What’s Good LA?

Hello, it’s me.  A girl trying to call herself a blogger who is also now back to her base in California and not sure what to do about a weekly post.  That’s not entirely true as I always seem to have ideas bouncing around – I even have oodles of ideas for throwback NYC posts.  I simply just don’t know when to dedicate the time to write.  It might help if I didn’t scroll on my phone at night and instead drafted up a post or two but alas, I’m only human and still breaking into a routine.

It’s only been two weeks but I’m still smiling from the love that I received my last couple of weeks in NYC.  I saw my favorite people, ran my favorite routes, ate some fun foods, and just left on good terms, which is important to me.  A lot of people asked whether I would miss New York and if I was sad to be leaving.  Well, yes I was sad to leave but I was excited to create a new life, find myself in a new role and new job, and explore the west coast.  We cross paths with people and live in places that have a profound impact on our lives but nothing lasts forever.

^^ Going to miss all of these gals + more people unpictured.  Beyond grateful for the surprise picnic or surprise guests because let’s be honest, I’m very difficult to surprise.  Somehow I’m just naturally curious and figure things out.  But I did not know that friends like Ali would show up and it meant the world to me, especially since she hasn’t been feeling super hot 😦 . Also make note of her parting gift – a stuffed animal llama who together we named Ellie Fwelling.

So what’s been going on over the last couple of weeks? Driving, driving, running, and driving 😉 I really have no room to complain because that’s LA and I agreed to this situation. Plus, it’s sort of fun to create new routines and I’ve seen so much more of the landscape by taking side roads to and from the office.

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People love to talk about their commute.  I’ve just gravitated from the subway lingo to the freeways.  For example I used to take the L to the Q to NP and then A to the L home from work. Now I just use freeways and because I’m a Southern California gal, I put THE in front of every freeway name.  My commutes have varied every single day, twice a day but so far I’ve taken the 2 to the 110 to the 5 to the 10 and I’ve taken the side streets to the 110 to the 2.  Most mornings range around 70-90 minutes (sweet spot on 80-85) and unless I’m staying late (which may be the case), evening commutes are about the same.  Wednesday was skewed since I drove 20-30 minutes to November Project and then 15 to the gym and 45 to work.  The worst part of that one was that I couldn’t find an accessible coffee shop on my side of the street.  Every time I passed a Starbucks or Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, there was either no parking space or it was on the other side of the street.

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^^ Long run views along the coast in Santa Barbara.  I’m blessed to have family that live in such beautiful places and now that I’m back with access to a car, you’ll find me living it up by the water or the mountains.

Podcasts – Do you ever find yourself annoyed by some voices early in the morning?  See, I have a not so “sunshine and butterflies” attitude at times 😉 Anyways, I finally discovered Mike&Mike while living in NYC.  They host from 6a-9a EST and it was perfect for walking to the gym or even the occasional solo morning run.  Well, now I discovered that their podcast is available that same day and because it’s in podcast form, it has WAY fewer ads (condensing an hour show into 36 minutes).  Winning.

I’m going to be so sad when it ends in a couple of months 😦 . It seriously makes my morning commute enjoyable and I like to think I’m gaining retaining sports knowledge.

I did test out the TODAY SHOW on SiriusXM but unfortunately for them, they will not gain a loyal member since I cannot stand the reception cutting in and out every other sentence.   So, any suggested podcasts?  I’ve gotten “The Daily” and been recommended Headspace.  I have yet to actually download/purchase those but any tips would be greatly appreciated.  Something interesting and potentially educational?  Or just entertaining.

Social Media – I used to be WAY better about responding to people via text message.  It really only has been a week or so but I’m finding that it’s a work in progress.  Anyone who has messaged me and I haven’t responded in my timely fashion, my apologies.  I’m doing my best to commute close to 2-3 hours and that means no texting.

^^ Labor Day Weekend adventures on Mount Baldy.  I’m debating a full post (<< something I say a lot) but if you want the short and sweet version, it was a great hike but actually taking the right path would have been helpful.  It took us 5 moving hours to cover 9ish miles and we definitely got lost.  The picture on the right?  We were totally not supposed to be scaling down that but had already committed.  Yolo?

Blogging – I’ve gotten a few questions about blogging in the last week or so.  I’m not sure where I stand.  I love Instagram and I really don’t want to be on my computer outside of work hours.  It’s bad enough I still sit in front of a screen for 8 or so hours and then sit in the car for upwards of 3 hours a day.  But, I do have some fun thoughts for posts and maybe when I get my personal computer back on wifi (<< another problem) I’ll throw some up there.

