenever I want, so yes–you could say this career path has its perks.
Being a freelance designer also means I’ve been super busy, hence my absence from my blog this week. I’ve been holed up in my room like a 20-something red headed hobbit with a fixation on only eating sweet potatoes and an aversion to sunshine and spring.
I have a lot of places to go and things to see (eat) and I’ll be starting those adventures so soon! Bare with me while I figure out how to balance my life, work, and mental stability.
Follow me on Instagram if you’d like to see more of my photos/adventures in real time : @lacunningham
“Cities were always like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler. Depending on the city and on the traveler, there might begin a mutual love, or dislike, friendship, or enmity. Where one city will rise a certain individual to glory, it will destroy another who is not suited to its personality. Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected.”
Roman Payne, Cities and Countries.
Los Angeles embraced me with open arms. I don’t know if it was the sunshine or the never fading smell of donuts and wild ambition, but I definitely felt the energy there.
Investigating the streets around our hotel was one of my favorite parts of the trip. I think that’s the best way to travel sometimes–ignoring the agenda and just wandering. That’s how you discover a city’s secrets, and those secrets will be the parts of the adventure that you remember most vividly. They’ll be your personal opinion of the city, and not someone else’s.
Travel Rules #1: No matter how aimless it may seem, never be afraid to just explore. Be there.
I don’t know that seeing the ocean will ever get old. Since I was little, the majesty of the thing was pretty evident. Even when I’m not near the ocean I’m swept away by it; on Friday nights you can often find me swaddled like a nun in the orange afghan in my living room watching any number of ocean documentaries with the most wide eyes you have ever seen. You could probably play a drinking game for every time I say, “CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?”
I can’t make this stuff up, folks. It’s real. It’s my cross to bear. I am a fangirl of the ocean.
Anyway, the Pacific is beautiful. Cold, but beautiful. Santa Monica was only about a 25 minute drive from the hotel so it was the beach town we chose to visit (twice). The charm of the bright colored buildings and the pier is the same as it is in pictures. The quaint shops and breath taking look out points definitely would keep me coming back.
Next time I’d like to explore more of Venice Beach (as the only taste I got of it was a delicious cup of coffee from Intelligentsia) and Malibu. In fact, a California road trip is something I am 100% ready to dedicate to. Who’s with me?
I’m certain that it took a total of one time driving past Magnolia Bakery on 3rd Street in WeHo for me to make a decision that I’d be making my way back there no matter what it took. The alluring sign and promise of sweet temptations beckoned to me. I think the cake displays in the windows may have actually whispered to my subconscious, and when cake whispers you always listen.
Walking into the charming, mint green establishment a few days later I immediately knew I’d made the right decision. A table in the middle of the room welcomed me with examples of the bakery’s beautiful work. Near the back there were pastry chefs working on a new batch of cupcakes, newly frosted with pale pink buttercream and lightly sprinkled with white sugary pearls.
After talking to the girl behind the counter, I learned there are only a few Magnolia’s storefronts–one of those being in LA and the majority of them being in New York. Not wanting to miss an obviously God given opportunity, I ordered 3 chocolate and buttercream mini cupcakes and was on my way.
I’d later find out the only thing I was to be disappointed in was the fact that I didn’t order 10 more cupcakes, some cookies and a dozen blondies to boot.
To learn more about Magnolia and to order every baked good you ever need from now on, click here (they deliver!).
More photos tomorrow! Follow me on instagram at @lacunningham for more livefeed photos.
Scouting out Farmer’s Markets is one of my favorite things to do when visiting a new city, and Los Angeles certainly had no shortage of ones to choose from. Each different area, each different neighborhood, had a Farmer’s Market that was unique to it’s people.
A) Because if we’ve learned one thing from KFC it’s that original is ALWAYS better, and B) Because it was close to our hotel.
Stalls of fresh produce, hand carved meats, and candies being made in front of us kept us looping the aisles for hours. I recommend starting with a Cappuccino (made with Verve espresso) at Short Cake, taking a few laps to enjoy the colors and aromas, and then taking a mid morning pause to enjoy some crepes and waffles at the French Creperie in the middle. Keep your eyes out for the bright blue stools and striped awnings.
Get the banana nut waffle. You won’t regret it.
More photos tomorrow! Speak to you soon,
There has been no shortage of sun this week in Los Angeles. My good friend Lauren always claims that she is, “solar powered,” and after a week in the 70 degree paradise that is SoCal, I have to admit I may be too.
I forget during the cold, dreary months how much a couple of rays can bring me back to life. I forget how my favorite color may as well be sky blue. I forget how much better ice cream tastes when you aren’t shivering while you eat it and making promises to yourself that it’s worth it.
With spring comes markets and reasons to explore, and as you’ve seen so far, that’s what this trip was all about.
I couldn’t help but post twice today. I didn’t figure you guys would mind. We head home to frozen over Tennessee tomorrow, but don’t worry because I have one million more LA memories to share.
Walking in the front doors you are immediately greeted by an immaculately decorated, modern boutique on your left and cafe (serving Stumptown coffee) on your right. You breathe a sigh of relief from being out of the sun and then step up to the tiled counter top. A, hopefully sweet, barista will take your order (don’t make the mistake of passing up on the pastries like I did) and as soon as it is finished you should head to the elevator.
The rooftop of the Ace boasts panoramic views of the city. The open air bar and seating area is the perfect way to take a break during an afternoon or to meet up with friends to end your night. You’re going to want to ‘gram it. Swear.
Wandering around DTLA was a different experience around every corner. Everything looks really urban, but then there are the instances where hard and industrial becomes pretty and colorful.
I had this false impression of Los Angeles before I came here, and I’m very happy to say that opinion has been overridden. I like it here, generally speaking. Can’t wait to see what else it has in store.
Super excited to announce that I’ll be heading to Los Angeles with The Transatlantic at the end of February. I’d like to think the agenda is quickly filling up with opportunities for me to remember what the sun feels like when it hits my skin, and for me to see how many tacos I can eat before I can only get away with wearing a poncho.
This trip is going to allow me chances to test the waters of what I hope my this new season of my style will bring about. I’m thinking minimal, a lot of white, sandals for days, and everything that is in Zara’s new collection that was launched a couple of days ago.
The last time I went to L.A. was just a toe dip into the city. I remember waking up after a night of margaritas and karaoke then trying to muster enough poise to get from my hotel off sunset blvd to the airport without collapsing from heat exhaustion. We had no choice but to take Hollywood Blvd. The way a field length touch down is run in the Super Bowl is similar to the way we made it through the crowd that day: juke left around the street performer, jump over the tourists kneeling with Michael Jackson’s star, and then sprint into the endzone (the subway station) to make it to our train that would transport us to our terminal on time. Touchdown.
I’d like to note that the only thing we had energy to do after that was pizza. And yes, I did mean that as a verb.