This weekend I signed up for a 24 hour adventure race called Questival, brought to you by Cotopaxi, an adventure gear brand with the appropriate moto “Gear For Good”.  Even better and quite possibly how I became attracted to the brand in the first place is that their logo is a LLAMA!!!  Now don’t ask me why I’m obsessed with llamas because I have no clue.  They are just so darn funny and I’m sorry if we as a society mix up alpacas with llamas.  The entire animal group is a hoot.  (Shout out to everyone who has sent me funny llama pictures and clothing ideas with the llama logo. Special shoutout to Ali who gifted me Ellie Fwuelling).

But back to this festival thing.  It looks extremely cool – you and up to 5 other teammates adventure around your city completing challenges that could include anything adventurous to philanthropic.  My only hesitation is the sleep aspect since I 1) don’t function well on little sleep and 2) know little sleep will affect me beyond Saturday and instead into the next week.  Time to live a little and suck it up and have some fun (but of course be safe!  Cotopaxi will not send out any notifications between 1a-5a but I think my sister and I will be a little generous with those hours…say 11:30p-6a?)

Other than that, I’m getting into the swing of running, making my way at the November Project LAX Tribe, and hanging onto my sister’s running club.  I’m serious when I say hanging on because a large majority of those folks are speeeedy.  Maybe if I hang on long enough, I can PR 😉

Alright, that’s all for now but I hope to put together some posts about NYC, some of my favorite food spots as well as odds and ends from California.

“Do what you love and love what you do”

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When in Charleston, Visit a Plantation

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Now, when given the opportunity to explore something gorgeous and historical, I am totally game.  So, when we decided to visit the south for Labor Day Weekend, we realized there were oh so many options and opportunities.  We never did make it into one of the Charleston house tours, but set our sights on a plantation tour.

We tried our best to go with the flow on this trip and only plan out a few things we wanted to see.  I was trying to balance the types of trips where it’s go-go-go and then the trips or beach days where all you do is lounge.  I don’t really know how to “do nothing” but know my travel companions aren’t always about the “go-go-go.”  Healthy medium, right?  So, while we didn’t really plan out our restaurant reservations, we did find Boone Hall Plantation as one of the top plantations in Charleston, thus it became an absolute must see item on our trip!

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IMG_7964These picturesque oaks are years and years old.  In fact, they were planted back in 1743 by the son of Major John Boone.  When you see these trees lining the driveway, you know you are deep in the south and for some, right out of a Nicholas Sparks’ novel.

We had just finished off brunch at the Hominy Grill, delicious review to come soon, and scheduled an Uber to pick us right up from the restaurant.  The plantation is a quick 20 or so minute drive away and we were able to see some of the local sights on our trip over.

IMG_7968 IMG_7975We had fun exploring around the garden prior to our schedule tour.  There really is no need to purchase tickets ahead of time and as a matter of fact, your $20 entrance fee pays for the tour!  Do note that the plantation entrance is a solid 1/2 mile from the Visitor’s Center, house, and parking.  We didn’t realize that but did have the opportunity to walk under the gorgeous oak trees.  See what we did?  Found the silver linings 🙂

IMG_7984Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset IMG_7985The house that stands there today was built in 1936 and guides will take you through the first floor of rooms and share the evolution of owners since 1681.   One of the current owners lives out in California (hey hey west coast!) but enjoys spending time at home every once in awhile.  When she travels back, she stays right there in the plantation home, occupying the second floor, thus tours are a no-go.  We weren’t allowed to take any photos inside the plantation mansion, but I couldn’t help myself with this gorgeous patterned brick floor.

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 Post-plantation tour, we headed out to the gift store and listened to there was a talk or rather entertaining presentation of the “Gullah Culture” – or culture adapted by the African slaves.   Definitely insightful and worth the extra half hour!

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Boone Hall Plantation
1235 Long Point Road, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464

March 9, 2015 – Labor Day Sept. 7, 2015 
Mon-Sat:  8:30am-6:30pm
Sun: 12pm-5pmSept. 8, 2015 – Jan. 1, 2016
Mon-Sat: 9am-5pm
Sun: 12pm-5pm

So, I was supposed to write up a recap of my actual historical trip to Fort Sumter as well buuuuuut seeing as I dropped my computer last week and the screen went black and I didn’t upload the pictures to the web and now it’s in the Grand Central Apple Store, that won’t be happening.  But, for what it’s worth, it was neat to see the place where the Civil War started and I did enjoy the boat ride and Fort tour.  I certainly brought the average age down by a lot, seeing as I was touring among 100+ folks, all aged around 60+.  Oh, and I saw two college students on a date there.  Odd choice but when in the south I guess?

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“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu